Friday, March 13, 2009

Lethal Legacy by Linda Fairstein

Tina Barr, a former New York Public Library librarian and freelance curator, is attacked in her apartment but refuses medical treatment and won't talk to Assistant District Attorney Alex "Coop" Cooper or Homicide Detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace about the incident. Then, days later another woman is found dead in Tina's apartment, the housekeeper of the landlady, and there is no trace of Tina.

Coop, Mike, and Mercer soon learn that the owner of the apartment, Minerva Hunt, is the daughter of the eccentric Jasper Hunt III, who donated a large collection of rare maps and books to the NYPL. The detectives are questioning why the housekeeper was dressed in a business suit and clutching a rare edition book. Did the killer mistake the housekeeper for Minerva? And more importantly, what is Minerva hiding? The case becomes even more disturbing when the librarian's body turns up with a slashed throat in Bryant Park, just minutes away from the Library.

The hunt for the killer takes Coop and her team into the underground tunnels and hidden collections of the New York Public Library. It is there that they discover that the murders have something to do with the world's rarest and most valuable map, which happens to be divided into 12 panels, 11 that are missing. What is it about rare map collection that has become so deadly?

Librarians, bibliophiles, and history buffs will relish each and every detail about the history and rare collections of the NYPL, and anyone looking for a good page-turner will definitely something to like here. Be sure to check out the Fairstein's behind the scenes tour of the New York Public Library, where she talks about her research for the book, at http://www.lindafairstein.com/.

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