"A Perfect Bind" By Dorothy St. James: Review/Giveaway

Review by Kathleen Costa

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

The Librarian Code of…Secrecy?

Trudell Becket is a dedicated assistant librarian, but not divulging that she and her friends rescued boxes and boxes of books destined for the landfill and set up a “secret” bookroom, is one of those little white lies she gladly justifies. The stately public library, a centerpiece in the town of Cypress, is one of fourteen in South Carolina built by Andrew Carnegie, and the basement, a former WWII-era bomb shelter, was the perfect location for her underground library. The town manager’s plan was to revamp the town’s library into a “bookless” technology wonder, but it just didn’t meet every booklover’s needs, desires, or level of tech competency. This “book-filled” basement has become Tru’s passion, her pride, and, yes, her secret! She still has her upstairs job as an assistant librarian, and with nosy colleagues, talkative patrons, and scrutiny by the head librarian, she needs to do everything to make sure no one gets suspicious about her time in the basement.

➡ switch to KingsRiverLife.com for more articles ⬅

Image Source Berkley
A Perfect Bind
Earns 5/5 Bodies Outside the Library…Entertaining Fun!

Tru arrives at the library early in the morning loaded down with books in one tote and her tabby cat Dewey Decimal tucked in the other. She sneaks around to cover her movements toward the back exit, through a parking lot and alleyway, arriving at the heavy double doors leading to her pet project…a secret bookroom. But, the doors are ajar…“Not again!” she grimaces. She is devastated by the destruction targeting the mystery section: shelves damaged, books strewn on the floor, copies, like Christie’s The Body in the Library, ripped of its covers. Who would do this? A poltergeist is the explanation provided by Herbert Crawford, a regular bookroom patron, according to rumors and his grandmother’s stories. Really? Then how does that explain the dead body out back.

Tru deals with a lot trying to keep her bookroom secret, navigating the suspicious comments from Anne Lowery, the IT gal, and demands by head librarian Mrs. Farnsworth. It’s made more complicated when the above-ground library is confronted by Pastor Goodloe and his wife protesting Anne’s Tai chi class (not to be confused with chia tea or devil worship). The couple have quite the reputation for a rigid religious interpretation, which have led to conflicts with other religious and community leaders and various threats and accusations. Mrs. Farnsworth rules the library with a heavy hand and her demands from disagreements over remaining closed on Sundays to not allowing the assistant librarians to offer basic help to contestants researching apple pie recipes have caused concern. Although the rumors about the victim are varied, drunkenness, money problems, business ethics, and philosophical differences seem to be top contenders. But, it’s the threatening note that causes Tru the most concern.

Check it Out! Dorothy St. James has penned another well-written cozy as the second book in her Beloved Bookroom Mystery series. Quite a fun premise saving all the print books and opening on the sly a secret old-school library, but add a clever murder mystery wrapped in several suspects, intriguing motives, and law enforcement that doesn’t share much, and you have an engaging read! Tru is well-known to everyone in the community, so she feels comfortable approaching them for answers and insights, and they feel comfortable offering information, helpful or gossipy. So, who would threaten her? Tru’s family dynamic is a challenge with divorced parents who seem unable to cohabitate in the same town, the same hangouts, the same church, but Tru has her own way of handling it. Dorothy’s well-written drama follows the traditional cozy formula I enjoy with an early discovery of the crime, focus on the investigation, diverse characters, twists, personal peril, and karma! Great read!

A Beloved Bookroom Mystery

The Broken Spine (2021) Reviewed HERE by KRL Cynthia Chow

A Perfect Bind (2021)

Be a Big Dorothy St. James Fan!

“Dorothy St. James is the alter-ego of award-winning multi-published author, Dorothy McFalls.” Under the St. James moniker, she writes the Southern Chocolate Shop Mysteries and the White House Gardener Mysteries. Something for everyone!

Facebook-Dorothy McFalls/Dorothy St. James

Website-Dorothy St. James “Writing Delicious Southern Mysteries”

To enter to win a copy of A Perfect Bind, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "bind,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 16, 2021. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. BE AWARE THAT DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS THERE MAY BE A DELAY IN SHIPPING THE WINNING BOOK. 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 which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up this week.

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

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
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. I like the idea of the secret library! Count me in!

  2. Looking forward to reading the continuation
    of this interesting library. the first book was
    great. thanks. txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  3. I would love to win this book! lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. This sounds so good and I love the cover. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

  5. I really enjoyed the first book in the series. Looking forward to reading "A Perfect Bind"

  6. I enjoyed the first book in the series. Looking forward to reading "A Perfect Bind ".

  7. I enjoyed the first book in the series. Looking forward to reading "A Perfect Bind ".

  8. What a great concept from an excellent author.

  9. I've been hearing a lot about this one, sounds good! tWarner419(at)aol(dot)com

  10. Nice review! I am looking forward to reading this. Thanks.

  11. I love Dorothy St. James and your blog presented her latest book in such a positive
    light to draw me to it. Thanks. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com


Post a Comment