Death Checked Out


Death Checked Out: A Larkspur Library Mystery
by Leah Dobrinska

About Death Checked Out

Death Checked Out: A Larkspur Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Level Best Books (December 6, 2022)
Number of Pages ~300
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BHJJ1QRT

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,

Q&A With the Author

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

When I was visiting the Wisconsin Northwoods with my family, returning to a place I had spent so many childhood summers, I had this idea for a mystery. I’d never written in the genre before—though I grew up on Nancy Drew!—but I thought to myself, why not write it? My intention was to write it for me. I truly didn’t think anyone else would ever read it! I wrote the story I wanted to read, with the setting based off of my own experiences ‘up north’. Getting to craft a story in a place that means so much to me and has so much nostalgia attached to it was one of my favorite parts of this process. That, and creating characters like Greta and her librarian pals, Josie and Iris, with whom I’d want to be friends. 

Do you have any other books you are working on that you can tell us about?

I’m hard at work on the second book in the Larkspur Library mystery series. I can’t say much at this point, but as you might have guessed, murder once again darkens the quaint streets of Larkspur, in this case during the much anticipated fall festival. Greta finds herself back in the sleuthing game as she works to save the town’s tourist reputation.

Can you tell us about what you have planned for the future?

I often say I have too many ideas and not enough time to write them! It’s a good problem to have! 

After I polish book two in the Larkspur Library Mystery series, it’ll go through the editing process with my publisher, and I’ll get started writing book three. I have a rough outline for that story in my head, and I’m excited to get it down on paper.

I’ve also written the first draft of the first book in a new cozy mystery series. I haven’t done anything with it yet, and it will still require a lot of editing on my end. If I get it to a point where I’m confident enough in the story, I’ll turn it over to my agent to see what she thinks, and then hopefully we’ll take that manuscript out on submission and see if we can find it a publishing home.

While my cozy mysteries are at various stages of publication, I plan to continue to write in the romance genre. I’ve independently published three small town romances, Love at On Deck Café, Good To Be Home, and Together With You. They are all set in the fictional town of Mapleton, and they read very much like Hallmark movies. My readers love them, and I hope to return to Mapleton soon.

Last but not least, I’ve been tinkering with a new story in the romcom genre. If all goes well, I plan to independently publish it in 2023.

Like I said…so many stories to write, so little time!

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing my whole life. I still remember the first sentence I ever wrote: I like trees. I’ve come a long way, I hope! I’ve always believed words have power—power to bring healing, hope, and happiness. 

I got my degree in English Literature, but I didn’t start to pursue fiction writing until 2013 when I participated in my first National Novel Writing Month, a global challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November. I succeeded, though my story was terrible. There was no plot, no character arcs, no real point. Still, I was hooked on the art of creating book worlds. 

After that, I wrote three more full length novels before publishing a fourth, Love at On Deck Café, a small town romance novel, in 2021. Earlier this year, I followed that book up with two more romances set in the same world, Good To Be Home and Together With You. Death Checked Out is my debut cozy mystery. 

I feel the most like myself when I’m writing, so I have no plans to stop anytime soon.   

Anything more you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Thank you, dear readers, for taking a chance on my stories. Of all the books in the world, I don’t take it for granted that you’ve landed on one of mine. Like I said, I love the process of creating characters we can all root for and dreamy settings we’d like to visit. But writing and books are most fun when they are shared. It’s a true gift to get to share them with you. 

I love to interact with readers and fellow book lovers, so please connect with me! I’m active on Instagram and Facebook and my author newsletter community is one of my very favorite things. Happy reading!

Author Links



Amazon Author Page:






Purchase Links – AmazonB&N

Death Checked Out Purchase link (Barnes & Noble): Coming soon!


December 12 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, EXCERPT

December 12 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

December 12 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

December 13 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

December 13 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST

December 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW  

December 14 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 15 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

December 15 – Elza Reads – REVIEW

December 16 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

December 16 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT


December 17 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

December 18 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – REVIEW

December 18 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT

December 19 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

December 19 – Jane Reads – AUTHOR GUEST POST

December 20 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR GUEST POST

December 20 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

December 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

December 21 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

December 22 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

December 22 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 23 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

December 23 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!


  1. Thank you for the interview! I always love finding new authors and this book sounds terrific! Have a blessed holiday season and thank you for the giveaway!


Post a Comment

Wait! Stop! Are you leaving the same old comment on all the blog pages? Try switching things up a bit. I love reading your comments, but if its the same thing each time... it feels like spam. And NO ONE likes spam...
Please make sure the comments you leave are related to the post, and are at least eight words in length.

Recent Posts

Recent Posts Widget