Dead, Bath, and Beyond (Victoria Square Mystery)
4th in Series
Setting – New York
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (December 6, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Ransom House
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B01CZCW3K0
The New York Times bestselling series is back, as Katie Bonner–owner of Artisans Alley in the quaint shopping district of Victoria Square–attempts to solve a murder at a nearby B & B.
Katie Bonner feels like nothing can spoil her perfect day off, sailing Lake Ontario with her good friend, lawyer Seth Lander. Then she runs into her ex-boss Jake on the dock. It was never smooth sailing with Jake, and Katie is only too happy to get away from him as he makes a scene.
Unfortunately, the next day her unpleasant former employer is found drowned in a bathtub at a bed and breakfast in Victoria Square. Who would pull the plug on Jake? When an autopsy reveals lake water–not bath water–in his lungs, Katie quickly finds herself in over her head. She’ll need to race to find the killer before her business and her freedom both go down the drain…
Last week I read and reviewed the previous book in this series, One Hot Murder, that had been on my To-Be-Read shelf since 2013 when it was released. Because of this the delay between books 3 and 4 was not a problem for me. I have to say it is unusual to have a break like this between books especially when it is the same publisher. This book picks up close to where the last one left off so for me the flow was still there.
Things are going well at Artisans Alley. Former detective Ray Davenport has leased a booth as he waits for his shop Wood U to be rebuilt after the fire. A beauty shop has also opened at the Alley. Her new friends, owners of the B & B, are getting ready to open but they have taken in an early guest. A guest that Katie knows quite well, her former boss, Jake. Katie worked so hard for him and he always took the credit. She wasn’t unhappy at all to leave that job and him behind when she inherited the Alley. She was not happy to see him in her neighborhood, but she didn’t even have time to find out why he was staying at the B&B because his dead body was found in a bathtub soon after he checked in. Of course, she is a suspect, they have a past and she did have a bit of a scene with him the day before, in front of plenty of witnesses.
I really enjoyed this story. I love the characters and the setting. Ms. Bartlett always delivers a top-notch mystery. She is joined this time by another wonderful storyteller in Laurie Cass, author the fun Bookmobile Cat Mysteries.
It was nice to see Ray on the outside of this police investigation and him actually being a sounding board and helping Katie with her sleuthing. They have become friends and Ray’s daughters and I are even hoping for maybe more. That was my only sticky point to this story. Katie and Andy’s romance is going nowhere. They work opposite shifts, they can’t even seem to get together for lunches because something always comes up. She lives above his pizza place so they see each other every day and she steps in to help him when he is understaffed. But they seem to just be staying together just because it is comfortable but not really any fun. I know change would probably impact her living arrangement, but a romantic triangle would sure add some spark to the story. Maybe Andy would step up and make more of an effort in the relationship. Katie does have friends but she needs a man in her life who has time for a life. Maybe in the next book we will see these relationships evolve more.
Beyond Katie’s personal life the story is pretty exciting. She does get in as usual over her head and this time almost literally. The suspense builds so that the pages start to flip pretty rapidly as we see how she is going to get herself out of the mess she got herself into.
I hope we don’t have to wait too long for the next installment of this series. I am so glad it is back!
About The Authors
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
Laurie Cass grew up in Michigan and graduated from Eastern Michigan University in the 80’s with a (mostly unused) Bachelor of Science degree in geology. She and her husband live on a lake in northwest lower Michigan. When Laurie isn’t writing, she’s working at her day job, reading, yanking weeds out of her garden, or doing some variety of skiing. Find out more on her webpage here and sign up for her Newsletter.
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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.”
Comments on “#Review / #Giveaway – Dead, Bath, and Beyond by Lorraine Bartlett with Laurie Cass @BerkleyMystery”
Have been reading about this series and look forward to to reading!!
I liked the review, thank you.
Great authors – great review – great giveaway = thanks!
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