Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Book Review - Murder on the Half Shelf


Murder on the Half Shelf: A Booktown Mystery

By: Lorna Barrett
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: July 2012
ISBN: 978-0425247754
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: July 4, 2012

Tricia and Angelica were heading to the Sheer Comfort Inn to experience a bit of luxury for a change. Bob Kelly, who fully expected to be sharing a suite with Angelica, was sorely disappointed when he didn’t get the invite. They weren’t exactly on good terms and sharing her Victorian inn bed-and-breakfast delight with him just wasn’t going to happen. Frannie, Angelica’s assistant at the Cookery, claimed that Tricia had to be the “world’s unluckiest woman when it comes to love.” She definitely had a point. The Miles sisters were just going to relax and have some fun with several other Chamber members who also won a free overnight at Stoneham’s newest B & B.

With enough luggage that would make a seasoned airline ticket agent cringe and one verboten dog later they arrived at the inn. Sarge, Angelica’s dog was in her oversized purse, but Tricia’s cat Miss Marple was back at her shop, Haven’t Got a Clue, keeping watch over the vintage mysteries. Pippa Comfort, the proprietor of the inn along with her husband, Jon, was there to greet them. There were more than a few odd ducks there, including Clayton Ellington, the owner of the Full Moon Nudist Camp and Resort. A man whom Tricia thought might have been Pippa’s husband decidedly hoofed it off when he spotted her. For some reason, he looked vaguely familiar. Maybe very familiar.

Cats don’t need to be walked, but dogs do and Tricia and Angelica had to slink out of the inn with Sarge. The bushes beckoned to the little squirt and next thing you know he found something special just for Tricia ... Pippa Comfort’s bludgeoned corpse. Chief Grant Baker, Tricia’s current beau, was soon on the scene to question potential suspects, including her. When Pippa’s husband Jon finally showed his face, that familiarity kicked in big time. Tricia put the brakes on, glared at “Jon” and exclaimed, “you’re supposed to be dead ... long dead.” It was none other than Harry Tyler, her first love. “Until this case is solved, I think it is best that we only speak to each other in an official capacity.” It looked like Tricia would have to work overtime to get Grant back, if ever. Digging up long-dead secrets just might be the key to solving Pippa’s murder!

Tricia Miles, the Stoneham, New Hampshire’s village jinx, is in hot water once again. Tricia’s always worried that she’ll be “looking at a stint at the New Hampshire State Prison for women,” and with her uncanny ability to find corpses, it just might happen one day. There are many of the old reliable characters I’ve enjoyed in this series, including Mr. Everett, who is experiencing some “marital discord” with his beloved wife, Grace. I especially enjoyed meeting Pixie Poe, a very, shall we say, in-your-face sort of gal who many will find quite appealing in spite of herself. The mystery is woven with delightful dashes of humor, intrigue, unusual letters, and written in that spirited Barrett style I love. If you want a lightly spicy and decidedly fun cozy mystery you’ll want to add this one to your list!

Quill says: If you love your cozy mysteries filled with gentle intrigue and loaded with a lot of flair, Murder on the Half Shelf is just the one you're looking for!