Tuesday, December 8, 2009

If Books Could Kill-Kate Carlisle

If Books Could Kill
Kate Carlisle
Obsidian, Feb 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9780451228918

She works at the book arts center in San Francisco and is considered an expert in book restoration. Brooklyn Wainwright is also called upon to authenticate whether a book is genuine or a fake. Currently she heads to the world- renowned Edinburgh Book Fair where she will meet with friends and associates, teach a few sessions, and sit in on lectures.

Her plan implodes when she runs into her former boyfriend Kyle McVee who asks her to authenticate a book allegedly created by eighteenth century bookbinder William Cathcart containing never before published poems written by Robert Burns in which the renowned author infers he had an affair with Princess Augusta Sophia, daughter of King George III. Rumors have survived to the present that he got her pregnant, which, if true, would leave the British royalty with a nasty black eye. He also tells her he has received threatening letters and calls. That same day whiles Brooklyn is sightseeing, she finds the body of Kyle killed with one of her bookbinding instruments. The local lead cop suspects Brooklyn so to clear her name she investigates Kyle’s murder.

As in the first Bibliophile mystery (see Homicide in Hardcover), Brooklyn finds the corpse of someone who was close to her at one time (a sub-genre hazard). The author’s second cozy is a breezy fun read due to a taste of the city and false clues with dead end trails. Although in trouble with the law and who knows who else, Brooklyn keeps her sense of humor, mostly self deprecating as she finds even Princess Street dangerous. A terrific romantic subplot enhances her stay in Scotland that she hopes is not a lifetime event as she learns once again Books Could Kill to the delight of cross genre fans.

Harriet Klausner