Series: Bibliophile Mystery
Author: Kate Carlisle
Read copy: eBook
Published: February 3, 2009
Publisher: Penguin Group US
The streets of San Francisco would be lined with hardcovers if rare book expert Brooklyn Wainwright had her way. And her mentor wouldn’t be lying in a pool of his own blood on the eve of a celebration for his latest book restoration.
With his final breath he leaves Brooklyn a cryptic message, and gives her a priceless—and supposedly cursed—copy of Goethe’s Faust for safekeeping.
Brooklyn suddenly finds herself accused of murder and theft, thanks to the humorless—but attractive—British security officer who finds her kneeling over the body. Now she has to read the clues left behind by her mentor if she is going to restore justice…
When I first heard about this book (series), the heroine's occupation intrigued me (okay, there's also the British hunk, but let's pretend it was just the heroine's occupation that intrigued me). Unfortunately, as I started reading, I got a crash, super-quick course in book-binding and book-restoration, that continued throughout the story, and I didn't understand two thirds of what was going on.
But let's leave my stupidity aside and concentrate on the rest of the story. It didn't exactly work for me.
What didn't work:
1. It was written in first-person POV, which is a hit and miss for me. This time it was a miss, because instead of a mature woman telling us a story we got a barely-out-of-her-teens chick retelling "funny" anecdotes about her wacky family, feeling slightly sorry about herself, talking about how much she likes to eat, and feeling rather self-important.
2. Said heroine, which, judging by what went on in her head wasn't capable of a single normal, coherent thought, went on an quest of uncovering the killer - someone who's killed at least two people. Where is her training, where are her credentials? She's a bookbinder, for Pete's sake! A bookbinder, with a wacky family and warped brain, investigating a murder.
3. She actually found out who the killer was. Because she followed the clues. Blind luck, most likely.
4. The killer was a complete surprise. And I don't mean in a grudging way like the-heroine-discovered-the-identity-and-I-didn't. Nope, I mean someone completely out of the left field, with a motive so outlandish it wasn't even funny.
What (marginally) worked:
1. The supporting cast - and I don't mean the wacky family. The best friend, the neighbors, the ex-fiancé, the first murder victim...Even the heroine's "arch nemesis" (I don't know where she got that idea, but you know, she did come from a wacky family) Minka LeBeef - though she quickly started to annoy me with her one-dimensional set-up. I didn't really get why she was there, maybe to keep the story from stalling.
2. The British guy, Derek Stone. Though I also didn't exactly know why he was there - or why he wasn't always there when the heroine needed him. I guess as fodder for the continuation of the series, though I didn't really feel the connection, I was merely told it was there.
What else? Right, the pacing was choppy, the heroine was a mess, the plot was good (but everything that didn't work ruined it)...And the whole Gabriel thing, too Stephanie Plum (not that I ever read that series, but I heard there were two guy vying for the heroine's attention).
Well, it was a rather quick read, so that's a plus.