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Librarian Sleuths

You can be quite sure that librarians love books. For most of us, books are what drew us to a library career in the first place. We like to read books, talk about books, recommend books, and find great books to buy for the library. If you read the bios of Provo City librarians, you can see that we have a lot of other interests, too: we travel, sew, play Minecraft, cook, go to Comic Con, love pets. 

Most of us also find that hunting down a hard to find piece of information is part of the thrill of being a librarian, too.  The information age has made research even more interesting and challenging. With so many resources available librarians have an essential role in sorting through the 2,900,000 Google results you get from a query like “What happens when you swallow a piece of gum?” And we can provide access to high quality information in resources the library subscribes to on behalf of our patrons and teach search strategies for using them.

Since librarians are such interesting people, with skills for hunting down information from a variety of sources, it’s no wonder that a few smart authors have turned librarians into crime solvers.  Combine all our interests and talents with stumbling onto a crime scene and suddenly your local librarian can become a private investigator, too. Here are some of my favorite librarian sleuths:

BOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING
by Jenn McKinlay
(2011) 

Author Jenn McKinlay has a degree in library science. So she isn’t making it up when she puts in details about libraries and the work librarians do.  Lindsey Norris, the star in McKinley’s Library Lover’s mystery series, is director of Briar Creek Public Library in Briar Creek, Connecticut.  She loves crafts, has a dog named Heathcliff who eats cookies, and her best friend is Beth, the Teen and Children’s librarian. She uses long words like pteromerhanophobia and makes insider jokes about being a librarian such as “working in a library must be lovely because it is so quiet.”

SEW DEADLY
by Elizabeth Lynn Casey
(2009) 

Elizabeth Lynn Casey features librarian Tori Sinclair in her Southern Sewing Circle series. Tori is a recently divorced Yankee transplant to Sweet Briar, South Carolina and works at the Sweet Briar Public Library.  She is slowly getting to know members of the community as they come in to the library. And her new friends in the Sweet Briar Ladies Society Sewing Circle fill her in on local gossip and help her solve mysteries. 

REAL MURDERS
by Charlaine Harris
(1990) 

Librarian “Roe” Teagarden is the sleuth in Charlaine Harris’ Aurora Teagarden series. Recently widowed, she keeps her house immaculate since the death of her husband. She is famous for helping solve the mystery of a serial killer in Lawrenceton, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta. She is a member of a local club called Real Murders, which meets once a month to discuss famous crimes.

LENDING A PAW
by Laurie Cass
(2013) 

Laurie Cass portrays librarian Minnie Hamilton as kindhearted, loyal, and resourceful in the Bookmobile Cat Mystery series. Minnie has a degree in Library and Information Science and works as the assistant library director in Chilson, MI. She lives on a houseboat. One of her secret hobbies is spending time in cemeteries where she encountered a stray cat she named Eddie after he followed her home. Because of her passion for sharing books, the library now has a new bookmobile to serve areas outside of the town. Eddie sneaks into the bookmobile, obviously determined to come along for the daily ride. Without Eddie, Minnie would probably never have become involved in murder cases.

CURIOSITY THRILLED THE CAT
by Sofie Kelly
(2011) 

In author Sofie Kelly’s Magical Cats mysteries, librarian Kathleen Paulson leaves Boston and moves to Mayville Heights, Minnesota, where she is supervising the restoration of the Mayville Heights Free Public Library, a Carnegie Library built in 1912. Along with the building restorations she is updating the collections and computerizing the card catalog. Lucky for her, stray magical cats, Owen and Hercules have insinuated themselves into her life, or she might have found herself behind bars for murder.

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