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Ripped From the Pages
Bibliophile Mystery #9
Kate Carlisle

June 2, 2015/ ISBN 978-0-451-41600-1
Mystery/Cozy/Amateur Sleuth

Reviewed by Laura Hinds


While Brooklyn Wainwright and her handsome British boyfriend, Derek Stone are having their lofts converted into one home, they are staying in Dharma, in wine country. They'll be temporarily living next-door to Brooklyn's parents, house- and dog-sitting for the neighbors while they travel for a few months.

During a cave excavation under her parent's commune, a long dead, yet well-preserved body is found. His identification indicates that he is one Jean Pierre Renaud, and he carries a ticket for passage on the Queen Mary, for April 12, 1946. Also among his possessions is a rare first edition of Jules Verne's “A Journey to the Center of the Earth,” complete with an oath written in blood between Jean Pierre and the grandfather of the commune leader, Guru Bob. Not insignificantly, the cave is also full of treasures and riches including paintings, candelabras, jewelry and figurines. How did they get into the cave and to whom do they belong?

As the murder of Jean Pierre Renaud comes to light, danger is also afoot in present day Dharma. A woman is killed, and two more injured, including Guru Bob's Aunt Trudy, and Brooklyn, herself. Time is of the essence in solving the crimes and finding out the truth about what happened in 1946.

Just how does a rare book restoration specialist like Brooklyn find herself involved in murder case after murder case? Well, for one thing, there always seems to be a rare book involved, and this time is no exception. As Brooklyn works to restore “A Journey to the Center of the Earth,” she's racing to put the clues together from some old correspondence and some new villainous suspects before the killer can strike again.

This is a unique mystery in that it brings together the past and present, provides lessons in Nazi horrors about how people survived and how some got their possessions sent ahead to America. The dual stories are artfully woven together and in the end it all makes perfect sense. While people may change, over the course of history, human nature often does not.

I really enjoyed reading this book and highly recommend it to book lovers, mystery lovers and history lovers. You can't go wrong with a Kate Carlisle mystery, and this one is sure to capture your interest and spark your sense of intrigue.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Homicide in Hardcover #1
One Book in the Grave #5
Peril in Paperback #6
A Cookbook Conspiracy #7
The Book Stops Here #8
Ripped From the Pages #9
Books of a Feather #10
Once Upon a Spine #11
Buried In Books #12

Reviewer Note: Kate Carlisle also writes the Fixer-Upper mystery series.

Reviewed 2015