Monday, February 19, 2024

Review - Fatal First Edition

Title:  Fatal first Edition
Author Jenn McKinlay
Series:   Library Lovers Mystery #14
Publisher:   Berkley
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   280
Date of Publication:   February 13, 2024
My Rating:   5 Stars


People are dying to get their hands on a rare, valuable book in the newest Library Lover’s Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of The Plot and the Pendulum .

Briar Creek Library director Lindsey Norris and her husband, Sully, are at a popular library conference in Chicago to hear book restoration specialist Brooklyn Wainwright give a keynote address. After the lecture, Lindsey looks under her seat and finds a tote bag containing a first edition of Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train , inscribed to Alfred Hitchcock. Brooklyn determines the novel is one of a kind and quite valuable, so Lindsey and Sully return the book to the conference director, not wanting to stir up any trouble.

But just hours after the pair boards the train back to Connecticut, rumors that the Highsmith novel has gone missing buzz amongst the passengers, and they soon find the conference director murdered in his private compartment. And worse—the murderer planted the book in Lindsey and Sully’s room next door, making them prime suspects. Now, they must uncover the murderer and bring them to the end of their line, before they find themselves booked for a crime they didn’t commit.

Fatal First Edition is the 14th book in the Library Lovers Mystery series. The book is about a murder on a train that is connected to the Patricia Highsmith's book Strangers on a Train. From the outset it might seem that Lindsey Norris and her husband Sully are in for a pleasant train ride home after a library conference. Curiously, as the conference was drawing to a close, Lindsey found a tote bag under her chair. The bag contained a rare first edition of the Highsmith Classic. Without hesitation, Lyndsay hands the book over.

Lindsey and Sully are tucked in for the night in their sleeper car. While both are sleeping soundly, Lindsey hears some thumping sounds from the compartment next door. She rushes out of their compartment, rousing Sully and others. She thinks she sees someone in a black coat, but otherwise everything seems fine.

The next morning the dining car is full almost to the point of overflowing, but the conference director Henry is the only person not present. Although a couple of people find this strange, breakfast continues. When Lindsey discovers that the conference director was assigned to the compartment next to hers and Sully's she raises an alarm. Before long, Henry's dead body is discovered and it is more than apparent that a murder has taken place.

While the chief of police detains the train's passenger when the train arrives in their small town of Briar Creek, Lindsey and Sully plan on getting back to their lives. The chief, Emma, is more than adequate for the job of identifying the killer. However, things go awry and with nail-biting tension, danger follows close on the heels of Lindsey and Sully.

Not only is the take on this book on the Hitchcock classic movie, but the age-old question is raised - "which is better, the movie or the book"? While I am one who usually thinks the book is better, little did I know that the movie Diehard is said to be better than the book. My personal comparison would be Jurassic Park, as I think the movie was far more entertaining than the book. However, I digress. I loved this book and have enjoyed every single book in the series thus far. I am very much looking forward to continuing with this series. 

Many thanks to Berkley and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Jenn is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher's Weekly bestselling author of several mystery and romance series and will be debuting a stand alone romantic comedy in July 2020 entitled PARIS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA. She lives in sunny Arizona in a house that is overrun with kids, pets and her husband's guitars.

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