Reviews of Murder at the 42nd Street Library by Con Lehane

Murder at the 42nd Street Library

A Mystery

by Con Lehane

Murder at the 42nd Street Library by Con Lehane X
Murder at the 42nd Street Library by Con Lehane
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  • Published:
    Apr 2016, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Rory L. Aronsky
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Book Summary

Murder at the 42nd Street Library opens with a murder in a second floor office of the iconic, beaux-arts flagship of the New York Public Library. Ray Ambler, the curator of the library's crime fiction collection, joins forces with NYPD homicide detective Mike Cosgrove in hopes of bringing a murderer to justice.

In his search for the reasons behind the murder, Ambler uncovers hidden - and profoundly disturbing - relationships between visitors to the library. These include a celebrated mystery writer who has donated his papers to the library's crime fiction collection, that writer's missing daughter, a New York society woman with a hidden past, and one of Ambler's colleagues at the world-famous library. Those shocking revelations lead inexorably to the tragic and violent events that follow.

Chapter 1

The morning was chilly, damp, and gray, an April Friday morning in a Brooklyn cemetery. Early April shouldn't be so cold, but such cruel days descended on New York almost every spring. The damp, chilly air, portending rain, reminded Raymond Ambler of playing baseball as a boy on such a day, the grass recently starting to grow in green, forsythia bright yellow against the dull gray of the day, daffodils bobbing in the cold wind in the yards of row houses across the street from the parade grounds in Windsor Terrace. Your hand stung if you caught a line drive and both hands stung unmercifully if you held the bat too loosely when you hit the ball.

Ambler shivered as he waited in the chilly wind, flecked with drops of rain, for Harry Larkin, his friend and supervisor at the 42nd Street library. That Harry was late wasn't surprising. A medieval historian, former Jesuit, and absent-minded scholar, Harry wasn't noted for his promptness. He ran the library's ...

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Oh that 42nd Street Library! Even after the immense pleasure of knowing many of these people, the descriptions of the library, its stacks, and its offices are even more reason to read this mystery. There are continuous sighs of envy as more and more of it is revealed, imagining oneself there, and realizing that Lehane got to essentially live in this library twice – once for research, and then again in the writing of the novel. This will certainly happen a third time when the second book comes out, and there’s no doubt that Lehane has a lot more to mine, both in the library and in mysteries to come. Library lovers are welcome here...continued

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(Reviewed by Rory L. Aronsky).

Media Reviews

New York Journal of Books
Con Lehane provides a fine story, strong and believable characters, and a wonderful setting.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. Lehane (Death at the Old Hotel, 2007, etc.) awards his previous detective, bartender Brian McNulty, a cameo but focuses on the complicated Ray, who looks like a promising newcomer in the talented-amateur ranks.

Library Journal
A fun read for mystery buffs and librarians alike.

Publishers Weekly
Fans of Lehane's cranky bartender Brian McNulty, the hero of his earlier series (Death at the Old Hotel, etc.), will welcome his appearance in a supporting role

Author Blurb Megan Abbott
Con Lehane's Murder at the 42nd Street Library offers up a masterful tale of intrigue, jealousy, and revenge in the grand tradition of Ross Macdonald. Not to be missed.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

A Tour of New York Public Libraries

42nd Street LibraryAt the beginning of chapter 2 of Murder at the 42nd Street Library, Con Lehane describes the New York Public Library's famed 42nd Street branch thusly:

The 42nd Street Library stretches along the west side of Fifth Avenue from 42nd to 40th Street. The landmark beaux arts structure houses the humanities and social sciences collections of the New York Public Library, the largest research collection of any public library in the nation after the Library of Congress.

The collections are available to journalists, historians, and other scholars, graduate students writing dissertations, authors working on books, individuals tracing a family tree, anyone who wants [to] read a newspaper or magazine, and many others. But the books, ...

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