Listen to an audiobook excerpt:
Homicide in Hardcover
1st Bibliophile Mystery
Murder is always a bestseller.
Brooklyn Wainwright is a skilled surgeon. Sure, her patients might smell like mold and have spines made of leather, but no ailing book is going to die on her watch. The same can’t be said of Abraham Karastovsky, Brooklyn’s friend and former employer.
On the eve of a celebration for his latest book restoration, Brooklyn finds her mentor lying in a pool of his own blood. With his final breath Abraham leaves Brooklyn with a cryptic message, “Remember the Devil,” and gives her a priceless—and supposedly cursed—copy of Goethe’s Faust for safe-keeping.
Brooklyn suddenly finds herself accused of murder and theft, thanks to Derek Stone, the humorless—and annoyingly attractive—British security agent who found her kneeling over the body. Now she has to read the clues left behind by her mentor if she is going to restore justice and save her own life…
• Finalist for the 2009 National Readers Choice Award
• #1 Independent Mystery Booksellers Association Bestseller for February 2009
• Nominated by RT Book Review Magazine for Reviewer’s Choice award for Best First Mystery Novel of 2009
• New York Times Bestseller list (Mass market extended list for weeks of March 1, 2009 and March 8, 2009)
This first in a new series is going to launch Carlisle to a bestselling position and have readers looking forward to the next installment of delightfully eccentric characters, droll dialogue and a meticulously planned crime. Bibliophile heroine Brooklyn Wainwright is brilliant, feisty and funny.
—RT Book Review Magazine, 4.5 stars
Let’s just say it up front—I really enjoyed this book. For once I am very happy this is part of a series because I want more. This book is unusual in that it has both a strong mystery and unique, well-created characters…Thank goodness for Kate Carlisle.
—Front Street Reviews
—Midwest Book Review
—Dru’s Book Musings
—James J. Cudney, This Is My Truth Now
What a mess. I stepped inside to look around.
That’s when I saw Abraham, lying on the cold cement floor. A pool of dark liquid seeped from under him.
“Oh, my God.” My glass slipped from my hand and shattered on the floor. Spots began to spin in front of my eyes. I sucked in a breath, ran over and fell on my knees by his side.
His arms were wrapped tightly around his chest. Alive? Please God, alive.
I was screaming, couldn’t help it.
“Abraham. Wake up.” I tried to pull him into my arms but he was so heavy I couldn’t budge him. “Oh, please don’t die.”
I grabbed his shoulders and shook him hard before I realized that was a bad idea. I leaned over and held him close to me. “I’m sorry, did I hurt you? Oh God, I’m sorry, so sorry.”
I felt him stir.
His eyelids fluttered and I almost fainted with relief. “Oh God, you’re alive. Thank you. I’ll get help. Don’t worry.”
He gazed up at me, his eyes blurry. He coughed, then muttered something.
I leaned closer. “What?”
“De…vil,” he whispered. “Remember…the…devil.”
A thick, heavy book slipped out from inside his jacket. I quickly snatched it before it slid onto the bloody floor. Instinct, I guess, ingrained in me from childhood. Save the book. I gaped at the faded black leather binding. Once elegant gold tooling created a pale border of Fleur de lis around the front edges of the cover, and each flower point was studded with blood red gems. Rubies? Ornate but rusted brass clasps held the book closed.
My gaze darted back to Abraham. His lips trembled as he formed a slight smile.
I shoved the book inside my suit jacket.
He nodded his head in approval, I thought. Then his eyes glazed over and flickered closed.
“No.” I grabbed his jacket. “No. Don’t you dare. Abraham. Wake up. Oh God. Don’t—”
His head slumped to the side.
“No! No, please—”
“Let him go.”
“Yikes!” I snatched my hands away. Abraham sagged to the floor. I stared at my hands. They were covered in blood. I screamed again.
“That’s enough. Stand up and move away from him.”
I whipped my head around. A man stood at the door holding a gun pointed directly at me.
“The first Bibliophile amateur sleuth showcases how dangerous the life of a book restorer is when a critic wants something… her mentor’s murder make for a fun time for readers, but a rough go for the heroine. This is an entertaining somewhat amusing whodunit.”
—Midwest Book Review (read more)
“[C]hock full of strange angles, red herrings, and clever mixed messages.”
—James J. Cudney, This Is My Truth Now (read more)
“I loved this book. It was fast-paced, filled with action, filled with rare books information and most of all, it was fun.”
—Dru’s Book Musings (read more)
“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… It’s tasteful, intelligent, and witty, and doesn’t give away obvious clues about the killer’s identity.”
—Dreamworld Books (read more)
“Loads of humor, suspense, good fun, and some great lines… Delightful.”
—Rhapsody in Books (read more)
“Homicide in Hardcover has a winning combination. Both the characters and setting are friendly, comfortable and easy to lose yourself in.”
—Tara Sharp (read more)
“A wonderful cozy mystery.”
—Robin Loves Reading, 4.5 Stars (read more)
“Saucy, sassy, and smart—a fun read with a great sense of humor and a soupcon of suspense. Enjoy!”
—Nancy Atherton, author of the Aunt Dimity mystery series
“Welcome to the fresh and funny world of bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright. A delicious mix of San Francisco, book restoration and a lingering counterculture best by murder. Who knew leather and vellum could be so captivating!”
—Jo Dereske, author of the Miss Zukas Mysteries
“Who’d have thought book restoration could be so exciting? When Brooklyn Wainwright inherits the job restoring the priceless copy of Goethe’s Faust from her murdered mentor, her studio is ransacked, she’s stalked, and the bodies pile up around her. Is it the famous Faust curse? I’m not tellin’. But, trust me, you’ll have fun finding out. Homicide in Hardcover is good reading in any binding.”
—Parnell Hall, author of the Puzzle Lady Crossword Puzzle Mysteries
“Beautiful and brilliant Brooklyn Wainwright thought bookbinding was a low-risk occupation but she soon discovers her mistake in Kate Carlisle’s smart and sophisticated page-turner.”
—Leslie Meier, author of the Lucy Stone Mysteries
“A cursed book, a dead mentor, and a snarky rival, send book restorer Brooklyn Wainwright on a chase for clues—and fine food and wine—in Kate Carlisle’s fun and funny delightful debut.”
—Lorna Barrett, author of Bookmarked for Death
“Brooklyn is my kind of detective! She loves books, wine, chocolate—and solving mysteries! Kate Carlisle has crafted a fabulous new series with great food, great books and lots of fun.”
—Maureen Child, USA Today bestselling author
“Homicide in Hardcover is a fun, fast-paced mystery that is laugh-out-loud funny. Even better, it keeps you guessing to the very end. Sure to be one of the very best books of the year! Welcome Kate Carlisle, a fabulous new voice in the mystery market.”
“Kate Carlisle. Remember that name. I have the feeling you’ll be seeing it a lot in years to come. Carlisle bursts onto the publication scene February 3rd with her debut release, Homicide in Hardcover, a bibliophile mystery that kicks off what I hope will be a very long-running series.”
“Let’s just say it up front—I really enjoyed this book. For once I am very happy this is part of a series because I want more. This book is unusual in that it has both a strong mystery and unique, well-created characters… Thank goodness for Kate Carlisle.”
—Front Street Reviews
“This first in a new series is going to launch Carlisle to a bestselling position and have readers looking forward to the next installment of delightfully eccentric characters, droll dialogue and a meticulously planned crime. Bibliophile heroine Brooklyn Wainwright is brilliant, feisty and funny.”
—RT Book Reviews 4.5 Stars