Truth be told, the murder mystery isn't the reason to read this one. Kate Carlisle packs this short novel with local flair. There are tips about good places to eat and visit while in San Francisco. On top of that there are several lovable characters - I especially liked Brooklyn's odd couple neighbors. As for flaws, it feels like several characters don't get time to truly develop and revelations come quickly and are forgotten. Also, the romantic involvement seems to creep in too quickly - almost like the author fell into a quick fantasy and wrote it in without giving us enough time to see that it was much more than a fling. Worth a read or Audible listen but don't bother with the rest of the series as it pretty much repeats just in different places.
My image of a book conservator is one who is thoughtful, patient and plans carefully. The main character was anything but. She consistently acted immaturely and lied or spoke half truths about what she saw. Why? There were other unbelievable issues: The author used a southern California slang term for highway 101 by calling it "the 101" which is not a good thing for a story set in northern California. She also described the main character's floormates in terms that bordered on typical gay stereotypes. It was a very hard book to finish.
The book is a fun easy read & there's enough explanation of the esoterica of book binding to keep that from becoming confusing. The plot is plausible enough to keep you involved and the main character's family is a welcome comic relief. Overall a good 'airport'/beach book which you can pick up and put down as needed
The narrator really needs to brush up on her pronunciations of place names/locations. In another book I cringed when she said
If you loved Nancy Drew you might feel at home with these characters. Totally filled with cliche's, predictable plot, stereo-typical evil antagonist. The narration is annoying with the un-naturally deep male voice impersonations, and the constant insertion of "He said", "She said", in a totally non-conversational tone. That technique I've seen in other books and it is not necesssry.
I picked this series because of the book-binding aspects, and I did enjoy hearing about that side of the story.
The reader in this series has a good voice and does a nice job with most female voices, up to a point. Her read of the neighbor from India is good, and the main character's "voice" is fine. But she quite often misreads a phrase or expression... to the point where I sometimes repeat a line aloud right after her, stressing it the way I think the author meant it to sound! And her male voices (and one voice of a Lesbian couple, which is read like a man's)... terrible. She just can't carry them off. Because of the last two points, I don't think I'm able to judge the merits of the actual story accurately. I so dislike the male leads-- two of whom are SUPPOSED to be dark and dangerous-- that it throws off the experience. I would love to listen to at least one of the Bibliophile Mystery series read by someone else to see if my impressions change, but they're all by this same reader. If I hadn't spent so much money on the Audible versions I might try reading the books for myself... unfortunately I think I have those bad voices stuck in my head now.
I was very excited to find a mystery series about someone who binds books. I enjoyed the sections where the author detailed the intricacies involved in the process. Then the storyline plummeted from there. I made myself listen to 21/4 of the 3 books I had downloaded. My husband listened to the 3rd one with me and commented on how terrible it was. Perhaps we are too old (in our 50's) to enjoy the humour & plots. Perhaps if the reader had been more animated and had read in a more fluent manner, it may have been less brutal to listen to the story. Derrick (main love interest through out the series) rendering was terrible.