cover image Buried in the Stacks: A Haunted Library Mystery

Buried in the Stacks: A Haunted Library Mystery

Allison Brook. Crooked Lane, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-64385-138-9

In Brook’s so-so third Haunted Library mystery (after 2018’s Read and Gone), Carrie Singleton, the head of programs at the Clover Ridge, Conn., library, is concerned about the welfare of the homeless people who spend nights in a local shelter and days in the library’s reading room. A group of civic-minded citizens set out to buy a house to be used as a day facility for the homeless. Heading up the group is Ernie Pfeiffer, a known sleaze who conned the late Evelyn Havers, whose ghost haunts the library, and her husband out of most of their savings, among other victims. The members of the community appear to be fully aware of Ernie’s track record, yet everyone buys into his plan. Widespread rumors that the day center will be used for illegal gambling and more after hours cause no concern. Meanwhile, Evelyn insists that Carrie investigate the suspicious death of her niece, Dorothy Hawkins, a reference librarian. What becomes a murder inquiry follows predictable lines. Too many implausible developments will strain even the patience of cozy fans. Agent: Dawn Dowdle, Blue Ridge Literary. (Sept.)