The run-up to San Francisco bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright’s wedding to security expert Derek Stone immerses her in a librarians’ conference before the ceremony itself unfolds as a race between the minister and the meat wagon.
Back in library school, Brooklyn and her roommates, Heather and Sara, were so tight that everyone called them the Three Musketeers. Then Sara stole Heather’s boyfriend, Rod Martin, married him, and disappeared for 12 years. Now she’s back as a surprise guest at the surprise party Brooklyn’s family has thrown for her in between the events she’s running at the conference of the National Librarians Association. Unfortunately, they’ve also invited Heather, whom Brooklyn hasn’t seen for just as long. The reunion doesn’t exactly go well, but both ex-friends do present the bride-to-be with rare first editions of particularly meaningful books. One of these volumes turns out to be (1) exceptionally valuable and (2) fake, and the fraught atmosphere becomes even fraughter when Brooklyn, despite bridling against conventioneers who press her about her proclivity for finding dead bodies (Once upon a Spine, 2017, etc.), goes hunting with Derek for Sara and finds her dead in a hotel basement, buried under the cartons of books her boss had ordered her to bring over to the conference. Fans of the series will be too savvy to worry whether Brooklyn will solve the case in time to tie the knot with Derek. Instead, they’ll be focused on the important things, like the moment when Brooklyn tells the knife-wielding killer who’s grabbed her moments before the ceremony, “You get one drop of blood on this dress and you’re a dead man.”
Books, fashion, cocktails, tearful displays of affection, and more books. Oh, and half a dozen appended recipes, because weddings make everyone hungry, especially when they’ve just witnessed another near murder.