Brooklyn and Derek are at it again. This time they are part of a Mark Twain literary festival. Organizers have planned fence-painting for the kids, a frog-jumping contest, a riverboat cruise with period costumes and a live band, and a look-alike contest. Many of the activities will be held at the Covington Library (including workshops by Brooklyn on paper crafts and book repair), and Derek is helping with the security, as well as being one of the sponsor’s best friends. As Brooklyn explains about Joseph Cabot, “When I learned he was a booklover, as well as a major contributor to the Covington Library…I knew we would be great friends for life.” But when Joseph begins receiving threats related to the look-alike event and there are several attempts to harm people close to him, Brooklyn and Derek are determined to unravel the mystery and catch the culprit. Mixed in with all the danger are scenes of children and parents making baskets from newspaper, the loving restoration of a copy of The Prince the Pauper, and even homemade doughnuts from their neighbors Alex and Gideon.
I admit that I was first attracted to this series because it features a character who repairs and restores books. I enjoy the descriptions of the books that Brooklyn works with and all the literacy settings where the events take place. What book lover wouldn’t enjoy a series that takes place in bookshops, book festivals, libraries, and other book rich environments? In the case of this book, there is also the appeal of the whole Mark Twain theme and, besides the many festival events, each chapter begins with a quote from one of Twain’s works. Once the author adds in the mysterious attacks, a suspicious death, some sleuthing by Brooklyn and some heroism from Derek , it is the perfect blend of action, suspense, and book repair.
I read an advance copy provided by the publisher for review purposes. Publication date is set for July 26, so you don’t have long to wait - put it on your TBR pile for later this summer. If you haven't read any of this series yet, you have time to indulge yourself in a couple of the earlier volumes before this one hits the stores , but you can also read it as a stand-alone if you need to.