Saturday, January 23, 2021

I'm joining Berkley Mystery today
in celebrating the release of  
Book 1 in the Beloved Bookroom Mysteries
by Dorothy St. James

The first in an exciting new series featuring Trudell Becket, a spunky librarian who will stop at nothing to save her beloved books and catch a killer!

Trudell Becket, book-loving librarian, finds herself in a bind when the library where she works is turned into a state-of-the-art bookless library. In a rare move of rebellion, Trudell rescues hundreds of her library's beloved books slated for the recycle center. She sets up a secret book room in the library's basement and opens it to anyone who shares her love of the printed book.

When the town councilman, who was the vocal proponent of the library's transformation into a "futuristic technological center," is crushed under an overturned shelf of DVDs, Trudell becomes the police's prime suspect for his murder. She was the only person in the library at the time of his death, or so the police believe. But that's not true. For the past month, Trudell had been letting a few dozen residents into the building through the basement entrance so they could read and check out the printed books.

But if she tells the police about the backdoor patrons who were in the library at the time of the murder, she'd have to explain about the secret book room and risk losing the books. In order to protect herself from being arrested for a murder she didn't commit, Trudell--with the help of a group of dedicated readers--decides to investigate. She quickly discovers you can't always judge a book by its cover.

When I first read the description of, THE BROKEN SPINE, it sounded more like a dystopian (Hey, no books in a library is a grim thing to me), but certainly futuristic tale than it did a cozy set in modern times.

From the back cover . . . Trudell Becket finds herself in a bind when her library is turned into a state-of-the-art bookless 'technological center'. A library with no books breaks Trudell's book-loving heart and she decides to rescue hundreds of beloved tomes slated for the recycle center. Under the cover of darkness, Trudell sets up a secret book room in the library's basement and opens it to her loyal patrons.

I could see if Tru had maybe moved the books to her home, but in the basement of the library seemed unbelievable with all the activity that it would cause.

Despite the back cover, I did go ahead and read THE BROKEN SPINE. There is no doubt author Dorothy St. James is a good writer, so I wanted to follow through.

To me, the mystery was solid right up until the reveal. There were plenty of suspects so I found myself yo-yoing between who I thought the killer was. Turns out I was right, but had changed my mind, so I ended up being wrong at the finish.

There were some nice comedic bits in this story, allowing the author’s sense of humor show through. One bit even made me laugh out loud. However, even with the humorous aspects, I didn’t connect well with most of the characters. But, that has happened to me many times with the new book in a series. It can take a while to flesh out the characters.

I will give the next book in the, Beloved Bookroom Mystery series a try. As for, THE BROKEN SPINE, there are wonderful reviews, so please, if it sounds like a book you would like to read, give it a try. It has generated some wonderful reviews!

Mystery author Dorothy St. James was born in New York but raised in South Carolina. For the past 20+ years, she made her home on an artsy island community in South Carolina with her husband. Though writing has always been a passion for her, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Urban Planning. She put her educational experience to use, having worked in all branches and all levels of government including local, regional, state, and federal. She even spent time during college working for a non-profit environmental watchdog organization.

Switching from government service and community planning to fiction writing wasn't as big of a change as some might think. Her government work was all about the stories of the people and the places where they live. As an urban planner, Dorothy loved telling the stories of the people she met. And from that, her desire to tell the tales that were so alive in her heart grew until she could not ignore it any longer. In 2001, she took a leap of faith and pursued her dream of writing fiction full-time.

* Dorothy St. James is the alter-ego of award-winning multi-published author, Dorothy McFalls. She enjoys writing in several different genres. Her works have been nominated for many awards including: Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, Reviewers International Organization Award, National Reader's Choice Award, CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award, and The Romance Reviews Today Perfect 10! Award. Reviewers have called her work: "amazing", "perfect", "filled with emotion", and "lined with danger."

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  1. Thanks, Lisa. I find the premise of this one odd.

    Happy Saturday.
    Pat T.

  2. Thank you for your honest review on "THE BROKEN SPINE" by Dorothy St. James.

    Having read some of this author's books in the past, I would give this new series a shot. Great cover. New series are always fun to see where they go.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net