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Murder by the Book

Length: 228 pages3 hours


Wallis MacPherson thinks her only worry at the library where she works as Circulation Desk Supervisor is whether or not she has a chance for the promotion she covets. But a disturbing discovery in the periodicals section thrusts Wallis and her coworkers into a bewildering and menacing situation that leads to murder.

The scene is a decidedly old-fashioned library, a most unlikely place for crime. The characters are the normal, everyday people who work in a library—librarians, shelvers, support staff—surely not the kind of people who could be involved in anything as uncivilized as pornography and murder. But someone at the library obviously is.

Wallis believes she deserves to be the next Library Director, but her competition is Mattie Hogan, a woman who knows how to ingratiate herself with Margaret Stubbs, the current Library Director. What’s worse, Mattie is conveniently dating André Gaudet, a man who has pull with the hiring committee. Despite the minor personality conflicts and competitiveness inherent in most work situations, Wallis likes her coworkers and is determined to see justice done.

Wallis MacPherson is a spirited 35 year old wife and mother with a quick wit and a sardonic sense of humor. Her anger and the new-found and unexpectedly appealing urge to become an amateur detective is stronger than her usual good sense. Wallis trades jibes and information with Detective O’Brien, a thoroughly likeable police inspector who just happens to get a little on Wallis’ nerves, though given recent events, she has a right to be testy. O’Brien is a perfect match for Wallis’ wit, but his intuitive respect for Wallis is mingled with concern as she becomes more determined to take matters into her own hands. Wallis does not intend to let herself be pushed around, not by Golden Girl Mattie, not by the police, not even by a killer.

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