When a murder desecrates the somber, book-lined halls of New York City’s iconic 42nd Street Library, Raymond Ambler, the library’s curator of crime fiction, has a personal interest in solving the crime. His quest to solve the murder is complicated by personal entanglements involving his friend―or perhaps more-than-friend―Adele Morgan. Not only does Adele’s relationship with the young woman staffer who was murdered get in the way of Ambler’s investigation, more disturbing for him is Adele’s growing interest in a darkly handsome Islamic scholar.
Soon the Intelligence Division of the New York Police Department takes over the case from NYPD homicide detective Mike Cosgrove, Ambler’s friend and sometimes partner-in-crime solving. Ambler suspects that the murder of the young woman, who’d been working at the library under an assumed name and the curious intervention of NYPD’s intelligence division are connected. The trail of intrigue leads to a seemingly unrelated murder in an upstate prison and a long ago murder of a trade union reformer.
No one else sees the connections Ambler is sure are there―not an unusual state of affairs for Ambler. But with the city’s law enforcement establishment determined to stop his investigation, the inquisitive and intrepid librarian faces challenges that may put his very life at risk.
What they’re saying:
“Con Lehane has the whole package here: characters the reader cares about, plot twists like a grand slalom course, and in the middle of it, a story utterly relevant to the real-life horror story unfolding in America’s immigration politics.”
—Sara Paretsky, New York Times bestselling author of the V.I. Warshawski series
“The second title in a nicely bookish series, this one highlights the formidable memory and ratiocinative skills of Ambler, the curator of crime fiction at the landmark New York Public Library.”
—New York Times Book Review (Read full review)
“A nicely constructed murder mystery with an air of espionage. The past and present are nimbly woven into an intriguing tapestry that makes Murder in the Manuscript Room as much about our culture as it is about murder.”
—Mystery Scene (Read full review)
“Highly atmospheric, this book really gives a feel for the environs of New York in the winter as well as the relationships between characters.”
—Chicago Public Library Blog
“Murder in the Manuscript Room caught my attention because not only does its crime take place in a great library, its detective is also a believable librarian. That hook, though, brought me into a whole world of well-developed characters—relatives, crooks, good cops, bad cops, possible terrorists, and a plot ranging in scope from New York high society soirees down through back rooms in great neighborhood bars.”
—Thomas Mann, author of The Oxford Guide to Library Research
“A smart, compelling mystery in which the characters themselves are at least as interesting as the striking sleuthing.”
“The worlds of crime and literature are weaved together seamlessly throughout the book… The characters were distinct, and the plot was intricate.”
—Criminal Element (Read full review)