Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library
A glowing wood stove, a cozy log cabin, and shelves full of books are all Rain Wilmot needs to ride out the Wisconsin winter, now that she’s made her family’s Lofty Pines library her year-round home. But the warm-hearted librarian’s blood runs cold when local man, Wallace Benson, is found dead during the annual Ice Fishing Jamboree.
After Benson’s body is found in his ice shanty, Rain recalls that she recently saw the victim in her library, borrowing a few cookbooks to prepare for the fishing tournament’s communal “chili dump.” She later finds these same books returned to the library’s drop box, with an enigmatic note from Benson to Rain.
As Rain seeks to understand the message, the prime suspect becomes Rain’s friend Nick, who was the last person to see Wallace alive and who returned to the Jamboree with a nasty cut on his hand. The knife found in his tackle box only makes Nick’s troubles worse. But Rain keeps fishing for other suspects. Was the killer Danny, who lost his arm to a logging accident involving Wallace? Or Danny’s bitter father, whose dreams of retirement were dashed by his son’s accident?
With the help of her friends Julia and Jace, Rain sets out to hook the real culprit and clear Nick’s name. But can her sleuthing skills protect her from a killer who’d like to take her out of circulation?
Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library is the second A Lakeside Library Mystery. I suggest reading Murder at the Lakeside Library before embarking on Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library. I like the premise of this series. A cozy cabin that has been turned into a library on the shore of Pine Lake in Lofty Pines, Wisconsin. The author brought the scenery to life with her vivid word imagery. I could see the cabin by the lake with the snow falling and inside it is cozy with books and a new Franklin stove. Rain is a likeable and relatable main character. I like her friends, Julia and Marge as well. Julia was a little off in this book. Her husband is accused of murder which I can understand would make her a little touchy, but she goes off on people (Rain should have known better than to bring her along). The ladies spend their time at the cozy library helping people find the right book as well as chatting with their friends. I liked how the murder took place in an ice shanty. I thought this was unique for a cozy mystery. There are limited suspects, though, and the investigation plods along slowly. For the first third of the book, there is little to no sleuthing. Rain’s snooping is mixed in with spending time with Julia, taking care of the library, and flirting with Ryan, the stove guy. I would like to see Rain and Julia be more responsible when investigating. I know cozy sleuths skirt the law on occasion, but most of them try to stay on the right side of it. You do need to suspend your disbelief at times at things that Rain and Julia do. There are limited suspects so solving this whodunit is a cinch. I did not appreciate a love triangle being thrown into the mix. I am not a fan of them (as you can tell). Rain finds herself torn between Jace and Ryan, the wood stove installer. I was glad to see less repetition in this book. Readers who enjoy charming cozy mysteries set in picturesque settings with friendly characters will enjoy Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library. Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library is a cute cozy with a welcoming library, a friend from Florida, a fish shack clash, a chili cookoff, and a bothersome blizzard.
The Avid Reader
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