Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am happy to feature Murder Ink by Lorraine Bartlett & Gayle Leeson today!
Murder Ink (Victoria Square Mystery)
6th in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Berkley (December 31, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07QDK2DL8
The charm of Victoria Square may prove to be only skin deep when murder follows the arrival of a tattoo parlor in town in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.
A tattoo parlor on Victoria Square? Some of the merchants get hot under the collar at the proposal, but could they be driven to kill to stop it? That’s what the sheriff’s office and Katie Bonner want to know when the building’s owner is electrocuted with his own saw.
Meanwhile, tensions rise when a hot chef takes over the square’s tea shop. Will Katie have three men vying for her affections, or will her rival take the tea cake?
Many members of the Victoria Square Merchants Association are up in arms when they learn a tattoo parlor is opening on the square. They try to convince the proprietor that his business would do better at another location but when that fails they approach the owner of the building to try to have him rescind the rental contract. When Katie, now the president of the association goes to make another plea, she witnessed the building owner’s electrocution and she is injured as well. After that, many members of the association find themselves on the suspect list.
Katie is also juggling a little vendor drama at Artisan’s Alley and dealing with employee turnover at her new tea shop. The young manager quits and is replaced by a hunky and truly overqualified chef. Andy is having a staff issue as well. All this starts to cause a little chaos in Katie’s romantic life.
Katie Bonner really has her hands full in the 6th installment of this very popular series. She manages the Artisan’s Alley and is responsible for staffing and vendors. She recently opened her tea shop Teaolicious where she and enjoys doing the baking each morning. And she is President of the Victoria Square Merchants Association and all that entails. She is also trying to have a relationship with pizza parlor owner Andy Rust and is now in the middle of another murder investigation. Sometimes her activities just exhaust me and I think she is finally starting to realize she is reaching her limit. However, she is a great protagonist with a huge heart and motivated to stay on top of everything on her plate. She does make a big decision that I am really enthused about because it is a change that I felt was needed. I hope it opens her life up in new and exciting ways.
All the other characters we have come to love over the course of the series return and are involved in little subplots that mesh well with the main plot and theme. The new characters bring some freshness to the story as they interact with our faves, both in good and bad ways.
As I have come to expect from these authors they pack a lot of drama within these pages. There is always something happening which for me sets a brisk pace. This time I had to slow down a little bit and reread a couple of things to try to catch all the clues and follow all the twists. It was fun to follow along with Katie as all the clues fell into place.
These characters are very well-crafted and are featured in an entertaining story with strong mysteries. My only criticism was the snarkiness of the square shopkeepers had with the new business prospect although I realize it was needed to set up the story that followed.
Murder Ink is a great addition to the series. I am excited about the next book, I am very interested to see what Ms. Bartlett and Ms. Leeson have in store for Katie.
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
Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. Gayle has also written as Amanda Lee. She is currently writing the Kinsey Falls chick-lit/women’s fiction series, the Down South Cafe cozy mystery series, and the Ghostly Fashionista cozy mystery series. Her book KILLER WEDDING CAKE won the Bronze Medal in the 20th Anniversary IPPY Awards. Gayle lives in Southwest Virginia with her family and enjoys hearing from readers. Find her books on Amazon here. Website Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram
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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.”