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Murder on the Half Shelf (Booktown, Bk 6)
Murder on the Half Shelf - Booktown, Bk 6
Author: Lorna Barrett
Stoneham, New Hampshire, is a haven to bookstores, including Tricia’s own mystery shop, Haven’t Got a Clue, but is sadly lacking in bed and breakfasts. Pippa and Jon Comfort’s Sheer Comfort Inn opens its doors to the public in a week and the couple has offered some locals a free night as a trial run. — But what should have been ...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780425247754
ISBN-10: 0425247759
Publication Date: 7/3/2012
Pages: 304
Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 32

3.8 stars, based on 32 ratings
Publisher: Berkley Hardcover
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Murder on the Half Shelf (Booktown, Bk 6) on + 414 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
We return to Stoneham, New Hampshire just when a man from Tricia's past also arrives in town. Tricia, owner of the Haven't Got A Clue Mystery Shop and her sister Angelica have received a free night at the town's new Bed & Breakfast, Sheer Comfort. They join some other members of the Chamber of Commerce so the hosts can have a trial run before they open to the public. Pippa and Jon Comfort are new in town but it seems they already know some of Stoneham's prominent residents.

Of course Angelica couldn't leave her dog at home even though the inn has a strict no pets policy. As usual she cons Tricia into sneaking him outside for a comfort walk. That's when what should have been a relaxing overnight stay turns into nightmare. Sarge sniffs out a dead body in the backyard. Tricia has too much experience in this kind of discovery so it takes her only seconds to realize that Pippa has been murdered. If that isn't enough, Tricia meets Pippa's husband Jon and discovers he is actually Harry Tyler, a man Tricia loved and thought was dead for the past twenty years.

Harry needs to answer a lot of questions for Tricia but he has become the prime suspect in his wife's murder. Tricia may not have seen this man for 20 years but she knows he wouldn't murder his wife. There is much more to Pippa's story and Tricia can't help herself, she just needs to follow the clues and catch the real culprit.

Dollycas's Thoughts

Lorna Barrett is one of the best at writing a cozy mystery and I believe this is the best story she has written yet.

This is a tight, well written fast moving mystery with well developed characters readers have grown to love, including Miss Marple the cat and now Sarge the dog. We are also introduced to some new very interesting characters in this edition. I can't wait to see how Pixie impacts the next installment. You know characters are wonderfully created when you as the reader want to reach into the pages and slap one of them up aside the head. C'mon Grant, seriously!!

The story is also chock full of humor. Angelica has quite a harrowing experience but it had me laughing out loud and quickly turning the pages. Also when Tricia meets Pixie, priceless.

This wonderful mystery is filled with plenty of suspects, more twists and turns that a carnival ride, and a few surprises. Barrett has also gone the way of television drama. This book has a cliffhanger! Yes, a cliffhanger. I was already anxious for a return trip to Stoneham but Lorna this is just cruel :) I will be baking some of the delicious recipes included in the book while I wait not very patiently.
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reviewed Murder on the Half Shelf (Booktown, Bk 6) on + 1656 more book reviews
This is one of those reviews that I find extremely difficult to write, and I'll tell you why. This is the sixth installment of the Booktown series that I've read. I love the setting that Lorna Barrett has created-- a small town in New Hampshire revitalized into a "booktown," filled with store owners who care for one another, help each other out, and work together to think of ways to keep the community thriving. This is a setting in which I could easily live. It also helps that the main character runs a store specializing in crime fiction, and this devoted dog person even likes Tricia's cat.

I also enjoy the author's writing style and sense of humor. She creates intriguing mysteries that keep readers guessing chapter after chapter, peppered with scenes that can make you laugh out loud-- just like she's done here with Murder on the Half Shelf. She also has created characters that I've grown to care about, like the elderly couple Mr. and Mrs. Everett.

However, it's several of those characters that have created a dilemma for me. I can-- and do-- read books that have characters I do not like, and as in real life, I simply deal with them and move on. Many cozy mystery series seem to have that one character you'd just like to smack. The problem occurs when the number of characters you want to smack just keeps growing and growing. Sooner or later I reach a saturation point, and that is what has happened with the Booktown series.

The last sentence of chapter twenty-two pretty much sums up the main character: "And why couldn't Tricia ever get a break?" I have an answer for that: because Tricia spends too much of her time letting people walk all over her and then she whines about it. The main person running roughshod over her is her older sister, Angelica, who has to be one of the most self-absorbed divas in the fictional world. True, Angelica does have the occasional scene when she actually thinks of someone other than herself and comes through for her sister, but these scenes are few and far between. Angelica's on-again off-again main squeeze, Bob Kelly, is not above trying to broker shady deals or cavorting with other women. I can't think of one redeeming quality he's shown. Then there's the police chief who knows Tricia attracts corpses like mud puddles attract little boys, and instead of dealing with the investigation and their relationship in an adult manner, he gets huffy and argumentative. (Don't worry, I'm not going to list all the characters who aggravate me!)

I like this author. She writes solid, enjoyable mysteries that I have enjoyed in the past, and just because I started having problems with this series does not in any size, shape or form mean that you should avoid reading them. However, I've come to the reluctant conclusion that it's time for me to leave Booktown. I'm not happy about it, but there it is. Fortunately Lorna Barrett (AKA L.L. Bartlett and Lorraine Bartlett) has other series that I can enjoy.
reviewed Murder on the Half Shelf (Booktown, Bk 6) on + 948 more book reviews
First, let me explain that cozies are not my reads of choice. I found the characters in this one quite different. Tricia, who owns a mystery bookstore and tells the story, is one-dimensional to me. However, her sister, Angelica, has enough personality to make up for her. The mystery is simple. Angelica wins a free night in a bed and breakfast establishment that will open in a week. She invites Tricia to join her and, of course, Tricia finds a body, that of Pippa, one of the managers when she takes Angelica's dog for a walk. So the story begins. The local law enforcement investigate all who were to spent the night in the bed and breakfast. Which guest committed the murder and why? As usual, the law enforcement bumbles about, while Tricia does her own sleuthing and discovers the murderer. If you are one who follows this series you may enjoy it. As for me, I cannot recommend it as it is far too predictable.


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