The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections

Books x books = a happy reader. The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections by Eva Jurczyk is a cozy read with a dash of mystery.


Liesl Weiss has worked as a librarian at a university for decades. When her boss suffers a stroke, she fills his position for the interim. It’s not long before she discovers that an extremely rare and recent acquisition of a religious text has gone missing. At first, Liesl believes the text must be misplaced, but soon she suspects someone stole it. When Liesl decides to notify the police about the disappearance, she cannot wrap her head around why many are against reporting it as a theft.

Do they merely want to save the university’s reputation, or could they be hiding something?

To make matters worse, a fellow librarian also goes missing. Liesl begins to question if the two incidents are related.

Review of The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections

This story is told in dual timelines with multiple perspectives, although Liesl’s POV is the main one. It’s hard to say exactly when the book is set, but certain technology mentioned suggests that it is around the nineties. There are lots of references to discmans.

There are discussions on being a woman/woman of colour/gay while working in a field that is mainly dominated by white cisgender men.

It took a little while for me to warm up to this book, but the mystery soon drew me in.

This story will make you want to get all cozy and maybe enjoy a bowl of spicy noodles like Liesl frequently did with her family.

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Expected Publication: 25 January 2022

Thank you to Poisoned Pen Presss for an arc provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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