Thursday, April 09, 2009

Review-- Homicide in Hardcover

Title: Homicide in Hardcover
Author: Kate Carlisle
ISBN: 9780451226150/ Obsidian Mystery, 2009
Genre: Cozy Mystery, #1 in the Bibliophile Mystery series
Rating: B-

First Line: My teacher always told me that in order to save a patient you'd have to kill him first.

When book restorer Brooklyn Wainwright decided to go into business for herself, it caused a rift between her and her teacher, Abraham Karastovsky. She is relieved when he welcomes her with open arms at a party in the prestigious Covington Library in San Francisco, but a short time later Brooklyn walks into a workroom to find Abraham lying in a pool of blood. Leaving her with a cryptic message and an extremely rare (and supposedly cursed) volume of Faust, she finds herself right in the middle of a murder investigation, complete with family members as suspects and a delectable British security officer.

Although Hardcover in Homicide suffers a bit from wanting to be all things to all people with a wide-ranging cast of characters that could've been pared down, I did enjoy the book. The information about book restoration was fascinating without bogging down the pace. The San Francisco-Napa Valley locales added the perfect ambiance to the story, and Carlisle does have some gems in her line-up of characters-- foremost among them Brooklyn's family. Her parents live in a commune named Dharma in the Napa Valley, and her siblings have similarly geographic names: Austin, China.... Led by Guru Bob, the people of Dharma are quite the interesting bunch to visit, and I'm hoping that future books in the series will let us get to know Brooklyn's siblings better.

Led by a very interesting main character, once this series tightens its focus a bit, it will be a very entertaining one to follow. One small aside: I find it amusing that Homicide in Hardcover is published as a mass market paperback (but then, I can be easily amused)!


  1. Not sure if I've heard of this series or not but it does sound like something I would like! Love cozies about interesting jobs or hobbies and I believe book restoring would be interesting since I do enjoy old books!

    (That amuses me too, lol)

  2. The book sounds good and I love the title too.

  3. Psst...I've given you an award here:

  4. Love the irony of title and MM paperback printing too! I'll likely pass on this title.

  5. I was passing by to let you know you have yet another award waiting :) please pick it up here ..

  6. Good to see your review and I agree, I think it needs a bit more focus but hopefully the second one in the series will have that. I need to post my review soon. I had a few other little quibbles with it but on the whole it was entertaining, although I wonder if it was so entertaining to me because I'm do bookbinding? :)

  7. Completely new to me. Sounds like a good mystery.

  8. yes, even a cozy must be tight...

    cute cover though, so cozy mystery perfect.

  9. Jen--I really found the parts about book restoration interesting!

    Kathy--yes, it's a nice, alliterative title, isn't it? :)

    Serena--oh lord...more zombie chickens!! I think I'll run and hide! (Just kidding. Thank you very much. I'll deal with it shortly.

    Beth--I tend to love a bit of irony. ;)

    Thanks, Desert Rose! I have a house filled with guests, but I'll take care of it shortly!

    Iliana--I thought of you a few times while I was reading it. I would imagine that the more you know about book restoration, the more you will enjoy the book.

    Margot--if you give it a try, I'd love to hear what you think of it!

    Caite--yes, that definitely is a cozy cover!

  10. I laughed hard when I read Beth's comment - it was what was exactly in my mind!

  11. Fraser--I'm glad I'm not the only one who laughed about that!


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