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by Laurie Cass
Berkley Prime Crime, July 2019
342 pages
ISBN: 044000098X

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Assistant library director Minnie Hamilton and her Aunt Frances find themselves dealing with numerous challenges in this seventh Bookmobile Cat Mystery, BOOKING THE CROOK.

At the library, Minnie has two new bosses: Graydon Cain, the new library Director and Trent Ross, the new Board Chair. Then on her Bookmobile route, she discovers Rowan, a regular Bookmobile patron, unconscious in her driveway and later hears she was murdered.

Personally, Minnie is dealing with the fact both of her usual homes (houseboat in the summer and Aunt Frances’ boarding house in the winter) are soon to be unavailable and she plans to move into the renovated cottage her boyfriend Rafe promises will be ready in time. Also, being maid of honor for her best friend Kristen’s wedding requires its own set of responsibilities for Minnie.

Aunt Frances plans to get married to Otto in Bermuda and move into the house Otto is fixing up for them across the street from the boarding house she just sold. Unfortunately, the wedding venue in Bermuda is damaged by fire so plans must change. And Minnie is helping with this wedding as well.

In between the demands of her active personal life, Minnie is sucked into trying to figure out who wanted Rowan dead. Since the victim was a loan officer at the bank, there seems to be no shortage of suspects among those for whom she refused loans. While Rowan’s husband and children believe they know who killed Rowan, Minnie starts investigating several leads she developed on her own.

Laurie Cass makes fundamental changes in the community of Chilson with Minnie moving in with Rafe, two important weddings and new leadership at the library that serve to redefine relationships as this series continues to progress. Ms. Cass not only fabricates a fascinating mystery with interesting red herrings, she pulls all the story strands together in a convincing and entertaining cozy. As for the Bookmobile Cat Eddie – the author paints a warm and charming relationship between Minnie and Eddie. Minnie talks to Eddie often and Ms. Cass describes his physical responses as if the black and gray tabby understands exactly what Minnie says to him. This entry is a five-star read for fans of good mysteries and likable feline characters.

§ Ruth Castleberry has worked as an investigator for Pinkerton’s, a city desk assistant on the Charlotte News, free-lance writer, marketing/business strategy consultant, competitive intelligence practitioner and digital marketing consultant.

Reviewed by Ruth Castleberry, July 2019

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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