Kaewert places her stories in the world of books and publishing and just knocks it out of the park every time. I really enjoy the world of Plumtree Publishing and the adventures Alex finds himself plopped in the middle of now and again. The world of books is still the best game in town and anyone who thinks real books are passe is so totally wrong. There is room for electronic books but they're just not going to replace real books. Afterall, electricity is NOT limitless and doesn't mix with water. There's nothing better than a warm soak with a good book. I wish there were a new Kaewert book on the horizon but it appears not, for now, anyway.
I love Julie Kaewert"s Alex Plumtree books. They do remind me of Dick Francis -- a book lover's Dick Francis. My only criticism is that sometimes I think: why would anyone, if they knew someone was after them, do some of the things Alex does. ???? They are still a good read.
I was only sad that there were not more of them. I was delighted to find that, after checking out her Web site, there are more planned.
This is the middle book in the "Un" series of 5 Booklover's Mysteries thus far. Having now read all 5, it's clear that the author's style involves a plot that twists and turns right up to the end. Plumtree Press, the protagonist's family business, takes on something uncharacteristic of them by publishing a novel of a political nature, and a highly controversial one at that. It is proposed that this piece of fiction could affect the outcome of the national election called by the Prime Minister, if the limited, special edition of it hits the streets on time. Those of a certain political persuasion do everything they can, bar none, to stop this from happening. Alex Plumtree and his special edition printer, Amanda of Amanda's Print Shop, are in constant danger as they are threatened by union activists and someone with a special interest in insuring the UK's involvement in the Economic and Monetary Union of Europe. Instead of rare books and book collecting, Unprintable's book-related specialty is the art of hand set type and manual platen press printing. It was rather nostalgic for me as one who learned that art many years ago. It is apparently not a lost art, as I had supposed, since we are taught here that special editions are sometimes printed in this painstaking fashion. Kaewert's "Un" series makes a fun read overall, especially for those interested in books and the combination of books and British mystery. In each volume though, her story line is quite protracted and includes a lot of non-mystery elements that may not interest some, as well as some highly unrealistic elements (but that's often the stuff of fiction). I would give a minimum rating of 7 on a scale of 10 to each book of this series if Amazon's scale allowed for odd numbered ratings. If I were to read just one in the series, the best choice by far would be Untitled (the fourth in the series), the most like an Agatha Christie story and the most masterful of all 5 books in throwing in a major twist on several occasions just when you think you have things figured out. I look forward to book number 6, Uncatalogued, due out in the spring of 2002.
I had never planned to write a review of this book, but feel duty bound to do so because it is a sterling example of what can go wrong in a series. I loved "Unsolicited," the first book in this series about a book publisher in London. Being a bookaholic, I enjoyed learning about the printing and collecting of fine books. Although a bit stiff, I liked Alex Plumtree, the protagonist, and found the mystery interesting and fast moving. The book also met another criteria I have for reading a series - an interesting ongoing story line. I was a bit disappointed in "Unbound," the second book in the series because I thought it was a bit too long. Along comes "Unprintable," the third installment in this series. All I can say about this book is that if you read either the first or second book, don't bother buying the third. It appears that Ms. Kaewert found a formula she feels comfortable with and insists on repeating it in her subsequent books. In addition, the Alex we met in the first book has not changed one iota in the subsequent books. It would appear that neither he nor any of the other characters have any layers to strip away. I am finding both the pattern of the mysteries and the stagnation of the characters and story line rather tedious. Ms. Kaewert would be well advised to take a lesson from the great Elizabeth George who knows how to keep a series fresh and the reader begging for more.
As a mystery author with my first novel in initial release, I read a wide variety of mystery fiction. I'm an admirer of Julie Waller Kaewert's previous works, and I found UNPRINTABLE to be another enjoyable read. The Prime Minister secretly requests that Alex Plumtree of Plumtree Press publish CLEANSING. CLEANSING seems like a total mismatch for Plumtree. Plumtree is among the most respectable British publishers and CLEANSING is a highly controversial and sensational work. Once the book's publication is announced, Alex Plumtree finds himself entanlged in all sorts of troubles--some violent, some legal. Someone is trying to stop the presses, and Alex must find out who it is. UNPRINTABLE is another fine work by Ms. Kaewert.
This book is the third in the entertaining series that starts with UNSOLICITED. UNPRINTABLE is an expertly crafted mystery-thriller that reads much faster than its 381 pages would indicate. Kaewert brings back her interesting characters and combines love, envy, obsession, and violence with a plot as big as the EU, an election in Britain, more fascinating printing history, geography, ecology, and more! If you love a solid, fully plotted mystery, you DON'T want to miss this amazing series. Beautifully done, with a lot of excitement and masterful subtlety. A real page-turner!