As some of you might know, I’ve been going through some of the most highly recommended Cozy Mystery series that have been frequently mentioned by visitors to the site. Today I’ll be discussing the first book in Kate Carlisle‘s Bibliophile Mystery Series, Homicide in Hardcover.
Generally speaking, like most Cozy readers, I really enjoy reading themed mysteries about topics that I enjoy in real life >>> themes I can relate to. (Some of the everyday things I enjoy are holidays, dogs and cats, needlework, ETC.) I also enjoy reading Cozies that involve professions I think of as “fun” >>> librarians would be a good example of this because the theme involves books, which I happen to love. The Bibliophile Series stars Brooklyn Wainwright, a professional book restorer >>> definitely a theme that interests me and that I don’t know anything about!
In this first book in the series, the sleuth, Brooklyn, investigates the murder of her mentor. While Homicide in Hardcover doesn’t go into huge amounts of technical detail on the restoration of a valuable copy of Goethe’s Faust, it does interject a very different tone that helps get a feeling for the character overall. In this case, because her work is very detail oriented and meticulous in nature, it helps define her character as being perhaps a bit more “logical” than some other Cozy Mystery protagonists, like an artist or a baker, who might be considered possessing of a more “creative” mindset.
I don’t want to give away too much of this series, so I’ll keep this brief: Brooklyn’s family and friends are some of the terrific aspects of the Bibliophile series. The dialogue between the characters is fun, so the “regulars” are sorely missed when Brooklyn leaves town to attend to her bookbinding professional commitments. Kate Carlisle is a good story-teller who provides enough red herrings and twists to keep the reader invested in the crimes Brooklyn solves.
Another particular highlight of the Homicide in Hardcover is its setting, San Francisco. San Francisco has a very definite atmosphere, particularly expressed through Brooklyn’s parents, who are a pair of aging hippies who still live out on a commune outside the city proper. Enough detail goes into the setting that it is no surprise that the author, Kate Carlisle, is herself a native Californian. It’s clear that she has a strong grasp of both the area and the sort of eccentric, cosmopolitan personalities that can be found there.
If you’re interested in seeing some of the other entries I’ve written on the other Cozy Mystery series I’ve written up before, they can be found at the Most Recommended Cozy Mystery Series page on my site.