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Publisher's Summary

The town of Stoneham is a haven for bookstores, but it is sadly lacking in bed-and-breakfasts. Fortunately Pippa and Jon Comfort's Sheer Comfort Inn is about to open, and the couple has offered some locals a free night as a trial run. But it won't be so easy to sleep after Tricia makes two startling discoveries: Pippa's murdered body in the backyard, and the fact that Pippa's husband, Jon, is actually Harry Tyler, a man Tricia loved - and believed dead - for nearly 20 years. Though Harry is the prime suspect, Tricia doesn't believe him capable of murder, even though he's led a life of lies. Especially when she discovers that Pippa had a few secrets of her own - some that may have been worth killing for.

©2012 Penguin Group (USA) Inc. (P)2014 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    105
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    56
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    24
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    4
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    3

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    89
  • 4 Stars
    47
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    25
  • 2 Stars
    9
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    7

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    94
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    58
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    19
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    3
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Didn't like the new narrator

I have loved this series until this book. The narrator yelled the whole thing and made my wonderful cozy mystery very tense and annoying.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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

Okay story ruined by bad narration

Would you try another book from Lorna Barrett and/or Karen White?

I would definitely buy another book from Lorna Barrett, but I have no interest in listening to Karen White ever again. Karen routinely called one of the main characters, and in some instances even the main character, by the wrong name - I don't know if this was a problem with the text or with her narration. But it was confusing. It made it difficult to follow the plot lines or understand what was actually happening. Also her Texas accent for one of the characters was grating.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Karen White?

I liked the previous narrator, Cassandra Campbell.

Any additional comments?

I really enjoy this series, but I feel like the story has started to flounder. Tricia has been questioning how she feels about her life but she is just lamenting about it, she's not doing anything to rectify it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

Excellent Book, seriously flawed narration

I am a huge Lorna Barrett fan. I have actually read this book series several times. I purchased the Audible versions of all the Booktown books so I'd have a few bedtime stories at night.

The story arc was great. My opinion of Tricia is that she is kind of wishy washy and she lets people walk all over her and she has a bit of an eating disorder. But I still love all the characters and I'll take Tricia with all her flaws. I disliked Angelica the first time she showed up, but by book 6, I love her too. I was not happy about Pixie Poe. I know that her character improves in later books, but there's a better way to introduce a strong-minded character without making her downright abusive. It was further proof that Tricia totally caters to people who bully her.

The real problem with this book was the narrator. I'm not sure what happened to Cassandra Campbell (I think that's the former narrator), but I was disappointed that she did not follow the series through. Karen White does have a very similar voice, and I probably would have been okay with her takeover. However, perhaps she could have learned the main characters' names before jumping right in? Maybe practice a couple of times? A couple of fumbled words are forgiveable, but to misread character names many times throughout the book is unacceptable. She kept calling Angelica "Angela" and she kept calling Tricia "Trixie." I actually rewound the audio several times to ensure that that was what I heard. Then I sifted through the Kindle version to see if it was a typo. Nope. The printed version had all the names correct. The narrator just couldn't say them right. White does improve in later sequels, but in all rights, the production studio should have re-recorded the narration. And they should be ashamed of themselves for not having someone review the Audible before publishing it. The fans deserve better.

Anyway, this is still worth the download, especially if you've already read or listened to the first 5 books. Just brace yourself. If you hear Trixie and Angela, you heard it right.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Beatrice
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 04-02-14

Very Good

This is a well written and fast moving cozy mystery with twists and turns of the plot that will keep you guessing until the end. I truly enjoyed this latest installment of this series. Well worth the credit.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

The Narrator is not very good.

I really like the book but the Narrator does not even read the names of the characters correctly.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

THIS MYSTERY IS GREAT

The town of Stoneham is a haven for bookstores, but it is sadly lacking in bed-and-breakfasts. Fortunately Pippa and Jon Comfort's Sheer Comfort Inn is about to open, and the couple has offered some locals a free night as a trial run. But it won't be so easy to sleep after Tricia makes two startling discoveries: Pippa's murdered body in the backyard, and the fact that Pippa's husband, Jon, is actually Harry Tyler, a man Tricia loved - and believed dead - for nearly 20 years. Though Harry is the prime suspect, Tricia doesn't believe him capable of murder, even though he's led a life of lies.

WHAT A GREAT LITTLE COZY BOOK. IT IS PART OF A SERIES OF A BOOKSELLER'S STORE, "HAVEN'T GOT A CLUE". FULL OF TWISTS AND TURNS THAT LEAVES YOU EVER READY TO GET BACK TO THE AUDIO. TRICIA, IS A GREAT PROTAGONIST, AND A DETECTIVE IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD....SHE BAFFLES ME, THE END OF THE BOOK OPENS WITH A NEW MYSTERY STARTING AS THE OLD ONE IS SOLVED. A WINNING WAY TO KEEP US COMING BACK TO THIS AUTHOR. WELL WORTH THE CREDIT. LORNA BARRETT IS A GREAT AUTHOR AND KAREN WHITE IS A GREAT NARRATOR. NICE WORK LADIES. WHAT A GREAT WEEKEND.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Colleen
  • Taunton, MA, United States
  • 05-08-18

Bring back the original narrator

The new narrator, Karen White, seemed to change the personalities of some of the characters by her narration. In particular Christopher, who sounds like a pompous jerk, whereas Cassandra Campbell's narration of the character portrayed a different (better!) personality all together. The narration of Mr. Everst was also awful, turned him into a stodgy unlikable character. Her narration of Antonio sounds like her voice for Angelica..with a really fake Italian accent. Overall, Karen White does a really poor job with male voices, just awful. I also do not like her narration of Tricia or Angelica, but it is the male voices where it is most irritating.
Love the books, brink back the original narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

New narrator is wonderful, best book of the series

I've been listening to all the books in the Booktown series in order, and I must say the narrator change up was very wise! I found the characters were MUCH more likeable in this book than any of the others. I had a hard time liking any of the main characters thus far, but this book made them all much more likeable, especially Angelica.
The story itself also was good, well developed & a nice cozy read. I really enjoy this author's work & I'm excited to finish up the last 2!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Fabulous!

In <strong>Murder on the Half Shelf</strong> by Lorna Barrett, Tricia Miles goes with her sister to a pre- opening weekend at the Sheer Comfort Inn with her sister, Angelica. When Angelica sneaks her terrier, Sergeant, into the B&B, Tricia ends up taking the little guy for a walk to use the bush, and Sergeant starts poking around the yard, only to discover the body of Pippa Comfort, the owner of the B&B. As Tricia's semi- boyfriend, Police Chief Grant Baker, starts to grill her about her having found her fourth body, Pippa's husband finally resurfaces after having taken off for a couple hours. Tricia is astonished to recognize a man who was supposed to be dead. Her first lover, best- selling author Harry Tyler, has come back from having disappeared in a boat wreck and being declared dead.

<strong>Murder on the Half Shelf</strong> is the sixth book in Barrett's Booktown series, and it seems that each book improves over the previous. I found myself gripped by the plot and the characters, but especially the community of Stoneham. The book kept me guessing about the identity of the murderer, and I found the solution satisfying. It also has plenty of vividly drawn scenes, such as Tricia's war with Pixie, the new ex(?)-hooker receptionist of Grace, who administers a charity. When Angelica appears in a cooking demonstration on a new local television station, I could smell the scents and hear the noises as well as see the scene.

However, what I love most about Barrett's writing, both in this series and in her Victoria Square series, published under the name of Lorraine Bartlett, is her gift for building up an entire community around the main character. Besides Tricia, we feel that we personally know such characters as Tricia's sister, Angelica; the elderly bookstore employee and his generous wife, Mr. Everett and Grace; and Angelica's sometime- boyfriend, Chamber of Commerce president Bob. The relationship between the sisters strikes us as genuine, showing real love between them but also the conflict of siblings. Stoneham feels that it has become our own hometown, a place of good as well as bad but where everyone knows each other.

The series breaks with convention for cozy mysteries in having the protagonists date unreliable men instead of creating a situation of the woman and good man being kept apart. In this book we find ourselves wanting the women to find better men, even though we don't identity the better men we want to root for.

<strong>Murder on the Half Shelf</strong> has a new narrator in the audio edition, switching from Cassandra Campbell to Karen White. There were a couple scenes with inconsistencies in some of the words, such as changing the name of Angelica to Angela and merging Tricia with Pixie to say Trixie. However, overall, I was pleased with the performance, as White brings the book to life in evoking the senses that Barrett writes so effectively.

I really enjoyed listening to <strong>Murder on the Half Shelf</strong> and visiting Stoneham again with Tricia and all the residents. The book seems very genuine and is full of lively incidents, some of which relate to the mystery, but others of which serve the purpose of making us connect to Stoneham. I heartily enjoyed this book and look forward to listening to the next one. I give this book five stars.

<strong>Disclaimer:</strong> I received this book for free for review purposes, but that had no effect on the content of my review.

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

Narrator Change

There was a narrator change after five books. This was very distracting. Also, the voice change for some of the characters actually left me feeling that their personalities had changed. I was not pleased with this book.