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The Book Supremacy

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The Book Supremacy:  A Bibliophile Mystery
By Kate Carlisle
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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Delightful! It's been a long time since I've read a book with so many characters as engaging as these - starting with book-restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright. That probably won't come as a surprise to those who found her long ago - this is the 13th book in the series - but she's new to me. And for sure I'll be following her from now on.

The story begins as Brooklyn is with her newly minted hunky former spy husband, Derek, in Paris (she'd met him on a murder case, apparently a book or two ago. Turns out she loves Ian Fleming's James Bond books (another reason I love her), so while Derek chats with a friend they bumped into as they browsed street vendors, she finds and buys a first-edition copy of "The Spy Who Loved Me." As she joins Derek and Ned to show them the book, she spots a suspicious character wearing a hoodie; nothing bad happens, but Ned clearly is upset.

Back home in San Francisco, they visit with another of Derek's spy-days cohorts, Owen, who runs a shop called "Spectre" that sells all kinds spy-related things and manages several very popular escape rooms. There, she meets a group of young would-be writers, a couple of whom work at Spectre. Brooklyn also offers her newly purchased book for a display that might help boost Owen's business - and he snaps up the offer. 

Owen then puts the book on display under lock and key. Not long after that, though, there's a break-in - and one of the young writers ends up dead (several items have been stolen, but thankfully, the book is safe). Derek gets a sad letter from Ned, who refers to a "list" in a "book." But what book? Could it be he's referring to Brooklyn's rare find and, if so, was it the real target of the break-in? Even more important, can Brooklyn and Derek figure out what's going on before someone else gets killed?

I can't give out the details, but I can say it was great fun learning the answers to those questions. For the record, I also enjoyed reading the details of Brooklyn's book-binding and restoration work, and the recipes at the end of the book sound yummy even though anything with more than three ingredients isn't likely to get made in my kitchen. Loved this one, and I heartily thank the publisher, via NetGalley, for the opportunity to read and review an advance copy.
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2 Stars-- The Book Supremacy by Kate Carlisle- Out June 4
Thank you to Berkley and Netgalley for a copy of this book.
Brooklyn and Derek are on their honeymoon where they find a first edition of The Spy Who Loved Me, bump into Derek's old friend and are watched by a mysterious person. Flash forward to them being back in San Fran. There they find out that Derek's friend has died and there is another death.
What I Loved: I loved all the book talk, as well as, the description of Paris. I enjoy this series because they are fun to read between more cut throat thrillers or dense reading material. I enjoy the characters in the stories, and these books are fine. 
What I did not love: 50% of the book was all backstory. Some of that included Brooklyn and Derek's backstory. This is book 13. If someone does not know every second of their backstory it is fine. They should read books 1-12. But even the backstory put into the mystery took forever. And too be honest who did it was obvious. Which is fine, but the end reveal was anti climatic.
I really enjoy this series, so I will continue to read the ones I have not and future books. This one was just not my favorite.
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Slow start to the mystery but it transitions from their honeymoon to their return home so it works well. The last book in the series was too busy with all the plot points and this one feels much more streamlined.

Derek's former colleague, Owen, the owner of the shop, SPECTRE, is excited to borrow the book from Brooklyn. Unfortunately one of the shop's employees is killed trying to prevent the theft. Brooklyn soon winds up investigating the murder.

There are troubles at Derek's office and they wind up intertwining with their time at SPECTRE and throughout the book. Honestly, after what happened it sounds like that company needs an HR audit. The spy shop has escape rooms that are fun and some are super creepy, so they end up doing escape rooms as a team exercise. Everything keeps coming back to the shop. Was it a former spy colleague? A current store employee? A member of the writers group that meets there?

Unfortunately, the ending is abrupt and it does feel like there's some loose ends that readers will want an explanation for. The mystery is resolved. I was genuinely surprised there wasn't another chapter and wondered if it was because it was an ARC.
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THE BOOK SUPREMACY, the thirteenth book in the Bibliophile Mystery series by Kate Carlisle, is an entertaining addition to a long enduring series! As a long-time fan of protagonist Brooklyn Wainwright (now Mrs. Derek Stone), I was ecstatic see her relationship with her love progress over the years, finally culminating in marriage and a romantic honeymoon in Paris. Ms. Carlisle captures the sounds, sights, and most definitely the tastes of the City of Lights, and makes me want to experience it firsthand. I was especially captivated by the description of the book stalls along the Seine. They sound fabulous especially when I read that some historians claim they have been in existence since the 17th century! After an indulgent interlude, Brooklyn and Derek head back to their home in the romantic city of San Francisco, where the action really starts. One of the strengths of the author is to set the stage, pulling the reader in with wonderful settings and superb character developments. It makes the reader want to follow the story of Brooklyn, her family and friends. 

In the midst of sharing their find of an Ian Fleming James Bond book while in Paris, for displaying during a friend’s spy shop celebration, murder happens and puts a somber damper on the festivities. It appears someone desperately wants Brooklyn’s copy of The Spy Who Loved Me. Ms. Carlisle effortlessly weaves an intriguing tale of creepy escape rooms, an ambitious employee after Derek, jealousy, and rare book restorations. I thought I knew where the author was taking the story but then she’d throw in a curve ball that I didn’t see coming. It kept me turning pages until I read the very last word. The final reveal brought great satisfaction and I was relieved that justice was served, like I hoped it would be. And that’s what makes a good cozy mystery!

I was delighted to see that several recipes are included in the back of the book, especially after drooling over Brooklyn and Derek’s feasts while honeymooning in Paris.
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I always enjoy Kate Carlisle's books.  She's added a bit of spy thriller into her newest mystery and she makes escape rooms sound amazing.  I find myself researching the books and techniques she describes in the series.  Looking forward to her next book.
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Brooklyn and Derek are in Paris enjoying their honeymoon.  As they walk along the book vendors along the street, they both find treasures.  She buys one for her husband and one for a friend back home.  Since she's a bookbinder, she can repair them both and doesn't have to spend much on them.  He buys one for her, too.  They think alike in many ways.  He's a retired spy although he won't talk about much.  When he meets a friend of his past, they both have a nice visit with Ned.  When they get back to their room, Derek is pretty sure someone broke in while they were gone.  But nothing is missing...

Berkley Publishing and Net Galley shared this book with for review (thank you).  It is due to be published June 4th.

When they go to visit another old friend who owns a spy shop, it's great fun to look over the the products he sells.  He even has escape rooms where everyone has to work together to find the solution to all the clues to get out.  While there, Brooklyn tells him about the book she bought in Paris.  It's a James Bond book and he asks if he can display it.  He'll put it in secure place where it can't be stolen.  She agrees.  But someone does try to steal it and kills the employee that tries to stop them.  They are covered with clothing so they can't been seen by the video cameras.  But Brooklyn and Derek are determined to find out who it was.

They find out that Ned is dead; he was murdered.  Then they find microfilm hidden in the book with names on it.  It seems these were spies that worked together on one job.  Someone is killing them one by one.  Who can it be?

With Derek having trouble at work, Brooklyn trying to create a fake book to take back to the store, one dead employee that Brooklyn was fond of, and the spy ring murders you'll be real busy reading this story and hoping they can find the killer.  It's gets even worse when they do...
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I have a soft spot for this bookish series from Kate Carlisle, mostly because I so enjoy the occupation of the main character, Brooklyn, who is a book restorer. Set in San Francisco, the series follows Brooklyn and her ex-spy husband as they solve murder mysteries. In this entry, Brooklyn and Derek are caught up in some loose ends of an old spy escapade that involved some of Derek's oldest friends and a valuable first edition Ian Fleming book. 

This is a light, cozy mystery that will entertain you for a couple of hours. While it is part of a series, it can stand alone. Be warned, though. If you read this one, you'll want to go back and read the rest of the Brooklyn books.
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This Bibliophile Mystery starts out on a perfect note, as Brooklyn and Derek enjoy the last days of their honeymoon. Once home, life once again proves to be a roller-coaster as they find chaos has fallen to Derek's company in his absence. Add on a book that seems to be the catalyst for foul play, and once again a mystery is afoot. Plenty of suspense, and a few twists, this one is a solid read.
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Brooklyn and Derek are enjoying their last day of their honeymoon in Paris by browsing book stalls of used books. While Brooklyn finds a wonderful copy of The Spy Who Loved Me by Ian Fleming, Derek runs into Ned who is an old friend from his spy days. 

After returning home to San Francisco, Derek gets involved in trying to resolve some tension in his office caused by an especially toxic employee named Lark who has taken a firm dislike to Brooklyn. And Brooklyn is busy fixing up the books she bought.

When they hear that Ned has been murdered and leaves them a clue saying that he left a list in the book, Brooklyn and Derek find it and resolve to find Ned's killer. Ned had directed them to look up Owen another old friend from his spy days. Owen has opened a spy store named Spectre on Fisherman's Wharf. 

The store's anniversary is coming up and he asks to borrow the book Brooklyn bought for Derek to put it on display. But someone breaks in to steal it and in the course of the theft kills one of the group of wannabe authors who also work at the store. 

This is the thirteenth book in the series and the first one that I have read. I had no trouble jumping into the series. In fact, there was so much repetition that I would think people who were familiar with the series would find all the backstory boring. I was also a little put off by the constant descriptions of the attractiveness of Derek and most of the other characters in the book. The descriptions of places that Brooklyn certainly had seen before seemed a little odd too.

On the other hand, I really liked the idea of the escape rooms in SPECTRE. They do sound like a fun, team building opportunity and great for people who like to solve mysteries. I also liked the recipes that were at the end of the book since I really enjoyed Brooklyn's descriptions of the fantastic food they ate on their honeymoon and while investigating in San Francisco.
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Somehow, I had never read any of the Bibliophile series, and I really enjoyed this one. Brooklyn and Derek, newly married, are spending their honeymoon in Paris. Brooklyn is a book restorer, and paying a visit to the book stalls is one of her "must" stops.  Brooklyn buys a couple of books, one is a James Bond story that is the first edition. Derek, a former M16 member, meets an old friend who tells him that another friend has opened a Spy store in San Francisco. Upon their return home, the book is lent to the spy store for a special display of James Bond. Someone tries to steal the book and in the process an employee is shot and dies.. Derek and Brooklyn become involved with the investigation.
      Derek has problems in his office and as a way of building team rapport, he and his employees use the escape rooms at the spy store, SPECTRE.  This is a spy versus spy story. Carlisle does a good job of bringing all these disparate story lines into one cohesive story. For anyone who enjoys  cozy mysteries, this book and series should be close to the top of their lists.
     I received a digital ARC from Net Galley and Berkley/Penguin in exchange for a review.
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This was another fun entry in this cozy mystery series. I like that this series has a bit more action than some cozy series. Also, I love how the personal lives of the characters progress and haven't been stagnant throughout the series. This book follows our protagonist Brooklyn on her honeymoon and afterwards as she stumbles upon another murder to solve.  She continues to be a fun, dynamic protagonist, and I really loved the different settings used in this book. I can't wait to read the next one too!
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This book caught my attention from start to finish.  It was a little scary at times, but it had me on the edge of my seat during those parts.  Not having read the others in the series, I worried about getting lost without knowing the back story, but this could stand on its own.  Take spies, intrigue, insights into book restoration and creepy escape rooms and you have a sure winner.
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This, the 13th book in the Bibliophile Mystery series, continues to be an excellent cozy mystery. Derek and Brooklynn have been in Paris for their honeymoon and meet Ned, an old colleague of Derek’s from his “spy” days. After they return to San Francisco, Derek receives a ‘if you get this, I’m already dead’ letter from Ned. Something from the past has come back to haunt the members of a mission from several years ago. Add to that, Lark (a saleswoman at Derek’s firm) is hateful to Brooklynn and now is causing problems at work. . Brooklynn and Derek soon are convinced of the identity of the killer, but must try to prove it. A book, of course, plays a pivotal role in capturing the villain. The book has wonderful characters and a good mystery. I hope we see more of The Jackals writing group in the next novel!
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Newlyweds Brooklyn and Derek are enjoying the final days of their honeymoon in Paris. As they're browsing the book stalls along the Seine, Brooklyn finds the perfect gift for Derek, a first edition James Bond novel, The Spy Who Loved Me. When they bump into Ned, an old friend from Derek’s spy days, Brooklyn shows him her latest treasure.  Once they're back home in San Francisco, they visit a spy shop Ned mentioned that is run by a retired friend of Derek and Ned's. The owner begs them to let him display the book Brooklyn found in Paris as part of the shop's first anniversary celebration. Derek makes sure the security is up to snuff because the  book is worth a great deal more than sentimental value.  Soon after, Derek is dismayed when he receives a mysterious letter from Paris announcing Ned’s death. Then late one night, someone is killed inside the spy shop. Are the murders connected to Brooklyn's rare, pricey book?  Derek is also informed on their return from Paris that his office is experiencing discord as one employee is wreaking havoc by spreading rumors and lies.  Both of these issues keep Brooklyn and Derek busy with many surprises along the way.

As a retired librarian, I love books about books.  I follow several series about librarians and/or bookstores, but this series is different as the main character restores books.  The descriptions of what she does is fascinating and a part of each book that I thoroughly enjoy.  It also comes with recipes for some of the dishes mentioned in the book.   I have followed this series from the beginning, and a chance to get an ARC of the latest book from NetGalley was too good to pass up.
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I have been a fan of the Bibliophile series since I read the first book several years ago and the 13th installment is as good as the first one. Derek and Brooklyn are spending the last day in Paris at the book stalls and Brooklyn buys a couple of books, one is a James Bond story that is the first edition. Derek meets an old friend who tells that another friend has opened a Spy store in San Francisco. After they return home, the book is lent to re spy store for a special display of James Bond. Someone tries to steal the book and in the process kills a clerk. Derek and Brooklyn become involved with the investigation. Derek has office problems and these two themes are blended together for the end of the story. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK AND SERIES.

Disclosure: Thanks to Berkley for a copy through NetGalley. The opinions expressed are my own.
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I was surprised that this was number 13 in a series, and this was the first that I read.  I am drawn to bibliophile mysteries, and this was entertaining and interesting, especially about book restoration. I will now try to find her earlier "book"  cozy mysteries.
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This is one of my favorite mystery series, but this book was disappointing. The mystery didn't even begin until halfway through the book. The beginning was the main characters' honeymoon and Brooklyn working in her workshop. Once the mystery began it was predictable and melodramatic. If you are a fan of the series, the book is worth reading just to spend time with the characters. If you haven't read this series before, don't start here. Go back to book 1, Homicide in Hardcover.
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I love Kate Carlisle's books they are fun, cozy mysteries that are easy to read. I enjoy her characters and like that they feel like friends you haven't seen in a while.
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