Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Salon: Chapter & Hearse by Lorna Barrett

Stoneham, New Hampshire, is a book lovers paradise with a street lined with various specialty bookstores. But a cookbook signing is just the beginning of an explosive night in the peaceful little town.

When no one attends a book signing for her sister, Angelica, bookstore owner Tricia Miles goes out to roundup Angelica’s boyfriend Bob Kelly and find out why he was absent from the signing. Before she reaches the history book store where she believes he is, an explosion destroys the building killing the store owner and sending Bob to the hospital.

With Angelica scheduled to go on a book tour the next day, she talks Tricia into looking in on Bob for her. When Bob avoids Tricia’s questions about the events prior the explosion, she becomes suspicious. Meanwhile, Angelica has her own share of bad luck on her tour - slashed tires, busted headlights and the like.

Despite being called the town jinx, Tricia can’t help but begin to do some investigating on her own. The more she investigates, the more she realizes she has to find the killer before her sister is the next victim.

Author Lorna Barrett weaves together a number of interesting sub-plots involving the secondary characters. Their daily troubles add to the twists and turns of this delightful cozy murder mystery.

CHAPTER & HEARSE is the fourth installment in the Booktown Mystery series, but it is a stand alone book. There are references to prior events involving the characters but the reader isn’t left in the dark if they haven’t read any of the previous books.

Recipes are included in the back of the book as an added bonus. In addition, there is a preview of the new Victoria Square Mysteries by Lorraine Bartlett, A CRAFTY KILLING, coming February 2011.

CHAPTER & HEARSE is a suspenseful adventure that will keep you guessing right up until the end. There’s murder, mayhem, romance, humor and intrigue, what more could you want?

 Lorna Barrett’s website is

Chapter & Hearse by Lorna Barrett, A Booktown Mystery, Berkley Prime Crime, @2010, ISBN: 978-0-425-23601-7, Paperback, 352 pages

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.


  1. Mason - Thanks for your review of Lorna's new book! I'm really glad that you liked it. I have a soft spot for any protagonist who names her cat Miss Marple ; ).

  2. I just finished the book- the first book I ever pre-ordered from India- and I loved it. But I haven't disliked any of the cozies I have read so far.
    Thanks for the review.

  3. Great review. You always make me want to pick up the book for sure.I really liked this sentence, "But a cookbook signing is just the beginning of an explosive night in the peaceful little town."

    I would love to live in a town where a street was lined with bookstores. Oh MY! This book sounds like a winner.


  4. I street lined with bookstores? Sounds like heaven! I've not come across these books before but they sound like an intriguing series.

  5. Sounds like a bookworm's kind of book! Nice review! I had never heard of this author before and sounds like a nice relaxing read!

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Margot, can't help but love a character who owns a bookstore and a cat. :)

    Rayna, I'm glad you were able to get and enjoyed it. It is a delightful read.

    Teresa, it would be fun to live in a town that had a street like that. I probably would never get anything done because I'd always be shopping. :)

    Clare, this series is intriguing. I like the fact you can read that out of order and not be lost. I'm going back now to read the first ones to see what else Tricia has been into.

    Suzanne, it is a bookworms's kind of book. Very enjoyable.

  7. Love the title - sounds like fun :)

  8. I've read all of Lorna's book and this one is the best yet.

    I can't wait to read the first book in the Victoria Square series.

  9. I just bought this yesterday! Am even more anxious to start it! Thanks for another great review.

  10. Jemi, the title is cute and I love the book cover. It's so inviting.

    Dru, I'm looking forward to reading the others in this series as well as her new Victoria Square series too.

    Julia, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. It's a fun read.

  11. Hi Mason .. sounds an interesting scenario .. especially with the recipes being given at the back - an added bonus! As long as I want to try them, after the murderer has been found ...

    Looks like a fun read .. with some interesting quirky twists .. thanks Hilary

  12. Oh, this sounds wonderful! I love a good cozy mystery, and that cover reeled me in. Added to my list!

    Here's my salon:

    Click my name for the URL.

  13. Book signings within a book - that ought to be fun for Lorna to promote.

  14. A town with a street full of bookstores, now there's a place I could live happily ever after-- except for the murders.
    Review left a lot of questions which is great. Now I really want to read it.

  15. A cozy mystery set in booktown sounds wonderful. Well, anything set in booktown sounds good to me.

  16. Hilary, the recipes all sound yummy. There is one that 'might' be connected to the murder. :)

    Laurel-Rain, the cover does just draw you in. I'd love to find a place like that to sit and read.

    Alex, I hadn't thought of it that way but your right. Nice twist on the signing.

    Mary, glad to know I've peaked your interest in this wonderful book. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    Kathy, a town with so many book stores on one street would be great.

  17. Thank you for the lovely review! I'm so pleases so many people seem to like it.



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