Two new releases are ideal for those who love cats and books - each has a striking cover that is likely to get the reader's attention.
"The Book Stops Here" by Kate Carlisle (Obsidian, $24.95) is the eighth in her very popular series starring Brooklyn Wainwright, a San Francisco bookbinder who always seems to get into trouble.
This time she's appearing as an old book expert and appraiser on the locally filmed television edition of "This Old Attic".
Vera, a flower shop owner, brings in a hardbound 1911 copy of Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic children's tale, "The Secret Garden". She says she bought it at a yard sale for $3.00 recently.
This isn't just an average first edition - it's #6 of a special limited edition of 50 copies that were signed by the author. This copy has an original painting inlaid into the front cover; Wainwright notes that a book dealer would be likely to spend $20,000 to $25,000 for it.
Before you know it, Vera's dead, Wainwright's almost killed and the show's TV host is being stalked. Wainwright's security expert boyfriend Derek Stone joins the investigation to track down the devious killer.
This novel introduces a new character, a former CIA operative and neighbor; it solidifies the relationship between Wainwright and Stone.
While Carlisle's television show is clearly based on the PBS hit "Antiques Roadshow", it adds additional appeal to a highly entertaining novel.
The cat pictured on the book's front cover doesn't really play a major role in the book, alas.
"Book Clubbed" by Lorna Barret (Berkley Prime Crime, $25.95) is the latest in her popular series set in the small town of Stoneham N.H.
Bookstore owner Tricia Miles is back again with another puzzling mystery. She's trying to figure out who killed local Chamber of Commerce secretary Betsy Dittmeyer by crushing her beneath a case full of books.
Lots of dark secrets are revealed as Miles investigates, there's significant attention paid to relationships, with numerous surprises.
To fully appreciate the series, it's best to start with the first one, "Murder is Binding". As usual, there's a touch of romance; the killer's revealed, but life-changing events occur for Miles and her fluffy cat Miss Marple.
Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing’s Curious Book Shop,
has reviewed crime novels and Michigan books regularly since 1987.
He has two cats, Parker and Callie.
Find this book and other great titles
at the Curious Book Shop, an independent
book shop in East Lansing, founded in 1969.
Curious Book Shop
307 East Grand River Avenue
East Lansing, Michigan
This review was originally published by the Lansing State Journal on July 20, 2014.