Once upon a Spine

A Bibliophile Mystery

    • 4.5 • 95 Ratings
    • $8.99
    • $8.99

Publisher Description

In this Bibliophile Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Books of a Feather, San Francisco bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright stumbles through the looking glass in a tale of murder, rare books, and a quest for the perfect pie…

Brooklyn's oh-so-proper future in-laws are traveling from England to meet her, and if that's not enough to set her on edge, rumors abound that the charming Courtyard shops across the street may be replaced by high-rise apartments. Their trendy neighborhood will be ruined unless Brooklyn and her fiancé, Derek Stone, can persuade the shopkeepers not to sell. 

But with a rare edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland causing bad blood at the Brothers Bookshop and a string of petty vandalism making everyone nervous, Brooklyn and Derek feel like they're attempting six impossible things before breakfast. Then the owner of the Rabbit Hole juice bar is felled by his own heavy shelves, and the local cobbler lies dead beside him. An accident . . . or something more sinister? Things get curiouser and curiouser when a second priceless copy of Alice is discovered. Will it stir up more trouble within the close-knit community?  

As the Brits descend, Brooklyn learns they're not so stuffy after all. Derek's dad is won over with chocolate cream pie, and his psychic mum would kill to help Brooklyn solve this murder—before another victim takes a tumble.

Mysteries & Thrillers
June 6
Penguin Publishing Group

Customer Reviews

Shbth ,

A wonderful mystery

I received a copy of this book at my request. I chose to voluntarily review this book. The opinions in this review are my own. Brooklyn Wainwright and her fiancé Derek get to know each other's family members in some interesting ways throughout the storyline of this book. I enjoyed all the book descriptions and the way the details of Brooklyn's work were woven into the heart of the story. The plot pacing was well chosen for the story. The mystery and sleuthing skills were great once again in this installment of A Bibliophile Mystery series. I can identify with many of the things Brooklyn feels, especially in the beginning of the story. I would recommend this book to other readers that enjoy mysteries and good books.

MysteryFan1030 ,


I’ve enjoyed the previous novels in this series, but this one doesn’t seem to be up to the same standards. In this book, all the characters seem to come off as caricatures instead of having any true dimension, including Brooklyn herself. Every emotion or relationship is unrealistically one note and the plot felt completely contrived and unbelievable. Running after Derek into a dangerous situation because she needs to “have his back” as a team when he’s a former MI-6, black belt, etc., etc.?? Ridiculous. In this particular storyline, any contrived tension or emotion, including Brooklyn’s “deep love” for Derek is completely over the top to the point that it’s simply eye-rolling. I feel like this book was a half-formed thought (with potential to be so much more interesting and fun) and the author just got lazy with painfully stretching it into an entire novel serving only to introduce the meeting of the in-laws-to-be. I hope the next novel is better, or I’m going to give up on this series.

JASmith82 ,

A Mystery Not to be Missed

Not to be Missed
In-laws, out-laws and everything in between come together in Once Upon a Spine by Kate Carlisle. In the continuation of the Bibliophile Mystery series, Brooklyn Wainwright and her Bond-like fiancé Derek Stone find themselves in the middle of a murder investigation.
The Courtyard is a community treasure housing charming small businesses that include an indie bookstore, pie shop and hat shop to name a few. When one of the shop owners is found murdered and another is seriously injured, Brooklyn and Derek work to solve the case that includes, among other things, a very valuable copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. To add to the stress of the situation. Brooklyn is preparing to meet her fiance’s parents as well as introduced them to her own.
Readers can count on a mystery with no shortage of suspects, family ties and insight into the world of book collecting. All is served with an assortment of wines and delectable appetizers with recipes found in the back of the book.
Once Upon a Spine should be at the top of your summer reading list.

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