Review: Death Overdue by Allison Brook

Amidst all that heavy, spooky, emotional stuff I was reading for Haunting October, there was Death Overdue. A light cozy mystery (is that redundant?) about a haunted library, a cold case, and a poisonous cookie.

I mean, what more does a girl need?

Truthfully, a bit more than I got.

Carrie’s about to up and leave town when she’s offered – begrudgingly – a position as the new Director of Programs and Events at the local library. She – also begrudgingly – accepts, and of course, her first day on the job, someone gets murdered. At one of her events. The victim happens to be the detective who, after 15 years, has decided to reopen a long-cold murder case. He’s about to share his new evidence with half the town, when he keels over. If only he hadn’t eaten that cookie.

I’m sorry, but really? I don’t think I’ve ever read a cozy that deals with a cold case, and there’s probably a reason for that. (The poisoned cookie is par for the course, no issue there.) The first murder was pretty much a waste of time and energy, and didn’t do much except introduce a level of complexity that wasn’t really needed, never mind explored. Brook kept hammering home the idea that the two murders were related. Which, of course they were, but it added nothing and frankly, got a bit annoying.

And can we please talk about Jared for a second? The love interest slash murder victim #1’s son? Ugh. Just ugh ugh ugh. It wasn’t just that he was an awful character – cozies are full of awful characters. No, it was more that he wasn’t even a believable character. I simply couldn’t imagine an actual person saying the things he did, because he was so…stiff.

I did like the ghost though. She was fun.

Series: A Haunted Library Mystery #1    Hardcover: 329 pages

Published: October 2017 by Crooked Lane Books    Source: Netgalley

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Death Overdue on Goodreads

Carrie Singleton is just about done with Clover Ridge, Connecticut until she’s offered a job as the head of programs and events at the spooky local library, complete with its own librarian ghost. Her first major event is a program presented by a retired homicide detective, Al Buckley, who claims he knows who murdered Laura Foster, a much-loved part-time library aide who was bludgeoned to death fifteen years earlier. As he invites members of the audience to share stories about Laura, he suddenly keels over and dies.

The medical examiner reveals that poison is what did him in and Carrie feels responsible for having surged forward with the program despite pushback from her director. Driven by guilt, Carrie’s determined to discover who murdered the detective, convinced it’s the same man who killed Laura all those years ago. Luckily for Carrie, she has a friendly, knowledgeable ghost by her side. But as she questions the shadows surrounding Laura’s case, disturbing secrets come to light and with each step Carrie takes, she gets closer to ending up like Al.

Now it’s due or die for Carrie in Death Overdue, the delightful first in a new cozy series by Allison Brook.

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