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Review: The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

***3 stars

Note: I reviewed this book through a NetGalley advanced reader copy. It will be published in June.

I had high hopes for this book because it involved a library mystery, my favorite to read. It started out interesting with a group of four strangers meeting in the Boston Public Library and hearing a woman’s scream while they are seated together. When they learn the following day that a woman was killed, they form a friendship united by this experience until occurrences happen that cause them to suspect one of their group.

Along with the main story, there’s a subplot about a frustrated writer who corresponds with the book’s author sharing feedback on the plot and characters. Some of the feedback involves suggestions on how to improve the story. One of those suggestions involves adding details of the pandemic. The writer, a man named Leo who lives in Boston, is also represented in the book. But when he begins to send details of murders happening in his area, Hannah, the Australian author he is corresponding with, contacts the police who request that she continue to write to Leo to gather more information about him so they can conduct an investigation.

In my opinion, the two plots resolve predictably as the library murder is solved and the correspondence between Hannah and Leo end. Some readers may enjoy the way the main plot and subplot flow together and a few of the Australianism that are used. The characters are somewhat engaging, and there are a few twists that add surprises.

Author:

I'm a librarian at a public library and author of the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series and other novels, short stories, articles, and a novella. My books include CLOUDY RAINBOW, REASON TO DIE, and the 5 books of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series: A STONE'S THROW, BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, WRITTEN IN STONE, LOVE ON THE ROCKS, and NO GRAVESTONE UNTURNED. I've also written a romantic comedy novella, WHEN JACK TRUMPS ACE, and short stories of various genres published as eBooks by Solstice Publishing and in anthologies published by the Red Penguin Collection. My standalone psychological thriller, SEA SCOPE, and my medical mystery, MEMORY MAKERS, are published by NEXT CHAPTER PUBLISHING who has also published my latest book, the time-travel thriller, TIMES RELATIVE. My non-fiction cat book, PET POSTS: THE CAT CHATS, features blog posts and articles "written" by 2 of my current cats and 2 previous ones about feline health and behavior issues told from a cats' point of view. I have also completed the first book of a new cozy series, THE CASE OF THE CAT CRAZY LADY, Buttercup Bend Mystery #1, for which I am currently seeking representation. I am a member of Sisters-in-Crime, Long Island Authors Group, International Thriller Writers, and the Cat Writers' Association. I live on Long Island with my husband, daughter, and 3 cats.

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