One of the most adventurous aspects of Briar Creek Public Library director Lindsey Norris’s job involves a boat ride out to Star Island to deliver books to elderly hermits Stewart and Peter Rosen. The trip is even more exciting because the captain of the boat is Lindsey’s ex-boyfriend Sully. When Stewart fails to meet their boat, Lindsey and Sully venture onto the brothers’ property to investigate, risking their lives—as the brothers fiercely guard their privacy with deadly booby traps.
Once safely inside the brothers’ cluttered Victorian, they discover Peter—in his wheelchair with a bullet hole in his chest. Stewart is nowhere to be found. Have they stumbled upon a tragic scene of fratricide, or has Stewart fled to escape whomever shot his brother? To discover what really went down on the isolated island, Lindsey will need to untangle a family history of secrets and lies, and determine if this brother’s keeper needs to be rescued or arrested for murder…
Includes a Bonus Short Story: “An Unlikely Meeting”
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
"I need a plunger and a mop stat!" Lindsey Norris cried from the family restroom in the children's area of the Briar Creek Public Library. There was an inch of water on the floor, and the water spilling over the toilet bowl showed no signs of slowing.
The harried mother and daughter who had just been in the restroom stood by the door, with the young girl giving Lindsey big worried looks while the mother gushed apologies almost as fast as the toilet spilled water.
"I'm so sorry, so sorry, so very, very sorry," Kimberly Curtis said.
"It's fine," Lindsey lied. "Happens all the time."
She glanced down at the young girl, Madison Curtis, who was pulling her winter hat over her face as if to hide. She peeked at Lindsey from under the edge and said, "I sorry. Ducky wanted to swim."
Lindsey felt her lips turn up in spite of the situation. She glanced at Kimberly and said, "It does make sense on one level."
Kimberly hugged her daughter and gave Lindsey an appreciative glance. "You're very kind, but there is nothing logical about flushing a stuffed duck down the toilet."
"Here's the mop!"
Lindsey glanced past Kimberly and Madison at her second in command. Her longtime friend Beth Stanley was coming at her with a mop in one hand and a plunger in the other, or more accurately, a mop under one wing and a plunger under the other.
"Wild guess here," Lindsey said as she took in Beth's bright yellow hooded sweatshirt with wings on the sleeves and an orange beak and two large eyes sewn onto the hood. "Make Way for Ducklings for story time?"
"McCloskey is the man!" Beth said. "Yes, we read all the feathered faves: The Story about Ping; Come Along, Daisy! and The Ugly Duckling, natch."
"Well, you inspired little Madison here to set one free," Lindsey said.
"Uh-oh," Beth said. She looked past Lindsey at the bathroom floor.
"It's fine. I changed into my boots," Lindsey said. She pointed to her L.L.Bean snow boots. "I'll just waddle on in there and shut the water off."
"I'll help. I'm in boots, too. They look like duck feet, don't you think?" Beth asked.
"They do," Lindsey agreed. She looked at Kimberly and Madison. "We're going to start cleaning, and then I'm going to call our maintenance people from the town and see if they can get your duck out of the pipes."
Madison's face crumpled, and she looked like she was going to have a complete meltdown. Beth, ever in touch with her story timers, saw the brewing storm and started having a conversation with Madison's duck.
"You're going where? Oh, sorry," she called into the toilet. She glanced at them with a chagrined look. "I forgot to speak in duck." She turned back to the toilet and said, "Quack, quack quackety quackers."
Madison's face went from distraught to hopeful. Beth kept up the conversation, making Madison laugh while Kimberly leaned close to Lindsey and said, "We won't need Fluffy back. When Madison made it her go-to stuffie, Beth advised me to buy more of the same. I bought three of them, and I rotate them in and out so they have the same amount of wear."
"Brilliant," Lindsey whispered back. Then she hurried into the bathroom to shut the water off.
"Where did Fluffy go?" Madison asked Beth. Her four-year-old voice was so pitiful that Lindsey wanted to hug her.
"Fluffy says she's going to visit her sister and she'll be back"-Beth paused to look at Kimberly, who nodded-"after dinner."
Madison beamed and clapped her hands as Beth and Lindsey sloshed back toward them.
"What do you say, Madison?" Kimberly asked her daughter.
"Thank you," Madison hugged Beth around the knees and then did the same to Lindsey.
"You're welcome," they said together. They waved as the mother and daughter bundled up to go out into the February cold.
"Maintenance is never going to get that duck out of there, are they?" Lindsey asked.
"Not a chance," Beth said. "But it's okay. Kim is smart and has backups."
"So she said. Great advice you gave her there."
"Sometimes I pull a good one out of my beak," Beth joked. "Quack."
"Clark from maintenance just called. They are fixing an electrical issue with the town garage and can't get back here until late this afternoon," Ms. Cole said as she joined them. She looked at the bathroom with disapproval and added, "When Mr. Tupper was director we never had plumbing issues."
"That's ridicu-" Beth protested, but Lindsey interrupted her.
"Thank you for calling them, Ms. Cole," Lindsey said.
When she had taken the job as director of the small town library a couple of years ago, she'd had no idea that her skill set would expand to include basic plumbing, but then there were a lot of things she hadn't expected when she took this job. She supposed the unexpected was what kept it interesting.
She glanced at her watch; speaking of interesting, she had a meeting to attend. Her weekly crafternoon group was scheduled for one hour from now, and she knew what she had to do. Mop.
ÒHurry!Ó Beth said as she and Lindsey hustled down the hallway.
Lindsey was surprised at how much of an important part of her life their weekly crafternoon meetings had become for her over the past couple of years.
Briar Creek was a small town nestled on the coast of Connecticut. Its claim to fame was that Captain Kidd had once buried treasure out in the Thumb Islands, which numbered into the hundreds if you counted big rocks in the bay. As of yet, no one had found the treasure, although plenty had tried.
When Lindsey had become the director of the library, she knew that in order to survive, she had to make the library a place where people really enjoyed spending time. One of her very first ideas had been to form a crafternoon club, a group of women who met every Thursday for lunch, book talk and crafting. Men were welcome, too, but so far they'd had no takers.
Instead of a program for the library, what Lindsey had gotten was a close-knit group of friends who shared her love of food and books and tolerated her inability to craft. She adored each and every one of them.
She and Beth skidded into the room to find the lunchtime meeting already under way. Nancy Peyton, Lindsey's landlord, was leading the discussion.
"Inspector Grant," Nancy said. "What do we think of him, ladies?"
Her short gray hair was cut to flatter her large sparkling blue eyes. She was dressed in her usual turtleneck sweater and slacks with a heavy chambray shirt over the sweater to keep out the winter chill.
"I like him," Violet La Rue said. "He has spunk."
Lindsey smiled as she and Beth hit the buffet spread and loaded up their plates. Violet would know a spunky personality since she had one herself. A retired star of the Broadway theater scene, Violet dressed in long flowing caftans in brilliant jewel tones. She wore her thick gray hair in a knot on the back of her head. While about the same age as Nancy, Violet's brown complexion was wrinkle free except for several tiny lines at the corners of her eyes, which only showed when she laughed, which she did quite often.
Given both Violet's and Nancy's feisty ways, it was no surprise to Lindsey that they approved of Inspector Grant, the hero of this week's book under discussion, The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey.
"Hurry up, you two, before we get to the good stuff," Charlene La Rue ordered.
Charlene was Violet's daughter and just as lovely as her mother. Charlene worked in New Haven as a newscaster but spent her off time in Briar Creek with her husband and children, as her children loved to help their grandmother with whatever community theater project she had under way.
Charlene had been in charge of the food this week, and it consisted of a large casserole dish filled with shepherd's pie, an arugula salad, sweet tea and chocolate cream pie for dessert. The shepherd's pie was still hot, and Lindsey felt her mouth begin to water. She'd had no idea that swabbing a bathroom floor could cause such an appetite.
"The good stuff?" Mary Murphy asked. "Are we talking about the food or the book?"
Mary Murphy was a pretty brunette who owned the local caf the Blue Anchor with her husband, Ian Murphy. She was also the younger sister of Lindsey's ex-boyfriend Captain Mike Sullivan, known to everyone locally as Sully.
Lindsey always appreciated that Mary was able to separate their friendship from Lindsey's relationship with her brother, although Mary did lobby on her brother's behalf every chance she got.
"The book, definitely the book," Charlene said.
"Speaking of which," Nancy paused and her eyes twinkled as she looked at Lindsey. "Can you imagine trying to solve the mystery of whether King Richard III murdered the princes in the tower just because you were hospitalized with a broken leg and were bored? Who does that sort of thing, solve mysteries just because?"
Lindsey shoved a forkful of salad into her mouth and then pointed to her lips to indicate she couldn't talk right now because she was chewing.
Charlene laughed. She scooted over on the couch so that Lindsey could sit next to her. Then she looked at Lindsey and said, "she's teasing you."
Lindsey swallowed. "You think?"
Beth took a seat on the other couch next to Mary and said to Lindsey, "We could always talk about who you're dating if that would be more comfortable than your inclination for amateur sleuthing."
"Did you know that The Daughter of Time was written in nineteen fifty-one, shortly before Tey's death? It was her last novel and was voted number one on the list of top one hundred crime novels of all time by the UK Crime Writers' Association in nineteen ninety."
Mary shook her head at her. "That was the worst attempt at a subject change ever in the history of our meetings."
"Obviously, Lindsey does not wish to discuss her personal life," Violet said. "We should respect that."
"We should," Nancy agreed. "But we're not going to, are we?"
"Of course not," Mary said. "So, how is the old love life?"
Lindsey gave her a stubborn look. "I'm not dating anyone right now, so it's steady as she goes, thank you very much."
"Really?" Mary asked. She sounded disappointed. "Not even a lunch date?"
"No breakfast, lunch or dinner dates," Lindsey said. "Or any other kind of date, for that matter."
"So, you're not dating at all?" Violet clarified. She caught Lindsey with her hawklike stare, and Lindsey turned to Charlene.
"I bet you never lie to her," she said. "She'd catch you in a nanosecond."
"That stare is like getting blasted with a laser gun," Charlene agreed. "It's kept me on my toes my whole life."
"It's sort of like Tey's hero Inspector Grant and his ability to judge a person's character by their face," Lindsey said.
"It doesn't keep you from changing the subject though, does it?" Violet asked, looking a bit put out.
Lindsey grinned. Violet had a horse in the race for Lindsey's affections, an actor friend of hers named Robbie Vine, who was ridiculously charming and also married, adding to what was already a complicated situation.
"Speaking of Inspector Grant's uncanny ability," Lindsey said. "Do you think it's possible?"
"To read a person's character from their face? I wish," Beth said. She pushed her salad around her plate with her fork. "Every time I think I've nailed it, the guy turns out to be a toad. I've dated more than my share of toads. I'm surprised I don't have warts."
"But I thought you had a nice time with that young banker you went out to dinner with last week," Nancy said.
"Ugh," Beth grunted. "He's all about conspicuous consumption, you know, the big house, expensive car, designer label life. So shallow."
"That's too bad," Violet said. She patted Beth's shoulder. "Don't you worry, the right one will come along."
"Speaking of the right one," Charlene said.
She turned her reporter's gaze on Lindsey, who immediately hopped up from her seat before the conversation could veer back to her personal life.
"Do we have enough paper for the paper flowers we're making?" she asked. "Maybe I should go check on that."
She crossed the room to their crafting table. Today they we making bouquets of paper roses out of recycled office paper. Lindsey planned to use the bouquets to decorate the library and help fight off the winter doldrums.
Starting with scrap paper with words printed on them, they employed a template to cut the petals out, then they colored just the edges of the paper to give the flowers some pop. Next they would use a glue gun to layer the petals from biggest to smallest. Once the flowers were done they would attach green florist wire for the stem and then put them in vases all over the library.
She heard the women resume talking about the novel, and she heaved a sigh of relief. She loved them all dearly, but she didn't want to talk about her love life, since she barely had a handle on it herself. In truth, it wasn't complicated so much as it was none of their business, but that seemed rude to say.
"Lindsey, can I talk to you for a sec?"
Lindsey glanced up at the door to see their library clerk Ann Marie Martin standing there. The ladies all greeted Ann Marie warmly, and Nancy promised to bake a batch of molasses cookies for Ann Marie to bring home to her two precocious boys.
When Lindsey had started at the library, Ann Marie had dressed in the standard-issue mom ponytail and corduroy jumper, but as the boys had gotten older and were more occupied in school, Ann Marie was letting her dark brown hair down and dressing in tailored slacks and pretty sweaters. Still, she always smelled like cinnamon and apples, which Lindsey found comforting.
There was no question that Ann Marie was looking much more professional these days. An idea wriggled in the back of Lindsey's brain, but she pushed it aside for the moment, focusing instead on her employee.
"What can I do for you?" Lindsey asked.
"We finally got that book in for Stewart Rosen," Ann Marie said. She held up the book in question. It was a medical text that they'd borrowed from a university for him. "They're giving us a very short turnaround on it. Just two weeks."
Lindsey glanced at the title and nodded. "Stewart will want this right away, then."
"That's what I was thinking," Ann Marie said. "Do you want me to put a call in to Sully to see if the water taxi is available?"
What People are Saying About This
Praise for the New York Times bestselling Library Lover's Mysteries
“Sure to please cozy readers everywhere.”—Ellery Adams, New York Times bestselling author
“Terrific…Intelligent, fun, and lively.”—Miranda James, New York Times bestselling author
“Fast-paced and fun…An endearing protagonist.”—Kate Carlisle, New York Times bestselling author
“A sparkling setting, lovely characters, books, knitting, and chowder! What more could any reader ask?”—Lorna Barrett, New York Times bestselling author
“A winning formula.”—Library Journal
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I love Jenn McKinley. However, her books used to come out straight to paperback, and the Nook price and the paperback price were equal. With it coming out in hardback first, I can wait.
Spectacular! Once again author Jenn McKinlay has penned a wonderful story! Any time I can spend in Briar Creek with head librarian Lindsey Norris, her friends of the Crafternooner’s group, Captain Sully, and the rest of this delightful town, I’m as happy as can be. And every minute of time spent with this book was no different. A LIKELY STORY, book six in the Library Lover’s Mystery series is another well written, funny, intriguing, entertaining story. I finished this book in record time, but wish I had paced myself to make it last a lot longer. A superb plot that kept me on the edge of my seat, led to a half surprising reveal, but definitely a satisfying one! (Half surprising to me because I managed to guess half of it right. Okay, I lucky guessed it.) As Jenn McKinlay is known to do, even after everything is all wrapped up, she hits us with a surprise ending. This is one author who knows how to kept her readers coming back for more! Make sure to check out the back of the book for some yummy recipes and a never before published short story, AN UNLIKELY MEETING! My review of the short story AN UNLIKELY MEETING On no. You have to read get A LIKELY STORY and find out for yourself. But I will tell you this much, you’re going to love it!
I am a long time fan of Jenn McKinlay's books. I started by getting hooked on the Cupcake series, which I still adore but, there is something special about Lindsey the librarian in the Library Lovers mysteries. She is smart and spunky. McKinley also paints a great town in Briar Creek. This installment in the series was a whirlwind of suspense. I had a hard time putting the book down once I started it. The story is very detailed and centers around a house and family that live on one of the islands surrounding Briar Creek.
There is so much to love in this, the sixth entry in the Library Lovers' series by Jenn McKinlay! Lindsay Norris, head librarian of the Briar Creek town library, loves her job and her beautiful town. McKinlay surrounds her with a lovely cast of characters, a sweet love triangle, and a twisty, turny puzzle to solve. As usual, the library is a wonderful, warm, constant setting, and the Crafternoon-ers are a hoot.Weaving in a perfect amount of edge-of-your-seat suspense and subtle clues, McKinlay has penned another winner with A LIKELY STORY. I read this story entirely too quickly because I could not put it down! The ending was the icing on this delicious, decadent treat of a story.
This is a must read!!!!!! Jenn McKinlay has created a quaint little town that is warm and welcoming to all. The characters feel like your best friends, fun and whimsical. Romance is blooming all over the place, but each reader will have their own favorite! Get lost in a small town that sticks together through thick and thin with Lindsey and Beth and their gang of friends as they solve mystery after mystery.
A Likely Story by Jenn McKinlay was the first book that I’ve read in the Library Lovers mystery series, and it won’t be my last! It’s the sixth book in the series, and to give the author credit I did not feel as if I was missing anything by not starting the series at the beginning. The characters were so well written that they stand alone in A Likely Story, and that was a very nice surprise for me because usually I like to read a series in order so that I don’t miss any of the backstory. Lindsey Norris (main character, and the head librarian at the Briar Creek Public Library) and her friends (Beth, Sully, Emma, the Crafternooners and the rest of Briar Creek) were all warm and relatable. The story centers around a murder on one of the private islands outside of town, and has mystery, humor and a little bit of romance all in the mix. It was fast-paced, and once I finished it I’m torn between wanting to read the next in the series right away or going back and reading books 1-5! A short story was included as a bonus at the end of the book, which was a nice surprise as well. A great read, and one that I highly recommend. :-)
Jenn Mckinlay creates a wounderful world for a Reader to get lost in. Cozy mystery fans will love this series. I started reading these books and finished all of them in one month. I couldn't put them down and I'm upset I have to wait a year for the next book. Mckinlay's town of Blair Creek is a wonderful setting for this series. A costal small town in Connecticut where loving, mischievous, and inventive characters live. The Blair creek library is the hive of activity where a group of women meet for Crafternoons, a group which makes crafts while discussing books. Once you start to read your are drawn into these characters lives. My personal favorite Milton an 80 year old yogi who is fun loving and in on all the action. The main character Lindsey Norris is a head librarian in Blair Creek who brings books to patrons of the library that live on islands and have a hard time getting to the library for their books. On one of these islands lives 2 brothers who have a hoarding problem and bobbie trap the house to protect their treasures. So not only is there a murderer at large in this book but also the treat of having falling into multiple traps. I loved this aspect of the novel. It sets it apart from other mysteries by giving it another layer of enjoyment and making it stand out from the rest. I highly recommend this series to other cosy fans.
Another great story in the life of Lindsey Norris! I really like this series! And the events in this story are quite original. Who killed Peter? Where is Stewart? Where did the box of library books go? My copy of A Likely Story is an ARC so I don't have the lovely cover but the story was very enjoyable. And at the end of the book is a short story called An Unlikely Meeting. I loved it! I hope that is the lead in to the next book in the series. Thanks for the entertainment, Jenn McKinlay!
A Likely Story is the sixth book in the Library Lover's Mysteries, and I can't believe that I have missed the first five books! A Likely Story is a book that grabs you early on, and does not let go -- I had a hard time putting it down as I read about Librarian Lindsey Norris investigating who killed recluse Peter Rosen on his booby-trapped private island off the Connecticut coast, and what happened to his brother, Stewart, who is now missing. With help from her library friends and her erstwhile boyfriend, water taxi Captain Sully, Lindsey is determined to find Stewart and learn just what happened to Peter on the island, despite being told by Police Chief Emma Plewicki to step aside and let the police do their job. Lindsey decides to investigate the murder anyway, not only because she and Sully discovered Peter's body while delivering books to the island, but also because of her concern for Stewart. The mystery only heightens and becomes more complex the more Lindsey learns about the Rosen brothers I really enjoyed this book; its setting and cast of characters are engaging ( I loved the Crafternooners), the mystery gripping and fast paced. A Likely Story was truly a delight to read, and should not be missed. This book can definitely stand alone, but the further I read, the more I wanted to go back to the beginning of the series because it is just that good! I can't wait to start on the series from Book One, Books Can Be Deceiving. I received an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I have read the whole series and enjoyed them all but this one especially drew me in with all the vivid descriptions. You can almost feel what it was like to be in the home of hoarders Peter and Stewart Rosen. Also, the mystery takes some unique twists and turns that keep it interesting. It is book 6 in the Library Lover's Mystery series but could be read as a stand alone.
Loved it! No surprise there. I have loved every book in the series. The wonderful relationships are the winner element for me but every mystery has such a complex background that there is no way to put it all together before Lindsey does. Exciting news in Beth's work make this one stand out even among other books in the series.
I was going to give this a 4 but thought nah this is a 5. I've been reading this since I gave the first book a try. Been wanting to read cozy mysteries with a theme. The theme being books. This installment was really good but sad at times, especially near the mystery. But it was still a fast paced read. Can't get enough of this cozy series. Want to read the next one.
I really enjoyed this book, as I do all Ms. McKinlay's books. I love the characters, people that I would love to hang around with. I do admit I'm not crazy about the love triangle story, but I love the insults that Sully and Robbie pass back and forth, that had me laughing. The mystery was good, I do admit I figured out the who but it was still a fun read. I did need a little more of the why explained to me, which it was in the end. I will continue on with this series. There is the added bonus of a enjoyable short story at the ended.
Lindsey Norris and sully take library books to island where Rosen brothers live and find one brother murdered and other missing. Many twists to story.
Book 6 adds a fresh very enjoyable chapter to this series which definitely can be tried with any of the books. If you love libraries, a mix of characters and a cute dog, competent police department, and at least one mystery to solve, then Book 6 is a smart way to get started! Star Island, hermits and hoarding successfully bring mystery to A Likely Story. The bonus short story was definitely a bonus and an excellent way to introduce a new character for Book 7.
Dollycas’s Thoughts An excellent story. This time Jenn McKinlay takes us to a little island off the coast to meet 2 elderly brothers, one like me spends his days in a wheelchair. Sully takes Lindsey there in his water taxi to deliver books. Stewart, the older brother, always meets them on the dock. She has never ventured beyond there to the house until now. She and Sully approach the old house carefully because they have been warned the place is booby-trapped to keep away unwanted visitors. They immediately know something is wrong when they reach the porch and Stewart has still not appeared. What they find into addition to the traps deterring their entrance is a house full of everything you can think of, the brothers are major hoarders. They make their way through the small open paths to find Peter, the younger brother dead. Stewart is nowhere to be found. They call the police but Lindsey knows she needs to find Stewart and find the killer. This was a bendy twisty mystery that could have gone several ways and included more suspects than I at first imagined. It was very well plotted and written and kept this reader very engaged. In addition to the mystery we have the love triangle of Lindsey, Sully and Robbie. I was feeling this was going the way I wanted and would be wrapping up, but then, on the last page of the story, just one word through a monkey wrench into the saga which will now continue on. I did enjoy children’s librarian Beth stepping beyond her comfort zone and meeting someone new. I also enjoyed Ms. Cole’s relationship with town historian Milton Duffy as well. It had a few tense moments. Stewart Rosen is also a very interesting character. His family, one of the first in the area, gave some history to the story. Of course, the crafternooners were back sticking their noses into everything. Jenn McKinlay is an expert of blending a suspenseful mystery with the proper amounts of humor and romance. She always leaves us wanting more, ready to jump into the next Library Lover’s Mystery. She didn’t make us wait long this time as there is a short story, A Unlikely Meeting, at the end of this book. No, the romantic cliffhanger was not addressed but she does introduce us to a new Briar Creek resident and the lovable Heathcliff plays a major role. Because I was late reading this installment, my wait to read the next is quite short. Better Late Than Never comes out November 1!
A Likely Story is the sixth book in the A Library Lover’s Mystery series. For me, it is always nice to stop into the Briar Creek Public Library and its director, Lindsey Norris. Even though Lindsey and Sullivan haven’t resolved their differences, but they are cordial with each other. Lindsey has asked Sully to take her out to Star Island to deliver books to Peter and Stewart Rosen, who live the lives of hermits on the island. Normally Stewart is own at the dock to receive the books from Lindsey. They don’t allow anyone on the island, in fact, they have booby-traps set all over the island to protect their privacy. Lindsey and Sully wait a reasonable time and calling out for Stewart, before heading to the house, cautiously avoiding several of the booby-traps. When they enter the house, they find a hoarder’s delight, but when they make their way to the kitchen they find the body of Peter in his wheelchair, dead from a gunshot wound and Stewart is nowhere to be found. As they are waiting for the police to come they notice that Stewart’s boat, which was there when they arrived, is now gone. A couple days later, Lindsey and Milton Duffy, a member of the library board, keep the library open, hoping that Stewart might make an appearance, which he does. As Lindsey is talking to him in a conference room she hears a disturbance out front and finds that Milton has been assaulted and when she returns to the conference room, Stewart is gone. From footprints, it appears that Stewart has been kidnapped. Lindsey and Sully now set out to not only find Stewart but also to find out who might have done it. Is it Evelyn, who is interested in buying their island or is it Calvin and Kevin, a couple of antique dealers who claim to have been in contact by email with Peter who might not have had the ability to email or could it someone else. Another wonderful addition to this great series Craft ideas and recipes and a short story are included in the book. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series.