Thursday, October 10, 2019

Review: The Book Supremacy by Kate Carlisle

The Book Supremacy (Bibliophile Mystery, Book #13)
by Kate Carlisle
Release Date: June 4th 2019
2019 Berkley
Kindle Edition: 288 Pages
ISBN: 978-0451491404
ASIN: B07H72R59G
Genre: Fiction / Cozy Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher

3 / 5 Stars

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. The owner begs them to let him display the book Brooklyn found in Paris as part of the shop's first anniversary celebration. Before they agree, Derek makes sure the security is up to snuff—turns out, the unassuming 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? Is there something even more sinister afoot? Brooklyn and the spy who loves her will have to delve into the darkest parts of Derek's past to unmask an enemy who's been waiting for the chance to destroy everything they hold dear.

My Thoughts
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.