"Late Checkout" A Witch City Mystery By Carol J. Perry: Review/Giveaway

by Cynthia Chow

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review and links to purchase it.

While the town of Salem, Massachusetts, is preparing for the Halloween season, WICH-TV field reporter Lee Barrett is not in much of a celebratory party mood. A nephew with connections to the station manager is taking over many of Lee’s reporting hours, which does at least free up time for her to help as a volunteer at the Salem Main Library.

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As much as she enjoys spending time with her research librarian Aunt Ibby, Lee still feels spooked out by the dark and creepy storage area stacks that haunted her as a child. It doesn’t help that earlier Lee had a vision of seeing a man’s foot buried in books among book shelves, and having recently discovered that she is a “scryer,” able to see portentous visions in reflective surfaces, she knows it means nothing good. So when Lee does indeed find a body surrounded by shredded books within the stacks, odds are high that a homicide investigation will follow. It also means that Lee’s police detective boyfriend Pete Mondello will be involved, and while he doesn’t fully embrace Lee’s otherworldly talent, he respects it enough to follow the trail it leads to the past.
Image Source Kensington

Not only has there been a recent burglary where books where scattered throughout a homeowner’s personal library, Lee’s vision hints to the fate of Larry Laraby, WICH-TV’s former sportscaster who was found dead surrounded by his collection of sports books. Further research for the station’s 70th anniversary connects Lee not just to the most recent victim, but to the rest of the cable TV’s performing characters. A diminutive gambling athlete-turned-actor, children’s program’s clown, and science-guy magician all have Lee delving into the bygone day of daytime television. Dictates from the station manager’s wife have Lee and her coworkers planning not just for the anniversary kick-off, but donning costumes for a Halloween eve party and, of course, the town’s annual Witches’ Ball. It’s going to be a hectic time for a reluctant gazer in Salem, and Lee will be hard-pressed to identify a killer when everyone is wearing a disguise.

This is the perfect read for those eager to dive into a light-hearted but still eerie Halloween-themed mystery. Tarot cards, a cat familiar, Lee’s visions, and, of course, the entire Salem setting create an atmosphere of paranormal intrigue and mysticism. Library lovers will be unable to resist the appeal of a Dewey Decimal 790s clue, linking together sports figures, collectibles, and former athletes. Behind-the-scenes glimpses into Lee’s job are especially fascinating, revealing the talent of editors, camera operators, and, of course, the reporters as they produce on-the-fly and off-the-cuff clips. The dry wit of Lee’s cynical but not completely jaded coworkers delivers humorous observations and lively banter, propelling the novel through to its suspenseful end. A locked-room-mystery, Halloween setting, and eccentric characters ensure that this fifth of the series is as innovative and compelling as its debut.

To enter to win a copy of Late Checkout, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "checkout,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 19, 2019. U.S. residents only. If entering via comment please include your email address. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win, we will not use your address for any other reason. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast featuring mystery short stories and first chapters read by actors. The last 2 episodes are perfect for Halloween so be sure to check them out!

You can use these links to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Opens to author website

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. A great series and the perfect Halloween treat!

  2. Sounds like a great Halloween book, especially being set in Salem, MA.

  3. Love this series. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

  4. Love this cover and it sounds like a delicious read, Thanks for your awesome generosity. lindamay4852@yahoo.com

  5. Looks perfect for halloween! JL_Minter(at)hotmail(dot)com

  6. This looks great! Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

  7. This looks really interesting. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com


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