Israel Armstrong is a librarian who hasn’t had a lot going for him so far. His girlfriend is only semi-committed to the relationship, and he’s stuck working at a bookstore in a mall when he dreams of being the head librarian at a prestigious university. So when he gets a job as the librarian of the Tumdrum and District Public Library in Northern Ireland, he decides this is the chance of a lifetime. And then he arrives to discover that the library branch has been closed. His job is now to drive the mobile library around. Except there are no books in the mobile library. What's a librarian to do?
Israel as a detective in an Irish town where he doesn’t know a soul is extremely amusing. The townspeople are not exactly inclined to be helpful. You definitely feel for Israel as he enters one ridiculous situation after another. Anyone who loves books or has been in an awkward situation will relate to Israel’s attempts to do his job. And every character you meet adds to your enjoyment of this book. My one complaint is that it was rather more down-to-earth than I was hoping for. I was looking for a romantic, idealized view of life in Ireland, while this book provides a more realistic view. This is really my own fault more than anything, but it did keep me from completely loving the book.
Israel’s adventures continue in other books in this series, since he is still far from being comfortable in Tumdrum, Northern Ireland. One can hope that he will soon feel at home (for his sake), and yet continue to be out of his element (for our sake) as his career as a librarian continues.