I’ve shouted the praises of Ian Sansom’s Mobile Library books on the blog before. They’re a series of mystery spoofs about a Israel Armstrong, a Londoner who goes to the north of Northern Ireland to run a library in about as backwards a town as you can get. They’re silly, fun mysteries, and I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve recommended them.

So you can imagine how I felt when I saw that the third book, The Book Stops Here: A Mobile Library Mystery, was coming out in August (hence why there’s no picture to go with this post). I even asked the Harper PR people about it before the summer catalogues came out. I literally jumped when I opened the package and saw The Book Stops Here: A Mobile Library Mysteryinside. I just finished it.

My review? I hate to say it, but…eh.

There’s two problems with this installment of the series. First, the actual mystery doesn’t come into play until page 132. Second, the bulk of the book takes place in London, not in that backwards Northern Irish town, and it’s the people and places and habits of that town that really push along the comedy. The ridiculous characters are only at the start of the book. I wanted to see what they were up to, not be pushed into an entirely new cast in another country. It didn’t work.

I’m disappointed. The book wasn’t terrible, but it’s not what I expected, and it’s not as good as the other books in the series. Bah.

So if you’ll look at the title of this post, you’ll know I’m about to reach an important milestone. I have no idea what I’m going to read next. I feel like it should be something noteworthy, but I’m so darn tired from promoting my own book that I’ll probably do what I always do: grab whatever strikes my fancy.

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Jen Miller

Jen Miller

Jen A. Miller is a an author and freelance writer. Her memoir, Running a Love Story, was a Philadelphia Inquirer best book of the year. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, SELF, Buzzfeed and the Guardian, among others.

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