Murder is easy - on paper.
Book restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright is attending the world-renowned Book Fair when her ex Kyle shows up with a bombshell. He has an original copy of a scandalous text that could change history - and humiliate the beloved British monarchy. When Kyle turns up dead, the police are convinced Brooklyn's the culprit. But with an entire convention of suspects, Brooklyn's conducting her own investigation to find out if the motive for murder was a 200-year-old secret - or something much more personal.
By day, Brooklyn Wainwright restores old books but in her off hours, she keeps having to clear herself of murder. Author Kate Carlisle follows up Brooklyn’s crime-solving debut, Homicide in Hardcover, with If Books Could Kill, a frothy mystery novel that’s elevated by an engaging cast of characters and complex narration from Eileen Stevens.
After solving the mystery behind the death of her mentor in Homicide in Hardcover, Brooklyn travels to Scotland for a book fair that sounds run-of-the-mill: rare books for sale, breakout sessions on bookbinding, Q&As on forgeries. But then she runs into an old boyfriend, Kyle, who asks her to verify the authenticity of an antique book that reveals long-held secrets of the royal family and when Kyle turns up dead a few hours later, Brooklyn is once again the prime suspect. The plot is nothing groundbreaking but though the “who” in whodunit isn’t a complete surprise Carlisle includes some nice twists, and she makes Brooklyn’s dull-sounding job a vibrant, lively component of the story.
Narrator Stevens has plenty to work with: Not only does she give Brooklyn’s ordinary thoughts a boost of character with her personality-filled reading, she also brings to life an extensive secondary lineup of voices, including a love interest, a childhood best friend, recently-divorced acquaintances, professional rivals, a secret widow, stop-at-nothing book collectors, Brooklyn’s parents, and, of course, the requisite detectives and policemen. Each has his or her own pacing, tone, and inflection, and even the minor changes in Scottish and American accents from person to person shine through. Blythe Copeland
“Brooklyn's uncommon occupation drives the well-constructed and smoothly executed mystery. Offbeat secondary characters contrast nicely with the more level-headed Brooklyn.” (Romantic Times)
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Brutal listening experience
Third rate atempt to emulate Janet Evanovich...
- J. M. Batista