by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of the post on how to enter to win a Little Black Book padfolio and a link to order the book from Amazon and an indie bookstore.
After spending ten days with Brooklyn Wainwright’s loving and eccentric family in the wine country of Dharma, she and her new husband Derek Stone are excited to be back at their home in San Francisco. Waiting there for the couple is a British first edition of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, mailed by Gwyneth Antiquities all the way from Oddlochen, Scotland. While this would be remarkable in itself, far more surprising that the tome has been sent not to book-restoration expert Brooklyn, but to security specialist and former spy Derek. That unexpected twist is quickly followed by the arrival of Clara Quinn, whom Brooklyn first met while working on the television show “This Old Attic.” An expert in antique weaponry, Clara has come to Derek seeking his help in locating her roaming aunt, Gwyneth Quinn. That Derek recognizes her name from his time with MI6 escalates the situation from a spontaneous vacation to something more alarming, especially since Clara has herself been the target of attempted break-ins. Clara’s fears are immediately validated when she and Brooklyn stumble over a body just minutes later, the victim being one of the men who attempted to con his way into Clara’s home.
Now fully believing that both Clara and Gwyneth are in danger, Brooklyn and Derek are able to combine their skills (and family members) to track down the missing aunt and protect them from the looming threats. After Brooklyn discovers methodical pencil marking in the valuable edition of Rebecca, help from Derek’s cryptologist brother and Google Translate lead them back to Oddlochen. Derek’s connections have them all whisking off to Scotland on a private jet, where they stay at the authentic Castle MacKinnon with their own wing. Suspicious housekeeping staff, irritable villagers, rumors of a treasure, and intrepid spy shenanigans all have Brooklyn, Derek, and Clara using their considerable and unique skills to follow the trail of clues left by a woman whose life may depend on it.
By this fifteenth of the series author Kate Carlisle has mastered the technique of blending together a cozy mystery and thrilling action. The mix of Da Vinci code puzzles and bantering dialogue continues to make this series so enthralling and fun, especially when favorite characters reappear as a reward to loyal readers who have long followed their exploits.
An impending niece or nephew takes the couple back again for an all-too-brief visit to Dharma, where Clara is given further wise counsel from empathetic Guru Bob. Book lovers will appreciate the eerie connections to du Maurier’s famous gothic novel, while the setting near the Loch Ness will charm vicarious explorers. The complex clues, action fight scenes, and the unbeatable, enviable team of Brooklyn and Derek make this another exuberant entry in the book-celebratory mystery series.
To enter to win a Little Black Book padfolio, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “black,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 7, 2021. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email and you want a print copy please include your mailing address. BE AWARE THAT IT STILL MAY TAKE LONGER THAN USUAL FOR THE BOOK TO ARRIVE. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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You can use this link to purchase this book from indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy, and KRL gets a portion of the sale:
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