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Killer Librarian    by Mary Lou Kirwin Amazon.com order for
Killer Librarian
by Mary Lou Kirwin
Order:  USA  Can
Pocket, 2012 (2012)
Paperback, e-Book
*   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Mary Lou Kirwin's debut as a novelist is a hard one to classify. Although this is billed as a mystery, the story never comes close to creating enough suspense to keep the reader flipping the pages to see who dun' it.

That's not to say, though, that this isn't a readable book. Killer Librarian does have a certain charm because the central characters, Karen Nash and her romantic interest Caldwell Perkins, are a thoroughly likeable couple. You keep reading because you want to see where their relationship is going to go.

An unabashed Anglophile, mid-west librarian Nash has planned the trip of a lifetime. Along with her exceedingly boorish boyfriend, a plumber whom she's been dating for a number of years, the librarian is off to London. But alas, just before they are scheduled to leave, the wrench jockey dumps poor Karen.

Determined not to ruin her vacation, Karen heads on her own for London, where she meets and falls in love with Caldwell. Not only does he own the B & B where Karen's staying but he is also a fellow bibliophile.

Now here's where it gets complicated. One of the other B & B guests is killed (sort of!) and Karen and her British host try to haphazardly determine who committed the evil deed (if it really is one). Also, the ex-boyfriend plumber shows up in London with his new girlfriend and their presence complicates matters (kind of!) and they may or may not be a party to a crime (in a weird way!).

As indicated, although the two principal characters are of interest, the suspense element which the plot is constructed around is a major disappointment (try totally anticlimactic!) In fact, it wouldn't be too strong to say it was rather an afterthought, given the way it was developed!

Therefore, before she pens the sequel to this adventure, Kirwin is going to have to decide what she wants to write here a romance or a mystery? Right now the jury is out on what this intended series is supposed to be. It gets very low marks for suspense but does pass if you want to call it a romantic adventure.

Once she determines what it is she really wants to do, Kirwin may actually have something that is not just presentable but also has some long term potential!

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