The Reading Circle by Ashton Lee

Booklist  review

Having dodged a bullet when Cherico’s city council granted her a one-year reprieve in which to prove that her library was a vital town institution, spunky librarian Maura Beth Mayhew is dismayed to learn that her nemesis, councilman Sparks, still has another round of ammo left in his chamber. Determined to divert library funds to pay for an industrial park that will bear his name, Sparks plants a ringer to spy on the regular meetings of the library’s burgeoning Cherry Cola Book Club. But Mayhew discovers she has an unimpeachable insider of her own when Sparks’ former secretary joins the group. While romantic entanglements otherwise distract most of the club members and prey upon Mayhew herself, it takes an act of God to bring the standoff between the librarian and the politician to a head. The challenges of keeping any library anywhere open and effectively serving its patrons is a problem facing most communities. Lee (The Cherry Cola Book Club, 2013) brings these salient topics to light in an unpredictably entertaining series. –Carol Haggas

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