On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review when they were first released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
A major organizing feat unearthed this book from my To-Be-Read shelf.
It also reminded me of how many books I want to read
and it doesn’t included what is on my Kindle.
So I hope you have enjoyed Flashback Friday because I will be continuing it in 2017.
One Hot Murder (Victoria Square Mystery)
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (February 5, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Digital Ebook – ASIN: B0095ZMRA2
Where there’s smoke…
Katie Bonner, the reluctant manager of Artisans Alley in the quaint shopping district of Victoria Square, is no stranger to ambivalence. Things have been going hot and heavy with pizza maker Andy Rust—so much so that Katie has moved in over his pizza parlor. But now that summer’s ushered in a heat wave, an apartment above pizza ovens without an air conditioner is making Katie hot and bothered.
At the height of the heat wave, a tragic fire strikes Victoria Square. Wood U, a small store selling wooden gifts and small furniture, is destroyed. But the fire may just be a smoke screen—for murder. A body is found among the charred wreckage, and the victim didn’t die from smoke inhalation. He was shot. Now—despite making Detective Ray Davenport hot under the collar—Katie is determined to smoke out a coldhearted killer…
As the temperatures around here were dropping the temperatures at the Artisans Alley were heating up. It’s summertime at the Victoria Square and the air conditioning at the Artisans Alley can’t cool off the entire building. Katie also doesn’t have air conditioning in her apartment above the pizza place either. With only open windows and a fan to help her cool off she is shocked to notice a fire out her window at Victoria Square. She calls 911 and rushes over there to find Wood U totally engulfed and when the fire in extinguished the firefighters find a dead body. Everyone is distraught that the owner of the shop has died but then they find out, the person was killed before not during the fire. Because of the status of the body they know he was murdered by they can’t make conclusive identification. Detective Ray Davenport is on the case but that doesn’t mean Katie isn’t hotfooting it all over town to find the killer.
This is a hot, Hot, HOT! murder mystery. I sat down on Sunday afternoon to read and read it all in one sitting.
This is the 3rd book in the series and it has been awhile since I had read book 2, The Walled Flower, but Ms. Bartlett creates very memorable characters so I was all caught up by the end of Chapter 1. Katie Bonner inherited ownership of the Alley and she has been working hard to make it work for all her crafters and turn a profit for herself so she can invest in some upgrades like a new air conditioning system. Her tenants are an eclectic bunch, some pitch in to help all the time, some need to be reminded and one is there all the time and is getting on Katie’s last nerve. Detective Ray Davenport is retiring from the force and this murder investigation is his last. Andy and Katie are still working opposite hours but are trying so hard to spend more time together.
These wonderful characters are surrounded by quite a mystery. Until the body is properly identified Katie and Ray are assuming they know who it is and proceeding in their investigations accordingly, but the clues they uncover twists things in a way that just don’t fit together. Plus there are a few subplots that tie in to the main mystery in several ways.
One of the subplots deals with Katie’s dream of purchasing a big Victorian home to turn it into a B&B. Her money is all tied up in the Alley and the inventory she has been stashing away for when her dream becomes a reality. Her dream goes up in smoke when she learns someone else has purchased the home. It was how she handled this situation that I as a reader could see how much this character has evolved from the first book in this series. I found it very refreshing to read. I am still unsure about her relationship with Andy so I am looking forward to seeing how this is addressed in the next book. Yes, the next book! It has been awhile but Dead, Bath, and Beyond is being released next month.
To me this author is one of the best at writing cozies mysteries. You can’t go wrong with anything she writes!
About The Author
The immensely popular Booktown Mystery series is what put Lorraine Bartlett‘s pen name Lorna Barrett on the New York Times Bestseller list, but it’s her talent — whether writing as Lorna, or L.L. Bartlett, or Lorraine Bartlett — that keeps her there. This multi-published, Agatha-nominated author pens the exciting Jeff Resnick Mysteries as well as the acclaimed Victoria Square Mystery series and has many short stories and novellas to her name(s). Check out the links to all her works here: http://www.lorrainebartlett.com
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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.”