Monday, August 13, 2012

Peril in Paperback by Kate Carlisle

If you're a fan of the traditional English house-party mysteries, you'll want to read Kate Carlisle's homage to Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. Brooklyn Wainwright, Carlisle's book restoration expert, is the perfect character to take us to a week-long birthday celebration in the home of an eccentric game designer.

Brooklyn's neighbor, Susie Stein has an aunt, Grace Crawford, who is a self-made billionaire who made her fortune in the computer game industry. Her fiftieth birthday celebration means she can invite her family and friends to celebrate in her unusual mansion in Lake Tahoe. Brooklyn is invited, not only as Susie's friend, but so she can do some bookbinding and oversee the librarian archivist who is cataloging Grace's collection of rare books.

From the moment they arrive, Brooklyn realizes some of the guests are just nasty, Grace's lawyer, her sister-in-law, the woman who is married to Grace's business partner.And, when Grace announces she has written a novel based on her own life, some of the guests don't seem happy. The death of a guest, and Brooklyn's suspicion that Grace could have been the target, lead her into an investigation with her mysterious friend Gabriel.

Brooklyn Wainwright is an amateur sleuth who continues to discover dead bodies. Her investigations are motivated by her determination to find justice. She admits she has an "Alarming tendency to find dead people, followed by an ineffable need to see that justice prevailed on their behalf." And, in this case, she's already suspicious and angry, so an investigation fits her mood.

Peril in Paperback is such a fun story with so many tributes to the classic English country house mystery. There's the eccentric wealthy person who invites people to their house where everyone becomes stuck in the house after a murder. In this case, the house itself is fun and unusual. The rich person has secrets to be revealed, and someone wants to stop them. It's a wonderful tribute with a climax in which all the suspects are gathered together. The murderer is revealed, and other secrets are uncovered. There's mystery, romance, and surprises. Kate Carlisle's Peril in Paperback is a wonderful tribute to the past.

I do have one quibble. Since when is fifty considered old? I'm going to take that up with Kate on Wednesday. Granted, Brooklyn admits she had the wrong idea of what Grace Crawford would be like. But, what a wrong idea! "Grace Crawford was nothing like what I'd expected. I had imagined a genteel, gray-haired granny type who knitted quietly, surrounded by her twelve cats. For excitement, she might play a mean game of canasta." Really, Kate? Where did you ever get that idea of a fifty-year-old?

Fortunately, Brooklyn Wainwright usually isn't that mistaken. She's a terrific amateur sleuth, a booklover who also enjoys her food and her men. And, Peril In Paperback takes her into the perfect world for all of us who enjoy classic mysteries. Kate Carlisle's latest is a fun sincere tribute to one of the all-time best, Agatha Christie.

Kate Carlisle's website is www.katecarlisle.com

Peril in Paperback by Kate Carlisle. Obsidian. 2012. ISBN 9780451237620 (paperback), 277p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


18 comments:

SandyG265 said...

I read Peril in Paperback last week and enjoyed it. But I do agree with you about Aunt Grace. I didn't think that Brooklyn's expecttions of what she would be like were realistic either.

tati said...

I love these kinds of mysteries. I cut my teeth on Agatha's stories, back when I was a kid.

Carol N Wong said...

This one is already on my wishlist.

Lesa said...

Sandy,

I'm going to PP on Wednesday night to see Kate. I'm going to mention that to her.

Lesa said...

Tati,

I think you'll enjoy this one. It's a nice tribute to Agatha Christie.

Lesa said...

I hope you get it, Carol!

Nancy Northcott said...

I haven't yet read this book, but I love this series!

Harvee Lau said...

This one sounds so good, the theme and setting. Nice review.

Lesa said...

You're going to love this one, too, Nancy, since you're a fan of the series. But, anyone could read it without having read the earlier books.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Harvee. I love thos English country house mysteries. This one fits the bill.

Karen C said...

It's been a long time since I've read Agatha Christie and I did love her books. This one sounds like a good read; must add to the TBR.

Beth Hoffman said...

This sounds like great fun (the title made me laugh)! Thanks for the recommendation, Lesa.

Hope your week is a good one!

Lesa said...

Karen, You should add it to your TBR pile. It's fun.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Beth! It was a fun book. Anyone who likes the English country house mysteries will enjoy it.

Thanks! I'm working on a good week. I hope you have a good one, too.

Anonymous said...

I am 66 and remember when I had similar thoughts as to what 50 would be like. So glad we were both wrong?

Lesa said...

Oh, I'm glad we were wrong, too! My fifties have been wonderful so far!

Jane R said...

And Then There Were None was the first Christie book I read, when I was in junior high school. I'm looking forward to Kate Carlisle's book, altho I must admit I'm a bit put off as well about the whole "50is old" thing. I live by the saying "you're only as old as you feel". So far that seems to be working!

Lesa said...

I went to hear Kate last night. She said she had her answer all prepared for me, but we really didn't get to talk. The line was too long, which is good. But, in her comments, she said Grace was originally supposed to be 70. It looks to me as that comment never got changed when she made Grace 50. I can live with that, Jane. You'll enjoy the book, though.