Pairs Well With: a large pot of boiling water poured directly into your eyeballs. When doing this, be sure to have a large enough container to pour into both eyes simultaneously thus avoiding the irritation of having to repeat the boiling procedure. As a chaser, try inserting hypodermic needles under your fingernails, or creating an enima of razor blades and roofing tar; both are suitable and will ensure you are in the proper state of mind to truly get the most out of this “book”.

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Author: Kate Carlisle
Rating: 1 Out Of 5 Whiskey Shots

Synopsis: In the small, but cutthroat world of book restoration, there are heroes and there are villains. With some of the world’s most sought after first editions on the line, some book restorers will stop at nothing to get their hands on once in a lifetime restoration contracts. But would any of them resort to murder for this kind of killer deal?

With the revealing of Goeth’s Faust capturing the book world’s attention, the old master of bookbinding who secured this commission sends an invitation to his estranged understudy. But when Brooklyn, his protege, finds her former mentor lying in a pool of his own blood, and the suspicions of the San Francisco homicide division bearing down on her, it will take all of her cunning to root out who really killed Abraham.

Overall Impression: Not going to lie: my Synopsis is way more interesting than this book. Especially if you read it in one of those movie trailer narrator’s voices.

The allure of this particular read was due wholly because of my current obsession with books about books. Need proof? Check out my reviews of Libriomancer, The Library at Mount Char, and The Library of the Unwritten. I’m fixated on books about books. In fact, I’m not sure this obsession will every fully subside (nor do I want it to). So what could be better than a mystery about book restoration?

Well, a prostate exam conducted with the horn of a rage fueled bull would be preferred to this heap of literary garbage.

Let me be clear for a moment: I do NOT like giving bad reviews. But if there comes a time when a bad review is necessary, then I have a rule that I will do my utmost to not attack the author themselves. I may make a few jabs in their direction, but I try my best to be professional and confine my critique to the work.

Sometimes it’s easier to do than other times.

This… this is one of those “other” times.

The Cheers: The cover looks nice.

The Hangover: Everything about this book induces severe eye rolling. And when I say severe, I mean truly severe; as in “be sure to have a Costco sized bottle of Aspirin on hand to fend off the rolling migraines you are guaranteed to experience” kind of severe.

*sigh* Where to begin?

Well, for one, the characters are fucking atrocious. Every single one of them is a caricature of the highest order: the super flirty, sexy best friend; the sexy but obnoxious detective that just won’t give the main character a break; the painfully obvious red herring -er, I mean antagonist that just hates everything about Brooklyn (the main character); and Brooklyn herself (smart, but unattractive, super skilled in her job, but sucks at dating, blah blah blah). It’s so disgustingly predictable, I thought for a moment that I was reading a parody. I could literally spend an entire article dissecting how horrendous that characters and character development are in this book, but (unlike the writer of this shitty novel) I don’t want to waste your time, so I shall move onto my next gripe.

Which is… dialogue.

Ho-ly fuck, this shit is bad. It’s like the writer has never heard a true conversation in real life and decided to try and write dialogue based on a vague description of what it should be like. Every fucking time someone opens their mouth in this book, I want to shove an icepick up my nose. It is that bad. Imagine a sixth grade Valley Girl who is totally illiterate, but decides to try and write a modern retelling of Macbeth complete with an overuse of sighing and the word “like”, and you would have an impossibly high goal for Carlisle to hit. Why did her editor not grab her by the lapels and smack her in the face, then scream, “No one talks like this! Fix it!”

And that’s just the dialogue.

The plot moves along like one of those track shooter games at arcades. You know, the ones where you shoot as many zombies or demons on the screen as you can before the game moves you into the next area sans your input. The plot is like that (“Character A, please move to marker 5 for your scene”) only far more boring. Honestly, had she thrown in a chainsaw wielding dinosaur, it could have spiced up the story a bit. Not much (because not even dinosaurs could make this snooze-fest interesting), but it couldn’t hurt.

Combine all of this with the incompetent inner monologues and emotionally stunted observations of the main character, and you have one of the most painfully inept books you’ll ever read.

Corking the Bottle: If you have never considered suicide, this book will you inspire you to take that final leap.

As bland, pointless, and disappointing as cardboard flavoured ice cream, Homicide in Hardcover is a masterclass in how NOT to write a book. Overflowing with forgettable characters and nauseatingly dull dialogue, Homicide‘s only competition in boring the shit out of its audience are the Academy Awards and presidential debates.

And if it’s not bad enough, this is the first book in a series. Yes, a writer as horrendously untalented as Kate Carlisle was able to snag a multi-book deal with a traditional publisher. If that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is.

Save yourself the headache and forgo this drivel.

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