Review of:  The Broken Spine (A Beloved Bookroom Mystery) 

Dorothy St. James

I was excited to read this book, as the premise sounded like a fun new take on popular tropes in this genre:  library-cat-love/hate romance-secret book protector protagonist.  I wasn't disappointed since I knew what I'd be expecting, having read this author's other series (Southern Chocolate Shop Mysteries), and similar series such as Ellery Adams' Book Retreat series, Eva Gates' Lighthouse Library series, and Jenn McKinlay's Library Lovers.

The unique spin on this series is the shift from tangible books to digital, which of course is quite relevant for what is happening in society right now with everything going virtual as a result of COVID-19.  I could completely relate to the main character's resistance, as it was mine too at first.  It's always a challenge to let go of the familiar and step out into the unknown/ try new things.  However, that doesn't mean that technology or "newness" is always bad - sometimes it's for the best.  And there are both good and bad things about pretty much anything.  Tomato//Tomahto.

I was really reminded of Fiddler on the Roof when I read this book - so many people trying desperately to hang on to old traditions.  Unfortunately, I didn't see much growth in the characters over the course of the book.  Instead, they stayed pretty true to stereotypes (but I'm holding out hope for more maturation as the series continues).  And I didn't find Tru's love interest, Jace, to be likeable.  Girl can do better!

However, that being said, there was some fun humor, snappy writing, and awesome scenes with Dewey Decimal!   With all cozies, it's to be expected that you'll have to suspend some disbelief at how everything comes together in the end.  It's definitely a cute read and I'd recommend it to cozy lovers.  A light, enjoyable read with sweet characters, comic relief, and a happy ending where justice is served...well, honestly, what can be better than that?!!!

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