HITTING THE BOOKS, by Jenn McKinlay, is the ninth book in the Library Lover’s Mystery series and every bit as entertaining as the preceding books! You can always count on Ms. McKinlay to provide a story that’s filled with humor, romance, suspense, and puns to pull the reader in and keep them turning pages late into the night. Protagonist, Lindsey Norris, is the librarian director at Briar Creek Public Library in Connecticut. She has a knack for treating both employees and patrons as family, which I find endearing. I am completely enthralled with her library’s Crafternoon events, in which a group meets once a week for lunch, a craft, and a book discussion. The mention of the various authors have inspired me to try out different books that Lindsey recommends to the group and to other patrons. Beth, who is Lindsey’s children’s librarian, is charming. I love seeing what new costume or theme she will tie in to the book she’s chosen for the kids’ events. Lindsey and Beth also have a delightful repartee which adds to the humor and sets up entertaining situations. Ms. McKinlay brings each character to life and forges a connection between the reader and the people on the pages.
When Lindsey witnesses a hit and run accident that mows down the town’s high school tennis coach, she can’t help but want to find the culprit. Who would want to kill the newly engaged woman, especially when there’s a second attempt on her life? As Lindsey delves into the life of the woman, her soon-to-be husband, and her soon-to-be step-daughter, the librarian finds a long ago disappearance that was never solved. I love how Lindsey puts her librarian research skills to work to hunt down clues and piece together the two separate crimes. She’s also willing to share those insights with the town’s chief of police instead of keeping the information and putting herself needlessly in danger. The author keeps you guessing and like her protagonist, Lindsey, you’ll find you will have OMC Syndrome… “One More Chapter” as you turn the pages to get to the exciting conclusion!
The Crafternooners take turns providing food for their get-togethers and Ms. McKinlay has included recipes for some of those dishes at the back of the book. She also includes a Readers Guide for the book Lindsey’s group discuss and instructions for a craft. I was immediately drawn to the recipe for Flourless Chocolate Cake Dusted with Confectioners’ Sugar and have already made it two times! And one of those times was for my birthday dinner celebration with family… it’s that yummy! Simple ingredients, a couple different easy techniques, and voilà, a decadent dessert that will have your guests wanting seconds. I love that it is naturally gluten-free and the richness of the chocolate needs nothing more than a sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar for garnish… and maybe a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
It’s murder by the book in the latest hit Library Lover’s mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Death in the Stacks.
When a stack of library materials is found at the scene of a hit and run, library director Lindsey Norris finds herself dragged into the investigation as the police try to link the driver of the stolen car to the person who borrowed the books. Before Lindsey can delve into the library’s records, the victim of the hit and run, Theresa Houston, suffers another “accident” and the investigation shifts from driver negligence to attempted homicide.
A clue surfaces in the confiscated library materials that could crack open the case and it is up to Lindsey to piece it all together. But things are not as they seem in the sleepy town of Briar Creek and when the driver of the stolen car turns up dead, Lindsey, her staff and her library friends have to hit the books before the murderer gets the last word…
A special thanks to Jenn McKinlay for providing a winner with a hardcover copy of HITTING THE BOOKS. Contest ends Sunday, September 16, 2018 at 11:59 pm PST and is limited to U.S. residents only. Please use the Rafflecopter box located below to enter. The winner will be announced on this page and on Cinnamon & Sugar’s Facebook page, as well as notified by email (so check your spam folder!)
- 12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1-1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- Confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F). Grease a 9-by-2-inch springform pan.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, put the chocolate, butter, and salt. Melt in the microwave for 90 seconds. Stir and microwave again, in 1-minute intervals, until completely melted.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with a mixer until light and thickened, about 8 minutes with a handheld mixer or 4 minutes with a stand mixer.
Fold the melted chocolate into the whipped eggs until evenly combined.
Pour the batter into the springform pan and bake about 1 hour and 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out damp but not runny.
Remove cake from the oven and cool on a rack.
Once the cake is cool, carefully remove from the pan, invert onto a serving platter, and sift a light layer of confectioners' sugar over the top.
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I was provided an advance copy with the hopes I would review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.