Happy first review to Biblioholic Diaries! I plan to make this a weekly or twice-weekly thing.
The streets of San Francisco would be lined with hardcovers if rare book expert Brooklyn Wainwright had her way. And her mentor wouldn’t be lying in a pool of his own blood on the eve of a celebration for his latest book restoration.
With his final breath he leaves Brooklyn a cryptic message, and gives her a priceless and supposedly cursed copy of Goethe’s Faust for safekeeping.
Brooklyn suddenly finds herself accused of murder and theft, thanks to the humorless, but attractive, British security officer who finds her kneeling over the body. Now she has to read the clues left behind by her mentor if she is going to restore justice.
Brooklyn restores books for a living and as an art. She has a New Age mother who is an excellent cook, the vineyard-owning father who is so laid back and cool and her equally accomplished siblings who she visits on a regular basis. She also has a gorgeous best friend with good sense and quirky yet friendly neighbors. She’s living the good life, until her mentor and friend gets murdered. She gets assigned to take on his project: the restoration of a copy of Faust that belonged to an upper-crust family and was rumored to be cursed because of the deaths of previous owners. And to make matters worse, her archenemy tries to steal the restoration away from her and she also becomes the Number One suspect in Derek “James Bond” Stone’s list.
I am amazed at how the book restoration came alive in this novel. I am very partial to cozy mysteries that can skillfully illustrate the theme and weave it together with the story, giving the reader both an educational and literary experience. Also, Brooklyn has a strong bond with her family and friends, and I love that they support her, especially her mother, when she gets into really deep trouble. I had two candidates for the villain, and I turned out to be wrong in the end. I had Book Restoration for Dummies, all loose ends were tied up, there was playful bantering and humor to keep me entertained, and yet there was enough mystery and suspense to still keep me on my toes and guessing until the end. I really did enjoy the book, and I look forward to more Brooklyn Wainwright in the future.
And can I just say that I really fell in love with Derek Stone? I have a penchant for mysterious, charming and sinfully handsome men with whom the protagonist falls in love with at first hate (and then makes up at the end).