The Spokane Public Library, (and perhaps your library also), provides more services all the time. The ones I find particularly useful are these:
- Refereed reviews from Publisher's Weekly, School Library Journal, Library Journal Review and others.
- Fiction & Biography, which lists the book's characters, genre, topics, setting, and awards
- Goodreads reader reviews
- NoveList recommendations for other books in the series
- NoveList recommendations for other, similar books
- NoveList recommendations for other, similar authors
- NovelList's list of awards the book has won
- NextReads' newsletter of similar books
- A summary of the novel
- A link to the library's holdings of that author
And there are more. I've used various of these tools to find new writers and other books that fit into categories I particularly like or need. Here's one recommendation:
"If you enjoy 'The body in the transept,' you may also enjoy 'The burglar on the prowl.' Both are character-driven and witty Cozy mystery stories, Gentle Reads, and mystery stories about Murder investigation."
I particularly like that "Gentle Reads" category, which assures me there will not be small children and animals slaughtered in hecatombs and will probably spare me a car chase at the end of the book. Sometimes one needs a Gentle Read.
You, too, can harvest all this information by searching the Spokane Library catalog. You need not have a library card unless you want to borrow a book. And of course Spokane is not alone. My old library system, Virginia's Fairfax County Library has a catalog also run by SirsiSynix and offering many of the same goodies. Also useful are the Boston Public Library, Seattle Public Library, and for that matter, the Manchester (England) Public Library.