New Release Spotlight: The Department of Rare Books & Special Collections

Today I’m featuring a book that sounds like it might as well have been written just for me. I think I am more excited about this release than I ever have been before about an author by whom I haven’t read anything else!

About the Book

The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections

Title: The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections

Author: Eva Jurczyk

Genre: Contemporary Mystery

Synopsis: What holds more secrets in the library: the ancient books shelved in the stacks or the people who preserve them?

Liesl Weiss has been (mostly) happy working in the rare books department of a large university, managing details and working behind the scenes to make the head of the department look good. But when her boss has a stroke and she’s left to run things, she discovers that the library’s most prized manuscript is missing.

Liesl tries to sound the alarm and inform the police about the missing priceless book but is told repeatedly to keep quiet to keep the doors open and the donors happy. But then a librarian goes missing as well. Liesl must investigate both disappearances, unspooling her colleagues’ pasts like the threads of a rare book binding as it becomes clear that someone in the department must be responsible for the theft. What Liesl discovers about the dusty manuscripts she has worked among for so long—and about the people who preserve and revere them—shakes the very foundation on which she has built her life.

Have I Read Other Books By This Author? No, this book is a debut.

Working in a special collections department is one of my dream jobs. I took a class about Rare Books in 2021, and as soon as I saw this book and read its synopsis I knew it would be one I want to read.

I was surprised to see my library’s copies processed and ready to go before today, but that means I’ve already been able to start reading it! I have to admit that so far, it hasn’t lived up to my expectations. I’m about a quarter of the way through and hoping that things will get more interesting and less distasteful soon.

Do you have a favorite book about a niche library/librarian?

Until the next chapter,


4 thoughts on “New Release Spotlight: The Department of Rare Books & Special Collections

Add yours

  1. When I volunteered at the library there were local history books under lock and key . The older ones are rare, especially with maps. They were all former reference books, but it was discovered that someone had been cutting out pictures and diagrams, imagine. Hence they got locked away. There is nothing more exciting than a book which is behind locked doors! Yes I can imagine your excitement, hope the book improves

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They sound so intriguing! What a shame that someone defaced them. We keep some local history items in a locked case as well, but I think it is more about keeping them in the best environmental conditions than for safety.


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