Death Books a Return: A Scrappy Librarian Mystery

Overview

Sensitivity, compassion, mystery, and suspense abound in this tale of unserved justice in Oklahoma. Public librarian Juanita Wills makes a distressing discovery while researching local history: a teenage boy from the all-black town of Bryson's Corner, Luther Dunlap, was found brutally murdered on the all-white Wyndham high school track back in 1959. She suspects racist motives, both in Luther's killing and the failure of the police to pursue an investigation. As the ...

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Overview

Sensitivity, compassion, mystery, and suspense abound in this tale of unserved justice in Oklahoma. Public librarian Juanita Wills makes a distressing discovery while researching local history: a teenage boy from the all-black town of Bryson's Corner, Luther Dunlap, was found brutally murdered on the all-white Wyndham high school track back in 1959. She suspects racist motives, both in Luther's killing and the failure of the police to pursue an investigation. As the scrappy Juanita prods for facts the townspeople would rather forget, her first informant is poisoned, and she may be next. The shame she feels for her town cements her resolve to uncover the truth and to right the terrible wrong.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Sole librarian for the small northeastern Oklahoma town of Wyndham, Juanita Wills (Bookmarked for Murder) is in a unique position to investigate the town's history, but her dogged pursuit of information often gets her into trouble. In her latest research, she discovers an unsolved murder from 1959. The victim was a black teenager from the all-black town of Bryson's Corner; the motive and suspects have never been established. Was it a racist killing? Uncovering the truth becomes Juanita's goal even though no one in either town wants to talk about the case. Despite the grim nature of the crime, Hill sets an old-fashioned cozy mood: Juanita dines her boyfriend, Det. Lt. Wayne Cleary, ordering sweetbreads, and the couple, in their forties, share only a few kisses. The mystery is cleverly presented, and the characters are endearing, but the labored discussion of racism in the past and the present feels forced, like a didactic history lesson. A good choice for libraries with avid mystery readers and Plains history buffs.
—Stacey Hayman

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780977191369
  • Publisher: Pemberley Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Series: Scrappy Librarian Mystery Series
  • Pages: 286
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Marion Moore Hill is the author of the Deadly Past Mystery series, which includes Deadly Will, and Bookmarked for Murder, the first book in the Scrappy Librarian Mystery series. Her novels and short stories have been recognized by Byline magazine, the Greater Dallas Writers' Association, Johnson County Creative Writers, Oklahoma Writers' Federation, Inc., and Panhandle Professional Writers. Her first short story, "Mum's and Pansy's Greenhouse," was the inaugural winner of Whispering Willow mystery magazine's Dagger award. She lives in Durant, Oklahoma.
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2008

    Enjoy this book

    Death Books a Return follows Bookmarked for Murder of The Scrappy Librarian Series by Marion Moore Hill. The main character is a rather snoopy librarian who stumbles onto clues and into situations that lure her on to solve murder mysteries. The reader joins her in puzzling through the pieces she finds. Twists and bunny trails keep the reader engaged in guessing whodunit. This book wraps up with a sense of satisfaction in finding those responsible for the brutal murder of a black teen. Refreshingly, this is a female main character that does not have long natural curly hair and amazing good looks. The story carries itself along without graphic sex, objectionable language and unnecessary violence. A sense of justice, vengeance, right and wrong are found on the pages. For added interest, there is a policeman boyfriend who may not appreciate her amateur sleuthing and an entertaining post-it-note quotation feud among library staff.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2008

    engaging cozy

    Wyndham, Oklahoma librarian Juanita Wills is writing a history of the town when her research comes across the cold case murder of back teenager Luther Dunlap in 1959. She is elated to have found a witness to the homicide as the victim¿s best friend almost fifty years ago Samuel Davis agrees to talk to her. However, when she goes to his home in nearby Bryson Corner, no one answers her. --- Later she learns Samuel died from corn cockle poison in bread left by eccentric reticent Grace Hendershot. As she keeps digging, her boyfriend police lieutenant Wayne Cleary warns her to not get involved as some people want the segregated abusive past left buried. He proves right when someone tries to shoot her or her walking companion and tinkered with a tilt ride that hospitalizes Juanita. However, the intrepid ¿scrappy librarian¿ refuses to close the book on her amateur sleuthing until she solves the 1950s killing, the modern day murder, and a few relationship enigmas. --- This engaging cozy explores race relations then and now as Marion Moore Hill makes the case that though we have come a long way yet in some ways Otis Redding remains right that ¿Everything still remains the same¿ so we must work even harder at achieving equality. At times the mystery takes a back seat into the interrelationships between characters not just interracial although that is the prime theme. Though the action overall is light in spite of two attempts on the heroine, fans will appreciate the second well written Scrappy Librarian tale (see Bookmarked for Murder). --- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2010

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