The Paper Caper by Kate Carlisle The Paper Caper by Kate Carlisle
Narrator: Sara Young
Series: Bibliophile Mystery #16
Published by Dreamscape Media on July 26, 2022
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Length: 9 hrs 3 mins
Pages: 336
Format: Audiobook
Purchase at Bookshop.org or Audible
Add on Goodreads
two-half-stars

San Francisco book-restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright is back with an intriguing new mystery in the New York Times bestselling Bibliophile Mystery series.

Joseph Cabot is a very popular wealthy San Franciscan who owns the main newspaper in town, as well as radio stations and TV. Years ago, Brooklyn’s husband Derek and his security team rescued Joseph from an assassination attempt and now the man and his wife are friendly with Derek and Brooklyn. The friendship is helped along by the fact that Joseph is a big book lover and contributes lavishly to the Covington Library. His favorite author is Mark Twain (another newspaperman) and he’s underwritten the first annual Mark Twain Festival at the Covington.

As part of the festival activities, Brooklyn will spend a few hours every day at the Library, giving demonstrations of her work at re-binding an old copy of The Prince and the Pauper. There will be events all week, all around town, celebrating the time Twain spent in the city. But the biggest event is being run by Joseph’s newspaper: a citywide contest based on The Prince and The Pauper—they want to find someone who looks like Joseph! The two men will trade places for a week as part of a huge publicity campaign to raise money for the Covington Library. But the fun turns frantic when a murder occurs right before Brooklyn’s eyes! Now Brooklyn and Derek will have to chase clues all over their beloved city to solve the murder before another death becomes front-page news.

I assumed I would enjoy The Paper Caper. The main character, Brooklyn, restores books and does paper art and the story is set during a Mark Twain festival. This is the first I’ve read in the series and maybe that’s the problem, maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I knew the characters better.

I love that Brooklyn restores books but I couldn’t quite get a hold of her character. This is #16, so presumably she’s helped solve at least sixteen murders. But she seems really young and her husband seems to humor her more than take her thoughts on the case seriously. I’m assuming she’s seen several dead bodies, but watching a video of a car crash is almost too much for her to handle?

The whodunnit was a bit obvious and therefore disappointing. The twist I was assuming there would be regarding who the killer was just never happened.

Overall, it was just a little too silly. Some of the characters were over the top, the lookalike contest and how it connected with the story was unlikely, and Brooklyn is not someone I could see myself being friends with. I did listen to the audiobook. I thought the narrator did a good job with the accents and personalities.

About Kate Carlisle

Golden Heart and Daphne du Maurier Award winning author Kate Carlisle spent over twenty years working in television production as an Associate Director for game and variety shows, including The Midnight Special, Solid Gold and The Gong Show. She traveled the world as a Dating Game chaperone and performed strange acts of silliness on The Gong Show. She also studied acting and singing, toiled in vineyards, collected books, joined a commune, sold fried chicken, modeled spring fashions and worked for a cruise ship line, but it was the year she spent in law school that finally drove her to begin writing fiction. It seemed the safest way to kill off her professors. Those professors are breathing easier now that Kate spends most of her time writing near the beach in Southern California where she lives with her perfect husband.

A lifelong love of old books and an appreciation of the art of bookbinding led Kate to create the Bibliophile Mysteries, featuring rare book expert Brooklyn Wainwright, whose bookbinding and restoration skills invariably uncover old secrets, treachery and murder. Kate is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Romance Writers of America. She loves to drink good wine and watch other people cook.

Despite the appearance of overnight success, Kate’s dream of publication took many, many years to fulfill.

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