When her best hope of saving her storm-damaged library is found murdered, senior librarian Cleo Watkins hits the road in her bookmobile in search of justice. Septuagenarian librarian Cleo Watkins won’t be shushed when an upstart young mayor threatens to permanently shelve her tiny town’s storm-damaged library. She takes to her bookmobile, Words on Wheels, to collect allies and rally library support throughout Catalpa Springs, Georgia. However, Cleo soon rolls into trouble. A major benefactor known for his eccentric DIY projects requests all available books on getting away with murder. He’s no Georgia peach, and Cleo wonders if she should worry about his plans. She knows she should when she discovers him bludgeoned and evidence points to her best friend, Mary-Rose Garland. Sure of Mary-Rose’s innocence, Cleo applies her librarian’s sleuthing skills to the case, assisted by friends, family, and the dapper antiquarian bookseller everyone keeps calling her boyfriend. Evidence stacks up, but a killer is overdue to strike again. With lives and her library on the line, Cleo must shift into high gear to close the book on murder in Better Off Read, the charming Bookmobile series debut by Nora Page.
The Bottom Line: In truth, I switched this review from full-blown to mini when I realized, not much of this book stayed with me. I still have an overall positive feeling about the book, but I didn’t retain a great deal of details, and that’s not ever a good sign. I liked Cleo well enough, but I liked her cat better; if the cat were the focus of the book, that would be awesome, and the star rating would be higher. I liked the plot, but it didn’t bowl me over. I liked the secondary characters, but no one really stood out. You see where I’m going with this? I generally liked everything about this book, but not enough to get super-excited and shout it out to the world. If I happen across the next book in the series, I’ll add it to the old TBR list, but I’m not going to go looking for the second book, and if I find it, it won’t be going to the top of the TBR list.