A librarian hunts a cache of stolen gems.
Programs at the Clover Ridge Public Library aren’t for cowards, as Carrie Singleton, head of the library’s Programs and Events department, discovers. Retired detective Al Buckley has already keeled over dead after his presentation (Death Overdue, 2017). Now local jeweler Benton Parr is found murdered in his shop right after his talk on how to tell real from fake gemstones. Of course, Parr knows his subject inside out since he’s not only a jeweler, but a thief who helped Carrie’s father, Jim Singleton, steal loose stones worth $7 million. Jim, who’s come back to town to claim his share of the loot, is of course a major suspect in Parr’s death. Despite her mixed feelings for her wayward dad, Carrie wants to help him prove that although he may be a thief, he isn’t a murderer. She can’t tell anyone about her father’s part in the heist—least of all her boyfriend, insurance investigator Dylan Avery. So her only confidants are her cat, Smoky Joe, and Evelyn Havers, the ghost of a former library aide who died six years ago and, for reasons unspecified, appears only to Carrie and to Carrie’s 4-year-old cousin, Tacey. Finding the stolen gems seems Carrie’s best shot at identifying Parr’s real murderer, unless of course her quarry catches her alone and makes her current program of amateur detection her final event.
Brook takes the Lincoln’s doctor’s dog approach to the genre, piling cat on ghost on is-he-is-or-is-he-ain’t-her-boyfriend to provide a cornucopia of coziness.