Sunday, June 26, 2016
Books of a Feather by Kate Carlisle
Brooklyn Wainwright is a bookbinder specializing in rare-book restoration, but she's also an artist who creates books, and an expert in the field. All of those traits come into play in the latest mystery that follows several storylines. She's helping her friend Genevieve Taylor of Taylor's Fine Books inventory the collection there. There have been recent thefts of rare items, and Genevieve worries that they might be tracked back to her cousin.
Brooklyn and her fiancee, Derek Stone, a security consultant with his own international company, have just moved back into their renovated apartment. It's there they entertain one of Derek's lifelong friends, Crane, a businessman from China. When Brooklyn and Derek invite him to attend an event at the Covington Library, the opening of an Audubon exhibit featuring Audubon's Birds of America, Crane tells them an unusual story of an ancestor, an artist, who worked for Audubon. It's at that event that Brooklyn receives two small books to restore. But, she also stumbles across the body of one of the people who gave her a book. Once again, Brooklyn and her books are at the center of a murder investigation.
In the midst of all this, Brooklyn's parents are the first guests in the newly expanded apartment. But, only her parents would bring home a guest from a Grateful Dead appreciation concert, a man they barely know. Although Derek and Brooklyn are always tolerant of her parents' kind gestures, this one seems a little unusual. And, it proves to be even more unusual in the light of day.
Kate Carlisle's books are always filled with unusual facts about books, history and book repair. But, it's the interesting characters that draw me back time and again. Is there anyone more delightful than Brooklyn's mother with her cleansing ceremonies? (At least she's delightful unless you're her daughter participating in them.) Brooklyn continues to stumble across dead bodies, but she's learned to accept it as her role in life. "Somehow I'd been chosen to speak for the dead. To find justice and closure for their families." And, the series is filled with handsome men and good-looking, independent women.
Books of a Feather, with its copies of unusual, rare books is another treat. In fact, despite the murders, Brooklyn Wainwright's world sort of reminds me of Lake Wobegon, "where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average." It's a pleasant place to dwell in for a day or two. But, be forewarned. Carlisle leaves a hint of future trouble.
Kate Carlisle's website is www.katecarlisle.com. You might also be interested in a recent interview I did with Kate for The Poisoned Pen Bookstore's blog. It's at https://poisonedpen.com/2016/06/08/kate-carlisle-in-the-hot-seat/
Books of a Feather by Kate Carlisle. Obsidian. 2016. ISBN 9780451477705 (hardcover), 309p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.