Genre: cozy mystery
As the owner of Stoneham, New Hampshire's mystery bookstore Haven't Got a Clue, Tricia Miles can figure out whodunit in the latest bestseller long before she gets to the last page. But these days, Tricia is using her sleuthing skills for much more than the books on her shelves.
It’s Founder’s Day in Stoneham, and the whole village has turned out to celebrate in the square, including Tricia’s friend and festivities organizer Deborah Black. As everyone watches Deborah give the opening speech, a small aircraft crashes into the village gazebo, killing both Deborah and the pilot.
While the Sheriff’s Department is convinced that it was an accident, Tricia has a feeling that there’s more to the story. And when she reads between the lines of the case, what she finds is worse than the most sinister whodunit…
I decided to read the fifth Booktown Mystery soon after all, even though I have no idea when the next paperback will be published. The 6th hardcover is due in July 2012. And I am not sorry I read this book, as it was good.
To lure more tourists to the village, Bob, the head of the Chamber of Commerce, has invented Founder’s day. And he bullied Deborah, from the Happy Domestic Shop, into organizing most of it. Even though she is already shorthanded, and her marriage is rocky. But they pulled it of, and there is even a small airplane flying around with a banner advertising the whole event. But why is the plane circling so low that no one can hear Deborah give her opening speech? And then the plane gets even lower, and crashes into the gazebo where Deborah is standing. People are running away, barely avoiding getting crushed as well. But Deborah’s mother Elizabeth and her little baby boy Davey witness the event as well, and Elizabeth is heartbroken.
Something about the accident is really bothering Tricia. And then David, Deborah’s husband, he really is not a grieving widower, even though they did have marital problems. He has Deborah cremated the next day, sells of her store the second day, and leaves his little boy with Elizabeth. And he is seen (by Tricia) in public with another woman! Celebrating! So, was this really a freak accident? Or was it totally set up? Tricia is determined to find out the truth, even if she keeps discovering new and unpleasant things about her friend. Was Deborah really her friend? It appears like she did not know the other woman at all!
Tricia’s lovelife is virtually non-existent at the moment. She still has no inkling at all to take Russ back into her life, even though he keeps asking her out. Captain Baker wants to be friends-with-benefits for the short time he will be around, as he has applied for a new job elsewhere. Of course she wants nothing to do with that, if he will leave her behind with a broken heart in no time. And then there is her ex-husband, who keeps sending her very expensive jewellery. What is she to think of that? He was the one who left her and their marriage behind, to find himself in the wilds somewhere. Tricia feels lonely, and longs for a new love in her life. And now even Ginny is leaving the shop, as her boyfriend Antonia has asked her to be the new manager of the Happy Domestic. His employer has bought the store from David Black, and the deal has been sealed unexpectedly fast. So instead of a few weeks to get used to the idea and to hire someone new, Ginny is leaving the next day!
Being alone in the bookshop with her trusted cat Miss Marple is really boring and lonely, especially as it is a slow time in the bookshopbusiness. After all, the Founder Day festivities have been cancelled.
Angelica, Tricia’s sister, keeps urging her on to start a new business, to spread her wings. After all, Angelica herself is busy with a cookbookshop, a small lunchroom and writing cookbooks. Is owning a bookshop really all she wants out of life? And Tricia really is happy with her bookshop, it is after all what she has dreamed about for years, but is it enough? A strange firm is buying all available shops and plots up in the village, why should Tricia not be the one? After all, she does have enough money to do so.
Another great mystery by Lorna Barrett, again she surprises me with the twists and revelations in the plot. People acting nasty, and lying, and I really did not figure any of this out myself. The only new secondary character in this book I am looking forward to learning more about is the little doggy that gets adopted by Angelica (that is the one clue I saw coming!).
Tricia is a bit gloomy in this book. Losing Ginny, losing a friend who might not have been such a good friend after all, and feeling lonely. I do hope some good things will happen to her in the next book.
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian