"Be careful what you wish for." Brooklyn Wainwright's mother had warned her, but that didn't stop the bookbinder for wishing for more work. And, her latest job puts her in so much danger that Brooklyn's security expert boyfriend has to turn bodyguard. The Book Stops Here is the latest intriguing mystery in Kate Carlisle's fascinating Bibliophile mystery series.
Brooklyn Wainwright specializes in rare-book restoration and conservation. With her passion and enthusiasm for books, she's the perfect expert appraiser for the TV show "This Old Attic". Then, the first book she is asked to appraise, a first edition of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, hits the news. Vera Stoddard claimed to have found the book at a garage sale, and paid three dollars, so when Brooklyn informs her it's worth around twenty-five thousand dollars, it causes a stir. It's just not the right kind of attention. Instead, Brooklyn is accosted by a man on the studio lot, a violent man who assures her he'll get that book, and kill both her and Vera. Brooklyn and a studio guard are battered enough that Derek Stone, Brooklyn's boyfriend, decides to guard her at the studio.
It's too bad the studio itself is so unsafe. The show's host claims to be the victim of a stalker who leaves him threatening symbols of dead animals and dead flowers. Then Brooklyn is almost killed in the backstage area. She knows she can trust Derek and her new next door neighbor, but she doesn't feel safe on her own. How did one TV show put her in so much danger? And, who would kill to get that copy of The Secret Garden?
Kate Carlisle's books contain a wonderful blend of book knowledge, romance, and terrific characters. It's always been fun to catch up with Brooklyn, Derek, and Brooklyn's eccentric family. Now, add Alex Monroe, a high-powered cupcake-baking woman with a few secrets, to the cast. She's a welcome addition. Brooklyn's archenemy, Minka, even returns with her usual outrageous behavior.
A bookbinder as a sleuth? The guru for Brooklyn's family has a theory that she stumbles across dead bodies because she's a soul that cares, and will help find justice for the dead. Time and again, Brooklyn teams up with Derek to find answers. "He and I were partners. We worked well together especially when it came to deciphering the puzzle, fleshing out the motives, and getting to the truth of why someone had been killed. It wasn't like we were trying to play detective, but it was a horrible thing to have one's life touched by violent crime and even worse to be considered a suspect by the police." Brooklyn's detective skills in working with old books serves her well when she's involved in a murder. And, it doesn't hurt to have a security expert at her side. In fact, that sets this series apart because Brooklyn may end up in trouble, but it's not because she takes needless risks. She just has a "penchant for finding dead bodies and facing down their craven killers".
For book lovers, Brooklyn Wainwright is a hero who saves books, preserves their history, and faces down craven killers. If you haven't yet met Brooklyn and Derek, it's time, in The Book Stops Here.
Kate Carlisle's website is www.katecarlisle.com
The Book Stops Here by Kate Carlisle. Obsidian. 2014. ISBN 9780451415981 (hardcover), 323p.
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