Once Upon a Spine

Once Upon a Spine

by Kate Carlisle

Hardcover

$22.50 $25.00 Save 10% Current price is $22.5, Original price is $25. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Want it by Monday, September 24?   Order by 12:00 PM Eastern and choose Expedited Shipping at checkout.
    Same Day shipping in Manhattan. 
    See Details

Overview

Once Upon a Spine by Kate Carlisle

In this Bibliophile Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Books of a Feather, San Francisco bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright stumbles through the looking glass in a tale of murder, rare books, and a quest for the perfect pie…

Brooklyn's oh-so-proper future in-laws are traveling from England to meet her, and if that's not enough to set her on edge, rumors abound that the charming Courtyard shops across the street may be replaced by high-rise apartments. Their trendy neighborhood will be ruined unless Brooklyn and her fiancé, Derek Stone, can persuade the shopkeepers not to sell. 

But with a rare edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland causing bad blood at the Brothers Bookshop and a string of petty vandalism making everyone nervous, Brooklyn and Derek feel like they're attempting six impossible things before breakfast. Then the owner of the Rabbit Hole juice bar is felled by his own heavy shelves, and the local cobbler lies dead beside him. An accident . . . or something more sinister? Things get curiouser and curiouser when a second priceless copy of Alice is discovered. Will it stir up more trouble within the close-knit community?  

As the Brits descend, Brooklyn learns they're not so stuffy after all. Derek's dad is won over with chocolate cream pie, and his psychic mum would kill to help Brooklyn solve this murder—before another victim takes a tumble.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451477729
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/06/2017
Series: Bibliophile Mystery Series , #11
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 250,474
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

A native Californian, New York Times bestselling author Kate Carlisle worked in television for many years before turning to writing. A lifelong fascination with the art and craft of bookbinding led her to write the Bibliophile Mysteries featuring Brooklyn Wainwright, whose bookbinding and restoration skills invariably uncover old secrets, treachery, and murder. She is also the author of the Fixer-Upper Mysteries featuring small-town girl Shannon Hammer, a building contractor specializing in home restoration.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Lately, I have resorted to stalking. Not a person, but a book.

For weeks now I'd been visiting the book almost daily. It was a little embarrassing to continually beg the bookstore owner to let me hold it, page through it, study it. I just wanted to touch it, stroke it, and once, when he wasn't looking, sniff it. But he didn't seem to mind my fixation. He's as big a book nerd as I am.

The owner kept the book inside a clear, locked glass case displayed on the shop's front counter, so it was pretty obvious he didn't want people touching it. And who could blame him? The book was exquisitely bound in vibrant red morocco leather. Rich gilding swirled along the spine, spelling out the title, author's name, and year of publication in fancy gold script. More gilding outlined the thick raised cords that lent gravitas to the already weighty tome.

In the center of the front cover was a brightly gilded rabbit wearing a topcoat. The well-dressed creature glanced down at a watch he held at the end of a chain, and he appeared nervous, as though he might be running late for some important event.

The fact that a gilded illustration could convey real emotion was pretty awesome, above and beyond the binding work. The first time I saw it, I checked the inside cover for the bookbinder and was thrilled to find the name George Bayntun of London. Favored by the late Queen Mary, Bayntun's bindery in Bath, England, was world renowned and was still operating to this day. I'd visited once and had come away starstruck.

On the back cover of the book was another elaborately raised figure in gold, an odd-looking woman wearing a crown and carrying a scepter. The red queen. She appeared headstrong and irate, as though she might order someone's head lopped off at any moment.

The book was Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, of course. This copy was a fairly hard-to-find version in excellent condition, with dark green-and-red-marbled endpapers and virtually no foxing on its clean white pages. It contained dozens of classic illustrations by the famous artist John Tenniel. The binding was tight and even. And I wanted it.

My name is Brooklyn Wainwright, and I'm a bookbinder specializing in rare-book restoration. I love books of all kinds, and I love my job. It was exciting to know that I could give tired, torn, droopy, bug-bitten books a brand-new life that would allow them to continue to bring enjoyment for hundreds of years to come. It might have sounded boring to some, but in my career so far I had saved dozens of treasured childhood favorites from being thrown away, rescued any number of priceless museum-quality books from being carted off to the used-book store, and even solved a murder or two-or ten-while I was at it. Just in case you thought bookbinding sounded like a yawn-fest, trust me, my life was rarely dull.

This particular copy of Alice didn't need restoring, though. It was pristine. I wanted it because I had a fascination-okay, call it an obsession-with the iconic Alice and her creator, Lewis Carroll.

I gazed longingly at the book on display near the front counter of Brothers Bookshop. The store was a book nerd's dream: a cozy, tome-filled haven for people like me who were content to while away an entire day browsing the shelves in hopes of discovering the perfect little gem of a book to sink into.

The shop carried both new and used books along with all sorts of charming gifts and cards and paper goods. There were comfy chairs in every corner of the store, and a small section along one side was devoted to antiquarian books.

A magazine section was located at the back of the shop. At the front, a wall of windows looked out onto the neighborhood, and from there I could see my vintage apartment building on the other side of the street.

Derek Stone and I had decided to walk over here to do a little book browsing on our way next door to shop for vegetables for dinner.

The bookshop was part of a group of small stores located in a charming three-story Victorian-era building across the street from us. The building, known as the Courtyard, formed a large square, with four shops on each side. Above each shop were two floors with one spacious apartment on each floor. In the interior of the square was a delightful little courtyard overflowing with flowers and trees and several groupings of chairs and small tables. It was the perfect place to enjoy a caffe latte and read a book.

"Hi, Eddie," I said to the bookshop owner as I inched closer to the display.

"Hey, Brooklyn," Eddie Cox said without glancing up from his perch at the front counter. He knew it was me. Probably had seen me hovering nearby for the last few minutes. "I suppose you want to get another look at the book."

"I do," I said. "How did you know?"

He chuckled. "Just a lucky guess. Might have something to do with the fact that you show up here every other day and beg to see it."

All too true. But at least so far I hadn't drooled on the glass case. "And here I thought I was being so subtle."

"Subtle. Right." Still chuckling, he opened the drawer beneath the cash register and pulled out a small set of keys. I had known Eddie Cox and his brother-in-law, Terrence Payton, for almost four years, ever since I'd moved in across the street from Brothers Bookshop. The two men owned the charming shop together, and yes, I was there almost every other day because, you know, books.

Eddie carefully handed me the Alice, and it was all I could do not to clutch it to my chest in excitement. Instead, I put it down on the counter and ran my finger across the smooth leather cover.

Eddie raised an eyebrow. "I don't do this for everyone, you know."

"I know you don't, and I really appreciate you doing it for me. I'll be careful."

"I know you will." He winked at me. "Otherwise, I wouldn't allow it anywhere near your greedy little hands."

With a quick laugh, I scanned the store and spied Derek at the end of the middle aisle, where the latest mysteries and thrillers were displayed. He appeared to be involved in one particular book, so I knew I had a few minutes to enjoy the Alice. I opened it slowly, turning as always to the title page, where the publication date was posted: 1866.

This copy was considered a first edition, but actually it wasn't. The original version of the book had been published the year before, in 1865, but those books had been taken off the market by Lewis Carroll when his illustrator, John Tenniel, stated that the quality of his drawings had been poorly reproduced.

That earlier, 1865 version was known as the "Suppressed Alice" or the "Sixty-five Alice." All of those books were returned to the publisher except for fifty author copies that Lewis Carroll had kept for himself.

Eventually, most of those author copies had ended up in others' hands. Very few remained on the market today, and any that did were considered beyond rare. One had been auctioned off recently for almost two million dollars.

I would probably never get my hands on such a rare treasure as that, but I was perfectly happy with the one I currently held in my hands. This book was as fine as any I'd ever seen.

"Hello, Brooklyn."

I turned and saw Eddie's brother-in-law standing nearby. "Terrence. Hello."

"Is he going to sell you the book this time?" Terrence asked with a twinkle in his eye.

"I don't know." Glancing at Eddie, I bit back a smile. I knew he wouldn't sell it to me, since I'd tried to buy it a few hundred times before. But no harm in trying again. "What about it, Eddie? Will you sell me this book?"

"Never," Eddie insisted, as always. Then he added, "It was a gift from a very special friend."

"Wow." He'd never mentioned that before. I gazed at the book in my hand. "Must be a nice friend."

"I had a book just like that," Terrence grumbled. "But someone stole it."

"Are you kidding?" Did I look as confused as I felt? "You had a copy of this same book?"

Eddie barely suppressed an eye roll. "Terrence always claims that, but where's the proof?"

"I said it was stolen." Terrence's eyes narrowed in on Eddie, and I suddenly wondered if he suspected his own brother-in-law had taken the book from him.

Eddie shrugged. "That's why I keep mine locked inside this shatterproof case, right here in plain sight where everyone can see it, which means no one can steal it. I'm no fool."

"I'm not a fool, either." Terrence huffed, clearly insulted. He turned to me. "I'll have you know, my copy was locked inside the safe in my closet upstairs. Fat lot of good that did me," he added, muttering.

"You're just not as lucky as I am," Eddie said with a crooked grin as he flexed his biceps. "Or as manly."

I laughed, but Terrence was not amused. He continued to glower, shaking his head. "You're the fool. I'm as lucky as anyone else. Except when it comes to in-laws."

They were both ignoring me now. Over the last few years, I'd realized that the two men butted heads more often than not. Family was never easy, but still . . . If you didn't get along with your brother-in-law, why go into business with him?

The two men were in their forties and fairly nice-looking in different ways. Eddie had a classic runner's physique, tall and slim, with silver hair and a rakish goatee, which suited him. Terrence was a few inches shorter and bulkier, but most of his girth was muscle. He looked as though he might've been a boxer in his youth.

The two men had married sisters who divorced them within weeks of each other and moved to Florida together. I got the feeling that Eddie and Terrence didn't miss their ex-wives too much. They were both book fanatics who spent all of their time in the bookshop. I'd never known them to take a day off.

Handing the book back to Eddie, I tried to veer our conversation around to the original subject. "Not that you both don't deserve the very finest things, but who in their right mind would give up such a beautiful book?"

Eddie wiggled his eyebrows and grinned slyly. "A generous person who recognizes greatness, I suppose."

It was Terrence's turn to roll his eyes. I started to grin, but something bumped into my ankle and I jolted. Glancing down, I saw Furbie, the bookshop cat, staring up at me with his teeth clenching a stuffed mouse. Stuffed with catnip was my guess, if Furbie's lazy gaze meant anything.

"Hello, Furbie," I murmured, and reached down to scratch the soft gray fur around his ears. "Aren't you a pretty kitty?"

In response to the flattery, he dropped the toy at my feet. I picked it up and tossed it a few yards down the nearest aisle, expecting the frisky cat to pounce after it. Instead, he gave me a censorious look, tossed his head imperiously, and sidled awkwardly after the mouse.

"I think Furbie's drunk," I said.

"It's Terrence's fault," Eddie claimed. "He's an enabler."

"You're just jealous," Terrence retorted, "because Furbie likes me best."

"Of course he does, because you feed him catnip and empower his bad behavior." Eddie turned to me. "I'm the disciplinarian."

"You're just a meanie," Terrence muttered, and they were off on another squabble-fest, this time over the cat. These two would tangle over anything!

After letting them go off for a few more seconds, I tried to steer them back to the topic of Terrence's missing book.

"When did you lose your copy of Alice?" I asked Terrence as Eddie unlocked the glass case and gingerly slipped his Alice back inside.

"I didn't lose it."

"Sorry. When was it stolen?"

Terrence thought for a moment. "I guess it's been about six months."

In the grand scheme of tragedies, I knew this would come in low on the list. But as a book person, I really felt bad for him. "I'm sorry, Terrence."

"Yes," he said pointedly, still glaring at Eddie, "so am I."

Eddie put the key to the case back in the drawer and turned to Terrence. "You should be more careful."

"Oh, shut up."

Eddie grinned at me, a silent acknowledgment that he had just won this little argument. Their bickering was usually more good-natured, but this time Terrence looked truly offended, which worried me a little. It seemed like they might have quarreled over the stolen book before.

Derek approached and placed a short stack of books on the front counter.

"What have you got there?" I asked.

"I found a few spy novels I thought my father might enjoy."

"Oh. That's nice." But my stomach gave a little twist at the mention of his father. Derek's parents were going to be visiting from England for the first time the following week, and I still wasn't ready to meet them.

Derek and I had been together three years, and the one time I'd traveled to England with him, his parents had been away on an anniversary cruise around the Mediterranean. Now that he and I were getting married, it seemed ridiculous that I'd never met them. But as Derek arranged for their whirlwind trip to San Francisco, I found myself growing more and more uneasy about our first encounter.

Would they like me? It sounded so neurotic to worry, but these were my future in-laws! Of course I was worried. But still, I was sure they were wonderful, and I knew we would all love one another. They had to be the nicest people in the world because Derek was simply a delightful man. But they were English. I had lived in London for a short while years ago, and I truly loved the people, but there was a reserve to some of them that I didn't always understand. I had been raised in a thoroughly American peace-and-love commune founded by fans of the Grateful Dead, and I still wore Birkenstocks to prove it. My family was boisterous and fun loving. I simply couldn't imagine what Derek's parents would think of me. And Derek, while awesome, could be intimidating to others when he wanted to be. At times it was one of his best attributes. But it made me wonder if his parents might be intimidating as well.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Once Upon a Spine 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No, this isn't going to make you lose sleep trying to figure out the "who dunnit", but it is a wonderful read to pass the time. I love reading about Brooklyn and Derek, and finally seeing why Derek is the way he is. This is one of my favorite series ever, and I love going on the adventures.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I normally like the books, love the bookbinding and book world insights, but found this book a little disjointed and some characters a little silly and unreal. Strange ending, too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved everything about this book. I can hardly wait until her next bibliophile comes out! Kate Carlisle has become one of my favorite authors. Any cozy mystery fans should love these.
Anonymous 5 days ago
Any book this good just seems to end too soon. Not only is Kate a great author she doesn't write from a formula, every one of her books are different and great reads.
CozyUpWithKathy 7 months ago
wonderful ambiance ONCE UPON A SPINE by Kate Carlisle The Eleventh Bibliophile Mystery Brooklyn Wainwright is a nervous wreck. Her future in-laws are coming to visit and she's in a panic wondering if they'll like her. Her anxiety level is increased as they will also be meeting her parents. How will Derek's British family react to Brooklyn's new agey mother? Easing her tension is the love she has not only for Derek, but their neighborhood with all the lovely shops and shopkeepers. Heck, the bookstore owners even let her touch their display only copy of a rare edition of ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND. But all is not as lovely as it seems. As Brooklyn goes out for an early cup of coffee she discovers the door to the local market open and inside finds the store trashed, the shop owner lying on the floor, and a body under a huge shelving unit. Is it an accident or has Brooklyn stumbled upon a murder once more? Kate Carlisle creates such wonderful ambiance in her bibliophile series. Vivid descriptions allow me to visualize myself exploring the Courtyard and all its charming shops, spending time trying on hats I can't afford at Kitty's hat shop, trying to make healthy food choices at The Rabbit Hole (though more likely making choices at Sweetie Pies), and spending lots of money at Brothers Bookshop. One of my favorites parts of each bibliophile mystery is learning about the classic book it features. Like Brooklyn, I am a huge fan of Lewis Carroll and all things Alice and was excited to see that ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND was the book featured in ONCE UPON A SPINE. While I was thrilled to learn new facts, I was unfamiliar with the Suppressed ALICE, I was disappointed that more attention wasn't given to the book. That being said, more details about it wouldn't have moved the plot along so weren't really necessary, but the book nerd in me still wanted more. The mix of characters in ONCE UPON A SPINE is brilliant. The meeting of Brooklyn and Derek's parents is a delight and it's wonderful to see the trio of couples so compatible, especially compared to the romantic relationships between the other characters in the book. ONCE UPON A SPINE is a fine entry in the Bibliophile Mystery series that celebrates relationships while providing an engaging well plotted mystery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Working in a library, this series is a real favorite. I've learned a few tricks for repairing books that have really helped. I like the characters, especially Brooklyn's parents, who were Deadheads. good characters, good plots, good settings, great books!
LeiLaniHauge More than 1 year ago
I remember meeting my future in-laws...absolutely terrifying! And then have your parents also stay with you to meet them as well? But to find yet another body upon that stress? I would be a horrible mess! Yet, Kate Carlisle weaves a tale with books, murder, food and wine, with a dash of romance crafted together. As an avid fan, I was not disappointed!
ShelliKing More than 1 year ago
This latest offering in the Bibliophile is another sure hit. I love the way Kate Carlisle write and this is no exception. Throughout this series, her quirky characters get through the worst situations with both wit and a sense of humor. Carlisle writes in such a way that you can almost smell the pages of the books she works on. This time it's a rare edition of Alice in Wonderland wreaking havoc in her neighborhood. Brooklyn and Derrick should be focusing on their wedding plans. Instead, they're once again embroiled in murder! You HAVE to read this book!
BMarquart More than 1 year ago
This is a fun book to read! The characters are interesting and quirky and the mystery has a surprising ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another fun, romantic murder mystery! Yes, you read me right - this book has all of that and more. Brooklyn and Derek are having their parents staying over (6 people) in their newly renovated apartment in SF. It centers around food, adventure and love; plus the thrills are never ending for all involved. This is #11 and I'm still enjoying them and looking forward to #12. Don't fret if this is your first read, all these books can stand alone with references to the past ones so it's easy to catch up.
arkieclown More than 1 year ago
ONCE UPON A SPINE by Kate Carlisle is an absolutely fun book to read! You know there’s going to be a murder and that Brooklyn’s going to be in the middle of solving it. She’s just prone that way it seems. However, you are kept guessing and miss-guessing who done it to the very end. Along the way you see some sweet romance between Brooklyn and her Fiancée - Commander Derek, funny and quirky family members that manage to not only get along but actually help in the case, and learn about all the folks living and working in the Courtyard. If you wants a book that you don’t want to put down, that is very well written and manages to give you a laugh along the way, then I highly recommend this book to you.
charleneC More than 1 year ago
I loved this fast moving book! so many twists and turns, I could not put it down! I love the characters and interesting storyline. Thjs book will keep you riveted and keep you guessing. Kate Carlisle, I love this series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sad I can no longer afford her books.
Lwing More than 1 year ago
I love my Nook because I'm cheap, so when I pay full price for a Nook book it's because I love the author. I'm a real fan of Kate Carlisle's books, I started with her Bibliophile series and this is a welcome addition to that series. I love the characters and the two main characters are about to put their parents together for the first time. Brooklyn's hippie/entrepreneur parents are to meet Derek the former James Bond type fiance's parents. Who knew they were separated at birth? Once that is settled they find out that Derek's mother wants to be involved in the latest murder that happened across the street from Brooklyn's apartment and of course chaos follows. There are suspects galore, too many that they truly like. The outcome opens the next new phase in Derek and Brooklyn's life together and thankfully doesn't turn out to be the most favored suspects. I want to live across from all the stores that were in the building across the street, the only problem with many books, longing for fictional places. If you like her books, you'll love this, if you haven't read them, you'll still love this. It keeps you guessing and laughing and enjoying the assembled characters! It's San Francisco as you wish it were and the wine country as well. I could hang out there forever.
bumblebee23 More than 1 year ago
Brooklyn is at it again! Finding bodies and solving crimes while also doing amazing work restoring books and being engaged to the awesome Derek! This time there is something going on among the shop owners at the Courtyard, near where Brooklyn and Derek live. The shops sound amazing but the people have a lot of drama going on. There is also a rare edition of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" that is adding some bad blood between the shop owners at the bookstore. There is someone vandalizing the buildings with graffiti. Is the owner of the Courtyard looking to sell so high-rise apartments can replace the beautiful little shops? As Brooklyn and Derek's wedding approaches it is time to meet her future in-laws! Brooklyn is preparing to meet Derek's parents, as well as introduce both sets of parents, and working on solving another murder. Plus she has a fascinating day job too! Inspector Lee is back and other characters you love to catch up with. I also would love to go to the pie shop because it sounds oh so delicious! Brooklyn and Derek are such a likable couple and I can't wait until they are finally married! I look forward to the next book of course!
Guinnessgirl39 More than 1 year ago
I was anxiously awaiting this book, And I was not disappointed! Brooklyn and Derek are getting ready for his parents to visit and Brooklyn is getting nervous, understandably so as she has not met his parents yet and well her parents are a bit eccentric. But everything seems to be going down The Rabbit Hole when Brooklyn discovers Will Rabbit injured and Joey the Cobbler dead under heavy shelves in Will's store. Not exactly how Brooklyn wanted to start off Derek's parents visit. Little did she realize that both sets of parents would get along fantastically and want to give an assist in solving the murder. Could the key to solving the murder revolve around original versions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland? How does chocolate cream pie figure into the grand scheme of things, and who has psychic abilities? Can Brooklyn and Derek save the Courtyard from being torn down by developers? Who really killed Joey, a jealous lover or a case of mistaken identity? I have been following Brooklyn and Derek's adventures from the first book and I cannot wait to read what happens next!
GBSfan More than 1 year ago
Brooklyn Wainwright is stressing out. Not over a rare book appraisal. Not over the well-being of a family member or friend. Not even over a tricky book restoration. Nope. Brooklyn is stressed because her fiancé’s parents are coming from England to meet her. And they’ll be staying a week. As if that isn’t enough, her parents will also spend the week. Yep, the same week. And they’ll all be in Brooklyn and Derek’s apartment. Together. Brooklyn may be stressed, but I’m thrilled. As I’ve said before, I adore Becky and Jim. I couldn’t wait to see them interact with Derek’s very British mother and father. I won’t spoil anything, but it was much fun watching the sparks fly. Meanwhile, our poor heroine stumbles on the scene of a terrible accident. Or is it? In either case, two people who work at the funky shops across the street from the apartment are seriously injured. And this time it looks as if this mystery has nothing to do with any books. Not even the rare copy of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Brooklyn has been drooling over in the bookshop there. I have to say I loved the introduction of all the new characters. The shopkeepers are a cornucopia of types. And Derek’s parents are . . . Still not going to say anything about them. And how does ‘Alice in Wonderland’ fit in? More ways than you can imagine. I highly recommend this one.
Bronte63JS More than 1 year ago
Not to be Missed In-laws, out-laws and everything in between come together in Once Upon a Spine by Kate Carlisle. In the continuation of the Bibliophile Mystery series, Brooklyn Wainwright and her Bond-like fiancé Derek Stone find themselves in the middle of a murder investigation. The Courtyard is a community treasure housing charming small businesses that include an indie bookstore, pie shop and hat shop to name a few. When one of the shop owners is found murdered and another is seriously injured, Brooklyn and Derek work to solve the case that includes, among other things, a very valuable copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. To add to the stress of the situation. Brooklyn is preparing to meet her fiance’s parents as well as introduced them to her own. Readers can count on a mystery with no shortage of suspects, family ties and insight into the world of book collecting. All is served with an assortment of wines and delectable appetizers with recipes found in the back of the book. Once Upon a Spine should be at the top of your summer reading list.
DianeD54 More than 1 year ago
Having a love of anything book related, the Bibliophile Mystery series is a top favorite of mine. The main character, Brooklyn Wainwright, restores old books and each mystery is always centered around one book in particular. Once Upon a Spine is centered around a rare edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and odd things happening right in the neighborhood where Brooklyn lives. The description of all the little shops is particularly fun as the author draws you into the story. This was a page turner and so much fun to read. Once Upon a Spine is #11 in the Bibliophile Mysteries but it does stand alone. If you love books and mysteries, you won’t want to miss this series!
GHeins More than 1 year ago
"Once Upon a Spine" is my favorite of Kate Carlisle's Bibliophile Mystery series! As with the other books in the series, books are involved, and there is a murder, but this story is a little different. The book does not play a starring role. The reader is introduced to the book and it is woven throughout the story until it takes more meaning. The murder is quite questionable, with Brooklyn wondering if it is even a murder in the very beginning. This book does bring back Brooklyn's parents, and a side trip to her family's home in Dharma. It also introduces us to Derek's family. Brooklyn's mom is much more toned down in this book, which is a welcome change. The relationship between Brooklyn's parents and Derek's parents is wonderful, and definitely has the reader hoping for such a wonderful relationship with their in-laws and between their parents and in-laws if it doesn't already exist. I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mysteries, even if they haven't read the prior books in the series.
emmabrace19 More than 1 year ago
This 11th installment of the Bibliophile Mysteries was a fun light read that rounded out some of the parts of Brooklyn & Derek's world that readers may not have known before. While Dharma didn't see a lot of action in this book, we got a nice well-rounded idea of Brooklyn & Derek's neighborhood and the interesting people around them! Like every Bibliophile Mystery, a murder and a book are somehow tied together, although the motives of the villains in this story were a little less obvious than in others. It was lovely reading about Derek's family and Brooklyn & Derek's moms, and overall this book was an extremely enjoyable light summer read. I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
bp124 More than 1 year ago
Kate Carlisle has done it again! I thoroughly enjoy the Bibliophile Mystery series and Once Upon A Spine is a wonderful addition. Brooklyn Wainwright, a bookbinder, always seems to fall upon trouble and there are plenty of twists and turns before the mystery is solved. Kate Carlisle always makes me laugh while keeping me on the edge of my seat until the end. The cast of characters, both old and new are a delight. In each book, I learn something I never knew before, like how to make paper, from the authors terrific descriptions. You will not be disappointed with this book. Keep up the good work Kate and Keep this series going!
3303 More than 1 year ago
The new Bibliophile mystery is a wonderful read! As an ARC reader I was asked to leave an honest review. I absolutely love Brooklyn and Derek , throw in both sets of parents, A rare copy of Alice in wonderland,a murder and lots of laughs!! You definately will not be disappointed in this mystery series!!
ethel55 More than 1 year ago
With a great dual storyline, the new Bibliophile mystery is both a meet the parents tale and one about your own neighborhood. Brooklyn and Derek really love their Courtyard area of San Francisco—but how well do they really know these small business neighbors? Shortly before Derek’s parents are due to arrive from England, Brooklyn discovers two injured shop owners, one of whom passes away after being crushed by shelving. That storyline, along with interesting info about first editions of Alice in Wonderland and paper making, detail the book side of the story. But it's also finally meet the parents time. Brooklyn wonders how her admittedly hippie parents will mesh with Derek’s folks. The new characters were a lot of fun and I hope to see more of them as we head toward Brooklyn and Derek’s eventual nuptials. I am always excited to see a new release in this long running series. Brooklyn and Derek are characters that work so well together.
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
I simply love the thrill of discovery that comes with the stories in the Bibliophile Mysteries. As a book lover, the thought of finding a rare edition of one of my favorite books, well, it makes my toes wiggle. I’ll admit, I wasn’t excited about the treasured volume of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland like main character, Brooklyn Wainwright was. I have never liked that tale. But, I was wrapped up in Brooklyn’s excitement about it. ONCE UPON A SPINE is another well written installment in the Bibliophile Mysteries. And it certainly shares something in common with the story of Alice, not everything it as it seems. This was a clever mystery that had my brain hopping around like a frantic rabbit, trying to guess the outcome. More than just a mystery, ONCE UPON A SPINE introduced new characters to readers, Derek’s parents. I enjoyed the energy of the story when they were in the scene. They were simply delightful, and fit in perfectly with the already established characters. I’m looking forward to their next appearance in the series. As if all of that isn’t enough to entice you to read this book, wait until you see some of the sassy recipes included with names like Hot Butter Rump Bites, and Perky Brest Nibbles. ;-)