The Plot and the Pendulum By Jenn McKinlay: Review/Giveaway

Oct 29, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze, Sandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

In Briar Creek, it’s almost Halloween. As the library staff gets ready for the spooky holiday, librarian Lindsey Norris learns William Dorchester is in town to settle his mother, Marion, into an assisted living home. He plans to sell the house and its contents and wants to donate all the books to the library to use however they want. Marion objects, of course, but suffering a form of dementia, is overruled.

The donation ranges from mass market books to first editions and in all, there are over 12,000 volumes. It will take library employees and volunteers many hours to sort, pack, and transport them to the library for storage until they can be cataloged.

At their first visit to the house, the door to the library won’t open, there’s a cat who doesn’t live there, and Marion mistakes Lindsey for a runaway bride who disappeared years before. No trace was ever found.

When a secret room is accidentally found and its grisly contents turn rumors into a full-fledged mystery, Lindsay and her friends hope to find the truth.

Since this is book eighteen in the series, Lindsay has quite a bit of experience in solving puzzles like this. With the help of her boyfriend and friends, they’re able to unravel clues that seemingly lead to more puzzles. It had an ending I never saw coming.

Although Lindsay is the main character, her friends have taken bigger roles over the years. Reading the books now feels more like visiting a community than catching up with a character or two.

There are craft times and food to go with it at the library. McKinlay has included instructions for making an autumn leaf garland, recipes for radish chips, figs in a blanket, sweet potato casserole with pecan streusel, and a reader’s guide for The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse, a book discussed at the library.

McKinlay also writes the Cupcake Bakery mysteries, the Hat Shop series, Bluff Point romances, Happily Ever After romances, and has two stand-alone books.

To enter to win a copy of The Plot and the Pendulum, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “plot,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 5, 2022. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode goes up next week.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the Amazon link. You can also click here to purchase the book.

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. She’s editor for Peace, Love, and Crime: Crime Stories Inspired by the Songs of the ’60s, with twenty-two cozy stories. She also edited A Murder of Crows, twenty-one stories featuring animals and crime (no animals were harmed). She also writes for magazines, newsletters, and the occasional guest blog. Both anthologies are available at the usual outlets, print or ebook.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. I have read other books in this series and enjoyed them so much!

  2. I love Jenn McKinlay’s library lovers books. They always keep me turning the pages and who doesn’t like Edgar Allen Poe?

    • I love.Jenn McKinlay’s books. Looking forward to reading “The Plot and the Pendulum”.

  3. I really enjoy a Halloween mystery and one featuring an old case and a secret room sounds extra fun.

  4. This sounds so good. Thanks for the chance.

  5. Love this series. Want wait to get the newest
    installment. thanks txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  6. This sounds spooky and wonderful. I’d love to have a copy of The Plot and the Pendulum. Thanks! crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  7. Love this series very much! Definitely need to read this one!

  8. First time hearing of this series, sounds good!

  9. We have a winner!


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