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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2008 Lorna Barrett (P)2010 Penguin

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jessica
  • Charleston, TN, United States
  • 06-08-11

Nice Cozy Mystery

Murder is Binding was my first Lorna Barrett book and I enjoyed it very much. The narrator did a great job and the story line kept me interested. I had figured out the murder and twist about half way through but the book was still very entertaining (even after you figure it out). I enjoy cozy mysteries and am very happy all of the Booktown series is out on Audible (the 5th released yesterday 06/07/2011). I hope Audible continues to stock this author and will grow their cozy mysteries section.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • A
  • 05-25-14

Enjoyable despite….

The lead character is a doormat and not very bright in some ways, making her less likable to me than she should be. However the setting is so pleasant I want to read more. Hopefully the lead will grow a spine and brain at some point in the series.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I love the Characters

When I first started listening I thought Trisha was a little bratty about her sister, but as it went on I enjoyed their dynamic. I also enjoy all of the other characters, even the mean ones. I can't wait to read the next book.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Murder helps sisters connect

In Murder Is Binding by Lorna Barrett, Tricia Miles is just getting her mystery bookstore, Haven’t Got a Clue, off the ground after six months in business when her prima donna older sister, Angelica, suddenly arrives in her small town of Stoneham, NH, against Tricia’s desires. Angelica has just split up with her fourth husband and, to Tricia’s dismay, wants to move to Stoneham, which has the reputation for being the safest town in New Hampshire, without a murder in 60 years. The other merchants all get along well except for one woman, Doris Gleason, who sells cookbooks and other books about food, both contemporary and historical. The day that Angelica arrives, Tricia is stuck having to deal with Doris twice in the same day. She goes to meet up with Angelica and then returns to show her sister her store and home in the loft above the store. But as they arrive, Angelica smells smoke, and Tricia discovers the cookery store on fire. After putting out the embers, Tricia discovers the body of Doris with a carving knife in her back and a valuable old cookbook stolen.

This leads to Tricia’s worst nightmare, as the sheriff, eager to make an arrest in time for the election in two months, has decided that Tricia committed the murder and follows her everywhere. Each time Tricia points out someone else who has a motive, the sheriff gets angrier and closer to arresting her. Further, an old beggar woman who buys books and trinkets from people in the community and sells them to shop owners is killed in a car crash that Tricia suspects was not an accident. In addition, Tricia comes to realize that the valuable cookbook originally landed in Doris’s hands through the services of the beggar lady, enough cause to make Tricia and Angelica suspect extra foul play.

As Tricia feels the danger closing in, the sisters learn to work together and address the childhood issues that once divided them. They find that not all people with nice smiles are real friends and that the two have to fight for each other in order to survive. The book teaches valuable lessons about teamwork and learning to set aside childhood differences that in and of themselves no longer have relevance to the present even though their effects often linger long into adulthood.

I also enjoyed the witticisms and clever comments made throughout. Just one example comes when Tricia is facing an upsetting situation and cries out for a cookie to help bolster her, but in pique, Angelica taunts her with, ” ‘I ate the last one just before you came back.’ Suddenly, fratricide seemed like a wonderful solution to all of life’s problems.”

Cassandra Campbell does an amazing job as narrator of the audiobook version of this book. I have long enjoyed her reading of Jana DeLeon’s Miss Fortune series, which she does very well, yet if I had not recognized the name of the narrator, I would not have connected the narrator of this book with the one of the Miss Fortune series. In giving her performance, Campbell really displays the flavor of her books, receding from herself and marvelously displaying the characters of the books.

Murder Is Binding is a well-written book, with a joy of mystery books and great characters. I heartily enjoyed listening to this and look forward to listening to more in this series! I give the book five stars!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good cozy read

This is a good cozy mystery, complete with interesting characters & an okay plot. It's definitely a light read and a bit predictable but it's only the first in the series so it didn't have enough time to develop enough characters to add any big twists in. I'm hoping to give some of the other books a chance to see where it goes.
Angelica is a bit annoying of a character so I was pretty bummed that Trish's visiting sister was written in as a permanent character at the end of the story. I think they could do without her, and that's my only big hesitation going forward. I'm not sure if she will ruin the series or add to it.
Overall a good light listen, good narration & a cozy read.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • beatrice
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 09-29-11

Pretty Good

This is a good start to a good series. There were times when I wished the story moved faster, but overall I enjoyed the story. I have already bought the next book.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

If the heroine had a spine it’d have been 5*

The story was very entertaining. It had to be to keep me listening to some of the unbelievably obnoxious characters. I’m with another reviewer who lamented the old and worn out crooked and ineffectual law enforcement trope. This author is good enough to have written the story without the stupid and clueless sheriff. There were moments I thought the heroine might finally lose it and fight back - I may listen to the next one just to see if she’ll learn and grow as a person instead of letting her sister and every member of the town walk all over her. Still, the series has promise and I’ll likely download the next one as well.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

New series for me, and well worth it.

Would you listen to Murder Is Binding again? Why?

Yes, just to catch the various parts I missed, and hints I didn't pick up on.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Murder Is Binding?

When Tricia and her sister were hiding in the closet waiting for Mike to leave the house.

Which scene was your favorite?

When Angelica told the police chief off.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Promising Start to A Series

I'm always on the look out for a good cozy series. This is a promising start.

The things I didn't like are due to my personal taste and may not present a problem for other readers.

One thing that I don't like, even in a cozy, is inept police. That is an issue for me in this book. I'm reluctant to go into detail in order to avoid "spoilers".

The story is set in a small town, and the protagonist is a bookseller. The author has made a good start on establishing what I suspect will be recurring characters that I find appealing. The emphasis is not on graphic violence or sex.

This was book 1 of the series. I intend to read at least one more book in the series, probably skipping to book 3 or 4.

I am partial to narrators who have good diction, pleasing voices and don't "overact" charaters. Cassandra Campbell is good in all these areas.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Beatrice
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 03-29-14

Great start to a great series

This is a nice cozy mystery with great characters. I loved the setting. I look forward to the next book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful