The Broken Spine
When small-town assistant librarian Tru Beckett sets up a secret book room in her newly modernized library, she discovers that protecting the printed word is harder than she’d ever imagined. In fact, it’s murder.
Trudell Becket, known to her friends as Tru, finds herself in a bind when her library in lovely Cypress, South Carolina, is turned into a state-of-the-art bookless “technological center.” A library with no books breaks Tru’s book-loving heart so she decides to rescue hundreds of beloved tomes slated for the town dump. Under the cover of darkness, Tru, along with her best friends—coffee shop owner Tori Green and mysterious bestselling author Flossie Finnegan-Baker—set up a secret bookroom in the library’s basement and prepare to open it to their most loyal, trustworthy patrons.
But as Tru and her crew are putting the finishing touches on their new book room, the town manager, who was behind the big push for the library’s transformation, is crushed by an overturned shelf of DVDs. Tru becomes the prime suspect as she hadn’t hid the fact that she hated having all of those wonderful books replaced by tablets and computers. But if she gives the police her alibi, she’ll have to explain about the secret book room and risk losing the books.
Tru knows she’s in a heap of trouble, and it doesn’t help that the officer in charge of the case is her old crush from high school, who broke her teenaged heart. To keep herself out of jail and her beloved bookroom up and running, Tru—with the help of Tori, Flossie, and a brown tabby stray cat named Dewey Decimal—decides to investigate. And faster than you can say “Shhhh!” Tru quickly finds herself on the same page with a killer who would love to write her final chapter. . . .
In this whimsical series launch from St. James (the Southern Chocolate Shop mysteries), Cypress, S.C., librarian Trudell Becket discovers that Mayor Marvin Goodvale and town manager Duggar Hargrove's plan to renovate the library includes sending all print books to a recycling center. Horrified, Trudell sets out to transfer as many books as possible to a secret room in the library's basement. Trudell's dislike of the unctuous Duggar is well known, so when he's murdered, she becomes the number one suspect. Assisted by various friends, including wheelchair user Flossie Finnegan-Baker (St. James ensures Flossie's disability isn't the focal point of her character), Trudell seeks to identify Duggar's killer while trying to dodge a suspicious police detective who bullied her in high school. An intriguing plotline and plenty of red herrings redeem in part flat characters who often act illogically. Cozy fans seeking a lighthearted, straightforward mystery will be satisfied.