Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Want a Little History with Your Mystery?

New York Times bestselling author Kate Carlisle is a native Californian who worked in television production for many years before turning to writing. A lifelong fascination with the  art and craft of bookbinding led her to write the Bibliophile Mysteries, featuring Brooklyn Wainwright, whose bookbinding and restoration skills invariably uncover old secrets, treachery and murder. Her latest book is Ripped From the Pages, available now in hardcover and ebook.

One of the things I love best about mystery readers is their voracious hunger for knowledge.

They like to learn, and they like to learn about everything. Which gives me the pleasure of learning new things that I can weave into an interesting whodunit.

Oh, the joy—I, too, love to learn!
Each Bibliophile Mystery teaches readers something new about the hidden world of books. I've been fascinated with books my whole life, taking bookbinding classes at libraries and book arts centers whenever I get the chance.

Now those classes are a write-off. How cool is that?!

Because each mystery centers around a different rare book, I get to take readers on an entertaining jaunt through history. The books take place in the present, which makes bringing the past to life a fun challenge. For example, in The Book Stops Here, which was just reissued in paperback, you'll learn a little bit about how the life of Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of The Secret Garden, may have intersected with one of the most famous (and most notorious) people of her time.

In my latest book, Ripped from the Pages, Brooklyn and her beau, British security expert Derek Stone, are staying in a house in Dharma, the California commune where Brooklyn grew up, while their San Francisco loft is being renovated. They arrive just in time for the start of construction of a wine cave tasting room—and the discovery of an amazing treasure that was hidden behind a false wall at the back of the cave. One of their finds is an exceedingly rare first edition of Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne.

Another find is…well, here, you can discover it along with Brooklyn in this sneak peek from Ripped from the Pages:

Derek joined me inside the small enclosure, flipped on Stan’s flashlight, and pointed the beam toward the floor. 
That was when I saw the body again.
Although he was face down, it was obviously a man, and he was pressed up against the wall as though he’d sought out a secure resting place. I figured that was why we hadn’t seen him at first. We had been diverted by all of the treasures surrounding him.
He wore an old-fashioned brown suit and had short, dark hair. On the ground near his right arm was a well-worn brown leather suitcase.
“I wonder if he got trapped here during the ’ninety-seven earthquake,” Dad said.
“That’s almost twenty years, Jim,” Derek said, touching the dead man’s neck and studying the change in color. “This man’s skin looks and feels as if he died a few hours ago.”
“Maybe the absence of air helped preserve him,” I said.
“What’re you saying? You think he was mummified?"

As Brooklyn investigates the hidden treasure and the mysterious circumstances surrounding the stranger's death, she'll be drawn into one of the most volatile periods of history—and readers will, too. If you like to learn while you're being entertained, I hope you'll check into Ripped from the Pages. You can read Chapter One for free at www.KateCarlisle.com.

Do you love to learn? If you could take any class right now—money and time are no object—what would you study?


  1. I love that my cozy mysteries offer me more than just an intriguing or thrilling story with realistic characters with whom I can get involved. The "frosting on the cake" is the weaving of facts or interesting information about some food, or drink, or shop, or location causing me to have Google on "speed dial." I can immediately look up additional background or images to enrich my reading experience. And those that include recipes...priceless!

    1. Absolutely, Kathleen! I Google a lot of things I find in cozies.