Monday, May 5, 2014

New Bibliomystery by Charlie Lovett coming

Charlie Lovett's second foray into bibliomysteries is coming this fall (October it sounds like).

Last year I really enjoyed The Bookman's Tale, which delves into Shakespeare, art, book collecting, and plenty of mystery and suspense.  And a little romance, but not too much.  I can be a bit like Fred Savage in The Princess Bride when it comes to the romance sections ... Not that I don't *like* kissing, I do!! It's just sometimes in mysteries it can feel awkward, or somehow the author felt it was obligatory and characters go through passionless motions, or many other unfortunate experiences mirrored in my own life now now that I'm dating again and ...  Wow, I am derailed. Anyway....

The Bookman's Tale was a good read, and includes a satisfying amount of biblio-ness (and art too!).  It's rooted around Shakespeare, which for me is honestly a strike against a bibliomystery (especially a new author!).  There have been lots of real mysteries surrounding Shakespeare and his works, and some really exceptional fictional ones too.  But, Bookman's Tale holds up which isn't surprising once I learned Lovett has a deep passion for rare books, and has spent time doing the necessary research to meet a bibliophile's critical eye.

It wasn't that books and the book world were merely the McGuffin to keep the plot plodding along, or that the main character's employment tangentially involved books -- so there's a few scenes in a library (or the moon for all it matters) -- NOT SO!  Peter Byerly (the main character) is a rare book dealer who has lost his wife ... with lots of flashing back to their early years together (which informs the mystery), which undoubtedly a devoted husband would do at such a time.  It was good, not sappy, and certainly not a story that just happens to include a book or two to tell the *real* story of a man and woman falling in love.  NOT HERE!  The bibliofactor is on the same level of importance as the characters and the setting, which is what I look for in bibliomysteries.  So, The Bookman's Tale is a recommended read from me if you haven't read it yet.  Then you can join me looking forward to First Impressions.

First Impressions, coming out this fall, will also delve into authorship, Jane Austen, and more old books.  And being rooted in Jane Austen, I bet there'll be some kissing and I'll like it.

From the publisher:

First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen (Viking; October 16, 2014; 978-0-525-42724-7)

Book lover and Austen enthusiast Sophie Collingwood has recently taken a job at an antiquarian bookshop in London when two different customers request a copy of the same obscure book: the second edition of Little Book of Allegories by Richard Mansfield. Their queries draw Sophie into a mystery that will cast doubt on the true authorship of Pride and Prejudice—and ultimately threaten Sophie’s life.

In a dual narrative that alternates between Sophie’s quest to uncover the truth—while choosing between two suitors—and a young Jane Austen’s touching friendship with the aging cleric Richard Mansfield, Lovett weaves a romantic, suspenseful, and utterly compelling novel about love in all its forms and the joys of a life lived in books.

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