Title: Death Checked Out
Author: Leah Dobrinska
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Cozy Mystery
Publication Date: December 6th, 2022
Publisher: Level Best Books
Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.
“When in doubt, go to the library…and solve the murder mystery!
Greta Plank, library director in the small, lakeside town of Larkspur, Wisconsin, prefers her rose-tinted glasses extra rosy, thank you very much. It’s how she copes with the hard stuff in life…like her sister’s death and her ex-boyfriend’s deception. But Greta’s cheery resolve takes a hit when she stumbles upon a dead body on her way home from work. What she assumes is a terrible accident Greta soon learns is something more sinister, and to make matters worse, a new-to-town detective cites her as not only his primary source for the case, but his top suspect.
To clear her name and save her reputation, Greta decides to do some off-the-books clue cataloging of her own. After all, asking questions is what she does best. With the help of her fellow librarians and her lawyer mom, Greta flips through the pages of the murder, uncovering details about Larkspur’s real estate market and the deceased’s rare book collection as she tries to understand why anyone would have authored his death.
With friends and neighbors stacking up as both victims and suspects, Greta must cross reference the facts and put a hold on her idyllic worldview if she wants to get the full story without paying the fine of her life.” (Goodreads)
I’ve been getting into cozy mysteries a lot more and when I saw this one on Netgalley I figured why not give it a try! It had a librarian as the MC and that’s pretty cool to me.
The book is told from one point-of-view and it comes from Greta who is a small-town library director. I didn’t think that she was a bad character in any way, but I didn’t feel a connection towards her or any of the other characters. They all just felt very basic and it didn’t feel like anyone had a personality. I think this is why I had such a hard time getting into the book. The romance, start of it/love interest, didn’t feel natural and I wasn’t a fan.
It doesn’t take long in the beginning to get the murder mystery started. I was actually kind of sad with the choice of the first victim and I didn’t even know them that well, ha. The best part of this book was definitely the murder mystery. I didn’t guess who it was or what the reasoning would be. The author does a good job keeping the reader off the trail and that can be hard to do.
Overall, this an alright read. I do wish the characters had a bit more personality. I think it would have helped to make this book shine. I did at least like the mystery!