Sunday, September 13, 2020

Checked Out for Murder - A Guest Post, Review, & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Carrie Singleton to Cozy Up With Kathy today. You can find Carrie on the pages of the Haunted Library series by Allison Brook. CHECKED OUT FOR MURDER is the fourth book in the Haunted Library series and was released last week.

Hello, Everyone! My name is Carrie Singleton. I am the head of programs and events at the Clover Ridge Library in the small town of Clover Ridge, Connecticut. I'm lucky to have a job a love, a wonderful boyfriend, relatives and friends. And I seem to have a knack for getting involved in murder mysteries, which I help solve.

I wasn't always the happy person I am today. A little over a year ago, when I was twenty-nine, I came to stay with my Great-Uncle Bosco and Great-Aunt Harriet because I was feeling sad and unsettled. Coming from a dysfunctional family—my father was a thief and my mother not very maternal—I had fond memories of the summers my brother and I used to spend on the Singleton Farm when we were little. After seven months of doing low-level work in the library, I had just decided to leave Clover Ridge when I was offered the position I now have, for which I am qualified. I was about to turn it down when a voice urged me to consider taking it.

And that was how I met the ghost of Evelyn Havers, who had been a library aide for many years. It turned out that no one else could see or talk to Evelyn besides me and my four-year-old cousin, Tacey. Evelyn's niece, the unpleasant reference librarian Dorothy Hawkins, was very angry that I was given the position she wanted and made things difficult for me. But I quickly figured out how to make things difficult for Dorothy! You can read all about that in DEATH OVERDUE.

Evelyn is helpful to me in many ways, especially when it comes to solving mysteries. Having lived and worked in Clover Ridge all her life, she knew many of the townspeople and their secrets. However, she holds back information when she fears it might implicate one of her relatives.

My boyfriend, Dylan Avery, is an investigator. I met him when I rented the cottage on his estate. While Dylan sometimes worries that my sleuthing will put me in danger, he knows there's no point in telling me not to get involved. I reassure him that I don't take unnecessary risks, but honestly—sometimes things just get out of hand and you have to follow up a clue.

Angela Vecchio, who works at the circulation desk, is my best friend and confidante. She and her boyfriend Steve are about to get married. And wouldn't Angela like to see me get married, too? But I'm far from ready for such an important step. But who knows? Maybe some day in the future . . .

And let's not forget Smoky Joe, the library cat. Actually, Smoky Joe is my cat. I bring him to work with me every day—ever since he showed up at my cottage and jumped into my car. All the library patrons love Smoky Joe. He actually helps solve a mystery.

In CHECKED OUT FOR MURDER, my mother and her younger husband Tom come to Clover Ridge because Tom is in a movie they're filming in town. Trouble arises when Tom's ex-fiancée shows up to play opposite him and makes a play for him. What's worse is Tom seems to be smitten. My mother gets very upset and there are repercussions. . . .and a murder or two.

As you now know, my life is never dull. You can read all about my adventures in the Haunted Library mystery series. 




The Fourth Haunted Library Mystery

Although she has a job she loves, a great boyfriend, and wonderful friends and family to support her, Carrie Singleton is apprehensive. A movie is being filmed in town and since Tom, her mother's young husband, has a leading role, Brianna is coming to stay in Clover Ridge. Dealing with Brianna has never been easy and the fact that Tom is playing a romantic role against his former fiance doesn't help matters. When the actress is murdered days after Carrie's new friend is killed Carrie has no choice but to get involved.

All the world's a stage and in CHECKED OUT FOR MURDER no one is who they seem. A murder from long ago, a shattered family, it's no wonder the players wish to reimagine themselves and start fresh with new names.

I admire the complexity of the mystery in the fourth Haunted Library Mystery. Three murders, one years earlier, how could they possibly be related? The first two have a ready connection, but the third seems to be a total outlier. I love how Carrie tracks down clues, with a little help from Dylan, and pieces the puzzle together. I love the friendship and caring prominently shown throughout the story. From the way everyone cares about the lovable Smoky Joe to meals with friends and family, it's heartwarming and comforting. It's cozy and it's important.

CHECKED OUT FOR MURDER is a well structured complex mystery that delves into identity. You may take on other disguises, but in the end, for better or worse, the real you will shine through.


Checked Out for Murder: A Haunted Library Mystery by Allison Brook

About Checked Out for Murder

Cozy Mystery 4th in Series  
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (September 8, 2020)  
Hardcover: 320 pages

Carrie Singleton and Evelyn the ghost sleuth the slayings of a starlet and a star-crossed psychic in Agatha Award nominee Allison Brook's fourth Haunted Library mystery.

Daphne Marriott strolls into Clover Ridge and informs librarian Carrie Singleton that she's a psychic. But had she foreseen what fate awaited her, Daphne would have steered clear of the quaint Connecticut town. Evelyn, the library ghost, tells Carrie that there's more to Daphne than she lets on.

The mysterious woman grew up in Clover Ridge with her no-good dad, who apparently met his end at the hands of Daphne's brother, Billy. Still, Daphne proves a welcome distraction when Carrie's overbearing mother hits town. Mom's much younger husband, Tom, is in a movie that's lensing locally, and she's there to keep an eye on him: Tom's costar, sultry Ilana Reingold, is also his ex-fiancée, and there's no denying the chemistry is still there. Soon after mingling with the moviemakers at a meet-and-greet, Daphne is found dead.

Carrie and Evelyn investigate, assisted by bushy-tailed library cat Smoky Joe. But the suspect list could overflow the library shelves. Has Billy killed another relative? Is their long-missing mother involved? Or Daphne's mean ex-husband? Carrie's sure she knows who committed the crime, but can she bind together the clues before the culprit Dewey-decimates the town?

About Allison Brook

A former Spanish teacher, Marilyn Levinson writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and novels for kids. Her books have received many accolades. As Allison Brook she writes the Haunted Library series. DEATH OVERDUE, the first in the series, was an Agatha nominee for Best Contemporary Novel in 2018. Other mysteries include the Golden Age of Mystery Book Club series and the Twin Lakes series.

Author Links:  





Twitter: @MarilynLevinson; @AllisonBrookML  





Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Kobo - IndieBound  


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  1. OH I hope this giveaway. Would love to read and review the book. Love book cover.

  2. I really enjoy reading cozies. Thanks for this opportunity.

  3. I really would like to read and review a print book as cozies is one of the genres that I love to read. peggy clayton