Late Checkout by Carol J. Perry
New release in October from Kensington Publishing: Late Checkout, a Witch City Mystery by Carol J. Perry
Widowed Lee Barrett is a field reporter for WICH-TV – a television station in (where else?) Salem, Massachusetts. In addition to covering current stories and local events, she also volunteers at the local library run by her Aunt Ibby. Aunt Ibby converted the third floor of her large house into an apartment for Lee, an arrangement that has led to an inseparable bond between them.
Lee is also known around town as a scryer, one who can gaze into the future or past through reflective objects. There are subtle psychic overtones throughout this mystery with Lee occasionally seeing clues in mirrors or a piece of glass. Even O’Ryan, her faithful feline, seems to have a touch of ESP.
While Lee’s daily job as a reporter can sometimes be challenging — things get even more challenging in the library. One day she’s goes upstairs to file away an old book in the secluded, spooky area of the library known as the stacks. The place is a wreck – books scattered everywhere as far as the eye can see — some lay open, with crumpled and torn pages, others just tossed about in a fit of madness. As if that area of the library hasn’t gotten messy enough, there’s also a dead guy propped up against an old wooden file cabinet! Clean up on Aisle One!
Apparently the deceased used to be a resident a long time ago – a former minor league baseball player, who fell from grace due to an assortment of nefarious and illegal activities. Even more shocking to Lee is the fact that the departed had once worked at WICH-TV!
Being the newshound that she is, Lee teams up with her boyfriend, Detective Pete Mondello to figure out who murdered the cheap, chiseling scoundrel. Her Aunt Ibby wants “in” on it too – after all, the library’s clean, wholesome image is at stake – a killer running around loose among the dewy decimal system just won’t do! There’s a lot of late night pizzas and Chinese takeout in Aunt Ibby’s kitchen as the three of them search through old library sports books and old WICH-TV photo albums for clues.
The buried secrets of the past may take her down a twisted path of yesteryears, but if she isn’t careful, she may not have a future.
Late Checkout is a good solid read, especially appropriate for this time of year. I thoroughly enjoyed my first venture into the Witch City Mystery series and know I’ll be returning soon – to the scene of yet another crime!
Copy of this book was provided by Kensington Publishing, a sponsor of Wonder Women Sixty.