Sunday, May 22, 2016

Austwick, John. The County Library Murders (London: Robert Hale, 1962) 175 p.
An assistant librarian at the Sluby County Library is young, beautiful and popular.

Some female librarians look as if they had started off as Anglican deaconesses and realized their lack of vocation just in time. Miss Pettigrew—Valerie or Val to her numerous friends—gave no suggestion of the diaconate in the Anglican or any other church. She suggested Persephone, if you were classically minded, or possibly Iseult. Young men had been increasingly attracted to the library since her joining the staff six months before, and by them she had been variously described as “some dame”, a “dish”, “smashing” and a “scorcher”. (p. 5).

Her fellow assistant, Miss Boorman is more stereotypically librarianish. The chief librarian is the eagle-eyed and persnickety Miss North. Miss Pettigrew finds herself at the center of a mystery involving book mutilation and murder.

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