Death at the Library by Betty Rowlands / #Review @bookouture @BettyRowlandsFP

A Sukey Reynolds Mystery Book 9

Toasted crumpets, a country house… and a curious murder?

Sukey Reynolds is invited to an evening at her local library to hear Jennifer Cottrell, a noted novelist, speak about her latest book. But instead of an interesting event attended by the author’s fans, a woman in the audience, Wendy Downie, accuses Jennifer of killing her lover. Before a shocked Sukey can go after her, she flees into the night. The very next day, Jennifer is found dead…

The police chase after Wendy, convinced she must have attacked Jennifer. But they find that she too has been killed – in the grounds of Jennifer’s beautiful manor. Why was she at Jennifer’s house? Are all of their suspects going to disappear?

With the police running around in circles, Sukey decides to do some sleuthing on her own. Looking closely at Jennifer’s household and acquaintances, Sukey wonders who could have wanted her dead? The homely housekeeper, the gloomy groundsman or the secretive secretary?

A dog’s lead and a pair of dirty boots direct Sukey to the truth, but will she be able to let her detective colleagues know who the culprit is, before the devious villain realises they’ve been rumbled?




Book 9 featuring Sukey and the series is still very entertaining. She has moved house and changed her career since the beginning and although she is a police officer now, I liked her more in the role of SOCO. Cozy mysteries for me mean that the sleuth is an amateur whether they are writers, florists, bakers,… I know a SOCO is working for the police but is not an officer so it still counts as an amateur. Now she is a DC and it is her job to help to solve murder cases. 

I still like the series, but it takes away a bit of the charm for me. 

Anyway, Sukey and her colleagues have a heavy cases on their hands and they do not seem to be able to find the culprit. That’s when the DCI decides they need help, but are they really helpful? In the end it’s more or less the killer who cannot keep quiet anymore and they reveal themselves.

I was a likable story most certainly, but not my favorite. It was written very well and the author once again managed to keep me in the dark until the very end. But I miss the atmosphere from the earlier books in the series. It felt more fun. Now it’s really means business and I feel like the cozy part has been left out a bit.

In a nutshell, a good new installment, but it misses a bit of the warmth I like in cozy mystery books. 4 stars

Thank you


About the author

Betty Rowlands 1923-2020

Betty Rowlands burst onto the crime scene in her mid sixties by winning the Sunday Express / Veuve Clicquot Crime Short Story of the Year Competition which shows it’s never too late to start writing. Her success continued with her highly acclaimed Melissa Craig mysteries featuring a crime writer who solves mysteries in Gloucestershire. Her second series, The Sukey Reynolds Stories comprise of thirteen books, featuring Sukey Reynolds, a Scenes of Crime Officer who later becomes a detective. She lived in the heart of the Cotswolds, where her Melissa Craig mysteries are set, and then in Bristol which is closer to Sukey Reynolds patch, where she lived until her death on 29 July 2020, just a few months before her 97th birthday. She passed peacefully in the residential home that she called ‘home’. She will be greatly missed by her two surviving children, her four grandchildren, six great grandchildren, other family members, her friends and you, her many readers. The resurgence in interest in her Melissa Craig and Sukey Reynolds books in her last years gave her immense pleasure. She loved to receive emails from her fans knowing that her writing was being so enjoyed. Betty may no longer be with us but Melissa and Sukey are still there solving those mysteries. Keep on reading!



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