I had such high hopes for Killer Librarian by Mary Lou Kirwin. I mean, it's a cozy mystery about a librarian called Killer Librarian - how could it not be great? Unfortunately, I was very disappointed in it.
Small town, middle aged librarian Karen is our sleuth. She loves nothing more than a mystery novel especially if that mystery novel is set in England. So her planned vacation with boyfriend Dave to England is a serious life event. So far, so good. Then Dave dumps her just hours before the trip. Karen goes anyway and mayhem ensues.
I found Karen to be whiny, with an addition to too much drama, and an attitude that was all woe is me. I couldn't figure out why anyone would date her in the first place and certainly understood why she seemed to have only one friend and that was her employee! Other than being a librarian who liked to read and her excitement about finding rare and old books to collect, I didn't find much redeemable about Karen.
Dave was a fairly typical asshole ex. He was clearly having a mid-life crisis which manifested in his new, much younger girlfriend. But Karen cares enough to try to warn them both when she thinks a killer is after them. Neither is grateful and frankly, Karen came across as just being a global stalker rather than trying to do the right thing.
Guy, the British gentleman Karen spills her guts to the first night in England while drowning her sorrows in a pint, is a strange and flat secondary character. He shows up repeatedly but his character has no depth and no real personality. A secondary character that was well written was Caldwell. Caldwell has personality and I did like his character but the whole attraction between him and Karen didn't feel real.
But the real clincher for me was that the actual mystery was an afterthought rather than the main storyline of the novel. Karen doesn't sleuth, she rambles along feeling sorry for herself or lusting after Caldwell and stumbles onto the fact that someone killed a fellow B&B guest rather than his dying from natural causes.
If you are looking for a good mystery featuring a librarian sleuth, you are better off reading the excellent Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay.
Champion of the mystery section at a small-town Minnesota library, Karen Nash is about to embark on a dream trip to London—a literary tour inspired by every murderous intrigue, wily suspect, and ingenious crime found in the pages of the British mysteries that she devours. But she’s clueless why the love of her mid-life, Dave, would dump her hours before takeoff—until she spies him at the airport with a young honey on his arm! She decides the best revenge (for now) is to get on that plane anyway . . . and entertain schemes for Dave’s untimely demise while crossing the pond.
After touching ground in the hallowed homeland of Christie, Sayers, and Peters, she checks into a cozy B & B run by charming bibliophile Caldwell Perkins. Soon she’s spilling tears in her pint at the corner pub, sharing her heartbreak saga with a stranger. That night, a B & B guest drops out of circulation—permanently. And when Dave and his cutie turn up in London, Karen realizes they are an assassin’s target. With the meticulous attention to detail that makes her a killer librarian, Karen sleuths her way through her own real-life mystery—in which library science meets the art of murder.