Review: Murder On The Half Shelf by Lorna Barrett

Murder on the Half Shelf
(A Booktown Mystery)

6th in Series

A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group

Jacket Illustration by Teresa Fasolino
Jacket Design by Diane Kolsky

We return to Stoneham, New Hampshire just when a man from Tricia’s past also arrives in town. Tricia, owner of the Haven’t Got A Clue Mystery Shop and her sister Angelica have received a free night at the town’s new Bed & Breakfast, Sheer Comfort. They join some other members of the Chamber of Commerce so the hosts can have a trial run before they open to the public. Pippa and Jon Comfort are new in town but it seems they already know some of Stoneham’s prominent residents.

Of course Angelica couldn’t leave her dog at home even though the inn has a strict no pets policy. As usual she cons Tricia into sneaking him outside for a comfort walk. That’s when what should have been a relaxing overnight stay turns into nightmare. Sarge sniffs out a dead body in the backyard. Tricia has too much experience in this kind of discovery so it takes her only seconds to realize that Pippa has been murdered. If that isn’t enough, Tricia meets Pippa’s husband Jon and discovers he is actually Harry Tyler, a man Tricia loved and thought was dead for the past twenty years.

Harry needs to answer a lot of questions for Tricia but he has become the prime suspect in his wife’s murder. Tricia may not have seen this man for 20 years but she knows he wouldn’t murder his wife. There is much more to Pippa’s story and Tricia can’t help herself, she just needs to follow the clues and catch the real culprit.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lorna Barrett is one of the best at writing a cozy mystery and I believe this is the best story she has written yet.

This is a tight, well written fast moving mystery with well developed characters readers have grown to love, including Miss Marple the cat and now Sarge the dog. We are also introduced to some new very interesting characters in this edition. I can’t wait to see how Pixie impacts the next installment. You know characters are wonderfully created when you as the reader want to reach into the pages and slap one of them up aside the head. C’mon Grant, seriously!!

The story is also chock full of humor. Angelica has quite a harrowing experience but it had me laughing out loud and quickly turning the pages. Also when Tricia meets Pixie, priceless.

This wonderful mystery is filled with plenty of suspects, more twists and turns that a carnival ride, and a few surprises. Barrett has also gone the way of television drama. This book has a cliffhanger! Yes, a cliffhanger. I was already anxious for a return trip to Stoneham but Lorna this is just cruel 🙂 I will be baking some of the delicious recipes included in the book while I wait not very patiently.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


About This Author Lorna Barrett is the Agatha-nominated, New York Times bestselling author of the Booktown Mystery Series. She also writes under the name of Lorraine Bartlett with the Victoria Square Mysteries, and L.L. Bartlett, for the Jeff Resnick suspense series.

Lorna lives in Rochester, NY with her husband and three felines. To find out more about Lorna visit her website at

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

6 thoughts on “Review: Murder On The Half Shelf by Lorna Barrett

  1. I love her book covers. Sounds like a wonderful book. Thanks for the review.

  2. I loved your review and agree that Lorna is one of the best when it comes to cozy mysteries. I look forward to being able to get this book and read it. Thanks Lorna and Dollycas/Lori for introducing me to cozies. I even like the Jeff Resnick books.

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