I read The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill for the title (obviously!) and am glad to report that I wasn’t sorry – it is an excellent mystery. The set-up is intriguing: an Australian mystery writer named Hannah is writing a murder mystery set in the Boston Public Library and one of her characters, Freddie, is also an Australian mystery writer, in town on a writing fellowship. Freddie is in the BPL reading room, trying to write her book, but actually watching her fellow researchers and making up stories about them in her head, when there is a loud terrified scream. Everyone is asked to remain in place, so the four tablemates start talking. Drawn together by the extraordinary circumstances, Freddie, Cain, Whit and Marigold begin a friendship. But it turns out that each of them has secrets, and Freddie begins to realize that one of them might have been connected to the murdered woman in the library. Interspersed throughout the story are letters to Hannah from a man named Leo, who appears to be a fellow writer giving her advice from afar. This gives the story some immediacy and reminds the reader of the story-within-a-story. The mystery is well done and I enjoyed all the local references.
There is a hold list for this one right now, so if you like the idea of a story within a story, here are a few books to try while you are waiting for The Woman in the Library:
And for those of you working on our Summer Reading Challenge – any of these books would count for the “Read a book recommended by a CPL librarian” square!