Sharing Books and Authors, with an emphasis on Mysteries.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Peril in Paperback by Kate Carlisle
If you're a fan of the traditional English house-party mysteries, you'll want to read Kate Carlisle's homage to Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. Brooklyn Wainwright, Carlisle's book restoration expert, is the perfect character to take us to a week-long birthday celebration in the home of an eccentric game designer.
Brooklyn's neighbor, Susie Stein has an aunt, Grace Crawford, who is a self-made billionaire who made her fortune in the computer game industry. Her fiftieth birthday celebration means she can invite her family and friends to celebrate in her unusual mansion in Lake Tahoe. Brooklyn is invited, not only as Susie's friend, but so she can do some bookbinding and oversee the librarian archivist who is cataloging Grace's collection of rare books.
From the moment they arrive, Brooklyn realizes some of the guests are just nasty, Grace's lawyer, her sister-in-law, the woman who is married to Grace's business partner.And, when Grace announces she has written a novel based on her own life, some of the guests don't seem happy. The death of a guest, and Brooklyn's suspicion that Grace could have been the target, lead her into an investigation with her mysterious friend Gabriel.
Brooklyn Wainwright is an amateur sleuth who continues to discover dead bodies. Her investigations are motivated by her determination to find justice. She admits she has an "Alarming tendency to find dead people, followed by an ineffable need to see that justice prevailed on their behalf." And, in this case, she's already suspicious and angry, so an investigation fits her mood. Peril in Paperback is such a fun story with so many tributes to the classic English country house mystery. There's the eccentric wealthy person who invites people to their house where everyone becomes stuck in the house after a murder. In this case, the house itself is fun and unusual. The rich person has secrets to be revealed, and someone wants to stop them. It's a wonderful tribute with a climax in which all the suspects are gathered together. The murderer is revealed, and other secrets are uncovered. There's mystery, romance, and surprises. Kate Carlisle's Peril in Paperback is a wonderful tribute to the past.
I do have one quibble. Since when is fifty considered old? I'm going to take that up with Kate on Wednesday. Granted, Brooklyn admits she had the wrong idea of what Grace Crawford would be like. But, what a wrong idea! "Grace Crawford was nothing like what I'd expected. I had imagined a genteel, gray-haired granny type who knitted quietly, surrounded by her twelve cats. For excitement, she might play a mean game of canasta." Really, Kate? Where did you ever get that idea of a fifty-year-old?
Fortunately, Brooklyn Wainwright usually isn't that mistaken. She's a terrific amateur sleuth, a booklover who also enjoys her food and her men. And, Peril In Paperback takes her into the perfect world for all of us who enjoy classic mysteries. Kate Carlisle's latest is a fun sincere tribute to one of the all-time best, Agatha Christie.
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
My reviews are only my opinion, and do not reflect the views of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library.
I will not review self-published books, and, at the present time, do not accept books in e-book format.
My Oct. 19, 2009 blog provides full disclosure that I only receive review copies of books, with no other compensation. All review copies are marked as such. If there any any questions, please feel free to contact me.