Friday, May 8, 2009

Review: Lethal Legacy by Linda Fairstein

Yesterday during the long rainy drive from Maine to D.C., I was finding it difficult to read due to constantly changing light conditions (and maybe old eyes?). So I decided to listen to one of the books I had loaded in my MP3 player. What an unexpected delight this was. Not that I expected anything unlikeable from Linda Fairstein, it’s just that this particular book had an underlying mystery that really appealed to me. There are of course the cast of regulars: Alexandra Cooper “Coop”, an assistant DA who is also a member of the NYPD special victims squad; her side-kicks , detectives Mike Chadwick and Wallace Mercer; her gorgeous lover, french chef/entrepreneur Luke?? -who cares what his last name is? There are the obligatory murders to be solved, and then there is the setting....Somehow the murders appear to be connected with the New York Public Library, its magnificent collection of rare books and maps, its assortment of endowed collections, its not to publicly known underground vaults and tunnels, and several less than amiable trustees. As they question librarians, curators, custodial staff and trustees, the reader is treated to an incredible lesson in cartography, rare book collecting, and book preservation. As a librarian who does not deal in antiquities, I was fascinated by all the detail she manages to impart so painlessly. (Did you know there are books bound in human skin??) It is a subject that could easily have become boring, but she instead has me running to the train station to buy a ticket to New York! As the book progresses, new clues and new characters are introduced, so the reader is kept guessing right to the end. It has something for romance, mystery and history lovers. A real treat! In case you're worried, hubbie was driving.


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