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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
Call Numbers: The Not So Quiet Life of Librarians by Syntell Smith is a workplace drama that will leave you captivated and wanting more. Set in 1994, our protagonist is Robin Walker. He is a library clerk who has just transferred to a different branch of the New York Public Library. Robin is excited about the opportunity, but he was not expecting to be caught up in the workplace drama. Somehow and for some reason, his co-workers are not happy with him and they don’t want him there. However, Robin is not a quitter and is especially undeterred by unfriendly faces. There are fights and there is drama and Robin is ready to do whatever it takes to stay out of it all. Can he keep his sanity without making his co-workers any more hostile?
I am so grateful for the character list and the library terminology glossary at the beginning of the story. I love Robin and his development. He is not perfect; he is rude, opinionated, and passionate about the things he believes in. Syntell Smith has done a wonderful job of keeping the work environment as real as possible. Oh, the conspiracy and backbiting are as authentic as it gets in the real world. Robin is a real trooper and he handles the situations well. While the pace and the development of the story are great, it is Robin and his growth that caught my attention. I adore his responses, the way he reacts in any given situation, and kudos to the author for making Robin real! His background is given due attention, his present is interesting and the prospect of the future is very much alive in the story. Call Numbers is really good, incredibly well-written, and entertaining all at once. I cannot wait for the second novel in the series.