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CATALOGUE OF DEATH
JO DERESKE
ISBN# (10)0-06-079084-9/(13)978-0-06-079084-4
April 2007
Avon (HarperCollins Publishing)
10 East 53rd Street, New York, New York 10022-5299
Paperback
$6.99
352 Pages
Mystery
Rating: 5 Cups

Miss Wilhelmina Zukas, Helma, is a degreed and experienced librarian. Not even a huge snowstorm will keep her from work. Pulling out her cross-country skis, she heads straight to the library.

Franklin Harrington was the first person who normally visited the library everyday. He donated the land for the construction of the new library in progress. A history buff, he has self-published two slim volumes on Bellehaven’s history.

Just as Helma starts her day at the Bellehaven Public Library, a busload of seventeen elderly Asian women arrives. It appears today is Ladies Day, at the Nettles Casino, on the Chinatown run, but the blizzard detoured their plans. Now they are stranded in the library until the snowstorm lifts. Weather does not stop Franklin from making his daily visit, where he heads straight to the microfilm section. After finishing his research, he decides to walk to the construction site to check on the progress of the new library. Helma wonders should he be out at the site in the weather, but he assures her he will be fine. Moments later a monster quack explosion causes a shake everyone can feel. After the police set up barricades, Helma walks out to check the blasting. She is shocked to learn Franklin is dead. Ms. May Apple Moon, the library director, feels that since Franklin is dead the new library will now be passed on to her. Helma knows with Franklin’s brothers, no doubt the agreement he had prior to dying would be honored but Ms. Moon seems to be taking things into her hands minutes after Franklin’s death. Helma intends on searching into the matter, even if she has to dig secrets about the Harrington’s affairs. Ms. Moon thinks Helma should leave things alone. Helma and Ruth have known each other as far back as ten-year-old enemies in school. When the investigation into Franklin’s death takes place, the two start their own research into his family. Ruth believes it could easily fall within the family. Helma wishes to try to unlock more skeletons within the family and refuses to listen to Ms. Moon.

Catalogue of Death is a mind-spinning mystery that holds the reader spellbound. In the tenth adventure of Miss Helma Zukas, the readers once again find a most delightful librarian. I loved her antics and spirited attitude. I enjoyed when she and Ruth began their own little search into the Harringtons. Their back and forth dialogue with each other was delightful. Jo Dereske paints characters that become authentic and almost leap off the pages. With a colorful cast and twists and turns that leave a trail of intrigue, the reader is caught up in the thrilling moments. This five cup read is extraordinary in every way. It grabs and does not let go until the dramatic conclusion.

Cherokee
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books

 

 

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