Check Out Mysteries Set in Libraries

Librarians see some crazy things in their stints on the reference desk, but murder is not usually one of them. However, libraries, especially old ones, can be mysterious places. These mysteries involve the great old collections and buildings that have sparked a writer's imagination.

Con Lehane's Murder in the Manuscript Room is the sequel to Murder at the 42nd Street Library. In the second book, librarians Raymond Ambler and Adele Morgan once again help out their cop buddy Mike Cosgrove with a murder investigation involving the flagship New York City library. Dirty dealings involving unions, police informers and a highly placed security firm keep the three running and impinge on their private lives. Highly atmospheric, this book really gives a feel for the environs of New York in the winter as well as the relationships between characters.

Linda Fairstein also writes of the library flanked by the lions Patience and Fortitude in Lethal Legacy. Alex Cooper and her team have to step carefully around the inflated egos of wealthy library donors after a librarian disappears and a body is found in her apartment. Full of details both gritty and historical, this is a page-turner for bibliophiles.

Mark Pryor spins a tale of skulduggery set in the no-less-famous American Library in Paris in The Paris Librarian. Hugo Marston, head of security at the U.S. embassy, has to solve a locked-room murder with ties to a recent donation of papers. The specter of World War II quickly raises its head, as well as that of domestic violence. A crafty reader may figure out the solution before the astute Marston, but the pacing will carry along readers who may just enjoy the ride.

McLeod Delaney returns to Princeton University as a visiting professor in Ann Waldron's A Rare Murder in Princeton. Poking around in the rare book section of the college library, she gets drawn into investigating two murders, one recent and one less so. This is a bibliophile mystery for those who like cozies.

Like mysteries that take place in grand old buildings and collections? Tell us about them in the comments.

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of Chicago Public Library