Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Homicide in Hardcover by Kate Carlisle

photo courtesy of Amazon.com
Released: January 2009

Homicide in Hardcover is the first novel in the "Bibliophile" cozy mystery series by Kate Carlisle. At the time of this writing, there are 14 books in the series (15 if you count the novella released between books #4 and #5), which is exciting news for people like me who are just now discovering this series! I've had Homicide in Hardcover sitting on my bookshelf since its release and now I'm kicking myself for not having started it sooner because I loved it! On the plus side, now I can binge-read the entire series.

The star and protagonist of Carlisle's "Bibliophile" mystery series is Brooklyn Wainwright—a book conservator (someone who repairs, restores, and preserves old books) who has been practicing her trade since she was 8 years old and now runs her own restoration business. At the beginning of the novel, Brooklyn attends a celebration at the local library showcasing the latest work of her lifelong teacher and mentor. Shortly after arriving at the library, Brooklyn finds her mentor lying dead in a pool of blood and taps into her inner (amateur) sleuth to figure out whodunnit.

Homicide in Hardcover is set in San Francisco—the most perfect and ideal setting for the bohemian tone and elements that give this series its character and personality. Brooklyn was raised in a nearby commune in wine country and has several siblings—all of whom are named after cities and countries. Brooklyn's parents and family members are featured in this novel, as well as the leader of their commune "Guru" Bob.

I loved Homicide in Hardcover because it isn't over the top and melodramatic like many other cozy mystery series I've tried to read. It's tasteful, intelligent, and witty, and doesn't give away obvious clues about the killer's identity. This book contains no dull, lagging parts, and I found myself genuinely enjoying it and not wanting to put it down until I was finished. Brooklyn is incredibly relatable and I love the setting and theme of this series. I'm looking forward to reading the next novel!

Here are the first several books in Kate Carlisle's Bibliophile mystery series, in order:
  1. Homicide in Hardcover (2009)
  2. If Books Could Kill (2009)
  3. The Lies That Bind (2010)
  4. Murder Under Cover (2011)
  5. Pages of Sin (novella - 2012)
  6. One Book in the Grave (2012)

Carlisle is also the author of the "Fixer Upper" mystery series, which I may try after getting caught up on the Bibliophile series. The first three novels in this series are:
  1. A High-End Finish (2014)
  2. This Old Homicide (2015)
  3. Crowned and Moldering (2015) 

Do you read Kate Carlisle and if so, which series do you like and why? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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