cover image No Offense

No Offense

Meg Cabot. Morrow, $15.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-06289-007-8

Though Cabot’s prose is characteristically lively in her second Little Bridge Island novel (after No Judgements), the cookie-cutter characters and anticlimactic mystery make this a rare stumble. Molly Montgomery is all too aware that she’s been “turning into a cliché of a spinster librarian” ever since her move to the idyllic town of Little Bridge. But her mundane life takes a sharp turn when she discovers an infant abandoned in a library bathroom stall. Sheriff John Hartwell is called to the scene—and is instantly smitten with Molly. When the library is vandalized, the distinct graffiti style leads John to believe the case may be connected to Dylan Dakota, an elusive criminal who is notorious for breaking and entering. Though Molly is determined give her input on the mystery, she and John can’t see eye to eye on any aspect of the investigation—but their debates on the case only fuel the fire growing between them. Cabot’s characters are winsome but predictable, and the hasty plot leaves little room for either satisfying mystery or romantic depth. Still, the charming small-town setting and cheerful tone will please Cabot’s die-hard fans. Agent: Laura Langlie, Laura Langlie Literary. (Aug.)