REVIEW: The Librarian and the Spy by Susan Mann

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Rating 3 Stars

Quinn may be a librarian but she loves reading intrigue and spy novels and she dreams of having her own adventures one day. When she begins working with James, a British insurance agent, she never imagines that her world will be thrown upside down. James is trying to authenticate some recently acquired artwork for his client but is there more going on?

The Librarian and the Spy started out a bit slow for me and I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it but really starts to pick up in the second half of the book. From that point I felt the pacing was pretty good. The story is written in third person but we only get Quinn’s point of view. I would prefer to have both Quinn and James, but Quinn was still a pretty good narrator and certainly entertaining. I will admit that I didn’t really get their chemistry in the beginning and their first time kissing felt a little out of the blue just because I didn’t believe in their passion up to that point.

I really enjoyed the concept of this book and in particular all the library references. You can truly tell that Susan Mann knows what she’s talking about when she references library customers, MARC records, and cataloging. As someone who works in a library I really enjoyed how much I could relate to the story. Plus it’s nice to see the nerdy book culture make the win for this spy adventure.

I liked both Quinn and James, though I wish we could have gotten inside of James’s head as well. Quinn is everything nerdy you want in a librarian but she’s also tough and can fight her way out of a situation thanks to her military family and pack of older brothers. She was a pretty good narrator and had some great humorous moments when she did something embarrassing. What we do learn about James is great but I feel he wasn’t as developed as strongly as Quinn. This is likely due to only seeing James through Quinn’s eyes and only knowing what he’s willing to share verbally with Quinn. I hope we can learn more about him in future books.

My only real criticism was that there were times where I felt the dialogue was a bit stiff or not like how people would really speak. Other times the writing outside of dialogue might have been technically accurate but was missing any real emotion that grabs the reader. This occurred mostly in the beginning before any action began.

••• Book Details •••

Librarian and the Spy Escapades #1    Romance, Suspense    Zebra Shout    April 25, 2017

A librarian’s journey from the checkout desk to fast cars, stolen treasures, and international intrigue / with an introduction by suave, handsome “insurance” agent James Lockwood.

Adventure-hungry Quinn Ellington’s job solving mundane mysteries for library patrons entangles her in a mission to decode the whereabouts of a weapons cache from a priceless work of art before arms dealers beat her to it. Her adventure is filled with twists, turns, and a budding romance. Transcontinental pursuit, daring rescues, and intense covert flirting follow.

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