Book Review: Checked Out by Elaine Viets

Checked OutChecked Out
A Dead-End Job Mystery #14
Elaine Viets
Obsidian, May 2015
ISBN 978-0-451-46632-7

Checked Out
, A Dead-End Job Mystery is number fourteen in this Elaine Viets series. I was looking forward to this book because I knew it involved a library and a missing John Singer Sargent painting. Helen Hawthorne is our hired investigator, this time volunteering in the public library to shelve books, not exactly a dead-end job but maybe I’m being too nit-picky.

There were three mysteries in the book – locating the missing painting, a robbery and a murder. Helen’s husband, Phil, handles much of the robbery on his own. The perpetrator of one of the mysteries is so obvious even our main character knows but proving it is another thing.

It is the murder mystery that is at the heart of the book, with a handful of possible perpetrators. They are easily divided into two groups: one group of likely candidates and another group of nice respectable people.  No reveal here.

There’s a séance as well, a cat by the name of Paris lives in the library, and an extremely uncooperative police detective who antagonizes Helen. Lots to like here, I recommend it.

Reviewed by Constance Reader, July 2015.

Book Review: Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
Vicki Myron with Bret Witter
Grand Central Publishing, 2008
ISBN 0446407410
Trade Paperback to be released October 2010

Of course, it had been the coldest night of the year when librarian Vicki Myron opened the book depository one morning to find a kitten shivering inside. The staff of the Spencer, Iowa library helped nurse the kitten back to health and gave him a suitable name, “Dewey” after the system by which libraries arranged their books.

Dewey wasn’t just a dust collector on the shelves, though.  This cat got out and interacted with the library patrons often selecting someone lonely and in need of company to tend to.  He increased visits to the library and got many people reading who otherwise might not have done so, according to Myron.

Dewey isn’t the only library cat around, but in his eighteen year lifespan, he was definitely the most famous with people coming from all over the world to visit the feline.  His life-story’s well told with a lot of heart.

Reviewed by Rebecca Kyle, June 2010.