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Librarian Greer Hogan matches wits with a deviously clever killer in M.E. Hilliard's chilling series debut, ideal for fans of Louise Penny and Dorothy L. Sayers. Greer Hogan is a librarian and an avid reader of murder mysteries. She also has a habit of stumbling upon murdered bodies. The first was her husband's, and the tragic loss led Greer to leave New York behind fo Librarian Greer Hogan matches wits with a deviously clever killer in M.E. Hilliard's chilling series debut, ideal for fans of Louise Penny and Dorothy L. Sayers. Greer Hogan is a librarian and an avid reader of murder mysteries. She also has a habit of stumbling upon murdered bodies. The first was her husband's, and the tragic loss led Greer to leave New York behind for a new start in the Village of Raven Hill. But her new home becomes less idyllic when she discovers her best friend sprawled dead on the floor of the library. Was her friend's demise related to two other deaths that the police deemed accidental? Do the residents of this insular village hold dark secrets about another murder, decades ago? Does a serial killer haunt Raven Hill? As the body count rises, Greer's anxious musings take a darker turn when she uncovers unexpected and distressing information about her own husband's death...and the man who went to prison for his murder . She is racked with guilt at the possibility that her testimony may have helped to convict an innocent man. Though Greer admires the masters of deduction she reads about in books, she never expected to have to solve a mystery herself. Fortunately, she possesses a quick wit and a librarian's natural resourcefulness. But will that be enough to protect her from a brilliant, diabolical murderer? And even if Greer manages to catch the Raven Hill killer, will living with her conscience prove a fate worse than death?


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Librarian Greer Hogan matches wits with a deviously clever killer in M.E. Hilliard's chilling series debut, ideal for fans of Louise Penny and Dorothy L. Sayers. Greer Hogan is a librarian and an avid reader of murder mysteries. She also has a habit of stumbling upon murdered bodies. The first was her husband's, and the tragic loss led Greer to leave New York behind fo Librarian Greer Hogan matches wits with a deviously clever killer in M.E. Hilliard's chilling series debut, ideal for fans of Louise Penny and Dorothy L. Sayers. Greer Hogan is a librarian and an avid reader of murder mysteries. She also has a habit of stumbling upon murdered bodies. The first was her husband's, and the tragic loss led Greer to leave New York behind for a new start in the Village of Raven Hill. But her new home becomes less idyllic when she discovers her best friend sprawled dead on the floor of the library. Was her friend's demise related to two other deaths that the police deemed accidental? Do the residents of this insular village hold dark secrets about another murder, decades ago? Does a serial killer haunt Raven Hill? As the body count rises, Greer's anxious musings take a darker turn when she uncovers unexpected and distressing information about her own husband's death...and the man who went to prison for his murder . She is racked with guilt at the possibility that her testimony may have helped to convict an innocent man. Though Greer admires the masters of deduction she reads about in books, she never expected to have to solve a mystery herself. Fortunately, she possesses a quick wit and a librarian's natural resourcefulness. But will that be enough to protect her from a brilliant, diabolical murderer? And even if Greer manages to catch the Raven Hill killer, will living with her conscience prove a fate worse than death?

30 review for The Unkindness of Ravens

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    This great start to a new cozy mystery series has all the elements I love in such novels. A murder in a library in an old manor with a gothic vibe, a smart librarian who is keen to sleuth around and play amateur detective, a small town full of gossips and people with long memories and of course the local police who keep the investigation close to themselves. Greer Hogan is the 'new librarian' (she fears she'll be the new librarian until the day she dies) at Raven Hill library in upstate New York. This great start to a new cozy mystery series has all the elements I love in such novels. A murder in a library in an old manor with a gothic vibe, a smart librarian who is keen to sleuth around and play amateur detective, a small town full of gossips and people with long memories and of course the local police who keep the investigation close to themselves. Greer Hogan is the 'new librarian' (she fears she'll be the new librarian until the day she dies) at Raven Hill library in upstate New York. She left New York City for a fresh start after her husband was killed in a bungled burglary. After going to graduate school and retraining as a librarian she was pleased to land a job in a small town where she had a good friend, Joanna Goodhue. But now she's found her friend's body in the library and it doesn't look as if she died of natural causes. Greer is a keen reader of crime novels and can't help collecting clues and drawing up a list of suspects to investigate. She sees herself as more Trixie Belden than Nancy Drew or Miss Marple and with her subtle snooping and eavesdropping and logical mind is able to arrive at several theories for Joanna's death. There is much to like in this debut novel. A clever, amateur detective who enjoys books, has a sense of humour and no major flaws (despite the tragic death of her husband) is refreshing. I also enjoyed that the police were not only friendly and helpful, but listened to Greer's theories and the odd things she reported to them and were concerned for her safety. The manor house bequested to the town for use as a library is very atmospheric and perfect for creeping around gothic stairways during a stormy night and provides plenty of suspense for the novel. I'll definitely be looking out for the next instalment in this series. With thanks to Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley for a copy to read

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bookworm Extraordinaire

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Is there anything more outstanding for a bibliophile than a book set in a library and featuring a librarian as its principal character? 🤔 I think not! 🙌🏻 PROS -- Outstanding cover! -- Well written, I believe this is this author's debut novel? -- Engaging plot that kept me turning the pages. -- Well plotted out mystery that kept me guessing right until the end. -- Marvellous setting. It completely reminded me of the library I used to go to until I moved away. It was built in 1913 and was full of q ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Is there anything more outstanding for a bibliophile than a book set in a library and featuring a librarian as its principal character? 🤔 I think not! 🙌🏻 PROS -- Outstanding cover! -- Well written, I believe this is this author's debut novel? -- Engaging plot that kept me turning the pages. -- Well plotted out mystery that kept me guessing right until the end. -- Marvellous setting. It completely reminded me of the library I used to go to until I moved away. It was built in 1913 and was full of quirky nooks and creaking floors/stairs, just like the Raven Hill library in the book. -- Intriguing cast of secondary characters. -- Greer was a very likable principal character. -- Satisfying ending to the mystery, with a little teaser for what is coming up in the next book of the series. CONS -- Genuinely can't think of a single one. 🤔 **ARC Via NetGalley**

  3. 4 out of 5

    Vintagebooklvr

    4 1/2 stars. This debut novel in a new series was a homerun for me. Hilliard produced a chilling atmosphere as the suspense and danger built in this cozy to a level which is rare in this genre. Greer, the main character, worked an old mansion that was converted into a library and filled with nooks and crannies as well as unexpected creaks and groans. She found it welcoming until she discovered a dead body. Afterwards, often the hair of her neck rose as she felt that someone was watching her when 4 1/2 stars. This debut novel in a new series was a homerun for me. Hilliard produced a chilling atmosphere as the suspense and danger built in this cozy to a level which is rare in this genre. Greer, the main character, worked an old mansion that was converted into a library and filled with nooks and crannies as well as unexpected creaks and groans. She found it welcoming until she discovered a dead body. Afterwards, often the hair of her neck rose as she felt that someone was watching her when she entered supposedly empty parts of the library. Even the alarm system did not show any movement but someone was there because there was another attack. Well plotted and well written I was captivated by this book and read it in one sitting. I enjoyed the characters and the setting. Since the character was new to the area and the one person she knew the best was murdered, there weren't as many characters Greer (and the reader) connect with as in many cozy series but time will probably change that as the series continues. I felt there were a couple of small things that were left hanging but maybe they will be addressed in another book. I definitely recommend this. Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for a free copy of the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Romero

    A GREER HOGAN MYSTERY Meet Greer Hogan. Librarian and murder mystery lover. A puzzle solver. A widow whose husband was murdered. Who would have thought in the smaller Village of Raven Hill she would again be stumbling over a body? In the library no less! Unfortunately, the body is also a friend of Greer’s from school. Who in the world would want her dead? When Greer finds a cryptic note left for her by the victim, she decides this time she is not going to let it go. There have already been a couple A GREER HOGAN MYSTERY Meet Greer Hogan. Librarian and murder mystery lover. A puzzle solver. A widow whose husband was murdered. Who would have thought in the smaller Village of Raven Hill she would again be stumbling over a body? In the library no less! Unfortunately, the body is also a friend of Greer’s from school. Who in the world would want her dead? When Greer finds a cryptic note left for her by the victim, she decides this time she is not going to let it go. There have already been a couple of deaths that the police say are accidents. But are they? Who are these people in this small village and what kind of dark secrets are they harboring? Stirring up all kinds of trouble with her questioning, Greer is soon the object of the killer’s fury. This was a good first book in the series. Greer is a strong female with a few soft spots. I would have liked to have heard more about her background and I’m sure we will. Well Done! NetGalley/ April 13th, 2021 by Crooked Lane Books

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kayla

    Huge thank you to Netgalley & Crooked Lane Books for an early edition of this book for my honest review! It's been a while since I've picked up a cozy mystery so The Unkindness of Ravens called to me in a lot of ways: creepy manor, girl detective, and a murder. Three of my favorite boxes checked, and a brand new author who is also a librarian. So I had high hopes for this book and was very excited when I was approved for an early copy. And this book didn't disappoint. It is everything that you lov Huge thank you to Netgalley & Crooked Lane Books for an early edition of this book for my honest review! It's been a while since I've picked up a cozy mystery so The Unkindness of Ravens called to me in a lot of ways: creepy manor, girl detective, and a murder. Three of my favorite boxes checked, and a brand new author who is also a librarian. So I had high hopes for this book and was very excited when I was approved for an early copy. And this book didn't disappoint. It is everything that you love about a cozy murder mystery. The plot moved very quickly, and it was a book I wanted to pick up every chance that I got. It was also really hard to put down because every time I got to a point where I thought to put this down and do other life things, another curveball was thrown my way. Another piece of evidence. A new suspect. Something to keep me glued to my screen. I loved Greer as the main character as well. We meet after she's pivoted her life around after the loss of her husband, and it's that loss that drives her to be the girl's detective when she finds the body of a murder victim in her library. My favorite thing about Greer is she knows what she's doing is dangerous, and does everything she can to make sure anyone helping her solve this murder is safe. But, she also does her best to protect herself. It's not always the best, but at least she's aware of the danger. She's also brilliant, backups all her data, does her research, and shares her information with the police. My pet peeve with these is always when the character playing detective doesn't include the actual detectives. Greer isn't like that. She shares her information as she goes, never showing her full hand, but never excluding them either. This plays one of her favor in the last few chapters. The small-town aspect of this story was the perfect setting. In a town where everyone knows everyone, but the secrets run a mile long, is always a favorite of mine. The difference for me was just how much the town seemed willing to help Greer solve this murder. Add on the fact the library is placed in a creepy old manor house, all of this worked in the story's favor. The small-town vibes left you wondering who was hiding what, and maybe the manor was really haunted. Could it have been a ghost? It all kind of put the cozy in a cozy murder mystery. I also loved all the book references from some of Agatha Christie's detectives to the great detective himself, Sherlock Holmes. Not just quotes, but small references and nods to the characters and stories. I loved those so much because I was raised on those stories. From Great Grandmother to my Ma, I come by my love murder mysteries legitly. So I thought each little Easter Egg as they were a lot of fun, and since Greer is a librarian it made sense that she'd references these moments. Lastly, I thought the lead-up to the mystery itself was solid and well thought out. I was following along with each clue that Greer found, making my own murder board in my head as the story went on. About halfway through I had a pretty good idea where the story was headed, and the closer to the end I got the more I knew I was right on the track. I also thought the ending was very fitting and the conclusion was satisfying. All of the loose ends were tied up, and it's always nice to know also were blaming the characters. So, why only four stars instead of five? My only complaint about this book was there were a lot of Harry Potter references in this book. The first one that pops is while Greer is talking to a child so I forgave it. But, after that Greer makes several throughout the book, and they were easily avoided with other literary references. But, other than that this is a great book, and I'm interested in the next books in the series. I think I know where Hilliard is going to take it and they have my attention.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Cole

    I came close to not finishing M.E. Hilliard's The Unkindness of Ravens or at least deciding to skim through sections, but I'm glad I didn't. Why did I come so close to giving up? Because it took three-quarters of the book before everything began to click. Why did I persevere? Because there would be an occasional quip or literary allusion from the main character, Greer Hogan, that convinced me she was one character worth getting to know. Greer's husband was murdered, and the entire experience-- fr I came close to not finishing M.E. Hilliard's The Unkindness of Ravens or at least deciding to skim through sections, but I'm glad I didn't. Why did I come so close to giving up? Because it took three-quarters of the book before everything began to click. Why did I persevere? Because there would be an occasional quip or literary allusion from the main character, Greer Hogan, that convinced me she was one character worth getting to know. Greer's husband was murdered, and the entire experience-- from finding his body all the way through the court trial-- was so painful that she had the strength and will to put it all behind her and start a whole new life. Her experience as a businesswoman and as a librarian makes her especially adept at organizing her days so she has time to be an amateur sleuth. She's also level-headed and has a strong sense of self-preservation. Intentionally putting herself in danger is not her style, and she shares her discoveries with the police. Toward the end of The Unkindness of Ravens, I found myself cheering Greer on to victory, which is always a good sign. Hilliard created a good, solid mystery, a fantastic setting, and an interesting, likable main character. The action in the book leads inevitably to the next book in the series. What I'm hoping for in that second book is much-improved pacing and more highly developed characters-- especially Officer Jennie Webber, whom I found very intriguing. Once everything began to click, this book became an enjoyable read, and what's not to like about a public library housed in an old mansion that's so Gothic and Jane Eyre-like that one expects to see the first Mrs. Rochester glaring out from an upstairs window? When all is said and done, I find myself looking forward to meeting Greer Hogan and Officer Webber again soon. (Review copy courtesy of the publisher and Net Galley)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Molly

    3.5 stars A new cozy crime fiction series, featuring a young librarian, Greer Hogan, recently moved from NYC to the village of Raven Hill, NY, where she works in a gothic manor of a library. Hogan finds a member of Friends of the Library, Joanna Goodhue, dead in the building's upper reaches, and fears she may be the first suspect in the minds of the police, because she also found her husband Danny murdered several years ago at their apartment in NYC.  So she of course goes on the offense and tri 3.5 stars A new cozy crime fiction series, featuring a young librarian, Greer Hogan, recently moved from NYC to the village of Raven Hill, NY, where she works in a gothic manor of a library. Hogan finds a member of Friends of the Library, Joanna Goodhue, dead in the building's upper reaches, and fears she may be the first suspect in the minds of the police, because she also found her husband Danny murdered several years ago at their apartment in NYC.  So she of course goes on the offense and tries to find the killer herself. I enjoyed this novel, including the interactions between Hogan and the other library staff, as well as with police officer Jennie Webber, also new in town. The plotting could have been a bit tighter and the pacing a little more even, but on the whole, I look forward to the next one.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    Let me start by saying I wish Greer Hogan worked at my library because I’m certain we’d be good friends. I really enjoyed this new mystery - the setting, the characters, and the plot - all of it was fantastic! When Greer discovers the body of her friend, she does what any good mystery reader would do, she tries to solve the crime. The story moves quickly and had me interested the whole time. I especially loved all the literary references, although I am more partial to Nancy Drew over Trixie Belde Let me start by saying I wish Greer Hogan worked at my library because I’m certain we’d be good friends. I really enjoyed this new mystery - the setting, the characters, and the plot - all of it was fantastic! When Greer discovers the body of her friend, she does what any good mystery reader would do, she tries to solve the crime. The story moves quickly and had me interested the whole time. I especially loved all the literary references, although I am more partial to Nancy Drew over Trixie Belden. And besides all of that, my husband loves the title. I received an advanced readers copy of this this book in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    After her husband is murdered in their New York apartment, Greer goes back to school and reinvents herself as a librarian. She's now working for a library in little Raven Hill, when she finds the body of her best local friend. Of course, the police suspect her, even though she was cleared in her husband's death, though she gradually becomes friendly with a woman officer. Greer finds enough other suspects in her friend's job and personal life to distract the police from her, but despite the profe After her husband is murdered in their New York apartment, Greer goes back to school and reinvents herself as a librarian. She's now working for a library in little Raven Hill, when she finds the body of her best local friend. Of course, the police suspect her, even though she was cleared in her husband's death, though she gradually becomes friendly with a woman officer. Greer finds enough other suspects in her friend's job and personal life to distract the police from her, but despite the professional job they're doing, she wants to solve the case to clear her own name.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading the next in the series. Greer Hogan left a high paying job in NYC after the murder of her husband. She went on and obtained her master degree in library science. She starts her new job as a librarian in a small town in New York. The library building is an old atmospheric gothic building. She is known as the "new librarian" and feels she will be known as that until the day she dies. She is a Trixie Belden fan rather than a Nancy Drew fan. She k I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading the next in the series. Greer Hogan left a high paying job in NYC after the murder of her husband. She went on and obtained her master degree in library science. She starts her new job as a librarian in a small town in New York. The library building is an old atmospheric gothic building. She is known as the "new librarian" and feels she will be known as that until the day she dies. She is a Trixie Belden fan rather than a Nancy Drew fan. She knows her mystery books and quotes occasionally from them. She has a sense of humor. She stumbles over the body of the President of Friends of the Library at the bottom of the stairs. She knew the victim before taking this job. The police are very closed mouth and won't confirm if it was an accident or murder. Greer turns into an amateur sleuth. There are some good scenes with storms, being in the library at night and the power goes off. Greer does work with police eventually after gathering information. The murder of her husband still haunts her and one can see where the second book is going to go. I am looking forward to it. I enjoyed this read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mhd

    A solid, well-written cozy; almost a 4-star. Library milieu, protagonist who has faced life-changing events & is now in new job/location. Lots of mentions of other mystery series and I'm sure I missed some of the very subtle ones. Some unnecessary re-hashing of what she's discovered and trying to figure it out. Conclusion obviously sets up book #2. Was led here by BookPage but what really got me is one of the GoodReads reviews said the Trixie Belden series is mentioned in this book. Actually, Tr A solid, well-written cozy; almost a 4-star. Library milieu, protagonist who has faced life-changing events & is now in new job/location. Lots of mentions of other mystery series and I'm sure I missed some of the very subtle ones. Some unnecessary re-hashing of what she's discovered and trying to figure it out. Conclusion obviously sets up book #2. Was led here by BookPage but what really got me is one of the GoodReads reviews said the Trixie Belden series is mentioned in this book. Actually, Trixie is referenced often and the protagonist (and author?) preferred Trixie over Nancy Drew!! I'll try #2.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anne, Unfinished Woman

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. SPOILER ALERT With her early inspiration from Trixie Belden, librarian and amateur sleuth Greer Hogan jumps into the investigation of the murder of her friend Joanna Goodhue. Unfortunately it puts her at the top of the suspects list, as she finds the body, and three years earlier she found the body of her husband Danny, believed to be the victim of a burglary. After the trial of the killer, she wants a change in her life. She and Danny had enjoyed a full life as she was with marketing for a high SPOILER ALERT With her early inspiration from Trixie Belden, librarian and amateur sleuth Greer Hogan jumps into the investigation of the murder of her friend Joanna Goodhue. Unfortunately it puts her at the top of the suspects list, as she finds the body, and three years earlier she found the body of her husband Danny, believed to be the victim of a burglary. After the trial of the killer, she wants a change in her life. She and Danny had enjoyed a full life as she was with marketing for a high end cosmetics company making a six-figure income, and Danny was in finance with a new start up company. She goes back to grad school at age 37 and gets her master's degree. She perseveres and researches the clues Joanna left from her own investigations. Joanna was a TV journalist, who was trying to get a fellow newscaster fired, and was also looking into some deaths from the past. The narrative is peppered with references to famous mystery writers, their individual books, and various famous quotes, giving the story extra interest. Greer is warned by the police Lt. Sam O'Donnell and Officer Jenny Webber, an Iraq vet, to be careful, but she plows ahead, is followed with attempts made on her life. Vince Goodhue, Joanna's husband is a suspect, as there is large life insurance policy on Joanna. She is looking at Ed Dexter, the newscaster who had a blow up with Joanna, Felicity and Matthew Prentiss, who have ties to the er drowning 35 years ago of Matthews half sister, Carol, and his mother-in-law who had dementia and froze to death when she somehow gets past the intricate locks of their home. We meet the multitude of library players including Millicent Ames, archivist who was fighting the proposal of a new library building, and was the executor of the James Family Trust years before. All the trust went to Felicity. It turns out that Matthew as a young boy had either pushed his sister into Raven's Kill or not helped her when she fell, and then fiddled the locks and planted ideas in the failing mind of Marjorie to leave the house in the bitter winter snow to freeze to death. All for the money his wife had inherited. He planned on killing Felicity and Greer making it look like Felicity had tried to kill Greer and they had an accident, both dying. He wanted the funds to support his political ambitions. The story and clues are convoluted and many as the story unfolds. And I loved the descriptions of the unusual Ravenscroft Manor that houses the Raven Hill Village Library. The ending thoughts of Greer set up the premise for the next installment, as she realizes she can no longer push aside her doubts that the man in prison for her husband's murder is the right one. She is ready to tackle that case next. Great characters.

  13. 5 out of 5

    BOOKLOVER EB

    Greer Hogan is a widow and mystery buff who left a lucrative marketing job in Manhattan to start over as a public librarian in Raven Hill, a small town in upstate New York. The library is located in Raven Hill Manor, a decrepit building with a "Gothic, Jane Eyre" vibe. One day, Greer, who narrates with delightfully sardonic wit, takes her lunch up to the roof terrace to eat and relax. Much to her shock, she stumbles on the dead body of her friend, Joanna Goodhue, a married mother of two. Someone Greer Hogan is a widow and mystery buff who left a lucrative marketing job in Manhattan to start over as a public librarian in Raven Hill, a small town in upstate New York. The library is located in Raven Hill Manor, a decrepit building with a "Gothic, Jane Eyre" vibe. One day, Greer, who narrates with delightfully sardonic wit, takes her lunch up to the roof terrace to eat and relax. Much to her shock, she stumbles on the dead body of her friend, Joanna Goodhue, a married mother of two. Someone had bashed Joanna—who works in the news business and is president of the Friends of the Library—over the head. The police are on the case, but Greer has no intention of leaving the sleuthing to them. In fact, she has sole access to certain clues that the victim left behind. Greer asks questions, eavesdrops, looks for additional evidence, conducts research (that is her area of expertise, after all), and wracks her brains to put all the pieces together in order to solve the crime. "The Unkindness of Ravens," by M. E. Hillard, is an amusing cozy that features a heroine who is intelligent, personable, and meddlesome. Since she has not lived in Raven Hill that long, Greer believes that she can objectively size up its inhabitants. She interrogates her colleagues, as well as a few elderly residents, local business owners, and even an observant little girl. When a second person is attacked in the library, Greer becomes even more determined to track down the perpetrator before he or she strikes again. This diverting novel depicts life in a village where everybody seems to know everyone else's business. It is not difficult for Greer to convince people to open up to her, and even though the cops warn her to back off for her own safety, she fearlessly plows ahead. "The Unkindness of Ravens" has a colorful cast characters, and avid readers will get a kick out of Hilliard's literary allusions. The book bogs down occasionally, thanks to too much filler and a dizzying array of suspects. In addition, the solution to the whodunit is neither surprising nor particularly plausible. Still, we cannot help but root for the irrepressible and impulsive Greer Hogan. She enthusiastically throws herself into the hunt for a villain, and is gratified to discover that she has a talent for ferreting out the truth. "The Unkindness of Ravens" is an engrossing enough debut and the first in a series about an audacious amateur detective.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    I really liked this book, though I think the publisher’s blurb comparing it to Dorothy L. Sayers’ work is inaccurate. This is not classic crime but cosy crime with an edge. I think it should be celebrated for what it is, rather than shoe-horned into a different sub-genre. One of the things that I find a bit dull in cosy crime is the romance element - there’s usually a handsome man wooing the librarian protagonist. In Greer Hogan’s case, her handsome man has been murdered before the book begins - I really liked this book, though I think the publisher’s blurb comparing it to Dorothy L. Sayers’ work is inaccurate. This is not classic crime but cosy crime with an edge. I think it should be celebrated for what it is, rather than shoe-horned into a different sub-genre. One of the things that I find a bit dull in cosy crime is the romance element - there’s usually a handsome man wooing the librarian protagonist. In Greer Hogan’s case, her handsome man has been murdered before the book begins - her husband Danny was killed in what the police in New York believed to be a burglary gone wrong. However the man convicted of the crime has maintained all along that he left Danny wounded but alive. At the time, Greer was in so much grief and so relieved that she was no longer a suspect that she’s just accepted the police and court’s findings. However, when she finds another body at her place of work a few years later, she is terrified her previous status as murder suspect in Danny’s case will get her in trouble again, and she starts to investigate this second murder in order to ensure suspicion doesn’t fall on her. In the course of her investigation, she forms a firm new friendship with Jennie Webber, the investigating officer. This focus on platonic friendship is far more to my liking than romance. It keeps the actual murder story in focus, while giving Greer someone with whom she can share her ideas - and from whom she can find information. The other aspect of the book I love is the focus on information seeking - throughout we’re told how Greer finds stuff online and in the library, and there’s a great scene in which she uses records and chatting to colleagues to home in on some legal provisions in a will, which Jennie correctly figures a librarian will be quicker to track down than a police officer. In the end, this is cosy crime, and after a scary tussle with the murderer, all’s well that ends well. And in self-reflection in the last few pages, Greer realises she owes it to Danny and herself to look into what actually happened the night he was killed. Hopefully this is the set up for the next book in the series. It will be great to see Greer back in New York and getting some resolution to the past. If you like cosy crime, but would prefer it a little darker than usual, The Unkindness of Ravens is probably the book for you.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    Originally posted on my blog: Nonstop Reader. The Unkindness of Ravens is the first book of a new cozy series featuring a librarian by M.E. Hilliard. Released 13th April 2021 by Crooked Lane, it's 336 pages and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. This is a promising series opener from a debut author who has worked as a librarian and seems to have a similar background in high-end retail fashion as protagonist Greer. The librarian-dog-cozy-murder-smalltown-mystery sub-subgenre Originally posted on my blog: Nonstop Reader. The Unkindness of Ravens is the first book of a new cozy series featuring a librarian by M.E. Hilliard. Released 13th April 2021 by Crooked Lane, it's 336 pages and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. This is a promising series opener from a debut author who has worked as a librarian and seems to have a similar background in high-end retail fashion as protagonist Greer. The librarian-dog-cozy-murder-smalltown-mystery sub-subgenre is always fun and this is a well written example. The murders are off-scene and mostly bloodless, there's no graphic content, the language is fairly clean, the characters are likeable and intelligent and there are a plethora of suspects and lots of red herrings. The narrative arc is well controlled and the plot moves along at a good pace. I never found my interest flagging at any point in the read. There's a sort of Agatha Raisin vibe going on with big city girl Greer taking up a position as a librarian in a small-town public library. She's smart and fashion conscious ("Is that Prada?") and sophisticated as well as vulnerable. Since it's a librarian cozy, there are of course book tie-ins and title name-dropping. One of my favorite features of librarian cozies is the suggestions for titles, series, and authors with which I was previously unfamiliar. I found a couple of good ones to follow up on as a nice bonus. I suspect most of the titles and series mentioned will be familiar to most readers. The Patricia Wentworth mention was especially nice, and I've been revisiting Miss Silver all weekend because of it. The climax and denouement are well done. It is a fun cozy and full of the things which we all love about small-town cozies (including an adorable French bulldog!). Four stars. Highly recommended to fans of the genre. Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    The Unkindness of Ravens by M. E. Hilliard is a Greer Hogan mystery and totally new to this dedicated cozy reader. Greer, 37, had survived her husband's murder in New York City several years ago. She was a suspect at first, but quickly eliminated but she still had a guilty conscience. Should she have been home? Should she not have been talking to Ian? She sold up, got her Masters' degree and had come to Raven Hill Manor to be a librarian, which she was: the NEW librarian after two years. Now she The Unkindness of Ravens by M. E. Hilliard is a Greer Hogan mystery and totally new to this dedicated cozy reader. Greer, 37, had survived her husband's murder in New York City several years ago. She was a suspect at first, but quickly eliminated but she still had a guilty conscience. Should she have been home? Should she not have been talking to Ian? She sold up, got her Masters' degree and had come to Raven Hill Manor to be a librarian, which she was: the NEW librarian after two years. Now she had discovered the body of her friend Joanna. They had been in the same dorm in college and had reconnected when Greer moved here. Was it an accident or murder? Looked like it could be either. Greer was conversant with books but she channeled Trixie Belden, always her favorite over Nancy Drew. Now she had to rein her in before she got in trouble. There is not better researcher than a librarian, Greer included. She shouldn't be investigating, but researching? And reaching out to patrons? Like al amateur sleuths, she is a past master at justification. Greer is a terrific character, not young, not old. She lives by herself with her octogenarian neighbor Henri, always ready to help and cook her dinner. Henri has a dog, Pierre, who Greer is able to borrow for comfort and take for walks as an excuse to wander the town. The mystery as all mysteries are, was convoluted, rooted in the past, and difficult to unravel. Greer's research skills were put to the test, as were Joanna's notes, taken in an attempt to investigate something, which led to her murder. Everybody wants those notes it seems like. Greer's life is fun; she's adjusting well to it. The book is entertaining. The mystery interesting and requires concentration. All-in-all, it is a book to be read and enjoyed. I hope you do that. I was invited to read a free ARC of The Unkindness of Ravens by Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine. #netgalley #theunkindnessofravens

  17. 4 out of 5

    Suanne

    M.E. Hilliard’s debut novel, The Unkindness of Ravens, grabbed me from the first page. I was hooked by the first person narrator, Greer Hogan, a former New York City high-powered executive who turns into a small town librarian after the death of her husband. Greer’s intelligence and personality shine through from the onset. I immediately bonded with a gal who’s read all the Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew mysteries and prefers Trixie to Nancy because Trixie “got into more trouble.” Greer is uncerta M.E. Hilliard’s debut novel, The Unkindness of Ravens, grabbed me from the first page. I was hooked by the first person narrator, Greer Hogan, a former New York City high-powered executive who turns into a small town librarian after the death of her husband. Greer’s intelligence and personality shine through from the onset. I immediately bonded with a gal who’s read all the Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew mysteries and prefers Trixie to Nancy because Trixie “got into more trouble.” Greer is uncertain Nancy’s boyfriend Ned Nickerson, who Greer had always envisioned as a Ken doll, was even “anatomically correct.” She’s much more attracted to Trixie Beldon’s beau. Jim Frayne had a “working-class background … and came into a pile of money at an early age” and became “a prototype Nora Roberts hero.” Despite this irreverent look at childhood heroines, Hilliard aligns her protagonist with these girl detectives, as well as others within the mystery genre, including Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple and Hercules Poirot. Hilliard has also done a bang-up job in creating a chilling atmosphere complete with a spooky, creaky old mansion-turned-public-library, populated by dark Victorian images of the former owners of the manor. the requisite nooks and crannies, creaking floors, and drafty windows, and ravens inside and out—and hints of the supernatural as well. The suspense rises as Greer, whose husband was murdered in NYC, finds a dead body in the library. The book is well-plotted as the body count rises. It’s well-written, sort of a cozy mystery with a bit of an edge to it. I’m eager for the second book in this series. I received an advanced copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and impartial review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Belinda Witzenhausen

    4.5 rounded up I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Unkindness of Ravens, A Greer Hogan Mystery #1 by M. E. Hilliard from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review. …a clever suspenseful mystery that is intriguing and highly entertaining… Atmospheric and suspenseful, The Unkindness of Ravens is a brilliant debut from author M.E. Hillard. Librarian Greer Hogan is a lifelong fan of mysteries, beginning with the likes of Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew. After the m 4.5 rounded up I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Unkindness of Ravens, A Greer Hogan Mystery #1 by M. E. Hilliard from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review. …a clever suspenseful mystery that is intriguing and highly entertaining… Atmospheric and suspenseful, The Unkindness of Ravens is a brilliant debut from author M.E. Hillard. Librarian Greer Hogan is a lifelong fan of mysteries, beginning with the likes of Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew. After the murder of her husband Greer goes from Corporate New York Executive to small town Raven Hill Librarian looking for a fresh start. Her fresh start comes to an abrupt end when she stumbles across the body of her best friend Joanna Goodhue in the library’s hidden stairwell. Although initially she becomes a suspect, the police declare Joanna’s death an accident. Greer’s memories of her husband’s murder combined with her intuition tell her there is much more to the story, and channeling her literary heroes, Greer puts her researching skills to effective use, determined to find justice for her friend. When she begins asking too many questions, she catches the attention of the killer putting herself in their path. I loved everything about the book, the literary references, a strong female protagonist, and a creepy Gothic mansion turned Raven Hill Library, which with its secret passages and creepy portraits becomes a character in itself. Reminiscent of Agatha Christie, M.E. Hilliard has crafted a clever suspenseful mystery that is intriguing and highly entertaining. The plot although a little slow to develop was filled with twists and suspenseful turns, I could not put it down. A must read for those who enjoy mysteries. I loved it and would highly recommend it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Just look at that cover! If our library looked...and felt...like that I'd live in it. Clever title, too. This is the first in the Greer Hogan Mystery series. It was a charming and atmospheric read on a snowy November day, though the book doesn't take place in winter. It just...fit. Greer, the librarian at her village library housed in a manor, has moved from New York only a handful of years ago to start anew. As such, she has developed superficial friendships, none very deep. Greer finds her clos Just look at that cover! If our library looked...and felt...like that I'd live in it. Clever title, too. This is the first in the Greer Hogan Mystery series. It was a charming and atmospheric read on a snowy November day, though the book doesn't take place in winter. It just...fit. Greer, the librarian at her village library housed in a manor, has moved from New York only a handful of years ago to start anew. As such, she has developed superficial friendships, none very deep. Greer finds her closest friend (though not very close) in a heap at the bottom of the attic stairs at the manor. This leads to other discoveries including mysteries from the past as Greer investigates along with a female police officer. References to authors such as Sayers, Wentworth and Christie are fun. Greer is in her 30s and thankfully has had some life experience. And skeletons in her closet. She is enterprising and quick which I like. She needs to be to figure out who killed her friend and why. Not only that but the attic houses mysteries (hopefully more in subsequent books!). The sometimes predictable, it is.not necessarily of the murders (yes, plural) but in general. But overall an enjoyable light book which is what I needed after reading some heavier material. If you enjoy creaky floorboards, dark dusty attics, shadowy figures, wonky windows and old musty books in your cozy mysteries, this is your cup of tea. My sincere thank you to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this delightful book in exchange for an honest review. Much appreciated.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lesa

    Anyone who read the girl detectives, Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden, will appreciate the opening of M.E. Hilliard’s debut mystery, The Unkindness of Ravens. Hilliard, who went back to school to become a librarian, introduces Greer Hogan, who went back to get a degree in library science for her second career. But, Greer, who tells how much she loved Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden, blames them. Now, “I was a girl detective with a laptop instead of a roadster.” Greer has only been at the Raven Hill Publi Anyone who read the girl detectives, Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden, will appreciate the opening of M.E. Hilliard’s debut mystery, The Unkindness of Ravens. Hilliard, who went back to school to become a librarian, introduces Greer Hogan, who went back to get a degree in library science for her second career. But, Greer, who tells how much she loved Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden, blames them. Now, “I was a girl detective with a laptop instead of a roadster.” Greer has only been at the Raven Hill Public Library for six months when she heads to the rooftop terrace on the first sunny day, planning to enjoy lunch. Instead, she pushes open the door, and finds the body of her best friend, Joanna Goodhue. Like everyone in a small village, Greer Hogan has secrets. But, hers involves the night her husband was murdered. She’s afraid that murder will put her on the top of the suspect list. However, Greer knows Joanna was working on a project. She had implied she needed Greer’s help with something, but never let the librarian know what she needed. Now, Greer’s going to spend time asking questions and playing girl detective as she does her job, research. Hilliard’s debut is not a fast-paced mystery. It’s well-developed, and carefully plotted. It’s an atmospheric mystery, centered around an old, sometimes dark and creaky library building. Some readers may expect a cozy such as the library-centered ones by Jenn McKinlay or Victoria Gilbert. However, it’s darker, with ravens and foxes, and uneasiness. The Unkindness of Ravens is an intriguing debut with a clue as to where Greer Hogan is going next. I’ll be following.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Martin

    This debut mystery stars Greer Hogan who came to librarianship after a previous career in the cosmetics industry in New York City. Her guilt about the death of her husband in an apparent home invasion caused her to look for a new career and new city. Now, she is happily settled in her new job as a librarian at Raven Hill Manor in a small New York town. She has connected with an old friend from her college days who is also a recent resident of the town and who is active in the Friends of the Libr This debut mystery stars Greer Hogan who came to librarianship after a previous career in the cosmetics industry in New York City. Her guilt about the death of her husband in an apparent home invasion caused her to look for a new career and new city. Now, she is happily settled in her new job as a librarian at Raven Hill Manor in a small New York town. She has connected with an old friend from her college days who is also a recent resident of the town and who is active in the Friends of the Library. When she discovers her friend's body after an apparent fall, she decides to find out what happened to Joanna for two reasons. She wants justice for her friend and she doesn't want to be considered a suspect. Finding two dead bodies can be really career-limiting! Greer is a devoted fan of mysteries and their detectives and needs to channel the things she has learned from all those fictional detectives from Miss Marple's nose for gossip to her own personal favorite Trixie Belden's use of teamwork. I really enjoyed the number of books and detectives that Greer mentioned throughout the book. The story required Greer to look into the past of the town and the people and to try to retrace the path Joanna forged to figure out who the killer was and why Joanna was killed. There was a nice array of suspects from Joanna's husband to her colleague at the television station where she worked to a woman who was opposed to Joanna's support for a new library building. I really enjoyed this debut and look forward to more from the author.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    From the cover, I was expecting a book along gothic lines. That is not what M. E. Hillard was offering. Other than Raven Hill library being housed in an old manor complete with weary groans and creaking floors, a raven, and sudden storms, the creepy feeling does not carry through the book. Needing a change after the death of her husband, Greer Hogan leaves New York City and an executive-level career to reinvent herself as a small-town librarian. Not allowing herself to open up to too many people, From the cover, I was expecting a book along gothic lines. That is not what M. E. Hillard was offering. Other than Raven Hill library being housed in an old manor complete with weary groans and creaking floors, a raven, and sudden storms, the creepy feeling does not carry through the book. Needing a change after the death of her husband, Greer Hogan leaves New York City and an executive-level career to reinvent herself as a small-town librarian. Not allowing herself to open up to too many people, she takes a chance and befriends Joanna Goodhue, a member of the Friends of the Library organization. When Greer discovers Joanna’s battered body at the bottom of a narrow stairway, she must divulge her past before the police uncover it on their own and decided Greer is their one and only suspect. As a bookish researcher and wanna-be girl detective in the style of Trixie Belden, Greer uses her skills to start poking around. Stepping on too many toes and more than once being told to back off, Greer does what she has to since she feels she owes her friend. Greer is hoping all along that she is on the right track and doesn’t let down yet another person who had depended on her. The middle is a bit longwinded and more twisty than it needs to be, but eventually, the pieces and gossip start coming together. By the conclusion, the reader realizes that Greer isn’t finished when it comes to her sleuthing ways, and “The Unkindness of Ravens” is just opening the door for Greer Hogan as she contemplates returning to New York City to solve the mystery of her murdered husband.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alison C

    Greer Hogan has a new life after the death of her husband; she has left New York City and her high-powered corporate job for a Master’s program in library sciences and her first new job, that of librarian at Raven Hill, a small New York village. But when her closest friend there literally turns up dead at her feet, she realizes that she must use her investigative skills, honed as a librarian, to uncover a murderer. As her discoveries multiply, she finds herself reliving the final moments of her Greer Hogan has a new life after the death of her husband; she has left New York City and her high-powered corporate job for a Master’s program in library sciences and her first new job, that of librarian at Raven Hill, a small New York village. But when her closest friend there literally turns up dead at her feet, she realizes that she must use her investigative skills, honed as a librarian, to uncover a murderer. As her discoveries multiply, she finds herself reliving the final moments of her former life, as her husband, too, had been murdered - and she herself was a suspect…. This is the first book in a planned series featuring Greer, and it’s an entertaining cozy with frequent references to Golden Age detectives and childhood mystery favourites while being thoroughly grounded in 21st Century tech. The ending suggests that our heroine might have to return to NYC for a further investigation, but I hope not because Raven Hill is quite a lovely location and, of course, reminiscent of numerous small-village mystery novels through the years. Ms. Hilliard is herself a corporate-worker-turned-librarian, and her librarian as investigator theme rings authentic; the writing, while not amazing, is quite serviceable and I found myself liking the good guys and booing the bad guys pretty quickly; another reason to keep the setting of Raven Hill is the plethora of memorable characters who populate this small village. Altogether an auspicious debut, and I look forward to reading more of Greer’s adventures in sleuthing; recommended.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ilaria

    🔍 Greer Hogan is a librarian and an avid reader of murder mysteries. She has recently moved from New York and loves the manor that houses the library where she works. At least till she finds her closest friend dead at the bottom of the attic stairs. This murder leads to other mysteries, and Greer investigates, along with a police officer. ♥️ I liked:⁠ 🏰 The manor/library. As soon as I've started reading it, I imagined this incredible library full of nooks and crannies. It reminded me a bit of the 🔍 Greer Hogan is a librarian and an avid reader of murder mysteries. She has recently moved from New York and loves the manor that houses the library where she works. At least till she finds her closest friend dead at the bottom of the attic stairs. This murder leads to other mysteries, and Greer investigates, along with a police officer. ♥️ I liked:⁠ 🏰 The manor/library. As soon as I've started reading it, I imagined this incredible library full of nooks and crannies. It reminded me a bit of the one where the film Pagemaster takes place. I really loved it. 👻 The gloomy atmosphere. I don't know if it's because of the cover, or because I started reading it around Halloween, but I really felt that this book was the perfect read for this period of the year. An old haunted manor, a dreadful murder, a character that is haunted by her past... just perfect. 📚 The literary references. As I've said more than once, I love books about books, libraries or bookshops. Because I feel an immediate connection to the characters and because I am always looking for new recommendations. 🔍 The plot. Exactly what you expect from a cosy mystery: a lot of potential suspects, a puzzling (yet solvable) mystery and plenty of intrigues. 🤔 I wasn't so sure about:⁠ 👩 The main character. I liked Greer, but it wasn't love at first sight. I missed the fact that she didn't really have connections in the village, she didn't have a real sidekick. There was also a lack of humanity, a lack of emotions, something to keep you glued to the book till the end. ⭐⭐⭐ 3/5⁠ A cosy mystery with great potential and an incredible gothic setting. ⁠ Thanks to @netgalley and @crookedlanebooks for the ARC.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amy Sparks

    An old mansion, with eerie family portraits, tucked-away staircases, creaking floors, and tough-to-close old windows. Throw in windy thunderstorms and a dead body. Yes, please! Greer Hogan left her six-figure job in New York City behind after her husband’s murder and began a second career as a librarian in Raven Hill, a village near Albany. When she finds her friend’s body on a small staircase, she worries that she’ll be the main suspect. Armed with her love of mystery novels, she emulates her fa An old mansion, with eerie family portraits, tucked-away staircases, creaking floors, and tough-to-close old windows. Throw in windy thunderstorms and a dead body. Yes, please! Greer Hogan left her six-figure job in New York City behind after her husband’s murder and began a second career as a librarian in Raven Hill, a village near Albany. When she finds her friend’s body on a small staircase, she worries that she’ll be the main suspect. Armed with her love of mystery novels, she emulates her favorite literary “girl detectives” to solve the murder before she’s arrested as the murderer...or becomes the next victim. Who did it, and how far are they willing to go to bury secrets? Greer’s curiosity leads her to look into nooks and crannies to find evidence. She uses the skills that make her a good librarian to research the clues she uncovers. And she never underestimates the value of neighborhood gossip. Hilliard put the cozy in cozy mystery, offering a character and plot that make it easy to curl up and enjoy the story. Greer Hogan is a likeable though haunted main character whose extreme curiosity makes her an enjoyable amateur detective. The library is a delightfully creepy character that amps up the suspense. The Unkindness of Ravens is a fun read with a character you’ll want to solve mysteries with again. Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for an advanced copy of the book in exchange for a review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    This is definitely a cozy mystery. I am not a huge fan of this sub-genre of mysteries, but a well-written one can be enjoyable. This book was interesting until the last five chapters, at which time I knew who the killer was and why they had committed the crime. With a great mystery, you guess the ending and hope you are right, being pulled along by twists, turns, and the hopeful reward that you were correct. With this one, I slogged through the last bit just to finish it. There was no surprise. This is definitely a cozy mystery. I am not a huge fan of this sub-genre of mysteries, but a well-written one can be enjoyable. This book was interesting until the last five chapters, at which time I knew who the killer was and why they had committed the crime. With a great mystery, you guess the ending and hope you are right, being pulled along by twists, turns, and the hopeful reward that you were correct. With this one, I slogged through the last bit just to finish it. There was no surprise. It was a logical ending in which the last few chapters didn’t point the spotlight at any other potential suspects. The protagonist, Greer, is an author insert - which is fine - but in general she was an uninteresting character. I have many gripes about her lack of personality and the order in which she decides to solve the two murders closest to her. I also felt there were some unacknowledged transitions that could have been character development, but were not treated as such. For example, she goes from drinking martinis (this is mentioned several times, as if it is a personality trait) to putting whiskey in her coffee at the end without any acknowledgment that she has moved in from a city, martini drinking girl to a woman with Irish heritage who likes whiskey in her coffee. It just felt careless, like Greer herself. I will give this author another shot if she publishes something new, but I Sincerely hope Greer examines her motivations a little more in the next one.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Addie BookCrazyBlogger

    Greer Hogan is like the rest of us: she loves mysteries as a kid. Sherlock, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew. Greer needed a new started after the murder of her husband. She went from Corporate Cathy to Librarian Lucy. She’s brand new at both her job and in the new village, having left New York behind for Raven Hill. She was offered the job by an old friend Joanna Goodhue, who she finds dead in the library. Devastated about the murder of her friend and angered at being implicated in another murder, Gre Greer Hogan is like the rest of us: she loves mysteries as a kid. Sherlock, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew. Greer needed a new started after the murder of her husband. She went from Corporate Cathy to Librarian Lucy. She’s brand new at both her job and in the new village, having left New York behind for Raven Hill. She was offered the job by an old friend Joanna Goodhue, who she finds dead in the library. Devastated about the murder of her friend and angered at being implicated in another murder, Greer turns girl detective and decides to go searching for clues. As Greer turns girl detective, she’s in for a couple of nasty surprises and scandals about her new small town she never expected. As Greer gets closer to the killer, she needs to watch out: or she could be next. First things first, I loved all of the mystery/thriller references in the book. From old school British detectives to mid-50’s American teen detectives, I was loving all of the references. The plot line moved well and it set the background for what’s shaping up to be a really great series. A word of warning is that the back of the book promises a deeper look into her husband’s death but it was more of a teaser for the next book while dealing with Greer’s survivor guilt. Regardless, this book shows a lot of promise for a really good new series that’s not quite cozy mystery but not gory, Saw murder either.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This new series is off to a great start. Set in a quirky library housed in an old mansion in the small town of Raven Hill this cozy got my attention from page one. Greer Hogan, the new librarian, made a major life change after her husband was murdered and went back to get a degree in library science. She moved to Raven Hill to run the library and murder followed her. Being a librarian has a skill set that makes for a great investigator and that's what Greer becomes when she finds her friend dead This new series is off to a great start. Set in a quirky library housed in an old mansion in the small town of Raven Hill this cozy got my attention from page one. Greer Hogan, the new librarian, made a major life change after her husband was murdered and went back to get a degree in library science. She moved to Raven Hill to run the library and murder followed her. Being a librarian has a skill set that makes for a great investigator and that's what Greer becomes when she finds her friend dead in the employees only area of the library. When she starts to connect the new death to others that had been ruled accidental, Greer taps into her Trixie Belden side to find out who wanted her friend, Joanna, silenced permanently. With the locals keeping secrets and the library becoming more creepy every day, Greer hopes she finds the killer before she becomes the next body in the library. Well drawn characters and a great puzzle to solve, I enjoyed this series debut and stayed up late to finish it..."just one more chapter" became "I'm not going to bed until I know who done it". That's the kind of mystery that earns five stars from me. The next in the series already has a spot on my TBR list. I hope it's not a long wait. My thanks to the publisher Crooked Lane and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    I love discovering a new cozy series that features a smart heroine and a multi-layered plot. Throw in the fact that Greer Hogan is a newly minted librarian attempting to start a new life in the small village of Raven Hill while still carrying some angst from her former life ,and I'm hooked. Greer, who left her high powered corporate job in New York to get a degree in library sciences, has landed a job at a library housed in an historic manor. She has barely began her new career path when she disc I love discovering a new cozy series that features a smart heroine and a multi-layered plot. Throw in the fact that Greer Hogan is a newly minted librarian attempting to start a new life in the small village of Raven Hill while still carrying some angst from her former life ,and I'm hooked. Greer, who left her high powered corporate job in New York to get a degree in library sciences, has landed a job at a library housed in an historic manor. She has barely began her new career path when she discovers the body of her friend, Joanna, crumpled at the bottom of a staircase. There is no dearth of suspects or motives as Greer uses her prodigious research skills and position as a librarian to uncover clues in Joanna's murder. Her search is also fueled by her guilt over the unsolved murder of her husband. Author M.E. Hilliard weaves plenty of atmosphere and even a hint or two of the supernatural into the story that often borders on the gothic, skillfully introducing characters and plot lines that promise to appear in future series entries. I know that I will be on the look out for book two with hopes of more time with Greer and her friends in Raven Hill. Full Disclosure--NetGalley and the publisher provided me with a digital ARC of this book. This is my honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Thank you to Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Librarian Greer Hogan has moved to a small town library in order to try to get over the murder of her husand, only to stumble over the body of her friend.  While the police investigate her friend's death, Greer begins to believe that something sinister is happening, and this death was not just an accident.  As she begins to investigate, she learns more about two deaths, one of which happened al Thank you to Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Librarian Greer Hogan has moved to a small town library in order to try to get over the murder of her husand, only to stumble over the body of her friend.  While the police investigate her friend's death, Greer begins to believe that something sinister is happening, and this death was not just an accident.  As she begins to investigate, she learns more about two deaths, one of which happened almost 30 years earlier, that might be tied to Joan's death.  As she gets closer to finding out the truth, the killer starts to become more brazen, and Greer begins to fear for her life.   This was a great start to a cozy series by a debut author.  Greer is an interesting mystery buff who is still haunted by the murder of her husband.  Her fellow librarians and the rest of the villagers are interesting and well-rounded, and the Raven Hill Library sounds like a great place to check out books.  Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I'll keep my eyes peeled for the next book in the series.

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