Thursday, December 30, 2010

Homicide in Hardcover by Kate Carlisle

Brooklyn Wainwright is a book restorer, which is pretty cool right there. When she discovers her mentor Abraham dying in a pool of his own blood, holding the supposedly cursed copy of Goethe's Faust he was restoring, she's determined to find the killer. Brooklyn is tapped to finish the Faust restoration, which brings her in contact with a couple of her longtime rivals, the book's strange owners, her ex-fiance, and her mother the hippy.

The book is fun and brisk-paced without being frenetic. I liked Brooklyn and her family. I do question the introduction of a new character toward the end of the book, but that was a minor issue and is probably set-up for the sequel.

The mystery was constructed well and full of twists and turns. If some of the key information was held back at the very end to keep the reader guessing, it wasn't too blatant and didn't go on too long. The revelations were interesting, sometimes amusing, and the ending was satisfying. This is frequently a very funny book, too. I laughed out loud a few times.

I found the love interest, a security officer named Derek Stone (insert eyeroll here), kind of a weird character. I loathed him at first, but the author manages to make him less odious and even likable toward the end. That's a real gift, since usually once I dislike a character it's all over and I never change my mind. Derek insults Brooklyn and treats her badly at the beginning, which frankly is unforgivable even though she stands up to him. The more I think about it, the more uncomfortable I am with Derek's treatment of Brooklyn at the beginning of the book. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the book, just that I'm not completely happy with the way the author set up the romance. But Brooklyn is a strong character, at least, not a doormat. (I do wish she didn't stamp her foot so often, though. Sheep and little kids stamp their feet when they're angry, not grown women.)

I'll be picking up the sequel next time I'm at the book store. Hopefully Derek Stone will stop acting like a jerk and/or Brooklyn will stop putting up with it in the next book.

B&N link


Richard said...

Oooo... Derek Stone. Rock Hardt would be another good name, or Johnny Long. Sheesh.

K.C. Shaw said...

Or Beef Hardslab. :)