Character Interview – Josie
Death Checked Out by Leah Dobrinska
Good morning! Welcome to Larkspur Community Library. My name is Josie Sinclair. I’m one of the librarians here. I’m so glad you stopped by.
It’s just me at the moment. Usually, my coworkers, Greta and Iris, are around, but I sent them to lunch over at Mugs & Hugs, the best café in Larkspur, and I’m managing things while they’re on their break.
It’s just the three of us on staff here. We complement each other well, if I do say so myself. We’re small in number, but mighty in spirit.
Greta has been our director for the past four months. I was on the hiring committee when she interviewed, and she won me over almost immediately. She’s got a great vision for the library. Her goal is to make it a community hub—a place where people can gather and interact with each other; where they can find the information and resources they need to live their best lives; where they can feel safe and respected and at home. I admire her and her ideas, and you better believe I fought hard against some of the library board members who were taken aback by Greta’s more progressive approach to libraries. There are some who would like to make these amazing spaces dull and drab, enforcing fines without mercy and sticking to strict no talking policies at all times.
What kind of atmosphere would that be? Not one many people would want to spend time in, that’s for sure!
Fortunately, our town mayor, Sandra Collins, backed me up, and we hired Greta. She’s been doing a wonderful job so far.
I’m a little worried at the moment because Greta found a dead body in town. I can hardly believe I’m saying that. It’s awful.
Larkspur is usually pretty boring. I mean, it’s gorgeous and tourists visit year round, so there’s always people coming and going and something going on—water activities in the summer and snow sports in the winter. We’re in the Wisconsin Northwoods, after all.
But nothing ground-breaking ever really happens here. Nothing like murder, at least.
Then again, I listen to a lot of true crime podcasts, and it’s always the least suspecting people and places that are plagued with the worst crimes.
And that’s what I’m worried about. The detective who’s looking into the suspicious death of the town recluse keeps hinting that he suspects Greta had something to do with the man’s death. There’s absolutely no way that’s true, and we intend to prove it.
Greta is suspicious of the owner of a local resort, Ed Kennedy. My feelings about Ed are…complicated. But I’m not here to talk to you about that. Not yet anyway. And I’ll set it all aside to help Greta clear her name and figure this out.
The third prong in our librarian trio, Iris, is also helping us on the case, though if you ask me, she’s a little too love-sick to provide much by way of assistance. Greta keeps reminding me that Iris is in the honeymoon stage of her relationship with Dean, a local businessman, and I’m trying to be understanding, but it sucks that she keeps choosing him over us.
Listen to me. I sound like such a whiner.
Sorry about that. I guess my nerves are just shot. Hopefully we’re able to turn
up something soon and close the book on this murder investigation. We’ve got a
fall festival to plan and some relentless library board members to ward off. I
want to see Greta in her position for a long time to come, and I’m worried that
if we don’t figure this out soon, she’ll either leave town on her own or be
forced out…if she’s not thrown in jail first.
About Death Checked Out
She’s used to checking out books. A death? Not so much.
Greta Plank, resident librarian in the small, lakeside town of Larkspur, Wisconsin, prefers her rose-tinted glasses extra rosy, thank you very much. Ever since a family tragedy landed her in Larkspur, she’s kept a happy-or-bust outlook. But Greta’s cheery resolve takes a hit when she finds the town recluse dead at the base of the stairs leading from his deck to the lake. What she assumes is a terrible accident Greta soon learns is something more sinister, and to make matters worse, new-to-town Detective Mark McHenry cites her as not only his primary source for the case, but his top suspect.
To clear her name and return to life as she knew it before the murder, Greta decides to do some clue cataloging of her own. After all, she’s got her master’s degree in library science with an emphasis in research methodology…how hard could a criminal investigation be? With the help of her fellow librarians and her lawyer mom, Greta begins checking out the pages of the murder, uncovering details about the recluse’s rare book collection and Larkspur’s real estate market as she tries to understand why anyone would have authored his death.
But with friends and neighbors stacking up as both victims and suspects, Greta must cross-reference the facts and put a hold on her idyllic worldview if she wants to get the full story without paying the fine of her life.
About Leah Dobrinska
Leah Dobrinska is the author of the Larkspur Library Mysteries, a cozy mystery series set in the Wisconsin Northwoods, and the Mapleton novels, a series of standalone small town romances. She earned her degree in English Literature from UW-Madison and has since worked as a freelance writer, editor, and content marketer. As a kid, she hoped to grow up to be either Nancy Drew or Elizabeth Bennet. Now, she fulfills that dream by writing mysteries and love stories. Death Checked Out is her debut cozy mystery.
A sucker for a good sentence, a happy ending, and the smell of books—both old and new—Leah lives out her very own happily ever after in a small Wisconsin town with her husband and their gaggle of kids. When she's not writing, handing out snacks, or visiting local parks, Leah enjoys reading and running. Find out more about Leah, join her newsletter community, and connect with her through her website, leahdobrinska.com.