Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Blog Tour and Book Review: A BROKEN SPINE A Beloved Bookroom Mystery by Dorothy St. James


The first in an exciting new series featuring Trudell Becket, a spunky librarian who will stop at nothing to save her beloved books and catch a killer!
Trudell Becket, book-loving librarian, finds herself in a bind when the library where she works is turned into a state-of-the-art bookless library. In a rare move of rebellion, Trudell rescues hundreds of her library's beloved books slated for the recycle center. She sets up a secret book room in the library's basement and opens it to anyone who shares her love of the printed book.

When the town councilman, who was the vocal proponent of the library's transformation into a "futuristic technological center," is crushed under an overturned shelf of DVDs, Trudell becomes the police's prime suspect for his murder. She was the only person in the library at the time of his death, or so the police believe. But that's not true. For the past month, Trudell had been letting a few dozen residents into the building through the basement entrance so they could read and check out the printed books.

But if she tells the police about the backdoor patrons who were in the library at the time of the murder, she'd have to explain about the secret book room and risk losing the books. In order to protect herself from being arrested for a murder she didn't commit, Trudell--with the help of a group of dedicated readers--decides to investigate. She quickly discovers you can't always judge a book by its cover.


Without a doubt, the characters drive this story. Tru is a single, introverted, librarian who is passionate about the printed page and the classics. She's also a rule follower, who when pushed breaks a few.  Although insecure, Tru won't let go of the secret bookroom with print books and classics, speaks her mind, often to her own detriment. She also adopts a cat, Raven, and keeps bringing him or her to work.

The supporting characters each have a story from her best friend, Tori, and Flossie to Charlie, Tori's latest love interest, and Jace, the jock-now-cop, who broke Tru's heart in high school and returns to Cypress after some issues in New York. At times, it's hard to figure out who are the good guys and who Tru should be careful around. When it all comes together, it makes sense and I, at least, hadn't figured it out before Tru. 

The story has a steady pace once the foundation is set. If you like cozy mysteries in a small town and love books as much as Tru, you'll enjoy this one, especially the "hero" of the day at the end.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

About the Author

Mystery author Dorothy St. James was born in New York but raised in South Carolina. She makes her home on an artsy island community in South Carolina with her husband, a crazy dog, and fluffy cat. Though writing has always been a passion for her, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Urban Planning. She put her educational experience to use, having worked in all branches and all levels of government including local, regional, state, and federal. She even spent time during college working for a non-profit environmental watchdog organization.

Switching from government service and community planning to fiction writing wasn't as big of a change as some might think. Her government work was all about the stories of the people and the places where they live. As an urban planner, Dorothy loved telling the stories of the people she met. And from that, her desire to tell the tales that were so alive in her heart grew until she could not ignore it any longer. In 2001, she took a leap of faith and pursued her dream of writing fiction full-time.

* Dorothy St. James is the alter-ego of award-winning multi-published author, Dorothy McFalls. She enjoys writing in several different genres. Her works have been nominated for many awards including: Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, Reviewers International Organization Award, National Reader's Choice Award, CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award, and The Romance Reviews Today Perfect 10! Award. Reviewers have called her work: "amazing", "perfect", "filled with emotion", and "lined with danger."

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