cover image The Librarian Always Rings Twice

The Librarian Always Rings Twice

Marty Wingate. Berkley Prime Crime, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-1-9848-0416-7

In Wingate’s unconvincing third First Edition Library mystery (after 2020’s Murder Is a Must), Hayley Burke, curator for the First Edition Society Library in Bath, England, meets John Aubrey, who claims to be the long-lost grandson of the late Lady Georgiana Fowling, founder of the society. The skeptical Hayley arranges meetings involving the estate lawyer, society members, and John to determine whether John is an imposter. Charles Henry Dill, Lady Fowling’s nephew and heir, is less than thrilled to learn of John’s claim, and the two men come to blows. When Milo Overton, an associate of John’s who resembles him, is killed, it’s unclear whether John was the actual target and Dill committed the crime. A slow-moving plot, far-fetched scenarios, an unfamiliarity with the workings of special collections, and an unqualified and inept protagonist add up to an unsatisfactory experience for readers. One hopes Hayley’s next outing will be more successful. Agent: Christina Hogrebe, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Jan.)