The Book Supremacy

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 04 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

Kate Carlisle’s latest Bibliophile Mystery, The Book Supremacy, is another wonderful addition to the series. It was such fun to join Brooklyn and Derek for the last days of their Paris honeymoon. In this installment we meet several former colleagues from Derek’s career in British intelligence and several people currently working for him in San Francisco. To say the least, they are quite interesting characters. As always we learn more about book restoration, security systems, and this time a little about escape rooms. All is quite fun and edifying in the midst of the requisite murder investigation. Anyone will enjoy this totally engaging mystery, but especially fans of Kate Carlisle and Brooklyn Wainwright.
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The Book Supremacy is the thirteenth entry in the Bibliophile Mystery series and although I love Brooklyn and Derek and have enjoyed their adventures over the years, I was not overly crazy about this book.  I thought the actual mystery was poor compared to previous books and although I enjoyed reading about Brooklyn and Derek's newlywed state, there is only so much "My husband is so wonderful" statements I can take in one sitting; I was so past the gushing and wanted to just get on with the story and how the two of them would adjust to being married.

First of all, there really wasn't very much to the mystery in this one and I really felt like the author was grasping to come up with something 'mysterious'.  There was so much filler, Brooklyn's honeymoon details and her work details, which is rather interesting but I felt like it was used to add words to a rather weak story.  Then there were the many descriptions about the spy store and the spy rooms; again, interesting, but filler material.  And then there was the seriously weird employee at Derek's company and I just couldn't figure out why he had to tiptoe around her so much considering he was the boss.  And this person's antics were just weird.  Not creepy, not eerie, not mysterious, just...bizarre and I couldn't figure out where the author was going with this development.  It just seemed so out of character for Derek in how the situation was handled that I didn't buy it. I really think you can only push a reader so much before they go, 'No way!"

What this book has going for it though, is the writing style.  I have always enjoyed the way the author develops her characters and while I couldn't see the purpose of introducing this one character, I do like the other ones that appear quite frequently as they are an eclectic mix.  I normally like how Brooklyn and Derek investigate a mystery, and while they definitely asked questions and attempted to solve the case, one of the things that bothers me is when an author deliberately puts a character in a stupid situation just to make things more exciting.  The trap involves Brooklyn, one she sets up in order to catch a killer, but after everything she has been through, she doesn't set up any safety controls? Really? I really thought this author was past all of this but I guess we all have out weak moments.

The Book Supremacy is not one of the strongest books in this series.  Luckily, you can read it as a stand alone, but I would recommend skipping it and moving on to the next one as you won't actually miss anything.  The author is really great at keeping previous novels out of the current one so even if you read them out of order there won't be any spoilers.  Despite the weakness of the mystery and the plot, the writing style is still strong and I did enjoy learning about Brooklyn and Derek's honeymoon and newlywed beginnings.  And because I enjoyed the other books in this series so much, I will definitely read the next one in the series and count this one as a fluke.
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This was a fun, cute cozy mystery! I love the theme throughout, and I will definitely be continuing with the series. I adore all of Kate Carlisle's books, and this one was no exception!
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A cozy mystery series based around old books and spies is a pretty hard-to-turn-down combination! Kate Carlisle’s The Book Supremacy is a really fun mystery that has vintage elements in a modern setting. With outstanding characters a film-like feel, readers will have a fun time with this one!

About the Book

Brooklyn Wainwright and her new husband Derek are enjoying the last few days of their honeymoon in Paris experiencing the food, wine, and sites. While perusing the book stalls along the Seine, Brooklyn finds the perfect wedding gift for her former-MI6 husband—a beautiful first edition copy of vintage James Bond novel The Spy Who Loved Me. 

But soon after showing the book to Derek and an old colleague Ned who he bumped into on the street, Brooklyn notices a mysterious figure in a hooded sweatshirt watching them. Certain she is seeing things, Brooklyn does her best to put it out of her mind while they celebrate their last night in Paris.

Back in San Francisco, Brooklyn and Derek visit another old colleague of Derek’s Owen, who has retired and opened a spy shop. For the celebration, Owen asks to display the first edition James Bond novel—with proper security in place, of course. The book turns out to be worth quite a lot more than Brooklyn paid for it!

When Derek receives a mysterious letter informing him of Ned’s sudden death, and a break-in at the spy shop results in murder, Brooklyn and Derek realize more may be going on than meets the eye. And the key to it all may lay in the vintage spy novel Brooklyn purchased. Now, they must solve the mystery before anyone else ends up dead!

Reflection

I had so much fun with this cozy mystery—it felt very movie-like in away, with a mix of the authentic core-cast characters and a few larger than life archetype characters that made their debut. From the first chapter where Brooklyn realizes that French Toast is probably not referred to by the same name when you are in France, to the conversation overheard by a group of people explaining how they would plan different murders (they are writers)—there are lots of funny moments that kept this feeling light despite the dead bodies!

Brooklyn and Derek are sweet together, and despite Derek’s obvious connection to this case, this very much felt like Brooklyn’s mystery. There was a nice mix of Brooklyn’s story and the mystery itself. The book didn’t suffer from losing track of the mystery, though it did seem to take a bit for the action to pick up in the story. Once it did, this was quite exciting!

I really liked Brooklyn and Derek, and I found the side characters—both those that seem to be series regulars and those who were brought in just for this story—to be really interesting as well. The Jackals (mystery writers that frequent the spy shop café) were a delight, and I also enjoyed Ned, Owen, and a few others who I won’t name so I don’t spoil anything. I also loved reading about Brooklyn’s work restoring the old books. I think every book lover will find the process and care that goes into piecing a book back together to be fascinating!

I’m guessing that if you are a fan of cozy mysteries, you won’t mind a bit of suspension of disbelief, and this mystery does ask for that a bit. It is so entertaining and it is grounded enough in reality to make it a fun read with great settings! Also—fans of escape rooms and puzzles will find the spy shop escape room descriptions to be a lot of fun. I know I did!

Thank you to Berkley for my copy. Opinions are my own.
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Kate Carlisle once again pulled me in from the first page with The Book Supremacy. It picks up on Brooklyn and Derek's honeymoon in their final days in Paris. I loved getting to meet some people from Derek's past, and I also loved Brooklyn found the perfect gift for Derek in The Spy Who Loved Me. Of course anytime Brooklyn finds an amazing book, you know if will also figure into their latest mystery.

I really enjoyed this latest installment into the Bibliophile series. I loved that Brooklyn and Derek as always got to work together to solve the latest mystery, and for once it was more about Derek's past and presence than Brooklyn's. While we only had limited time with Brooklyn's family, I have to say they always bring a smile to my face when I see we get to spend time with them. I absolutely loved getting to know some of Derek's current work colleagues and hope we spend more time with them in the future. I had my suspensions as to who was behind everything, and while I had guessed the individual, I was so off on the why. 

 I love a good mystery that makes me think outside the box, and Kate Carlisle tends to do this with each of her stories. Ms. Carlisle is one of my go-to authors for cozy mysteries, and I have to say her Bibliophile series of books remain my absolute favorite series of books in the cozy mystery genre.

Rating: 4 Stars (B+)
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This is the first book I have read in Kate Carlisle’s Brooklyn Wainwright, book restoration expert, cozy mystery series, but the 13th in the series. Talk about jumping in late! Even so, I had no problem picking up with this book, and, in fact, enjoyed every second of the novel. Why I haven’t I gotten around to reading this series sooner?!

After her honeymoon in Paris, where she finds the perfect rare book for her new husband, Derek, the happy couple returns home. Derek isn’t quite able to settle in at home the way he would like to. Things at the office have reached a boiling point. Meanwhile, Derek is reunited with an old colleague from his spy days. Set in one of my favorite cities, San Francisco, add in escape rooms, and a murder--all ingredients making this one cozy mystery I was sure to love. The mystery itself took a while to get off the ground, but I did not mind given I had some catching up to do with the character’s background. It was all very relevant and interesting for the buildup of what was to come. Both Derek and Brooklyn are likeable characters. This novel almost has me convinced I should give the whole escape room experience a try—but the jury is still out on it. A bit of humor, mixed in with action, romance and mystery, The Book Supremacy was a real hit for me.
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This book follows Brooklyn and Derek who are spending their last day in Paris on their honeymoon. When Derek bumps into an old friend Ned from back when they worked under cover. While they are meeting Brooklyn stumbles across a first edition hardcover copy of The Spy Who Loved Me. Buying it for Derek knowing he’d appreciate it. When they return home they investigate a spy shop called SPECTRE opened by Owen another former agent.

Owen begs Brooklyn and Derek to feature their James Bond book in his shop to gather attention to his shop along with his escape rooms. Derek ends up using the escape rooms to help build up his worker’s relationships as there have been some issues while the newlyweds have been away.

When someone tries to steal the book and kills one of the workers things get serious then Derek hears Ned has been killed and the two try to figure out who is going around killing former agents and why? Add to this Derek is having touble with one worker Lark who creates all sorts of issues as work and they have their work cut out for them. Will they figure it out in time or will Derek or Brooklyn become the next victim?

This book was fabulous it had everything very interesting people they run into along with spy stuff and of course Bond where can you go wrong? The book was captivating and definitely kept you going until the end so you could see them catch the bad guy and figure out the big question Alex had the WHY! It definitely delivered and then some! Can’t wait to see what is next for these two such a fun adventure to say the least!
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Kate Carlisle continues her Bibliophile mysteries with The Book Supremacy.  Brooklyn and Derek return from their honeymoon in Paris.  Immediately Derek's company has major problems and someone is murdered at a friend's business.  Brooklyn's gift for Derek is a copy of the Spy Who Loved Me; she found it on the book stalls by the Seine for a few euros but it is a rare copy worth major money.  The murder centers around someone who wants to steal the book.  Intrigue at work and in their personal lives.
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This is my favorite cozy mystery series.  While this installment was good, it started off a little slow for me.  It wasn't until about halfway through the book the mystery even kicked off.  I still love Brooklyn and Derick, but some of the new characters didn't really land for me.  I would love to learn more about Alex, the badass neighbor who bakes cupcakes.  Still an enjoyable book.
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Brooklyn Wainwright Stone is a newlywed. She is happily married to Derek and, as the story begins, they are returning about to return home from their honeymoon. They are shopping and Brooklyn is searching for the perfect gift for Derek. It is while shopping that they bump into Ned, an old spy friend of Derek's. This is appropos because the book that Brooklyn found is a first edition of one of Derek's favorite spy novels.

They decided to visit a spy shop that was recommended by Ned. The owner is eager and quite impressed with the find of the first edition that Brooklyn found for Derek and begs them to let him display the book in his shop. In all actuality, the book is worth quite a lot, and thus Brooklyn is reticent to allow it to be displayed.

Meanwhile, Derek receives a strange letter from Paris that announced that Ned is dead. How shocking and terrible. Then, another man is killed inside of Ned's spy shop. Brooklyn cannot help but wonder if the murders are connected and if that very same book that Ned wanted to display has anything to do with things.

Brooklyn was quite impressive and is uniquely gifted at restoring books. I found this part of the story to be so very interesting. Not only is Brooklyn exceptionally knowledgeable about books, but she also a knack for sleuthing. As this is the first read in this series, I hadn't had the opportunity to see Brooklyn grow as an amateur detective.

I must say that I was so impressed with this book by Kate Carlisle that I went to my online libraries and discovered that each title in this series is actually available. Not only did I make a list of the books in order to read, but will be doing so with another of her series. Indeed, she is an excellent author and I am eager to continue reading her books.

Many thanks to Berkley and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Oh, man! Can I just say how much I enjoyed this book? Will that suffice enough?

No?

Well, let me explain a little bit more then.

I’ve always been a fan of Kate Carlisle’s writing and this series. But this one really captured my interest because of the spy theme. The beginning was always particularly refreshing because it’s set in Paris where Brooklyn and Derek are on their honeymoon. I loved that Carlisle was able to add that personal storyline into the novel without slowing down the book or making it feel out of place. The French language was done really well and I was really happy that my knowledge of the culture and language came in handy with this book.

The other thing that made this book standout was the fact that it gave a nod to James Bond. The spy theme throughout was so well-thought-out and exciting that I read through this book so quickly. Brooklyn’s narration was just so fun and engaging, making the book fly by so quickly. I even liked Derek’s involvement as well.

So all in all, this book was a total win for me. I think it might even be my new favorite book in the series! So if you haven’t read this series already, I would definitely start with this book to try it!
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Another great addition to the series! I really enjoyed the focus on Derek’s past and spy work. The book had a little bit of a spy thriller feel and that kept the reading interesting. This one was more fast paced than the last book in the series and I really enjoyed that. There were a couple parts that got overly detailed and I didn’t love the sass level between Brooklyn and another character but overall I enjoyed the book and look forward to the next one.
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I love that even thought this is book 13 and you think you'd be bored by now you can't put this book down. I think their adventures in this series are just different enough each time that you get hooked. Just like the previous books in the series I want to step inside the book. I love the settings and descriptions.
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This was a good entry in the series focusing more on Brooklyn and Derek with less of the secondary characters from previous books. While I enjoy the secondary characters, it was nice to get a little more time with the main couple. The mystery is a bit slow to start but I was guessing until the reveal so a solid mystery plot with some convincing red herrings.
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THE BOOK SUPREMACY is book number thirteen in the Bibliophile Mystery series. This is a series I've wanted to read for a long time (I love book-themed cozies), so I decided to just jump in with this latest installment. 

Brooklyn Wainwright is a San Francisco-based book restorer, and she and new husband Derek are just starting married life after a romantic Paris honeymoon. Little did she know that a rare copy of The Spy Who Loved Me from a Paris street vendor would pull her into the world of international espionage.

I enjoyed the mystery in this book very much. It was interesting and multi-layered with a cast of intriguing characters. What began as a murder in a San Francisco spy shop turned out to be so much more. It did take some time for the action to get going, but once it did it was an exciting ride. Looking forward to catching up with Brooklyn & Derek's backstory in the previous books!
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I have always loved this series from the very beginning. Not only is Brooklyn's story line well developed but so are the other characters in each book. I love all the details about that go into describing the city and the people. I was a little bummed that we did not get to see as much of Brooklyn's family in this book as in the others but I loved reading more about Derek's background. This was a fun and fantastic read. It did not disappoint!
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The series is becoming a bit stale. I also have a lot of issues with how the author describes women sometimes, the tropes are sometimes a bit much and borderline slut-shaming. It would be nice if both Brooklyn and her partner had some flaws, it would make them more interesting.
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The Book Supremacy is the thirteenth delightful installment in A Bibliophile Mystery series.  I have been a fan of this book themed mystery series since the very beginning.  I eagerly await each new installment and then devour it quickly.  The Book Supremacy is a charming story with well-developed characters that takes us to France, wine country, and San Francisco.  Kate Carlisle has a charming writing style that engages the reader and keeps them engrossed until the very last word.  The descriptions of Paris transported me to the location.  I could envision the green book stalls, the Seine, and the streets of Paris.  The same can be said for Dharma and San Francisco.  I especially loved SPECTRE with the various spy gadgets, books, café and escape rooms.  I found the escape rooms to be intriguing and they sound like an hour of good fun.  It is always fascinating to learn more about Brooklyn’s book restoration work and the lovely creations she makes from paper.  The mystery is complex, and I like how everything tied together.  There is action, suspense, a twist or two with the added touch of espionage.  The mystery can be solved by armchair sleuths before the reveal, but that did not hinder my reading experience.  While The Book Supremacy can be read alone, I heartily recommend reading the series in order (you will not be disappointed).  It allows you to learn about Brooklyn, her work, friends and how she and Derek came to be together.  I could not wait to get to the end of the story to find out what happened, but then I was sad that I had finished it (and must wait a year for another installment).  There are recipes at the end of the book (Brooklyn does love good food and chocolate).  The Book Supremacy is a story for fans of the series, the characters, and those who truly love books.  The Book Supremacy has good food, intrigue, spy gadgets, a plethora of books, former spies, a cute cat named Charlie, a murder, escape rooms and one curious book restorer plus her dashing English husband.
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The Book Supremacy:  A Bibliophile Mystery
By Kate Carlisle
Berkley
June 2019

Review by Cynthia Chow

Brooklyn Wainwright Stone is still basking in the glow of her Parisian honeymoon when the specialist bookbinder comes across the perfect gift for her security expert husband in the Bouquinistes bookstalls.  For a mere seven euros, Brooklyn purchases a 1962 first edition copy of Ian Fleming’s The Spy Who Loved Me, a bit of a wink and a nod to her own former MI6 James Bond-ish spouse.  Unfortunately, once home in San Francisco the discovery that the book is worth over $7500 is quickly overshadowed by news that all is not well within Derek Stone’s security business.  In an attempt to soothe the discontent being stirred by primarily one employee, they are inspired to engage in a team-building exercise ironically hosted within Pier 39’s all-things-spy gallery SPECTRE.  Run by one of Derek’s ex-spy co-worker Owen Gibbons, not only does the warehouse contain a spy-centric bookstore, café, and home-espionage supplies, SPECTRE also runs a variety of Escape Rooms that force participants to work together to solve puzzles before time runs out.  

While Brooklyn and her friends are challenged and excel under the pressure to think their way out of a zombie escape room, the non-participation of the challenging employee does little to improve their team’s morale.  It’s even worse when a part-time SPECTRE employee and member of an aspiring thriller writing group is found brutally murdered in one of the escape rooms.  Not only was the attack captured on video, it also revealed that the Ian Fleming book Brooklyn and Derek lent for a display was the target for an attempted theft.  Further intrigue leads them to a plan targeting seven secret ops agents, one of whom is hunting down the rest.  Using Brooklyn’s knowledge of books and Derek’s skills as a spy, the couple and their allies hunt down a brutal assassin motivated by greed and willing to cross borders to protect a nefarious plan.

It can’t be emphasized just how much fun this suspenseful, book-themed series has become. Brooklyn’s obsession with meticulous book-mending and preservation is truly fascinating, and the author excels at making her every stitch and specialized glue repair interesting and informative.  The less book-nerdy readers will be riveted by the exploits of the former spies, who uncover a plot of blackmail and trail of bodies that surprises even these jaded agents.  Brooklyn’s visit home to the town of Dharma gives her some emotional support from her family and wisdom from Guru Bob, but the real fun takes place back in San Francisco.  The Fisherman’s Wharf setting is depicted so vividly that readers will feel the chill and taste the fresh fish delicacies prepared in their charming cafes and restaurants.  Book-themed clues, a thrilling plot, and witty characters continue to make this a winning blend of spy and cozy mysteries.
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This lovely story and the series are wonderful love notes to books. The writing is excellent, the mystery isn’t so much in the ‘who did it’ as in the ‘how we’ll catch him/her’, and the romance just gets lovelier with every new book in the series. 

Brooklyn Wainwright is a bookbinder specializing in rare book restoration. She loves books – the feel of them, the smell of them – just being near them. Her passion is taking a book that has fallen on hard times and restoring it to its former glory. Oh – and she also has a penchant for stumbling over dead bodies. She’s married to a handsome, super sexy, ex-spy, Derek, who helps her solve the crimes.

Brooklyn and Derek finally had their wedding at the end of the previous book, Buried In Books. Now, as their honeymoon in Paris draws to a close, they spend time browsing in the lovely Bouquinistes (bookstalls that lined both sides of the Seine River). Brooklyn finds two lovely old books that she wants to restore – One is a perfect gift for Derek and another that is perfect for the mother of her friend Inspector Janice Lee, SFPD homicide detective. 

Mysterious things begin to happen before they ever leave Paris. Derek meets an old colleague that he hasn’t seen in years – and their hotel room is broken into. Those mysterious things continue after they return to San Francisco. Then, there is the murder that is somehow connected to the book Brooklyn bought for Derek.

The times are tense at Derek’s company because somebody is creating strife in the workplace – and they have a murder on their hands – actually, maybe more than one murder. Are Derek and/or Brooklyn in danger as well? What would someone want with the book?

I highly recommend this book and this series. We have visits from the ongoing supporting characters like Alex and Gabriel and Brooklyn’s parents as well some new characters – Tinker, Soldier and Drummer Girl, also known as The Jackals. They are a fun addition to the story and you’ll like them.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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