Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Pub Date: April 2008, Berkley Trade Pub.
Format: Mass Market, 271 pages
Source/FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my mother. I was in no way compensated for this review and my opinions are my own.
The streets of Stoneham, New Hampsire are lined with bookstores...and paved with murder.
When she moved to Stoneham, city slicker Tricia Miles met nothing but friendly faces. And when she opened her mystery bookstore, she met friendly competition. But when she finds Doris Gleason dead in her own cookbook store, killed by a carving knife, the atmosphere seems more cutthroat than cordial. Someone wanted to get their hands on the rare cookbook that Doris had recently purchased-and the locals think that someone is Tricia. To clear her name, Tricia will have to take a page out of one of her own mysteries-and hunt down someone who isn't killing by the book.
My mother came across this book at our local independent bookstore while we were browsing one day and recently loaned me her copy. It's an enjoyable, cozy mystery and is the first in the Booktown Mystery series. While I didn't find the plot to be very difficult to figure out the characters and their interactions are what made this story work for me.
When Tricia's older sister, Angelica, comes to town, Tricia's not happy about it, and with good reason since they'd never been close. Angelica is downright annoying at times, though eventually it becomes clear she really has good intentions in visiting Tricia--not that it's easy to see, with her backhanded compliments and general bossy nature. She even helps Tricia figure out whodunnit. The men that come into both of their lives are interesting as well, and I'll just leave it at that. As for Doris, when you learn more about her you won't be surprised that no one in town mourned her death. The town sheriff is another character you love to hate, even if she is rather stereotypical for a small-town law officer.
Was this the best mystery I've ever read? No, but it's a fun read that won't take up too much of your time. It's perfect for a rainy afternoon with a nice cup of tea or perhaps hot chocolate. And what's not to like about a mystery that has a cat named Miss Marple? (That would be Tricia's cat who roams the bookstore, which is called Haven't Got a Clue--cute, right?) The second book in the series, Bookmarked For Death, was released in February and I plan to check that out at some point down the road.
By the way, there's another neat feature about this book. Angelica is a great cook, and the recipes she fixed throughout the story are included in the back of the book, how cool is that? I'm thinking about trying her spaghetti sauce. :-)
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