Cozy Mysteries set in a Library

What’s cozier than a cozy mystery that takes place in a library? A cozy mystery falls in the mystery / crime genre. Some of the traits of a cozy mystery are the violence taking place off-page, a cast of quirky supporting characters, and an amateur sleuth. In our case today, we are looking at cozy mysteries where the crime-solver’s day job is working as a librarian!

42nd Street Library Mysteries by Cornelius Lehane – Con Lehane’s 42nd Street Library Mysteries feature librarian and reluctant sleuth Raymond Ambler, curator of the (fictional) crime fiction collection at New York City’s landmark 42nd Street Library. Raymond is a doggedly curious fellow who uncovers murderous secrets hidden behind the majestic marble building.
First title of series: Murder at the 42nd Street Library. Total number in series: 5

Cat in the Stacks by Miranda James – Charlie Harris is a widowed librarian who knows how to search for clues. Diesel is a Maine coon cat who likes to go on walks. Together this duo is known for cracking the case when a murder occurs in the college town of Athena, Mississippi.
First title of series: Murder Past Due. Total number in series: 16

First Edition Library Mysteries by Marty Wingate – The First Edition Library Mysteries are set in the lovely spa town of Bath, England. Here we find Hayley Burke, curator of an impressive collection of books from the Golden Age of Mystery—Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, Margery Allingham, and all the rest. Too bad Hayley has never read a detective story in her life.
First title of series: The Bodies in the Library. Total number in series: 3

The Haunted Library Mysteries by Allison Brook – Ghosts, books, and cats, oh my! This is a ‘spirited’ cozy mystery series about a sleuthing Connecticut librarian, her paranormal sidekick, and the library’s resident cat. Carrie Singleton works as the head of programs and events at the haunted local library, complete with its own librarian ghost.
First title of series: Death Overdue. Total number in series: 8

Lakeside Library Mysteries by Holly Danvers – Rain Wilmot runs an informal library out of her family’s waterfront log cabin in Lofty Pines, Wisconsin. Between snowed in winters and busy touristy summers, there is never a dull moment in the Northwoods, especially as the locals keep turning up murdered!
First title of series: Murder at the Lakeside Library. Total number in series: 3

Lighthouse Library Mystery by Eva Gates – Determined to rewrite her life, Lucy leaves her job pouring over the rare tomes of literature for the Harvard Library. It’s a dream come true when she arrives in the Outer Banks and lands a librarian job at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library, but theft and murder could derail her happy ending.
First title of series: By Book or By Crook. Total number in series: 11

Excuse me, you’ve got some Type on your Face

The Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin contains over 1.5 million pieces, and is the only museum dedicated to the preservation, study, production and printing of wood type. That in itself is pretty cool, but there is something even more amazing about this particular museum: a visitor can actually feel, hold, and USE most of the historic collection!

Typeface, a documentary by filmmaker Justine Nagan, takes the viewer into the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum and shows the difficulties surrounding the need of preserving tools that are both part of a dying craft and an increasingly popular artform, as well as the hardships facing museums and similar institutions in the current economic climate. This film really shines when it shows the relationships between the volunteers who are mostly divided into two categories: townsfolk retired from the former Hamilton factory and artists visiting from the big Midwestern cities. The artists are all eager students attempting to learn the endangered-of-being-lost skills of cutting wood type and maintaining letterpress machines, while also trying to use their time to produce pieces of art with the largest collection of wood type they may ever have access to. My absolute favorite part of the film is when one of the elderly, former Hamilton employees displays the artwork given to him over the years by the artists he has helped. Although he seems rather bewildered by the art at first, his brief descriptions of the pieces begin to reveal an increased understanding of the artist’s intentions. Typeface frequently aims to blur the lines between artists and craftsmen, while still highlighting the expertise they provide for the museum.

Unfortunately, the movie ends on a bit of a downer, but a quick visit to the website for the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum shows that things must be looking sunnier (for example, maybe you’ve see the new clothing line at Target made using Hamilton wood type). I know that, thanks to Typeface, I sure am planning a visit!