THE BEST CELLAR by Charles A. Goodrum


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The perky, talky trio from Dewey Decimated--retired library-expert Prof. George, researcher Steve Carson, and library PR lady Crighton Jones--returns in another slight, lighthearted adventure, breezily far-fetched but firmly grounded in a curious US-history footnote. Was the original Library of Congress really destroyed--all 3000 vol.--in the War of 1812 burning of Washington, D.C.? Or was it hidden, making it possible for Thomas Jefferson (in need of cash) to sell his own personal library to the US as a replacement? Chic grad-student Durance Steele, doing research at Washington's Wemer-Bok Library, believes in the hidden-books theory--but suddenly disappears before sharing the details with Crighton. So she enlists her old sleuthing pals in a search effort; they do historical research and deduction to figure out where those 3000 books might be stashed; this leads them to an old Virginia house--partly open to the public--and to the discovery of Durance's dead body. And, despite a red herring or two (was Durance murdered by an academic/love rival?), it isn't long before the semi-obvious culprits are unmasked. Feeble mystery, slender action, less charming than Dewey Decimated--but the jaunty chatter, if sometimes precious and rambling, includes choice bits of interest for biblio-philes, architecture buffs, Jeffersonians, map-readers, and other historically-inclined seekers of minor diversion.

Pub Date: Aug. 18th, 1987
Publisher: St. Martin's