Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Big Chill: Tools of the Bookbinding Trade

by Guest Author, Kate Carlisle

A lifelong love of old books and an appreciation of the art of bookbinding led Kate Carlisle to create the Bibliophile Mysteries, featuring rare book expert Brooklyn Wainwright, whose bookbinding and restoration skills invariably uncover old secrets, treachery and murder. Kate is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Romance Writers of America. She loves to drink good wine and watch other people cook. Kate’s third Bibliophile Mystery, THE LIES THAT BIND, will be released on November 2. Connect with Kate online at www.katecarlisle.com and www.facebook.com/katecarlislebooks.

from Kate:

Thank you so much for welcoming me here today at Killer Hobbies, and thanks especially to Linda O. Johnston and Camille Minichino for hosting me. I’m a longtime lurker and admirer. I think hobbies are a vital part of living a rich, layered life.

I understand the theme this week is “The Big Chill,” which ties in nicely with both my hobby and with my latest release, THE LIES THAT BIND, the third book in my Bibliophile Mysteries series. Because my “big chills” – the things that put visions of murder in my head – are the instruments of bookbinding.

Bookbinding is my hobby, and it’s the career and passion of my protagonist, Brooklyn Wainwright. One of her passions, that is. The other is the very sexy and dangerous British commander Derek Stone.

On the surface, bookbinding would seem to be a benign pursuit. Dusty books and futzy artisans. Delicate papers held in delicate fingers. But during my first class, one look at the tools we would use had bloodcurdling screams echoing in my head.

My mother always did say that I had too much imagination for my own good.

Don’t understand how people can move through the world and not see a murder weapon around every corner. Knitting needles, kitchen shears, even macramé plant hangers can be used to do the Deadly Deed.

I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I assert that bookbinding is every bit as dangerous as knitting. And you can quote me on that. (Please do!)


This is a sewing frame. Doesn’t it look like a bright and shiny medieval torture device?


A bookbinder’s awl: the ergonomically correct murder weapon.


So why do we risk our lives every day with these lethal pursuits? In my case, it’s because the products of my pursuit are just so darn pretty. Here is a picture of the books I made in a recent weekend class on bookbinding:



Brooklyn teaches just such a class in THE LIES THAT BIND. When the Bay Area Book Arts Center director winds up dead, Brooklyn must discover whether one of her students could be a murderer.

Tell me about your hobby and how its tools could be used as murder weapons. Then let’s brainstorm some unusual hobbies and come up with new ways to turn a good time into a homicide.

Kate will give a copy of HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER, the first book in the Bibliophile Mystery series, to a random commenter. U.S. mailing addresses only, please.

24 comments:

Mason Canyon said...

When it comes to hobbies, mine changes so often but mainly I crochet when I'm not reading. I do enjoy growing herbs though and there are some that can be very dangerous.

Kate, looking forward to reading THE LIES THAT BIND (next up on my stack of TBR). Wishing you much success.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Diane Rogers said...

My Hobby is "sewing." The air is filled with excitement. Thrills and fun are just waiting for me. I use various types of needles, small and large. But my favorite would have to be the "Seam Ripper" can't really do damage other then awaken a person's senses..Lol! The possibilities of sewing?

Nancy said...

Well I'm sure that my hobby does not have any tools that would kill. My hobby is reading, specifically Cozy Mysteries. I have tried knitting and could not do it, doing ceramics and while the tool for scraping is sharp it is really not of enough length to kill, hurt yes.

Johanna Jochum said...

I love to cross-stich and I'm sure I could use my floss and my needles to do some serious damage to some one! We could use the stab and choke routine. Even though my needles are not pointed. I think they would cause more pain ( good torture device) LOL! Especiall if that someone keeps interupting me while I'm trying to stich a difficult 18 count project! I feel a little bit naughty! LOL!

evjochum@aol.com

Jane Jeffress Thomas said...

I like to scrapbook, make cards, quilt, and embroider. Of course I use scissors in all of the above and they could definitely be used for a weapon. In the quilting and embroidery I use needles and they could put out an eye/eyes or be slipped into a spine or an ear even and could have poison on the end that would take someone out. There are tons of other things that could be used, but I need to leave some for other folks to have to share.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Scary stuff, Kate. My pet "hobby" isn't nearly as dangerous, although I suppose I could trip someone with a leash or bring in a badly trained, vicious dog. I'd rather have someone think they're being licked or purred to death.

Anyway, thanks for being our guest at Killer Hobbies!

Terri Thayer said...

Welcome, Kate. My hobby is quilting and yes, I used the rotary cutter to kill the first victim in my first book. I had to do a bit of research though. Turns out it's not as easy as it looks to slice someone's throat.

Kate Carlisle said...

Oh my goodness! There must have been something wrong with my internet. I was hitting Refresh all day, but no comments showed up. Now I see Mason's comment was posted this morning. I'm so sorry I've been absent!

Mason, oh yes, you could commit all sorts of murder with a well placed herb. I hope you love THE LIES THAT BIND!

Kate Carlisle said...

Diane,

LOL!!! Sewing machines look pretty dangerous to me. Or maybe that's just the story I tell myself to explain why I stay away from them.

Kate Carlisle said...

Nancy, I don't know. I've seen some books that would make excellent "blunt objects" when applied hard to the head.

Kate Carlisle said...

But I hope they don't start disallowing heavy books at the airport!

Kate Carlisle said...

Johanna, LOL! Isn't it annoying when someone interrupts you in the middle of a project? Argh!

Kate Carlisle said...

Jane, Scissors, of course! Diane, that could be the murder weapon for sewers, too.

Kate Carlisle said...

Thank you for hosting me here today, Linda! I'm with you - I'd much rather that pets be raised to be happy and loving. Whenever a dog is vicious, you know there have been rough times in its past. Breaks my heart.

Kate Carlisle said...

Terri, LOL! I hope your research was academic and not practical. ;) We mystery writers truly are a little warped, seeing murder weapons everywhere we look.

Camille Minichino said...

Way to Terri for learning the technique!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Kate, where can I find an awl like that? I've been looking for one.

Betty Hechtman said...

Welcome to Killerhobbies, Kate. I write about crochet and only the tiny steel hooks seem very murderous.

I took a bookbinding class, but we didn't have one of those sewing stands. It wasa very fun class, and everyone got out alive.

Kate Carlisle said...

Camille, thank you so much for co-hosting me here! I've had a lot of fun. :)

Kate Carlisle said...

Joanna, I grabbed that picture from this website: http://chestercreekpress.com/tools.html

They do sell the tools, so check them out!

Kate Carlisle said...

LOL, Betty! So far, there have been no murders at any of the bookbinding classes I've attended either, thank goodness!

signlady217 said...

I read, sew, quilt, crossstitch, scrapbook and make cards, and do genealogy. Pretty much anything (book pages, keyboard letters, floss or yarn, etc,) could be coated lightly with some kind of poison that would be absorbed through the skin (floss lickers and typists, beware!). I usually have a cup of coffee and a bottle of water sitting around, too. Way to easy to slip something in those!

Yikes! Now I'm freaking myself out! ;)

Anonymous said...

I quilt and sew so I use the rotary cutter quite a bit. I always knew it would be easy to cut myself on the rotary cutter but kudos to Terri to base an entire book on it being the "murder weapon."

Shirley in Baltimore

Kate Carlisle said...

LOL, signlady! I can soooooo relate to that! I freak myself out all the time. One of the downsides of writing murder mysteries.