The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections

Eva Jurczyk. Poisoned Pen, $16.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-7282-3859-3
Librarian Liesl Weiss, the protagonist of Jurczyk’s underwhelming debut, is asked to return to Toronto from her sabbatical after the library director of the unnamed university where she works suffers a stroke. When a newly purchased manuscript vanishes from a locked vault and a missing female colleague is suspected of the theft, Liesl must dig deep into the university’s ugly underbelly to find the truth, despite her male colleagues’ attempts to bully her into silence. Jurczyk paints Liesl’s oppressors with a heavy hand, from Lawrence Garber, the triathlon-obsessed college president, to Percy T. Pickens III, the vulgar, glad-handing donor. Mystery readers are likely to be disappointed by the crimes and their solutions, and bibliophiles may feel that the rare books themselves are given short shrift, despite the author’s obvious research. This works best as an unflinching appraisal of the personal and professional effects of a woman’s aging into invisibility. Fans of women’s fiction may want to check it out. Agent: Erin Clyburn, Jennifer De Chiara Literary. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 11/04/2021
Release date: 01/01/2022
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Hardcover - 352 pages - 978-1-7282-4659-8
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