Death Overdue: Allison Brook
Some small towns are tightly knit and the community of residents is friendly or at times gossipy. Clover Ridge, Connecticut a cozy little town with a smattering of people in many different financial categories. Carrie Singleton is smart, astute, and inquisitive and has moved in with her Great Uncle Bosco and her amazing Aunt Harriet. Her own mother would not take her. Her father might be back in jail but who knows where he might or did wind up. Carrie was given a position at the Clover Ridge Library that is boring, not stimulating but since her Uncle Bosco managed to get her the job she accepted it at least until something came about that she could hardly turn down. Jobs are scares, homes are expensive, even rentals might be above her budget but when the head of the library calls her into her office to become the Head of Programs and Events she is stunned but accepts but in an unusual and ethereal way. Carrie’s appearance is more rock or punk star and if she accepts the job she has to become more professional and conservative. While deliberating whether to take on this job and the responsibilities something alerts her to the fact that she and Sally the director of the library are not alone but only she knows this. Evelyn Havers is your average friendly ghost and with some prodding and whispering in her ear advises her to seriously consider taking the position but why would she care? Evelyn worked in the library until her untimely death but Carrie wasn’t sure this was the right fit for her until something changes it.
Barbara her predecessor is leaving within the next few days and even though she helped prepare her for the job and would be just and email away, nothing prepares Carrie for what happens at the first event she plans. Her first event was to have a retired detective talk about the murder of Laura Foster. Al Buckley was ready to speak after everyone in the library that attended the event had coffee and cookies. But, since Carrie purchased the three kinds she wondered where the chocolate one that Al was eating came from. Just as he began to speak and asked if anyone would like to share memories of Laura and her family, sons Jared and Ryan along with her husband Bryce and an uncle were seated in the first row Al keels over and dies. Shocked and definitely more than upsetting the police are called and everyone is told to leave by Sally who claims she has the names of the attendees and there is no reason for them to remain there. This is a cold case that he claimed to have solved and yet someone stole is IPad his notes and any other materials that he had in order to explain his findings and to reveal the killer but did this person get him first? Added in a woman named Helena claimed that Laura was unhappy with her husband, wanted a divorce adding more fuel to the fire as Jared her son refused to believe that or was he just blind to the truth at 14? Getting to know Jared and dating him informally they both decide to investigate his mother’s murder only to learn from her own attorney that what Helena said was true. Added in the author allows the reader to learn more about Jared’s past and Carrie shares that her mother has nothing to do with her and her father could be anywhere.
Sally resents having to give Carrie the job and Dorothy who works there resents not getting it and Carrie when things go missing like a movie for an event or a credit card needed to purchase some gift cards you begin to see that someone is sabotaging her. Added in thanks to Sally and of course Dorothy, Carrie is handed the job of filling out the invoices and receipts on forms that are complicated for the first month. But, with the help of our friendly ghost she gets it done. Added in she meets at another event her little cousin Tacey who can also see Evelyn. The ME comes back with the end result that Al was poisoned and Jared and Carrie won’t stop until they find out who killed his mother and who killed Al. Added in also we meet Dylan who owns a cottage that Carrie decides to rent with the understanding that she will send him his mail twice a week wherever he is but something about him sets off a red flag for this reviewer.
Carrie and Sally her boss seemed strained at times and although the events like the Halloween Party and the different movies and discussion groups were great somehow she seemed distant and unfeeling about Carrie. Dorothy was a sore spot and Carrie realized that saying anything about her to Sally was not going to put her in good steed. But, Carrie and Jared Foster, Laura’s son seemed to form an alliance to try and find her killer but things in his mind were progressing as in hers not at all.
Dylan her landlord appeared on the phone scene many times but the reader gets the impression that Carrie likes him for more than just her landlord. Dinners were planned and Carrie found herself imbedded as Jared’s date along with Ryan his recalcitrant brother, his father Bryce, Gillian, Ryan’s girlfriend and Helena Koppel who was their father’s new love interest. Helena was Laura’s best friend and intimated that Laura was unhappy and that she might have had an affair, which sets Carrie on a mission to find out more. When Dorothy gives her some information about the library that most did not know with the help of our friendly ghost things take on a different shape.
John Mathers the detective on the case wants Carrie to stay away from the investigation because she might be getting too close as a threatening phone alerted to that fact. Dinners and then a shopping spree to help Helena furnish her new cottage seemed to make her almost human or friendly. But, Carrie is smart and what she finds in the attic of the library puts her in danger. Author Allison Brook introduces Smoky Cat to our readers and the children and patrons of the library as the new library lovable cat.
Angela proved to be an ally and Susan started out slowly as her assistant along with Trish who seemed to be an asset at first. But, when Carrie decided to question her father about Al’s murder and brought having breakfast with Ron Peters, Trish’s father, she became distant and when he father was attacked and wound up in the hospital Carrie blamed herself.
Carrie’s investigative skills learned about Lloyd who was Helena’s late husband, Lonnie, Lou and anyone whose name started with an L that would give her a hint to Laura’s lover. Added in we meet Uncle George, Jared’s uncle and the many dinners that she suffers through with his family you have to give her credit for putting up with them all.
Things take on a different turn at Thanksgiving when Dylan comes back from his business trip and we learn more about what he really does which sounds like something our talented author can cultivate more in the future as Carrie I am sure will not give up her sleuthing skills and of course Evelyn might be right by her side.
Dinners and breakfast at Aunt Harriet’s and Uncle Bosco will make your mouth water and your waistline increase and the desserts alone are mouthwatering. Moving into her own cottage proved to be the best thing for Carrie but having her aunt and uncle would prove to be even better.
When Carrie realizes who the killer is and knows that she might be in danger what happens to tie it all together you won’t believe as the killer becomes reckless and the end result might cost more than one person their life. Jealousies, revenge, hate, lies, deceit and even one girl named Dorothy who not only broke the window on Carrie’s car but was taught a major lesson by a ghost how great is that!
Author Allison Brook takes us inside the mind of a killer and allows the reader to feel the tension the fear and the final outcome as Carrie and Jared fight for their lives hoping the police will get there in time. Who is the killer? Who wanted Laura dead? Whose lies turned out to be harsh truths? What is next for Carrie and will Evelyn be there to bail her out some more? Will Tacey and Carrie work together to solve some cases as she is the only one besides Carrie who can see and talk to Evelyn? A great first novel and of course I love reading and libraries are really a great place and this one in Clover Ridge as some great movies, presentations, classes and I am sure the latest books to read for everyone but make sure before you enter that your books are not late and that you are aware if you step too far you too mind find out the meaning of DEATH OVERDUE!
FRAN LEWIS; JUST REVIEWS/MJ MAGAZINE
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