Ripped From the Pages by Kate Carlisle
June 2, 2015
Brooklyn Wainwright and her boyfriend Derek are house sitting in the Northern California commune of Dharma while their apartment undergoes renovations. They’re hoping for a quiet stay, but when Brooklyn discovers a hidden chamber under the commune’s winery containing a host of treasure and a long-dead body, the duo quickly realizes they’re in for anything but.
Kate Carlisle’s ninth Bibliophile Mystery, Ripped From the Pages, is a gently paced, intelligently plotted tale that educates while it entertains. Readers interested in art, WWII-era history, wine, and rare books will find plenty to enlighten. Brooklyn and company are faced with multiple mysteries to solve, which maintains tension despite a relative lack of action. Carlisle’s dialogue is natural, her prose has great flow, and her striking descriptions bring Brooklyn’s world to life.
What really sets this book apart, though, is Carlisle’s character work. Brooklyn makes for a winsome heroine and an engaging narrator; Derek Stone, her “hunky British ex-MI6 security agent boyfriend,” is at once the perfect partner in crime-fighting and the Platonic form of literary love interests; and the couple’s romance is one for the ages—a relationship that’s solid but still smolders, and is built on equal parts attraction, affection, and respect. Readers are also treated to a bizarrely enchanting cast of supporting characters, including Brooklyn’s mother (the recently anointed Grand Raven Mistress of her local druidic coven) and Dharma’s charismatic and enigmatic leader, Robson Benedict (aka Guru Bob).
Katrina Niidas Holm