ONCE UPON A SPINE by Kate Carlisle


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A San Francisco bookbinder maintains her strange knack of finding dead bodies.

Brooklyn Wainwright is nervously awaiting the arrival from England of her prospective in-laws. Having never met Derek Stone’s mother and father, she worries about how they’ll get along with her own parents, solid citizens of a Sonoma wine commune whose actions often harken back to their hippie past. While she waits for their arrival, she occupies herself by coveting the beautiful early edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that’s among the current offerings of the Brothers Bookshop, one of the charming stores in the Courtyard, right across the street from the home she shares with Derek. While going out for an early morning latte, she passes another courtyard store, the Rabbit Hole, where she finds owner Will Rabbit badly injured under a pile of heavy shelves. When the shelves are lifted, the police discover something even worse: the body of Joey, the local cobbler. Bonnie, Will’s aunt and owner of the Courtyard, is devastated by the death of Joey, whose corpse smells of her distinctive perfume. Both Brooklyn and Derek, a former British agent who runs a security company, have had prior dealings with Inspector Janice Lee, and with her permission, the two of them decide to do a little detective work of their own, hoping their knowledge of the neighborhood and past successes in uncovering killers (Books of a Feather, 2016, etc.) will help. Brooklyn, relieved when the in-laws hit it off, takes time from her sleuthing to tour San Francisco with considerably more emphasis on gourmet food than detection.

Light on mystery, heavy on the charms of San Francisco and the joys of food and wine.

Pub Date: June 6th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-451-47772-9
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2017


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