Librarian runs amok.
In her own quiet way, of course: Ally Sheffield hates to draw attention to herself. But the prospect of turning 40 seems to be awakening all sorts of long-repressed impulses . . . after all, Ally’s been celibate for the last 15 years. One look at Aleksi Kullio, the new conductor of the Philadelphia Philharmonic, though, and she’s head over heels in lust. Later, her curiosity is piqued when she spots Aleksi’s perfect blond wife at the library. Why does Michelle Kullio need a book on poisons? Is she really writing a mystery—or planning to kill her husband? Ally persuades her lawyer friend Susannah to follow Michelle, then wangles a volunteer job cataloging materials in the Philharmonic’s archives. An afternoon’s dogged work turns up long-forgotten letters from Stravinsky on the proper interpretation of Rite of Spring. Would Aleksi be interested in seeing them? Yes, indeed—and he hopes to meet her in person to discuss her amazing find. Ally is overjoyed, despite the problems that have suddenly cropped up at the library: Someone has been setting off stink bombs in the ventilation system. Could it be Ed, the weird homeless guy? Would he follow her to the concert hall? Well, to hell with Ed and anyone else who gets in her way—she isn’t going to miss her chance to wow Aleksi. Gordon, her good-looking colleague, is nonplussed by her newfound boldness, not to mention how sexy she looks without glasses and with her hair down. Ally blithely ignores his remarks, twitting him about his womanizing. Off she goes. The Finnish conductor proves as mesmerizing off-stage as on, and she’s ready to swoon into his arms. But what about his pesky wife? And does he love her for herself . . . or the musical treasure trove she’s unearthed?
Too tame for a romance, too obvious for a mystery, but Carr (whose “inspiration,” we’re told, was “her librarian mother’s zeal for books”) has a knack for quirky characters. Oddly amusing.