Monday, April 16, 2007

The Case of the Missing Books

As a librarian, I have a sick habit of liking to read books about librarians, libraries, and books. Go figure! I personally believe these titles only exist on a librarian plane. Do others outside the profession even know they exist? Probably not, that is why it is up to me to bring these titles to the light.

I recently finished The Case of the Missing Books: A Mobile Library Mystery by Ian Sansom. In this mystery we follow the newest librarian of Tumdrum and District Public Library, Israel Armstrong, as he travels from his somewhat hip London home to start anew in a small Irish town. His first professional appointment as a librarian is doomed from the start when he arrives to find the library has been closed...permanently. Visiting his new boss at the Department of Entertainment, Leisure and Community Services, Israel finds that the appointment is more than he expected. In fact, a lot more. The entire contents of the closed library is missing. All 15,000 titles. Who could possibly steal that many books or would want to for that matter? An iron-clad contract forces Israel to begrudgingly accept his fate as the new Outreach Support Officer and begin his journey of 15,000 steps as he crosses the Irish countryside in his battered mobile library looking for the missing materials.

While I found the book a little slow going at the beginning due to the specific dialect of the characters and the long-winded confusing conversations between characters, it did pick up at the middle. Sarcastic and witty comments from Israel the outsider really made this a fun romp through the countryside. Recommended!

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