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Better Late Than Never By Jenn McKinlay: Review/Giveaway

IN THE November 12 ISSUE

FROM THE 2016 Articles,
andCynthia Chow,
andMysteryrat's Maze

by Cynthia Chow

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Better Late Than Never. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.

For Briar Creek Public Library’s first annual “fine amnesty” day, library director Lindsey Norris expected a day of hectic but worthwhile chaos. Allowing tardy miscreants to get off scot-free went against all of stodgy traditional librarian Mrs. Cole’s ethics, but Lindsey believed that the loss of fines would be worth regaining patrons who would feel free to return to the library. What Lindsey didn’t expect was the return of a book due twenty years ago, last checked out to high school teacher Candice Whitley on October 2, 1996. The day the beloved teacher was murdered and left strangled under the football bleachers.

bookLindsey can’t help but believe that Candice’s library copy of The Catcher in the Rye must have been dropped off by her murderer, and despite having never met the woman, Lindsey feels compelled to find justice for the young woman. A true librarian at heart, Lindsey needs to find answers to every question, be it how to speak a different language or as momentous as to why Candice was murdered. Lindsey will use all of her resources at hand, from the library itself to the crafternooner women who meet to discuss books, craft, and share snacks. Ranging from a Broadway actress to a news reporter to landlord, these women are as delightfully down-to-earth as they are intelligent and creative. Less complacent, but just as enthusiastic, is English actor Robbie Vine, who has neither given up his pursuit of Lindsey nor his intention of being the Watson to her Sherlock. It’s an awkward situation, considering that Lindsey may be resuming her relationship with Captain Mike Sullivan, who intend on keeping whatever their status is on the down-low from their closest friends and family.

I absolutely adore this Library Lover’s Mystery series that celebrates libraries and highlights their current dilemmas and relevance to patrons. The libraries of today look far different than they did twenty years ago, and Lindsey intends on making hers an interactive site of community activities. Librarians obsess over unanswered questions long after the asker has left, so Lindsey’s determination to find the solution to Candice’s murder is entirely believable and far too relatable. Just as enjoyable is debate of opinions of The Catcher in the Rye itself, which takes precedence over the crafternooner’s book selection of The Scarlet Letter. The effect of the gossip that spread through Candice’s high school reinforces Lindsey’s ambivalent approach to a relationship, which is resolved in a way that will satisfy all readers.

Full of clever dialogue, very humorous interactions, and a surprising conclusion, McKinlay continues to craft reliably entertaining and enjoyable novels. Briar Creek Public Library is a place where everyone, from the locals to the readers, will feel welcome to return to again and again. My own library system has been contemplating a fine amnesty day, and if it not only brings back patrons but helps to solve a murder, why not?

To enter to win a copy of Better Late Than Never, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “late,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 19, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

Click on this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:

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

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

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.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Celia Fowler November 12, 2016 at 9:44am

I really enjoy Jenn McKinlay’s books and would LOVE to win a copy of Better Late than Never ~


2 Debbie November 12, 2016 at 9:59am

Wow, a 20 year-old mystery. I love these kind of mysteries! I also love libraries! They were and have been my best friend growing up and today! Yay, for libraries!


3 Donamae Kutska
Twitter: @donamaekutska
November 12, 2016 at 4:01pm

Mylibrary has a amnesty day April 1st for fines.donamaekutska7@gmail.com


4 Dianne Casey November 12, 2016 at 8:27pm

Jenn McKinley is one of my favorite authors and I can’t wait to read “Better Late Than Never”. Thanks for the chance.


5 Judy Weaver November 13, 2016 at 12:52pm

Sounds wonderful!! jawdance@yahoo.com


6 Peggy Hyndman November 13, 2016 at 3:34pm

Better Late Than Never sounds like a great read. Thank you for this chance.


7 Pen Mettert November 13, 2016 at 3:59pm

I’ve liked what I’ve read of her books and this one looks good too.


8 johnna smith
Twitter: @johnnabooks135
November 14, 2016 at 2:09pm

I love mysteries that deal with books and this is one of my all time fave series!!


9 Debbi Goodman-Smith November 14, 2016 at 7:50pm

After living through all the news of the recent election, I would love to win Jean McKinlay’s “Better Late Than Never” and have some fun escape time reading it.


10 Kathleen Kendler
Twitter: @Kathleen
November 16, 2016 at 10:12am

Would love to read this.
kckendler at gmail.com


11 Lizz
Twitter: @Lizzdmc
November 16, 2016 at 6:54pm

I loved meeting this author, and would love to read this book.


12 Karin A November 16, 2016 at 8:05pm

Sounds like a book I’d love to read.

karin56381 (at) gmail.com


13 Donamae Kutska
Twitter: @donamaekutska
November 16, 2016 at 10:24pm

How amazing to win this book! After all the stress this last week, I could lose myself for awhile!


14 Annette Naish November 17, 2016 at 9:16am

I like the idea of a mystery out of the past. And I like Ms McKinley’s writing so that is a bonus.


15 Doward Wilson November 17, 2016 at 3:28pm

Love this & all of Jenn’s series.


16 Meg C November 18, 2016 at 8:56am

Jenn McKinlay is a fabulous writer and I have enjoyed pretty much every book of hers that I have read. This is a book that I truly look forward to reading. Thank you for the chance to win.



17 Cecilia November 18, 2016 at 9:37am

Thanks for the great review! I just finished the first book in this series and want to continue reading the following books. Thanks for the chance to win.


18 Kristi Lewis
Twitter: @Kristilynn001
November 18, 2016 at 9:48am

I love reading mysteries. Thanks for the chance to be entered in the giveaway!


19 Shirley November 18, 2016 at 9:51am

Can’t wait to read Jenn McKinlay’s latest release. She’s one of my favorite authors.


20 Stacey Ulferts November 18, 2016 at 10:19am

Great giveaway! Thanks!


21 Anne November 18, 2016 at 10:40am

I wished they had amnesty days when I was younger. I racked up the fine when I was a kid. Now that I can monitor my account online I never have fees.



22 Tammy Long November 18, 2016 at 10:56am

Yes please!!


23 Melissa Castor November 18, 2016 at 11:36am

Would love to win this book. I really enjoy this series.


24 Becky Richardson November 18, 2016 at 12:46pm

I love anything Jenn writes. brichardson0056@yahoo.com


25 JoAn V. November 18, 2016 at 1:15pm

I love all of Jenn McKinlay’s series. I’d love to win this latest one. jmvarner50@hotmail.com


26 Pam November 18, 2016 at 2:35pm

I love Jenn’s books!


27 Jo Anne Potter Vincenti November 18, 2016 at 3:30pm

wow this sounds awesome would love to read thanks for the chance jody.714@hotmail.com


28 Jill Broussard November 18, 2016 at 6:25pm

This sounds like such a fun book. Thankyou for the opportunity! minishoes@msn.com


29 Savana C.
Twitter: @Trbbookblog
November 19, 2016 at 7:05am

I’d love to win a copy, I’ve been dying to get my hands on one of Jenn’s books! This looks fantastic! Thanks for the opportunity!


30 Lorie
Twitter: @mysteryrat
November 28, 2016 at 12:01pm

We have a winner!


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