Rubies, Faust, and Gummy White Bread
September 9, 2009
I confess, the main reason I read these days is to be entertained. And left to my own devices I’d read only mysteries. Might seem narrow-minded to some, but curling up with a good mystery is my idea of an afternoon well spent.
Fortunately, my Books and Cooks reading-group selections force me to venture into a more eclectic literary world. We’ve read biographies, historical fiction and non-fiction, classics, fantasy, and mainstream bestsellers. With few exceptions, I’ve enjoyed all these excursions beyond my mystery world; and learned a lot.
So, give me a good mystery, and I’m a happy woman. Give me a good mystery full of new and interesting information—I’m ecstatic!
Enter, “Homicide in Hardcover” by Kate Carlisle.
Besides weaving an entertaining “who done it,” Kate quickly and easily takes the reader into the fascinating world of book restoration. Her heroine, Brooklyn Wainwright (what a classy name!) is a “skilled surgeon”—for ill books, that is. Indeed, “Homicide in Hardcover” opens with a patient awaiting surgery on Brooklyn’s worktable.
From there—skillfully appealing to all the reader’s senses—Kate takes you into her heroine’s world of book restoration. Before you know it, you too care about Brooklyn and her patients. The Faust in particular, with its ruby encrusted cover.
I learned a lot, and enjoyed the story. For on top of telling a good story with witty and funny dialogue, and providing a peek into an intriguing profession–Kate has created a bevy of wonderful supporting characters. Especially Brooklyn’s fun-loving and much-extended family. I would love to meet them—and taste some of her father’s wonderful wines.
There’s even an appealing romance woven into the plot!
For me, “Homicide in Hardcover” was in itself an undiscovered ruby in my stack of books-to-be-read. I must admit I’m particularly fond of rubies—they’re my birth jewel. I also love gummy white bread (but you’ll have to read the book to find out what that has to do with restoring books!).