- Series: Booklovers (Book 2)
- Mass Market Paperback: 444 pages
- Publisher: Crimeline; Reprint edition (November 3, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553577158
- ISBN-13: 978-0553577150
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,556,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Unbound (Booklovers) Mass Market Paperback – November 3, 1997
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From Library Journal
Alex Plumtree, a rare book collector, runs the family publishing business in London (see Unsolicited, St. Martin's, 1994). His firm's newest fiction title, based by author Angela Mayfield on her dissertation, claims that Bloomsbury writer Marcus Stonecypher coded treasonous messages in his works. Once word of the book leaks out, disturbing events occur: threats, thefts, surveillance, sabotage, and attempted murder. Alex and Angela suspect an elite group of book collectors but cannot figure out why they feel threatened by the Stonecypher code. Kaewert's finely crafted prose creates a heady mix of suspense, romance, and mystery?all within a rarefied world of book collecting and restoration. Although published only in paper, this belongs in all fiction collections.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Julie Kaewert first indulged her fascination with book publishing by taking the Radcliffe Publishing Procedures Course in 1981. She then worked for book publishers in Boston and London before starting her writing career with a London magazine. Her series of mysteries for booklovers has topped mystery bestseller lists around the country. She is the author of Unprintable, Uncatalogued, Unsigned, Unbound, Unsolicited, and Untitled.
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While reading about the various procedures in publishing a book, one also learns the complicated and interesting details in how rare books are identified, counterfeited, and priced.
Sounds like dull reading, but the personal involvement of Alex Plumtree, inheritor of a good collection of rare books, and the 800 year old family Plumtree Press makes this very interesting indeed.
Alex travels to a book fair in Europe and is waylaid there. His long time love interest, a financial consultant with a Belgium financial institution, and he are followed, and ambushed on their bicycle ride from France to Belgium, all because of his expertise in rare books and the fear of the counterfeiting scoundels of exposure.
Do read this fun excursion into the European publishing world. It is an excellently written book and story.
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.
The plot was so convoluted I couldn't understand what it was really about. There were book collectors altering and repairing old books so as to make them more valuable -- okay, financial gain is a motive, but there was a secret society conspiracy to over throw the monarchy, that had led to many deaths over the years and maybe, to the numerous attempts on the life of the protagonist by inept killers. This writer often used foreshadowing, so the reader always knew the attempts would fail.
At the end, we learn the real villian was so minor a character as to never be suspected, and with a brand new motive, so the reader was cheated out of trying to solve the mystery along with the dectective.
As a drama or adventure story, Unbound gets pretty high marks, but the mystery element gets less attention than I would prefer. The story begins with protagonist Alex Plumtree being invited onto the board of the Folio B society, a society for the preservation of publically-owned rare British books, but from the beginning there�s something remiss about being given this honor. A secret society, the Bibliati, which turns out to be mostly a subgroup of Folio B, consists of an unscrupulous lot who will stop at nothing to steal and/or fabricate rare books, then sell them for ill-gotten gain. The Bibliati also has a political agenda which revolves around doing away with the monarchy, and to this end they promote revisionist history to make royalty look bad.
Another main aspect of the plot involves a new author about to be published by Plumtree Press for her first novel, a fictional but fact-based account of the life of Marcus Stonecypher, a British writer of great fame. She has discovered that four of Stonecypher�s early 19th century books contain purposeful misprints, which when strung together spell out a radical political philosophy. Someone doesn�t want her book published. An attempt is made on her life, and soon thereafter Alex�s life is almost ended more than once as well. The really ironic thing is that Unbound itself has at least a dozen obvious misprints of its own! This book was poorly proof-read before it went to press. And, no, I don�t think they would form a sentence if these misprints were strung together! (This is all the more ironic since this is the only book in the �Un� series that contains numerous misprints.)
In this book, more than the others in the series, the reader is taught a lot about the world of rare books. Kaewert has obviously done considerable research in this area, and in the historical context for this story. In spite of the misprints, some extraneous non-mystery elements, and a somewhat protracted story line, I still find this story (and the others in the �Un� series) to be worth the read. British mystery fans and bibliophile types should enjoy it.
Most recent customer reviews
Julie Kaewert's Booklover's Mysteries series continues with Unbound, which suffers from many of the same flaws as its...Read more