Murder at the College Library
by Con Lehane

Crime-fiction librarian – and reluctant amateur sleuth – Ray Ambler gets mixed up in murder once again when he’s called to appraise a mystery-novel collection at an exclusive New York college.

An invitation from a prestigious liberal arts college to buy their mystery-novel collection comes as a welcome surprise for Raymond Ambler, crime-fiction curator at New York City’s prestigious 42nd Street Library. But his pleasure quickly turns sour when the collection’s curator – Ambler’s friend Sam Abernathy – tells him he plans to fight the acquisition tooth and nail.

The collection would make a fine addition to his holdings, but Ambler’s not looking for drama. It’s a shame, then, that drama’s looking for him. Just a couple of weeks later, one of Abernathy’s colleagues is shot dead from the library’s roof, and all signs point to the crime-loving professor as the perpetrator of the violent act.

Why would Abernathy kill – and was it for his collection, for college politics, or for some dark secret yet to be revealed? Ambler’s not sure his old friend’s a killer, but he is sure he wants justice – for both the living and the dead.

Working with his son John, he launches into an investigation at the college library, and it’s not long before he discovers missing manuscripts, explosive secrets and scandals amongst the faculty staff . . . and a cunning killer who’ll stop at nothing to cover up their crimes.

The 42nd Street Library mystery series blends traditional mystery with a hint of noir, and is a great pick for fans of quintessential New York writers like Ed McBain and SJ Rozan, along with those who enjoy traditional amateur sleuths and fair-play puzzles.


“Lehane still has a few tricks up his sleeve”

Kirkus Reviews

“Laid-back noir”


“A treat . . . Draws us in and keeps us firmly glued to the page”

Booklist on Murder by Definition

“Intriguing . . . Those with a taste for noir lite will want to check this out”

Publishers Weekly on Murder by Definition

“Lehane’s complex follow-up to Murder Off the Page will interest fans . . . [and] readers who enjoy cold-case stories”

Library Journal on Murder by Definition

“Fans and new readers will enjoy solving Ambler’s latest puzzle”

Booklist on Murder off the Page

“An apt choice for bibliophiles and those who like a New York City setting”

Booklist on Murder off the Page

“Atmospheric setting . . . Those who love New York City and libraries will be rewarded”

Publishers Weekly on Murder off the Page

“Plot twists and multiple points of view add to a gritty, complex tale that weaves details of library work and references to crime novels throughout the story”

Booklist on Murder in the Manuscript Room

“Intense, thought-provoking”

Library Journal on Murder in the Manuscript Room

Con Lehane

Con Lehane is a mystery writer, living in Washington, DC. He is the author of the 42nd Street Library mysteries, featuring Raymond Ambler, curator of the library’s (fictional) crime fiction collection. He’s also the author of three mysteries featuring New York City bartender Brian McNulty, and has published short stories in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.Over the years, he has been a college professor, union organizer and labor journalist, and has tended bar at two-dozen or so drinking establishments. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in fiction writing from Columbia University School of the Arts and teaches writing at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

View author page


Murder at the College Library by Con Lehane is available in the following formats

Hardback97807278230525th March 2024145 X 220mm240$29.99
Hardback97807278230525th March 2024145 X 220mm240£21.99
Ebook97814483133035th March 2024N/A240$24.99
Ebook97814483133035th March 2024N/A240£20.99
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