I rolled my eyes. “That’s what you said for the last three outfits.”
“And I meant it. You always look lovely.”
I’ll admit it. I was charmed. As faults go, unflinching adoration is a good one in a boyfriend. My name is Brooklyn Wainwright, and the boyfriend in question—though he’s far too debonair to fit such a label—is Derek Stone, who recently moved from another continent just to be with me. He’s a security expert from Britain, now living in my San Francisco loft.
I wasn’t normally such a ninny about clothes, but today was a big day. I’d been hired as the rare book expert on This Old Attic, an antiques appraisal TV show that I’d been watching for as long as I could remember. I’m a professional bookbinder. I doubt you’ve ever heard of me, but I am quite well known in the field. I was honored, humbled… and as nervous as a papermaker in a flood.
“I’m going to text a few pictures to Robin. She’ll give me an honest opinion.”
I felt a momentary twinge of wistfulness. Not long ago, Robin would’ve raced right over to help me choose just the right ensemble for my national TV debut, but she’d recently fallen in love and moved back to our hometown, Dharma, a wine country commune. I consoled myself with the fact that the man she fell in love with is my brother. Still, I needed to find a new local friend who could give me fashion advice in person.
“I don’t know why you’re so nervous, darling,” Derek said as he picked up the tiny kitten we’d yet to name. “You will be talking about books. It’s very unlikely you’ll find another dead body.”
“Don’t even joke about that! You’ll jinx me!”
I grimaced. That would be just my luck. For some reason, according to Guru Bob, the leader of my family’s commune, the universe had decided that my other calling—the non-bookish one—was to right the terrible wrong of murder. I had had the dubious honor of discovering murder victims on several occasions, and had helped put their killers in jail. An experience I was not eager to repeat.
Forcing the dark thoughts from my mind, I quickly texted three pictures to Robin. No dead bodies. Not this time. Today, I was going to go dazzle the audience of This Old Attic with my unsurpassed knowledge about rare books and the art and craft of bookbinding, and I was not—repeat, not—going to interact with a single person of the non-breathing variety.
You can read more about Brooklyn in The Book Stops Here, the eighth book in the “Bibliophile” mystery series, published by Obsidian. The first book in the series is Homicide in Hardcover. The Book Stops Here was released in hardcover on June 3 and A Cookbook Conspiracy is available now for the first time in paperback.
Comment on this post by 6pm EST on June 10, and you will be entered for a chance to win a copy of A COOKBOOK CONSPIRACY. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.
Meet the author
New York Times bestselling author Kate Carlisle is a native Californian who worked in television production for many years before turning to writing. Her Bibliophile Mystery series features protagonist Brooklyn Wainwright, whose rare book restoration skills invariably uncover old secrets, treachery and murder. Kate is also the author of the new Fixer-Upper Mysteries featuring small-town girl Shannon Hammer, a building contractor specializing in Victorian home restoration. Book one, A High-End Finish, will debut in November 2014. Find excerpts and more at www.katecarlisle.com and Facebook.
Follow dru’s book musing on Facebook for book giveaways, contests, posting about discounted books and some of my reading musings.