Murder in the Manuscript Room by Con LehaneWhen a murder desecrates the somber, book-lined halls of New York Citys iconic 42nd Street Library, Raymond Ambler, the librarys curator of crime fiction, has a personal interest in solving the crime. His quest to solve the murder is complicated by personal entanglements involving his friend--or perhaps more-than-friend--Adele Morgan. Not only does Adeles relationship with the young woman staffer who was murdered get in the way of Amblers investigation, more disturbing for him is Adeles growing interest in a darkly handsome Islamic scholar.
Soon the Intelligence Division of the New York Police Department takes over the case from NYPD homicide detective Mike Cosgrove, Amblers friend and sometimes partner-in-crime solving. Ambler suspects that the murder of the young woman, whod been working at the library under an assumed name and the curious intervention of NYPDs intelligence division are connected. The trail of intrigue leads to a seemingly unrelated murder in an upstate prison and a long ago murder of a trade union reformer.
No one else sees the connections Ambler is sure are there--not an unusual state of affairs for Ambler. But with the citys law enforcement establishment determined to stop his investigation, the inquisitive and intrepid librarian faces challenges that may put his very life at risk.
As a person who spent her bookish youth in libraries, I was drawn to this story by its title. Before that can happen, however, Ambler is distracted by a dead body in his office, awakening a desire in him to investigate mystery and intrigue on his own turf. Some of these files will be made public, while others will be sealed for years. Now, Thomas claims he is innocent and wants Ambler to investigate. Ambler introduces the women to Higgins, but Leila is less than friendly.
We librarians see some crazy things in our stints on the reference desk at Chicago Public Library, but to the best of my knowledge, murder is not one of them. However, libraries can be mysterious places, especially old ones. These are some mysteries involving the great old collections and buildings that have sparked a writer's imagination. I finished the book, but I kept rolling my eyes at the premise of a librarian really being that close to a police detective. Sleuth is a New York librarian, but the writing is plot-driven rather than literary. The 42d street Beaux Art Library is barely integrated into a plot about police high level corruption.
See a Problem?
The second in Con Lehane's 42nd Street Library mystery series, Murder in the Manuscript Room is a smart, compelling mystery in which the characters themselves are at least as interesting as the striking sleuthing. His quest to solve the murder is complicated by personal entanglements involving his friend—or perhaps more-than-friend—Adele Morgan. The trail of intrigue leads to a seemingly unrelated murder in an upstate prison and a long ago murder of a trade union reformer. No one else sees the connections Ambler is sure are there—not an unusual state of affairs f… More…. No one else sees the connections Ambler is sure are there—not an unusual state of affairs for Ambler. The wind stung
Thank you! Raymond Ambler thinks his biggest headaches are curating an upcoming event celebrating years of New York mystery and continuing to battle wealthy Lisa Young for custody of Johnny, the grandson they share to the exclusion of any other mutual ties. There was a problem adding your email address. Please try again. Be the first to discover new talent! Each week, our editors select the one author and one book they believe to be most worthy of your attention and highlight them in our Pro Connect email alert.