San Francisco book-restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright is on the case when a rare edition of Rebecca leads to murder in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling Bibliophile Mystery series.
Brooklyn and her hunky husband, security expert Derek Stone, have just returned from a delightful trip to Dharma, where the construction of their new home away from home is well underway, when a little black book arrives in the mail from Scotland. The book is a rare British first edition of Rebecca, and there’s no return address on the package. The day after the book arrives, Claire Quinn shows up at Brooklyn and Derek’s home. Brooklyn met Claire when the two women worked as expert appraisers on the television show This Old Attic. Brooklyn appraised books on the show and Claire’s expertise was in antique British weaponry, but they bonded over their shared love of gothic novels.
Claire reveals that during a recent trip to Scotland she discovered her beloved aunt was missing and her home had been ransacked. Among her aunt’s belongings, Claire found the receipt for the package that wound up with Brooklyn and Derek. Claire believes both her own life and her aunt’s are in danger and worries that her past may be coming back to haunt her.
But just as Brooklyn and Derek begin to investigate, a man who Claire thinks was following her is found murdered, stabbed with a priceless jeweled dagger. With a death on their doorstep, Brooklyn and Derek page through the little black book, where they discover clues that will take them to the shadows of a medieval Scottish castle on the shores of Loch Ness. Under the watchful gaze of a mysterious laird and the irascible villagers who are suspicious of the strangers in their midst, Brooklyn and Derek must decode the secrets in Rebecca to keep their friend’s past from destroying their future....
Absolutely wonderful storyline and characters! This book grabbed me from the beginning and keep me wanting to read more all the way to the last word. Would recommend to everyone!!
Charming but a bit tedious
Kate Carlisle wrote this mystery story in a pleasant writing style, and the central characters are likeable. The detective protagonists are Brooklyn, who is a book restorer, and her recently married husband, Derek, a retired military officer security expert with James Bond style skills. They displayed a charming affection for one another throughout the book. However, the plot dragged due to the constant wordy dialogue. After awhile the reader gets impatient with the slow pace and waiting for something meaningful to advance the investigation. Also, the story itself fell short in several respects. Early in the book there were three questions to be resolved: What happened to Claire’s aunt who mysteriously disappeared? Why and for what reason were people so determined to harm Claire that they traveled thousands of miles to pursue her? And who murdered her pursuers? So, it was a promising beginning that, however, was a bit tedious in the ensuing resolution. The big reveal in the final pages as to the aunt’s disappearance was blah and totally implausible. As for the villain pursuing Claire, nothing the protagonists did, despite expending enormous time, effort and resources, and traveling thousands of miles, developed any plausible theories, or suspects, or explanation for the villain’s motivations, or led to his identification and eventual happenstance capture. Still, the book was a pleasant read and had a certain charm to it. I rated it at 3 stars. It would have merited 4 stars had it been better edited.
Gothic Twists and Turns
Little Black Book Review
Kate Carlisle, with The Little Black Book, has delivered another winner in the Bibliophile Mystery series. Brooklyn and her husband Derek are helping a new acquaintance locate her missing aunt who just happens to be a former coworker of Derek's in MI 6.
The murder and mayhem takes the couple from California to Scotland. Secret codes, hidden rooms and family histories harken back to classic Gothic novels. The plot is fast-paced and engaging.
A whirlwind adventure not to be missed.