- Series: Booklovers (Book 4)
- Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Crimeline (November 2, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553577174
- ISBN-13: 978-0553577174
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,833,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Untitled: A Booklover's Mystery Mass Market Paperback – November 2, 1999
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From Publishers Weekly
The discovery of an extremely rare, 15th-century book leads to murder and international intrigue in Kaewert's (Unprintable) latest contemporary mystery featuring publisher and rare-book collector Alex Plumtree. The medieval book, which details the lives of the knights who protected King Richard the Lion-Heart and which was believed to have been destroyed by Edward IV, is immediatetly stolen after Alex finds it hidden in his family library. Meanwhile, the Foxburghe Club in Cornwall, an exclusive society of book collectors whose membership primarily consists of nobility, surprises Alex by inviting him to join. Curious, he agrees, but the honor quickly fades; Alex's initiation weekend at a medieval castle in Cornwall turns sour with the death of a club member, compounded by his mounting suspicion that one of the elite book collectors stole the ancient tome. Alex is determined to ferret out the thief (and in the process discovers that the book has a deadly secret). No one, including the prime minister and the archbishop of Canterbury, is above suspicion. Alex is an engaging and often comic hero, and he is supported by wonderful secondary characters. The plot is complicated and occasionally confusing, but in the end, the charming characters and the suspenseful race to find the book hold readers' attention. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"A treat for booklovers."
--Tales from a Red Herring
"As always, absorbing and enlightening."
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Alex, the second son and inheritor of Plumtree Press, an 800 year old family owned publishing firm in London, discovers an ancient book about King Richard the Lionhearted hidden in a secret place behind books in the library of the family home.
He is also invited to an exclusive book collector's society that is having a banquet and outing the next weekend. He attends.
The first day a man is killed in a strange accident. He is shown a secret tunnel and rooms by the castle owner, Another man is killed in bed, a woman disappears and so does Alex's fiancee.
All because of the untitled book? What secret does it contain? It seems to re-address the death of King Richard the Lionhearted, changing English History slightly, accompanied with interesting woodcuts. Why is that getting people killed and the woman Alex loves kidnapped?
Easily the best of the series, this is a book anyone interested in English history, current customs, or international intrigue will enjoy.
In short, I was astounded! I found the main character to be quite entertaining, bringing a common man's attitudes to an unusual life situation. Not only does he know the Prime Minister by his first name, and is able to carry on an overseas romance successfully, we find out even more interesting aspects of his ancestors in this volume. The other characters are all intersting as well.
I always admire authors who can mix genres together and come up with a great novel. This book is a perfect example. Not only are all of the classic mystery elements here, but she also mixes in a fair amount of thriller action ala James Bond or Dirk Pitt. Our hero is even reported to be a mirror image of Pierce Brosnan. I admit that some of the action sequences are a little far fetched, but somehow, that just adds to the enjoyment of the roller coaster ride. Contrary to another review below, I did not see any strings left untied, except for the cliffhanger ending, which is sort of like the Lady or the Tiger variety.
All in all, mystery readers, thriller readers, book lovers, and just about everybody else will enjoy this installment of the "Un-books"
There is still too little in the way of British expressions and terminology used by her characters for them to be totally realistic, and one of the main characters, the protagonist's brother Max Plumtree, has an unbelievable character overhaul from book one. Also, a minor writing problem appears later in the story when the plot is disjointed in a couple of places. The ending doesn't explain or resolve everything, but this is obviously intentional and gives one the impression of being at least a partial lead-in to the next book in the series (Unsigned, which came out in January of 2001). The most unlikely, but still interesting, aspect of this story's plot is the tenuous nature of the relationship between the West, particularly England, and Iraq over the content of an antique book.
All in all, this is a good read, pretty much leaving you guessing to the end. Kaewert's series is better for this one and I will read more. I recommend it to British mystery fans, although it helps to have been introduced to the characters in a previous book of the series.
While Kaewert writes well, there was just too much to this book. Too many subplots, too many characters, too many agendas, too many attempted murders, too many coincidences, etc. Kaewert did well in keeping everything straight, but all that detracted from the mystery and the ending was too pat.
I'll try the next in the series as well, but if the author continues to overwrite her books, I'll move on to another series with an author who can tell a good story in terser language.