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Publisher's Summary

Mystery bookstore owner Tricia Miles has been spending more time solving whodunits than reading them. Now a nearby gas explosion has injured Tricia's sister's boyfriend, Bob Kelly, the head of the Chamber of Commerce, and killed the owner of the town's history bookstore. Tricia's never been a fan of Bob, but when she reads that he's being tight-lipped about the "accident", it's time to take action.

©2010 Lorna Barrett (P)2010 Penguin

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  • Overall

Hope it gets better

I like this series. It's my first attempt at mystery novels and I have to say I'm pleased with Lorna Barrett's little world of book sellers. Most of the characters are unloveable, which I thought worked well since any one of them could be the killer. It also makes it a fast read, because you don't have a lot of emotional interaction with favorite/least favorite characters.

This particular book in the series was my least favorite. The biggest reason is because the murder was none of Tricia's business. In the first three books, she set out to clear her own name or to determine who was responsible for a murder that directly affected her. In this case, she didn't even know the victim. And suddenly, she's in everyone's face, asking nosy questions. The story also dragged on forever, going nowhere for a long time. The characters were constantly whining about their financial problems, and Tricia was running around trying to fix their problems. Then she suddenly narrates that she was "filthy rich." Really? How convenient. How did this realistically bland character turn into such a Mary Sue? It wasn't appealing at all. The Ginny character made me cringe. She was the biggest financial whiner in the world. Something should tell you that if you work for a bookstore at just above minimum wage (the "minimum wage" thing was broadcast throughout the whole book), you shouldn't even think about a mortgage. Ginny did redeem herself in the end, so I hated her less then.

The fact that I can feel so strongly about these things tells me that Lorna Barrett really is a good writer. She did address some of the issues, like having other characters tell Tricia the same things I was thinking. The reason I'm pointing them out is because I hope that the next book improves the series. We need something different, like a mystery that does not involve murder. Or maybe more than one murder at a time. I do think it's worth reading the series and I do look forward to the next one.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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The main character is very unlikeable

The main character Tricia, is SO hard to like. No matter what nice things she does, she's still at the very core snooty & self righteous. She has many faults of her own which she expects everyone to forgive but if anyone else Makes a mistake she makes them grovel. If she needs a favor for her investigation she expects it be given, but then is quite rude when they are no longer necessary. She turns her nose up at any food that's unhealthy & makes it a point to put down people who dares to eat anything with fat (gasp). And the most unlikeable moment for Tricia was in the beginning of the book when she complained about how unfair her life was because her cop boyfriend dumped her to go care for his ex who was ill with a serious illness. I wonder how & why the author chose to make Tricia so unrelatable, as it really hurts the series.
Overall the narrator does a great job & the story otherwise was compelling and interesting. It's the only reason I have read more than 1 of the books in this series

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Beatrice
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 01-04-12

Enjoyable read

This is one of the most enjoyable books I have read by Lorna Barrett. I have read the previous books in the series and have enjoyed them all. I love the setting and the characters. As the town jinks, Tricia keeps bumping into trouble in a realistic way. Although the series has many enjoyable characters, Tricia is my favorite. Her life isn't perfect and she doesn't complain. Tricia's character is actually sympathetic. You can't help but sympathize with her as we see glimpses of her childhood and through the new budding relationship she is developing with her sister. Even though Tricia's character is nosy you can't help but support her endeavors to find out the truth. Cassandra Campbell does a good job of lending different voices to characters and bringing out their individual personalities. I look forward to the next book.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Character development is weak

Tricia is super irritating. She's hypocritical. She holds major grudges, but she can't understand why Frannie would hate Jim's mother or why Ginny would hate Eugenia.

Character development and motivation are so poorly developed. One moment that stuck out was when Angelica expressed sympathy for Frannie, and Tricia was so taken aback. She exclaimed, "Frannie! Jim's the dead one"... I mean, yes, but shouldn't his girlfriend be pitied as well?? Tricia's reaction made no sense.