Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Miss Zukas and the Library Murders, by Jo Dereske

First published 1994
Avon Paperback edition, 218 pages

(I actually read the Kindle edition, 227 pages.)

First published in 1994, this is the first entry in Dereske's very popular and long-running cozy mystery series featuring librarian Helma (short for Wilhelmina) Zukas. When an unidentified dead body turns up in the fiction stacks of the public library, everyone is amazed and horrified. Murder just doesn't happen in lovely Bellehaven, Washington — and certainly not in the "MO-NE" aisle of the public library! Even after a thorough investigation, the police (led by the charming Chief Gallant) can't seem to turn up any information about the dead man or why the murder took place where it did. Enter Miss Helma Zukas, reference librarian extraordinaire, who just can't let a good question go unanswered. With her talent for tracking down information and her Miss-Marple-like "noticing" abilities, she's definitely on the case.

I had read one of the later Miss Zukas mysteries several years ago and enjoyed it enough to add this first work to my TBR-someday list. Glad I decided to make this year that "someday" — Miss Zukas No. 1 was a cute, fast read. Must admit, I had pretty much figured out "who dunnit" long before the big reveal, but that didn't spoil the fun. And even though Helma is a little prickly, decidedly opinionated, and not always easy to be around (hey, that sounds just like me!), I'll definitely continue with this series.

Rating: ★★★★

Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge .
Monthly Key Word Reading Challenge  (February word: "and").
Reading the '90s Personal Reading Challenge .
USA Fiction Reading Challenge (ongoing) (Washington State).


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