This novel seems to be the 11th of the Alexandra Cooper series by Fairstein, so I had to dive into a closely knit set of characters, well-known to Fairstein afficionados. And I immediately took to Alex, Assistant DA in New York (like her creator Fairstein used to be) and her partners, detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace. They truly work as a team, and even their superior, DA Paul Battaglia, is full of support and good will, quite a change from all those lonely wolves like Harry Bosch et al, who spend more energy fighting the crime fighting establishment than the criminal.
Anyway, it all starts with Cooper being called into an apartment, where Tina Barr, a young woman working as a restaurator for the New York Public Library, has been assaulted. When Alex wants to talk to her in the hospital, she has released herself from there and disappeared, later found murdered. Another young woman is killed in Tina´s apartment, who worked as a cleaner for very rich Minerva Hunt, member of the famous Hunt family, who once donated their extremely valuable library to the NYPL.
Cooper and her team soon suspect, that the murders have to do with that legacy and interview the members of the museum´s board, all donors and filthy rich.
But Fairstein, it turns out to the reader´s distress, is a lot more interested in telling everything about the Library and the treasures it hides than the reader in hearing it. A bit like Dan Brown in “The Lost Symbol” his Washington, she can´t praise her New York´s cultural beacon, the Public Library, enough. And it is the Waldseemüller Map from 1507 that everybody wants to lay his hands on, which is extremely diffcult, as it comes in several pieces.
Fairstein is not satisfied showing off her erudition as regards precious books and maps, but she also knows her Shakespeare, and to top it all, French and French cuisine, courtesy of Alexandra´s French lover - chef.
A bit too much distraction from the real plot, so this reader here feels rather exhausted, when the happy ending is finally reached.