Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Buried in Books & The Three Musketeers: Guest Post by Kate Carlisle

Kate Carlisle is the NYT bestselling author of two ongoing series: the Bibliophile Mysteries featuring San Francisco bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright, whose rare book restoration skills uncover old secrets, treachery and murder; and the Fixer-Upper Mysteries, featuring Shannon Hammer, a home contractor who discovers not only skeletons in her neighbors' closets, but murder victims, too. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is bringing the Fixer-Upper Mysteries to TV in a series of movies starring Jewel and Colin Ferguson. A native Californian, Kate worked in television production for many years before turning to writing.

Kate Carlisle: 
Buried in Books and The Three Musketeers
 
Alexandre Dumas said in The Three Musketeers, “The merit of all things lies in their difficulty.”

In other words, the more challenging something is, the more worthwhile. And it's true that one of my favorite things about writing the Bibliophile Mysteries is also the hardest: echoing the themes of the rare book at the center of the mystery. While plotting the modern-day mysteries, I look for ways, both subtle and overt, to give a literary nod to the rare book in question—and to give my most astute readers the added pleasure of a sort of scavenger hunt within the mystery.

(That said, I assure you—if you haven't read The Three Musketeers, don't worry. Buried in Books is a contemporary mystery novel that stands on its own.)

In Buried in Books, Bibliophile Mystery 12, a national library convention comes to San Francisco the week of bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright's wedding to her partner in crime-solving, British security expert Derek Stone. Along with the convention come two of her best friends from library school. They called themselves the Three Musketeers. All for one, and one for all. . . until Sara stole Heather's boyfriend, and their friendship blew up.

Heather and Sara both come to Brooklyn's surprise bridal shower with gifts in tow. A rare copy of The Three Musketeers from one, and of The Blue Fairy Book from the other. At first it seems that all is forgiven, until Brooklyn discovers that one of the books may be a forgery. Dumas said, "Never trust the enemy that gives you presents"—but now Brooklyn doesn't even know if she can trust her friends.

It's always delightful to find ways to incorporate the themes of the rare books into the contemporary murder mystery, but especially so with Buried in Books because The Three Musketeers is such a zip-bang story, filled with thrilling action and laugh-out-loud humor. During the plotting process, I often found myself walking around in a daze, my mind a swirl of ideas.

Without giving away too much about Buried in Books, here's a glimpse into how I reflected the characters from the historic novel in this Bibliophile Mystery.

Brooklyn is Athos, the most level-headed of the Musketeers. She's the peacemaker, the intellectual of the group.

Heather is Aramis, the quietest of the three, still morose years after being torn away from the love of her life.

Sara is Porthos, full of her own importance and unsympathetic toward Heather's feelings. Like Porthos, Sara is a fashion plate. In fact, fashion plays a bit of a role in the murder. I won't say more than that, but you'll understand when you read the book.

Sadly, one of these friends will die, and Brooklyn will have to determine whether the other friend committed the deed. While entertaining librarians from around the country and getting ready to marry the love of her life.

Dumas claimed that difficult tasks have more merit. Do you agree or disagree? Why? 

ABOUT BURIED IN BOOKS 

Matrimony and murder collide as San Francisco book-restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright walks down the aisle. . . Brooklyn has it all covered. She's triple-checked her wedding to-do list, and everything is on track for the upcoming ceremony with the love of her life, security expert Derek Stone. 

Not everyone has been as lucky in love as Brooklyn. Her old library college roommates Heather and Sara lost touch twelve years ago when Sara stole Heather's boyfriend. Brooklyn was caught in the middle and hasn't seen her former besties since their falling-out. When they both arrive in town for the annual librarians' convention and then show up at her surprise bridal shower, Brooklyn is sure drama will ensue. But she's touched when the women seem willing to sort out their differences and gift her rare copies of The Three Musketeers and The Blue Fairy Book. 

Brooklyn's prewedding calm is shattered when one of her formerly feuding friends is found murdered and Brooklyn determines that one of the rare books is a forgery. She can't help but wonder if the victim played a part in this fraud, or if she was targeted because she discovered the scam. With a killer and con artist on the loose, Brooklyn and Derek—with the unsolicited help of their meddling mothers—must catch the culprit before their big day turns into a big mess. 

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