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 http://www.lornabarrett.com
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.