If Books Could Kill
By Kate Carlisle
Publisher: Penguin - Obsidian Mystery
Release Date: February 2, 2010
Is she a magnet for dead bodies or what? Traveling to Scotland for the Edinburgh Book Fair, book restoration expert, Brooklyn Wainwright is looking forward to catching up with old friends, teaching a few workshops and seeing the sights. Those plans get tossed out the window on her first day in town with the unexpected appearance of former boyfriend, Kyle McVee. Seems Kyle has come into possession of a (possibly) 200-year old book that, if authenticated, will change history and rock the British monarchy and, of course, Brooklyn is the only person Kyle trusts to perform the authentication. But when Kyle turns up dead and the instrument of death is found to be Brooklyn’s bookbinding hammer, she once again finds herself the prime suspect in a murder investigation and protector of a book that apparently someone is willing to kill for. There are suspects aplenty but, since the police think Brooklyn did the deed, it’s up to her, with the help of sexy Commander Derek Stone, to find the real killer…before she becomes the next victim.
Carlisle has written a smart, sassy, fast-paced mystery with quirky characters that make me laugh and enough twists and turns to keep me guessing through most of the book. Her vivid descriptions of Edinburgh and the surrounding areas are captivating and the bookbinding tidbits and trivia that are seamlessly woven into the story, fascinating, but it’s the characters that make this tale shine. Brooklyn's tentative relationship with Derek progresses in this book but, though she does discover a bit more about him, he still retains a suave and sexy aura of mystery. Many of my favorite secondary characters from Carlisle’s first book in this series, Homicide in Hardcover, including Brooklyn's offbeat but lovable New Age parents, return to help, or hinder, Brooklyn in her quest to find Kyle’s killer and prove her innocence. I’m looking forward to seeing what Carlisle has in store for all of them in future books.
For an enjoyable mystery with plenty of quirky humor, I highly recommend both of Kate Carlisle’s Bibliophile Mysteries, 2009's Homicide in Hardcover and her new release, If Books Could Kill.