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A Cookbook Conspiracy: A Bibliophile Mystery Hardcover – June 4, 2013

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Product Details

  • Series: BIBLIOPHILE MYSTERY (Book 7)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: NAL Hardcover; Signed 1st Edition edition (June 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451415965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451415967
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #434,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Brooklyn Wainwright can’t cook, but she’s an expert bookbinder. Her sister, Savannah, though, is a top chef, with an array of friends, all classmates from Le Cordon Bleu. One of those friends had given Savannah a manuscript of an eighteenth-century “receipt” book, and now she wants to return it, rebound, as a gift upon the opening of his newest restaurant in San Francisco. Within hours of giving him the cookbook, Savannah finds him dead, stabbed in the restaurant’s kitchen, and the cookbook is nowhere to be found. Brooklyn is sure the cookbook is the key to clearing her sister and studies the photocopies she made before undertaking the rebinding and restoration. She shows her security-expert boyfriend, who in turn calls in his MI6 brother, a code expert. While the sleuths are trying to crack the code in the cookbook, the gathered chefs, who cannot leave San Francisco, cook meals for each other, providing Brooklyn ample opportunity to probe their friendships—and enmities. The descriptions of the meals are luscious, and the history of the book intriguing, as befits the seventh in the series. Includes recipes. --Karen Muller


Praise for the Bibliophile Mysteries

"Kate Carlisle never fails to make me laugh, even as she has me turning the pages to see what’s going to happen next.”
New York Times Bestselling Author Miranda James

"A terrific read...Great fun all around.”—Library Journal (starred review)

"Fun and funny...Delightful."—Lorna Barrett, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Booktown Mystery Series

"Captivating."—Richmond Times-Dispatch


More About the Author

Visit Kate online at www.KateCarlisle.com or www.Facebook.com/KateCarlisleBooks

Bestselling author Kate Carlisle spent over twenty years working in television production as an Associate Director for game and variety shows, including The Midnight Special, Solid Gold and The Gong Show. She traveled the world as a Dating Game chaperone and performed strange acts of silliness on The Gong Show. She also studied acting and singing, toiled in vineyards, collected books, joined a commune, sold fried chicken, modeled spring fashions and worked for a cruise ship line, but it was the year she spent in law school that finally drove her to begin writing fiction. It seemed the safest way to kill off her professors. Those professors are breathing easier now that Kate spends most of her time writing near the beach in Southern California where she lives with her perfect husband.

A lifelong love of old books and an appreciation of the art of bookbinding led Kate to create the Bibliophile Mysteries, featuring rare book expert Brooklyn Wainwright, whose bookbinding and restoration skills invariably uncover old secrets, treachery and murder. Kate is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Romance Writers of America. She loves to drink good wine and watch other people cook.

The Real Story

For award-winning author Kate Carlisle, the gleaming brass ring of publication eluded her grasp for the longest time. People were starting to talk. Was it simply bad luck? Bad timing? Bad writing? Bad hair? A panel of experts were convened to analyze the details of Kate's life and certain patterns began to emerge that clearly indicated...well, let's just call them Bad Choices. Yes, Kate made some wrong moves on her personal path to publication, and in the interests of full disclosure--and as a cautionary tale--the highlights are listed below.

The Early Years

Kate was born in Los Angeles, California. Need we say more? Name one famous author who was born in Los Angeles. You can't do it. Why? Because all really famous authors are born somewhere else. A rural town in upstate Michigan, a crab shack on the Eastern shore, somewhere on the prairie, in a bayou, on the frozen tundra. Anywhere but LA.

And yet, despite this almost overwhelming handicap, Kate was born with good skin and a naturally attractive telephone voice which led her parents to wonder if she might have a future in either cosmetology or telephone solicitation.

Growing up, Kate and her family moved every few years. She would tell new teachers she was a Navy brat, but the truth is, her father's mounting gambling debts often forced the family to escape in the night with whatever they could carry on their backs. Kate learned to sleep with her favorite toys clutched in her arms, which may explain why her beloved Baldhead Barbie remains in Kate's special toy collection to this day.

Kate's creativity with scissors, not to mention her uncanny ability to tell great whopping lies, alarmed her parents enough that they sent Kate off to be educated by the nuns.

When Good Things Happen to Bad Girls

Thus began Kate's long and desperate search for a creative outlet and a good haircut. Chafing under the authoritarian rule of Sister Mary Cletus at Holy Rosary Academy, Kate escaped by making up stories. One of her favorites was a tale about a wild pony who rescued a strange, lonely farm girl with a bad haircut. Given their daughter's fascination with ponies, Kate's parents thought she might grow up to be a bookie like her Uncle Jerry.

As a teenager, Kate fell in with the wrong crowd. She grew big hair and started flirting with boys, but her school spirit never waned. In fact, Kate's sophomore class at Holy Rosary won a trip to Safari World for selling the most chocolate almond bars, due mainly to Kate's strategy of selling her candy bars to sailors at the downtown bus station. When Kate would ask if they'd like to buy some candy, the sailors would invariably respond, "Is your name Candy?" Her mother held out hope that Kate might someday find her niche in Sales.

Lying For Fun and Profit

But Sales weren't on Kate's radar. Instead, a friend got her a job on a game show and Kate grabbed that opportunity with both hands. She dropped out of college, bleached her hair and went on to spend years in production working on countless films and television shows, hanging out with rock stars and partying with the beautiful people.

But Kate realized she was losing her grip on what was truly important in life. She quit show biz and gave herself a permanent wave. Forsaking her worldly goods, she joined a cult. It worked out well at first. The cult leader owned a vineyard. But within months, the grapes were picked, the wine was drunk, and Kate's hair was losing its wave. It was time to move on. But where to go? What to do? Kate decided to seek professional guidance. After relating her life story to her therapist and lamenting that she'd run out of options, the woman gave her a dirty look and called her a big fat liar. Liar? Kate shouted "Eureka!" and applied to law school.

All The Right Moves...Really

During her first year of law school, Kate again turned to writing as a way of escaping the drudgery of studying because, let's face it, she wasn't the greatest student in the world. But this time there were no stories of wild ponies or lonely little girls with bad haircuts. No, this time her stories were filled with hot, lusty men and smart, spunky women investigating murders and falling in love. There was danger and adventure and treachery...and sex!

Faster than you can say res ipsa loquitur, Kate dropped out of law school and signed up for writing classes. She joined Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America where she met lots of wonderful writers and made fabulous friends. She wrote books and attended writers' conferences and sent out query letters and entered writing contests in hopes of selling her manuscripts to the perfect publisher.

And one day, Kate walked out of the hair salon with the best haircut she'd ever received. The sun was shining, the air was clean, the planets were aligned, and suddenly her phone rang. It was "The Call." Kate became a published author that day. Her destiny was fulfilled. And her hair was perfect.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Violetta on June 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Brooklyn Wainwright and her sister Savannah both have prominent roles in this new contribution, which is billed as a "bibliophile" mystery. I agree with others who have said it's the best in the series thus far. This is largely because Brooklyn and her boyfriend Derek are more skillfully drawn than they were in the earlier books, and there is more to their relationship than physical attraction too. Savannah has some characteristics that are quite different from Brooklyn (besides the fact that Savannah is a highly qualified chef and Brooklyn can't cook at all). There are other interesting characters too, and there is suspense to the end.

There are still a few things that, for me, didn't quite add up to an outstanding mystery. The time spent with Brooklyn's parents seems tacked on and not very related to the plot. On one level, the New Age thinking by these former hippies is entertaining, so perhaps one shouldn't ask for any other connection to the action. I also missed having more detail about Brooklyn's interesting job as a book restorer. In each of the books thus far, she seems almost apologetic for her passion about books, a characteristic that I think readers might not agree with. Anyone who is attracted to a bibliophile mystery probably enjoys reading about book restoration. We do hear a lot about a lovely old cookbook in this installment, and it's certainly a worthwhile addition to an otherwise food-centered plot.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Barb Scott on June 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just finished the Cookbook Conspiracy by Kate Carlisle. I loved the previous books in this mystery series, but I think this was the best so far. The plot moved along quickly and there were a few red herrings along the way; I didn't know "who done it" or why until the very end. The author included lots of intriguing behind the scenes information about the lives and training of top chefs as well as many interesting details about the restoration of old and valuable books. The recipes at the end of the book were an added bonus. I'm already looking forward to the arrival of the next Kate Carlisle book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By B. Nelson on July 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Bookbinder extraordinaire Brooklyn Wainwright has an interesting new task at hand - restoring an old cookbook for her sister, Savannah. Savannah is excited to gift the cookbook to Baxter Cromwell, her ex-boyfriend who is now a world renowned chef, as a thank you for allowing her and fellow graduates of the Cordon Bleu culinary school to help him open his new restaurant. However, Baxter is brutally murdered on his restaurant's opening night shortly after Savannah surprises him with the cookbook. Unfortunately for Savannah, she's found holding the murder weapon and her sister Brooklyn must rush to clear her name. It quickly becomes apparent to Brooklyn that almost everybody has a motive for killing the much hated Baxter. When a secret code is discovered in the pages of the cookbook, Brooklyn suspects that there may be more to Baxter's death than meets the eye.

I've really enjoyed the other Bibliophile Mysteries, but this one fell a bit flat for me. I wanted to hate Baxter, the villainous chef who is the target of everyone's wrath, I really did. However, he was killed off so early on in the story that I struggled to appreciate his role as the evil scoundrel who is hated by all. Baxter himself never had any dialogue, and it's hard to build a truly dislikable character just off of the descriptions provided by other characters. In addition, Brooklyn's quirky family has always been a hallmark of earlier books and I've come to greatly enjoy their appearances in the story. However, they were haphazardly tossed into this book under the pretext of a spur of the moment trip to the wine country which really had absolutely nothing to do with the story. Overall, it seemed like this story was quickly tossed together in a predictable way without a lot of thought towards building the plot and characters. I didn't love it, I didn't hate it, but it certainly is not the best of the Bibliophile Mysteries.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lori Caswell TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Brooklyn is quite a foodie and having a sister who graduated from the prestigious Cordon Bleu school in Paris is fantastic as she isn't much of a cook herself.

One of Savannah's classmates, Baxter Cromwell, is opening a new restaurant in San Francisco and he has invited the old gang from Paris to participate in the Grand Opening. Savannah asks Brooklyn to restore an old cookbook that Baxter had given her years ago so she can give it back to him as a gift. Brooklyn realizes the book must be at least 200 hundred years old and it has some strange notes in the margins. This is a book that belongs in a museum but Savannah is determined to give it back to Baxter.

Derek and Brooklyn attend the grand opening and the food is delicious, each and every course. It was a wonderful evening until shortly after the restaurant closes and all the guests have gone. It is then Baxter is found dead, the cookbook is missing, and Savannah is found next to the body with the murder weapon in her hand.

After reading Peril in Paperback a couple of weeks ago I couldn't wait to start this book and I devoured it in just a couple of hours.

Savannah has brought Brooklyn a very special cookbook, steeped in history and full of interesting recipes and intriguing information. Information that brings Dexter's brother, Dalton, to town. Can there really be two hunky handsome guys in this family? Oh my YES! He definitely needs to be in upcoming installments.

The girls "hippy" parents along with the rest of the Wainwright family return. Guru Bob also makes an appearance. I just love their mom with her spells and incantations. Now she is planning to study Exorcism!

The authors creates a capricious group of supporting characters as well.
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