PERIL IN PAPERBACK, Book 7 of the New York Times bestselling series Bibliophile Mysteries (August 7), returns us to the not-so-rarefied world of professional bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright. Brooklyn is surrounded by a quirky cast of characters, including today’s featured guest, Suzie Stein. Suzie and her partner Vinnie live next door to Brooklyn in her San Francisco condo. On this particular day, Suzie has received a very disturbing piece of mail…
“Oh, hell,” I muttered under my breath as I read the invitation.
Vinnie, used to my muttering, didn’t even look up from the sketch she was working on. But this was news I couldn’t let her ignore.
“Aunt Grace is having a birthday party,” I told her. Warned her. “For a week.”
“A weeklong birthday party?” Vinnie’s voice shot up. She has a beautiful, expressive face, with skin the color of steeped tea and deep brown Indian eyes that hold the truth of the world. Right now, her face was expressing distaste. “Typical.”
Grace gets on Vinnie’s nerves, and I can’t exactly blame her. I mean, I love my aunt, but the woman defines eccentric. And that’s coming from a lesbian chainsaw artist, so you know, I’m not exactly “normal,” myself. Aunt Grace is something like a kazillionaire. When she was younger, she designed this video game that really took off. She sold the company a while ago, and now she’s living in a mansion up in Tahoe. Vinnie says Grace is self-indulgent, with all the extra “features” she put in the mansion – trap doors, walls that move, lots of other little surprises for her unsuspecting guests. Vinnie says Grace should’ve used her money to do some good in the world… but I don’t think it would bother her quite as much if she hadn’t been caught in one of Grace’s traps last time we visited.
She was not as amused as I was.
“She invited Brooklyn,” I told her.
“She did not!”
Before I could respond, Vinnie rushed out to the hall and knocked on Brooklyn’s door. Her delicate fist sounded like a woodpecker against the wood – ratta-tatta-tatta. As I passed the table, I glanced at her sketch. Another baby. I so did not want to have that conversation again.
Brooklyn Wainwright answered the door holding the same invitation I had in my hand. She’s blond. Cute but surprisingly flaky, given that she’s one of the most renowned experts in her field. She’s a bookbinder. In her own way, she’s just as much of an artist as I am, so I guess I ought to cut her some slack for being a little forgetful sometimes… even if she did almost starve my cats.
Most people are intimidated when they meet me. I’m kind of butch, and my work makes my muscles pretty fierce looking. But Brooklyn takes people as they come. She grew up on a commune, and I suppose that exposed her to people a lot weirder than me because she jumped right from neighbor to friend without any hesitation.
“You do not have to attend this party if you don’t want to,” Vinnie assured her.
“It sounds fun,” Brooklyn said, glancing at me.
“It will be,” I said over Vinnie’s objections. “Grace goes all out for her birthday. About a dozen people are coming, and she has lots of fun surprises planned for us.”
“Dangerous surprises,” Vinnie said.
“I want to go.” Brooklyn showed Vinnie the handwritten note inside her card. “She asked me to bring my tools!”
Vinnie knew when she was defeated. Grace waved the magic carrot in front of Brooklyn’s nose – she had books that needed restoration. Brooklyn could never resist a book in need.
Vinnie’s voice dropped, and it was her turn to mutter. “I have a very bad feeling about this.”
FOR VINNIE’S POINT OF VIEW STOP BY KILLER CHARACTERS www.killercharacters.com TODAY!
** Thanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of PERIL IN PAPERBACK to give away. Contest open to residents of the US only. Contest ends August 17. Leave a valid-email address with your comment. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. **
Meet the author
Kate Carlisle is the New York Times bestselling author of the Bibliophile Mysteries, featuring rare book expert Brooklyn Wainwright, a heroine dubbed “brilliant, feisty and funny” by RT Book Reviews.
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