Dear Reader,

I’ve always loved romance! So even though my debut novel, HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER, is a mystery, I was naturally compelled to introduce a very intriguing, very sexy British agent, Derek Stone, to titillate and annoy my heroine, Brooklyn Wainwright. When Brooklyn becomes the target of a killer, Derek makes it a point to get up close and personal with Brooklyn in order to keep her out of trouble. Needless to say, his constant presence does little to inspire Brooklyn to behave herself. Quite the contrary!

Brooklyn is a master bookbinder specializing in rare book restoration. Her skills are as finely honed as a surgeon’s. Of course, her patients smell like mold and have spines made of leather, but no ailing book is going to die on her watch. The same can’t be said of Abraham Karastovsky, Brooklyn’s mentor and former employer. At an elegant party thrown to celebrate Abraham’s latest achievement in fine book restoration, Brooklyn finds him lying in a pool of his own blood. With his final breath, Abraham whispers a cryptic message and gives her a priceless copy of Goethe’s Faust for safe-keeping.

When Derek Stone finds Brooklyn kneeling over the body and clutching the book, he accuses her of murder and theft. Now she has to follow the clues left behind by her mentor if she hopes to change Derek’s mind, unmask a killer, restore justice and save her own life.

Romantic Times Magazine gives HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER their highest rating and calls Brooklyn “brilliant, feisty and funny.” I hope you’ll agree!

I love to hear from readers! Visit me at http://katecarlisle.com.

All my best,

Kate




Kate Carlisle
HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER: A Bibliophile Mystery
NAL
Available February 3, 2009
ISBN: 978-0451226150
PRICE: $6.99


Brooklyn Wainwright is a skilled surgeon. Sure, her patients might smell like mold and have spines made of leather, but no ailing book is going to die on her watch. The same can’t be said of Abraham Karastovsky, Brooklyn’s friend and former employer.

On the eve of a celebration for his latest book restoration, Brooklyn finds her mentor lying in a pool of his own blood. With his final breath Abraham leaves Brooklyn with a cryptic message, “Remember the Devil,” and gives her a priceless—and supposedly cursed—copy of Goethe’s Faust for safe-keeping.

Brooklyn suddenly finds herself accused of murder and theft, thanks to Derek Stone, the humorless—and annoyingly attractive—British security agent who found her kneeling over the body. Now she has to read the clues left behind by her mentor if she is going to restore justice...

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Excerpt from Homicide In Hardcover

© Kate Carlisle

More guests were moving into the main hall of the beautiful old Library and filling the space with lively conversation and elegant evening wear. Laughter competed with music provided by a string quartet. Tuxedoed waiters moved among the guests with trays of champagne-filled flutes and delectable hors d’oeuvres.

I rubbed Abraham’s arm affectionately. “Everything looks fabulous tonight. It must be so exciting for you.”

“Thanks, sweetheart,” he said, looking around at the well-dressed crowd. “I’ll admit it feels good to get a little recognition once in a while.” His gaze landed on me. “And you’re looking especially nifty tonight.”

I sighed. Nifty? Who said that anymore? I liked it.

He glanced at his wristwatch. “Look, I’ve got to meet some people, but why don’t you mingle for an hour or so, then come downstairs to my workshop. I’ll give you a sneak preview of the Faust.” He leaned in close and wiggled his eyebrows. “Don’t tell me you’re not dying to see it.” I grinned. “I’d love to see it.”

“It’s spectacular, trust me.”

“I do trust you, Abraham.”

He gave me another quick squeeze. “You’re my good girl.”

Tears stung my eyes. The first time he’d ever said that to me, I was eight years old and miserable. My stupid brothers had used my favorite book, The Secret Garden, as a football and I’d found it lying in the dirt, its front cover hanging by threads and half the pages ripped or shredded. My mother suggested I go see the commune’s bookbinder to get it fixed.

Abraham had taken one look at my book and ordered my brothers into the studio where he promised them any number of chilling reprisals if they ever damaged another book again. After scaring the bejeezus out of them, he sat them down and gave them a quick lesson in book arts and history--the kid-friendly version--followed by an explanation of what family meant and why they should cherish and honor their sister by respecting what was precious to her.

I fell in love with Abraham that day.

Now, I sniffed back tears and said, “Abraham, I just wish we--”

“Not another word.” He gripped my shoulders. “I admit I’ve been a stubborn old fool, but I’ve recently learned a valuable lesson.”

“You have?”

“Yes,” he said with a firm nod. “Life’s too damn short to spend time regretting or wishing for what might’ve been. From now on, I plan to live in the present and enjoy every minute.”

My throat was tight but I managed to whisper, “I’ve missed you, Abraham.”

He pulled me in for one last hug. “Ah Punkin, that’s music to these old ears.” He let me go, but added, “We won’t be strangers anymore, agreed?”

“Absolutely.”

“Good. I’ll see you downstairs in a while.”

“I’ll be there.”

He walked away and would’ve vanished in the crowd but his mop of hair was like a beacon. I watched him until he slipped through the doorway leading to the small West Gallery and disappeared.

My heart felt as though a weight had been lifted. Abraham and I could go forward as friends and colleagues instead of the distant rivals I was afraid we’d become.

Feeling lighter, I moved toward the exhibit of Walt Whitman letters and photographs. The main hall was now filled to capacity with the cream of San Francisco society.

As I scanned the room in search of the bar, my attention was drawn to the far side of the hall. Near a large panel of original Audubon paintings, one man stood alone, leaning against the wall, a wary stranger in this swarm of friends and fellow book lovers. He sipped a drink as he observed the crowd, the exhibits, the ambiance, yet he seemed to hold himself apart from it all.

I’d never seen him before. I would’ve remembered. He was at least six feet tall and his hair was dark and closely cropped. His leanly muscled build exuded tough-guy strength, almost as if he’d just as soon use his fists as his charm to get what he wanted. I could appreciate that. There was pure male arrogance and more than a few secrets in his dark eyes as he glanced around the room.

When his gaze met mine, his eyes narrowed and he frowned. Directly at me. I wasn’t mistaken. What was that all about?

His apparent disapproval was such an unexpected affront that I glowered right back at him. He didn’t look away, continued to stare, and there was no way I was going to look away first. But the room began to shrink and I had to grip the railing in front of the Walt Whitman exhibit for a second.

I might’ve blinked. I hope not. But in that instant his frown disappeared, replaced by a look of bland disinterest as he once again surveyed the crowd.

He didn’t look back at me. A good thing because I probably looked like a fool, heaving and panting for air.

I really needed to get out more.

More than a little annoyed with myself, I pushed my way through the crowd and by the time I made it to the bar, I was relatively sane again--until I saw who was pouring the drinks.

“Dad?”

“Hi, sweetie,” he said as though this were an everyday occurrence, him tending bar at a high society opening, pouring me a glass of cabernet sauvignon without asking if I wanted one. Weird.

Well, of course I wanted the wine. That wasn’t the weird part.

“Dad, what are you doing here?”

He nudged his eyeglasses up (they had a tendency to slide down his nose), then handed me the wine. He poured two glasses of chardonnay and passed them off to another patron before turning back to me.

“Hey, babe, isn’t this a gas?” he said, grinning. “Abraham swung this gig. The Covington’s agreed to feature our wines at all their events from now on. Robson’s totally psyched. Can you dig it?”

He went back to pouring and explaining the complexities of the wines to the others gathered around the bar while I took two deep swigs of excellent cabernet sauvignon. It wasn’t the best way to savor a fine wine, but who could blame me? I’d been here less than half an hour and I was already wrung out.

“How’s the cab, Brooks?” dad asked.

“Mm, perfect,” I mumbled, taking a smaller sip of wine and properly rolling it around in my mouth as I scanned the crowd, looking for friends. That was my story, anyway, until I couldn’t take it anymore and finally took a peek back at the corner where I’d last seen the frowning man. He’d moved away from the Audubon exhibit but I tracked him down easily enough over by the circular Shakespearean display.

I watched as he prowled the exterior edge of the wide room, studying the crowd, casting an occasional look at the exhibits, taking it all in. He moved like a panther stalking its prey. I tried to look away but couldn’t. He was just too incredibly hot and sexy. You didn’t find that at the Library every day.


Contest

To celebrate the release of her February 2009 debut novel, Kate is giving away a $25 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble to one lucky winner! For a chance to win, please visit Kate’s website and email us (at staff@authorsoundrelations.com and mark the subject heading as Homicide) with your answer to the following question –

What famous bridge is featured on Kate's home page?

Contest deadline is February 15th. Winner will be notified via email. Good luck!

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