Saturday, February 9, 2013

One Hot Murder by Lorraine Bartlett

Currently Reading
Blurb: 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…

My Review: Poor Katie sure has her hands full in this third installment of Lorraine Bartlett's wonderful Victoria Square Mystery series, dealing with difficult vendors, missing food and drinks in the lounge, squatters in the storage room...all under sweltering summer conditions. She also can't help continuing to pine for her beloved Webster mansion, as yet another new owner is moving in. The last thing she needs is to get involved in is another murder, but that's exactly what happens when a neighboring business, Wood U, goes up in flames, and a body is found in the wreckage. Questions arise as to the identity of the victim, as more than one man is missing. When one of Andy's troubled employees is arrested for the arson, Katie can't resist trying to solve the mystery, this time with a surprising new ally!

I loved the background to this mystery, as the Square is preparing for the annual Christmas in July potluck. (I sure hope a future book is set during the frequently mentioned Dickens Festival!!!) This is a perfectly "crafted" mystery filled with twists and turns that made me feel as if I was right there on Victoria Square. Katie is a great character, and I enjoy the growing relationships she has with her friends and vendors (oh that Ida!!!) The ending is quite a surprise and is sort of left open, so I'm curious to see how that will play out in the next book.

As I'm writing this a blizzard is bearing down on New England; make yourself some hot chocolate and pretend you're in the midst of a heat wave!


FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.




12 comments:

Diana Leigh said...

I love this series. Sounds great! (I adore your new blog design. So cute!)

Katreader said...

I love this series too and look forward to reading this installment. We have lots of snow from Nemo here in WNY, but nowhere near the blizzard conditions in New England!

emaginette said...

I love a good mystery.


Anna @ http://emaginette.wordpress.com

kimbacaffeinate said...

You made me what to buy the entire series. I love the sound of the mystery.

Melissa said...

Thanks Diana...I couldn't be happier with it!

Melissa said...

We only got 9 inches in northern Vermont...just enough to make it pretty :)

Melissa said...

Hee hee I love being an enabler!

Melissa said...

They are the best!

Aurian said...

Just skimming your review, this book is on its way home to me :) I do like this series a lot.

Katreader said...

We got about a foot. Just like you; just enough to make it pretty with clear roads!

Melissa said...

Wonderful to hear :)

Ruth Hill said...

I added this ot my TBR list. Thanks!