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Murder Among Friends

Our Discussion On: "If Books Could Kill" by Kate Carlisle

Kate Carlisle with "If Books Could Kill" book cover

MAF members fondly remember speaking with Kate on the first book in her Bibliophile Mystery series, and definitely enjoyed reading more about the world of bookbinding in the second book for this month’s discussion – especially as If Books Could Kill, is set in Edinburgh, Scotland. We have a number of members who are both Scotophiles and Anglophiles, in addition to being Bibliophiles!

We were also most appreciative of the generous loan from Book and Paper Arts Guild member, Maria Saxena, who lent us two beautifully handmade books: one with gorgeous stitching and the other made of glass! It helped to illustrate the incredible range of bookbinding that is possible to create. We passed around handouts for bookbinding schools – some in the area, and were fascinated by the tools bookbinders use.

While we enjoyed Brooklyn’s adventures in Scotland, and at the book festival, we were a bit overwhelmed with just how many men were interested in her. Some members were found some of her actions to be weak and were unconvinced by a couple of plot points. Others however, find Brooklyn to be charming and the scatty nature of her investigation perfectly in keeping with the humorous, amateur detective story style. We also wondered if the parts of the story involving men interested in Brooklyn was part of Kate’s creative process as she began her career in romances – and who wouldn’t be tempted to add romantic interests to her visit in Scotland! Highlanders are a huge group of male protagonists in romance stories.

We had a lot of fun looking into the different places Brooklyn visited and how believable and tempting the sites of Edinburgh and the surrounding area were to have an armchair visit with. More than a couple of members were contemplating trips to the Highlands! The Edinburgh Book Festival is a real conference and the book’s assortment of hotels, restaurants and sites are all real places you can visit. We particularly enjoyed learning a bit about the Rosslyn Chapel, founded in 1466, that’s been a major site in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code as well as in our story. Check out our cool link for this book on the Trace Evidence page of the MAF blog.

We also got a kick out of another Chicago bookbinding connection (besides the classes) – Bookbinder Soup! Made famous by the Drake Hotel in Chicago, it is still being served in its restaurant, the Coq D’Or.

In sum, with a couple of reservations, the group had a very enjoyable time with this story, and greatly appreciated the fun book goodies Kate sent to us.

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