Genre: cozy mystery
Tricia Miles, owner of Haven’t Got a Clue mystery bookstore, is still settling into Stoneham, New Hampshire, the kind of town where everybody knows your name – and where everyone’s quick to lend a hand, even when murder is afoot…
The kinder folks of Stoneham might call Pammy Fredericks a free spirit. The less kind, a freeloading thief. Tricia has put up – and put up with – her uninvited college roommate for weeks. In return, Pammy has stone one hundred dollars among other things. But the day she’s kicked out, Pammy’s found dead in a trash cart, leaving loads of question unanswered. What was she foraging for? Did her killer want it too? To piece the case together, Tricia will have to dive in headfirst.
Tricia has had an unwanted house guest for two weeks now, and she is fed up with the lazy and sloppy Pammy. They may have been roommates in college 24 years ago, but it is not like they stayed close friends. And when Tricia finds out that Pammy was stealing from her that was the last drop. Pammy gets nasty when Tricia shows her the door, dirty laundry and all, but she goes without much of a protest. She has no clue what she will do next, but apparently she has made some friends in Stoneham where she can stay for a night or two.
Angelica, Tricia’s sister, has opened a new lunchroom but she has sorely mistaken the amount of work needed from her, and her employees. Luckily, she has a great employee who manages the Cookery on her own, but for Booked for Lunch, Angelica has to do most of the work herself, both the cooking and the serving and cleaning. She tries to rope Tricia in to help her whenever she gets the opportunity, in exchange for some great food.
Almost as soon as Pammy has left Tricia’s house and bookstore, Haven’t got a Clue, Tricia gets phonecalls from her neighbouring shops. Apparently, Pammy is trying to get a job, and listing Tricia as her last employer and home address! Of course Tricia sets that to right as soon as possible, but to her greatest surprise, Angelica has hired Pammy! She really needs help desperately, as Pammy is not a very enthusiastic worker!
And when Angelica urges Tricia to go out back and patch things up with Pammy, it is too late. Tricia finds Pammy upside down in a dumpster, dead. Someone must have shoved her in it, but who and why? She sure rubbed enough people wrong in the few weeks she was staying in town, and why was she trying so desperately to reach the rich Stuart Page at the new Stoneham Food Court (a charity venue).
To her biggest relief, it is not Wendy Adams, the sheriff who hates Tricia, who arrives at the scene of the crime, but Captain Grant Baker, and he will be in charge of the murder investigation. Tricia likes this officer, as he is polite and does not immediately think she did it, and try to prove that without looking any further.
Tricia has no clue why Pammy was murdered, but as a kind-of-friend, she wants to know who did this and why. As the police doesn’t seem to be able to solve the case, she cannot help but try to find clues and suspects. Especially when some strange voice keeps calling her, asking about the diary. Was Pammy blackmailing someone?
And who is the person who is smashing pumpkins throughout the town square?
Another great cozy mystery by Lorna Barrett. I learned a lot of new things in this one. Have you ever heard of Fregans? People who raid dumpsters looking for thrown away foodstuffs that are still good enough to eat? Not only because they are very poor, but also to make a protest to the society that throws away too much food and other usable things. I know I spend a lot of money on groceries I would not mind spending on books, but the idea to go through the trash of a supermarket or restaurant and eat what you find, no thanks. The smell alone of those dumpsters makes me give them a wide berth.
I like Tricia and Angelica more and more in each book. And Ginny and mr. Everett are such great secondary characters. I never once could figure out what would happen next in this book, which I really like. When an author manages to surprise me, that means it is a good mystery.
I have already started reading the next book, and am liking it :).
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian