Monday, July 21, 2008

BOOK REVIEW: Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett

Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett

Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Berkley (April 1, 2008)

First in the new Booktown Mystery Series

(from back cover)

Stoneham, New Hampshire, was a dying town until community leaders invited booksellers to open up shop. Now, its streets are lined with bookstores - and paved with murder…

When she moved to Stoneham, City slicker Tricia Miles was met with friendly faces. And when she opened her mystery bookstore, she was met with friendly competition. But when she finds Doris Gleason dead in her own cookbook store, killed with a kitchen knife, the atmosphere seems more cutthroat than cordial. Someone wanted to get their hands on the rare cookbook that Doris 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…

Lorna Barrett has crafted a fun read with a great cast of characters and a very charming setting. For booklovers, what better place could there be than a town filled with bookstores? When a fellow bookstore owner is murdered, Tricia becomes the prime suspect. Since the town sheriff is convinced Tricia is the murderer, she must solve this whodunnit herself.

You might solve this mystery halfway through the book but you’ll want to read on for some unpredictable plot twists. Our heroine is likeable, although at times, a bit negative. Heck, wouldn’t you be if you were accused of murder! A surprise visit from Tricia’s sister, Angelica, explores their strained relationship and sibling rivalry. Tricia’s employee Ginny and daily customer Mr. Everett are enjoyable characters with a great deal of potential which I hope will be developed in future books.

Murder is Binding is a nice start to the Booktown Mystery Series. It's a fun, cozy read with an interesting plot, evolving heroine and promising supporting characters.

“Move over Cabot Cove. Lorna Barrett’s new cozy creation, Murder Is Binding, has it all: wonderful old books, quirky characters, a clever mystery, and a cat named Miss Marple!” –Roberta Isleib, author of Preaching to the Corpse and the Advice Column Mysteries

“A mystery bookstore in a sleepy New England town, a cat named Miss Marple, a nasty murder and a determined heroine make Barrett’s delightful debut mystery everything a cozy lover could want and more. Bravo!” –Leann Sweeney, author of the Yellow Rose Mystery Series

-Crossposted from Texty Ladies site.