My Darling Detective

In his 2013 memoir, I Hate To Leave This Beautiful Place, Norman ref51d0UScgVYL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_lected on his maturation through an ever-shifting array of residences, from Michigan to Canada. The one form of continuity in Norman’s life was the public library, providing the spark for his luminous literary career. His new novel pays homage to the endurance and intrigue of libraries, as it is set in and around the Halifax Free Library. After his mother, recently retired as head librarian, inexplicably defaces a photograph during an art auction, Jacob Rigolet is left with questions about her erratic behavior, the significance of the photograph, and the true identity of his own father. Literally born in the Halifax Free Library, Jacob begins to piece together his childhood memories among the stacks in an attempt to solve the puzzle. Along with his fiancée, Martha, the detective assigned to the case, he soon discovers that the answers to his questions are tied to a cold murder case back in 1945. VERDICT Norman punctuates literary noir’s “darkness within” with both poignancy and a penchant for humor. Librarians will appreciate the nod to library and information science.