"Read to Death at the Lakeside Library" by Holly Danvers: Review/Giveaway

Review by Cynthia Chow

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

While her parents burn up frequent flyer miles touring the world, Rain Wilmot is staying in Lofty Pines, Wisconsin and fully taking over her mother’s duties at the town’s Lakeside Library. Rain has also decided to resume their summer Book Club, with the first pick of the season being Agatha Christie’s Sparkling Cyanide. The meeting gets a little fractious what with the wine drinking taking precedence along with those who only watched the movie version, but it’s the death of one of the members not long after that has Rain truly alarmed. Worried that her selection of the book may have inspired a murder by poisoning, Rain and her frequent accomplice Julia Reynolds begin investigating those who may have wanted Lily Redlin dead. As it turns out, it may have been a book club member and not Agatha Christie who gave the killer a means for murder, which is why Rain and Julia feel obligated to break into their neighbor's home, steal evidence, and possibly obstruct justice. It’s a good thing that Julia’s brother and Rain’s maybe-boyfriend Jace Lowe is a police officer, as despite his exasperation with them he does provide them with a few tidbits of authorized information.

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Image Source Crooked Lane
A temporary closure of the library due to possible poison concerns allows the staff to fully engage as investigators, looking not only into Lily’s death but a connected one from the past. Taking a lead from Agatha Christie, Rain even gathers together the suspects for a Book Club reenactment in the hopes of revealing the culprit. Whether or not this results in a solution using her little grey cells or only places herself as next in line as a victim, it will at least make for a lively next meeting.

This third in the series combines classic mystery tropes, romance, and a lot of suspense for cozy mystery fans. A sudden shift in romantic prospects has Rain reassessing her relationship with Jace, whose frequent visits to the library may be related to more than its proximity to the police station. Rain and Julia have a lot of leeway in their efforts to investigate, as they definitely push the limits of legality in their endeavors. A more somber note that is left open for more exploration is the concern over Rain’s fellow library staff member Marge Duncan, who attributes her moments of forgetfulness to simple old age and not something far more serious. There are an assortment of lively canine companions to keep things upbeat, from Marge’s cocker spaniel to Jace’s gorgeous Siberian husky. Now that she’s more settled in her life Rain might be ready to adopt a pooch herself, making her life an enviable one full of books and constant canine love. This is a very light-hearted cozy mystery sure to please those looking for exuberant characters and a mystery filled with Agatha Christie lore.

To enter to win a copy of Read to Death at the Lakeside Library, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "read to death,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 18, 2023. 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. 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 goes up next week.

You can use this link to purchase the book or click here. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

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. Always good to help out local law enforcement
    (even if help not really wanted). Sounds like a
    fun read. thanks. txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  2. Sarahstar616@gmail.comNovember 10, 2023 at 9:41 AM

    I would love the chance to win!
    Sarahstar616 at gmail dot com

  3. Been wanting to read this series. I haven't read (or watched) Sparkling Cyanide, so hopefully I'm still allowed to "join" their book club!

  4. I'd like to be included! tWarner419@aol.com

  5. I like the title and the book cover! lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com


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