Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Once Upon a Spine
Bibliophile Mystery #11
Kate Carlisle

June 6, 2017/ ISBN 978-0-451-47772-9

Reviewed by Laura Hinds


Brooklyn Wainwright is a bookbinder and amateur sleuth who has earned something of a reputation for finding both murder victims and their killers. Her immediate concern, however, is that her future in-laws are coming all the way from England to meet her. She is worried about whether they will like her or not, and is on edge about how they will get along with her own parents, who are still acting like young hippies! It is San Francisco, after all, and there is room for all sorts of people. Maybe everything will be OK.

Brother’s Bookshop is one of the Courtyard shops across the street from Brooklyn and Derek’s apartment and is one her favorite haunts. At present, the shop boasts a rare edition of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” which is kept safely under lock and key. It is also the source of an ongoing verbal battle between shop owners Eddie and Terrence.

Early one morning as Brooklyn heads to the Beanery for a cafe latte, her attention is caught at something inside the local health food shop, The Rabbit Hole. Heavy stainless steel shelving has been toppled and groceries are scattered. She spots the owner, Rabbit, lying on the floor, but thankfully he is alive. Unconscious, but alive. Joey, the cobbler, isn’t so lucky. He is dead, under the heavy shelving unit. Oh no, another body, another potential murder! The area has been plagued by vandalism in recent weeks, but nothing that would have suggested an imminent murder!

The SF Police know Brooklyn’s track record by now, and although they discourage her from sleuthing, they don’t formally insist that she cease and desist. Of course, the fact that Derek is a security expert with a history of success in British Intelligence may be a factor, as Inspector Lee works with them to unmask a brutal killer before he or she strikes again.

When you add both sets of parents to the mix, and they get along famously, new relationships blossom, and the two moms want to help dig for clues. What could go wrong?

While I found myself a tad confused as the mystery unfolded at the end, I quickly realized that this was sheer genius on the part of the author. It fit perfectly with the “Alice” theme that ran throughout the book!

Once again, Kate Carlisle has delivered a book that is pure delight to this long-time fan. Each book in this series is better than the last, and this is sure to be a winner and a big hit with mystery buffs. Charming and fun, filled with quirky characters, intriguing settings and a meticulously plotted mystery, you won’t want to miss this latest Bibliophile mystery. Be sure to add it to your summer reading list, suggest it to your book group, then settle back and enjoy every word! A real gem!

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


Reviewed 2017