Thursday, November 27, 2008

Homicide in Hardcover-Kate Carlisle

Homicide in Hardcover
Kate Carlisle
Obsidian, Feb 3 2009, $6.99
ISBN: 0451226151

Brooklyn Wainwright is a bookbinder and restorer who has recently gone into business by herself after years as an apprentice by one of the best in the field, Abraham Karastovsky. Her mentor handles what he calls her defection very poorly and they have not spoken to one another in six months. Ergo Brooklyn is nervous about attending a private showing at San Francisco’s Covington Library because she knows Abraham will also be there. When they meet at the gala, they become friends again and he invites her to look at the copy of Goethe's Faust in his workroom.

When she arrives at his workroom, Brooklyn finds Abraham lying on the floor. She goes to him and he whispers his dying words “Remember the devil.” She has no idea what his departing cryptic message means, but freaks out when Derek Stone of Stone Security declares she killed him. Stunned she faints. When she regains consciousness, the police question her, but let her go while Stone states he will be watching her. As the Covington Library chief hires Brooklyn to finish Abraham’s restoration of Faust, someone kills another book restorer. Attempts are made on her life and her house is broken into and searched. Past the breaking point, Brooklyn investigates starting with the space Abrahame made in the cover s to the tome and whether it is why someone is willing to kill to obtain the Faust.

The first bibliophile amateur sleuth showcases how dangerous the life of a book restorer is when a critic wants something. In less than a week, numerous attempts are made on Brooklyn’s life and her home and her and Abraham’s studio as well her mentor’s murder make for a fun time for readers, but a rough go for the heroine. This is an entertaining somewhat amusing whodunit as the nervous eccentric Brooklyn travels the mean streets of San Fransisco trying to restore order to her life starting with having a life.

Harriet Klausner

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