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Murder on the Half Shelf: A Booktown Mystery

Murder on the Half Shelf: A Booktown Mystery

Написано Lorna Barrett

Озвучено Karen White


Murder on the Half Shelf: A Booktown Mystery

Написано Lorna Barrett

Озвучено Karen White

оценки:
4/5 (29 оценки)
Длина:
9 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Apr 2, 2014
ISBN:
9781494570651
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Описание

The town of Stoneham is a haven for bookstores, but it is sadly lacking in bed-and-breakfasts. Fortunately Pippa and Jon Comfort's Sheer Comfort Inn is about to open, and the couple has offered some locals a free night as a trial run.

But it won't be so easy to sleep after Tricia makes two startling discoveries: Pippa's murdered body in the backyard, and the fact that Pippa's husband, Jon, is actually Harry Tyler, a man Tricia loved—and believed dead—for nearly twenty years.

Though Harry is the prime suspect, Tricia doesn't believe him capable of murder, even though he's led a life of lies. Especially when she discovers that Pippa had a few secrets of her own—some that may have been worth killing for.

Издатель:
Издано:
Apr 2, 2014
ISBN:
9781494570651
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Об авторе

Lorna Barrett is the New York Times bestselling author of the Booktown Mysteries, including such titles as Book Clubbed, Chapter and Hearse, Bookmarked for Death, and Murder on the Half Shelf.


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4.2
29 оценки / 18 Обзоры
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  • (4/5)
    3.5 starsThere’s a new inn in town, just about to open up, and bookstore owner, Tricia, and lunch counter owner and Tricia’s sister, Angelica, win tickets to stay one night at the new inn. Unfortunately, no one gets to stay that night, after one of the people running the inn, Piper Comfort, is murdered. She is, of course, found by Tricia. To Tricia’s surprise, it turns out Piper’s husband is someone Tricia used to date, and everyone thought he was dead!This was good. I enjoyed it. I listened to the audio, and it was done well. For now, at least, I’ll continue on with the series (although I’m not impressed with Tricia’s newest employee!).
  • (4/5)
    In a quiet town filled with genred book shop, cafes and niche establishments, a vintage mystery bookseller has again been the finder of a recent corpse when partaking in the post opening event for a bed and breakfast. Bookstore owner, Tricia and her sister the culinary diva, Angelica then set out to find the culprit, whilst irritating the police chief (whom Tricia has been dating) and a slew of other town folks. A collective of quirky residents and visitors add into the stew. This is just the kind of quaint downtown I always want to stumble into, where everyone knows everyone and is eager to welcome you in.It's a cozy night's read with some LOL's and twists. Barrett does well with her settings, characters and dialogue. This will be a series to add to my ever increasing shelf of bookstore mysteries.Love the addition of plot line recipes added at the end.
  • (4/5)
    This was definitely one of my favorite titles of the series.

    I was a little miffed however at the way Angelica treated her sister Tricia at the opening of the novel as they were entering the Sheer Comfort Inn. Tricia is definitely most accommodating whether she's asked to carry heavy luggage or take care of walking Angelica's dog, Sarge. There are moments when Angelica seems to have her sister Tricia's best interests at heart as Tricia does in reverse for Angelica and then there are other moments when Angelica seems quite self-centered and seems to treat Tricia like her personal servant.

    This is one series that I'd definitely suggest reading "in order" as knowing the "back story" of the large supporting cast of characters definitely adds to the pleasure of reading the series and also gives the reader the fine nuances of the current updates.

    I also just adore Miss Marple, Tricia's cat, who rules the roost of Haven't Got a Clue, vintage mystery bookstore. Having been staff rather than owner of cats myself, the description of Miss Marple's behavior and communication never fail to make me smile. I'm glad Miss Marple had more of a presence in this novel as did Sarge.
  • (1/5)
    I've really enjoyed this series until this book. It was annoying. Didn't seem to have the depth as the others. Unfortunately, I think this series has run its coarse.
  • (2/5)
    Tricia and her sister Angelica think they're in for a treat when Angelica wins a free night at the sumptuous new bed and breakfast opening up in Stoneham. When the manager of the inn, Pippa Comfort, turns up dead, however, it's up to Tricia to sniff out the real murderer.

    This was a weaker entry in the series, which on the whole has been fairly enjoyable. For one thing, half the plot - and this is revealed on the back summary, so I won't hide it in spoiler blocks - revolves around Jon Comfort, the victim's husband, who also turns out to be a best selling crime author who was also Tricia's long-lost lover who faked his own death! Wait, what? That seems rather fantastical. The elements were just too far out there and I could never fully suspend my disbelief.

    For another, this book highlighted Barrett's quirk about characterization. I first noticed it with the men in the series, who appear amazing and perfect then suddenly undergo a frontal lobotomy and become raving maniacs. Well, maybe not quite that dramatic, but take the sarcastic, but good-hearted Russ who turned into a crazy stalker who attacked a police officer. So far only Grant has managed to escape that particular failing.

    However, it turns out that this is not solely restricted to the men - here we have Nikki, who previously forgave Tricia for accusing her of murder but is so overcome by jealousy because Tricia gave Russ some doughnuts that she banishes Tricia from her business. What? What just happened here?

    Most of her characters are fine, but when there needs to be some drama, Barrett tends to just change the characterization rather than subtly introducing flaws from the beginning. The main characters mostly escape this tendency, but the marginal characters often are victims of this. Barrett needs to work on her ability to write convincing conflict - this is manufactured solely to introduce drama to the story, but it's not a believable confrontation. Real relationships require real problems, not sudden personality changes.

    Also, I had qualms with the "solution" to this one. Normally there are at least hints of who the bad guy is, but this one came so far out of left field that it might have come from another field entirely. If you haven't read this yet and don't want to know who the murderer is, I recommend you don't click the spoiler below.

    The murderer is Mary Fairchild's husband, Luke. Apparently he lived in New York with his first wife when she was hit by a car, which was driven by none other than Pippa Comfort. In the final confrontation, Luke turns into a complete sociopath (Barrett keeps reiterating how wooden and flat his voice is) and Mary is utterly shocked. First, there were no hints at all and we barely even saw Luke the entire book. There wasn't even a mention that he lived in New York or had a first wife.

    In fact, even Tricia mentions this little new nugget of information and in comes the weirdest, most facile explanation I have ever read:

    "But I thought you said you and Luke had been married half your lives," Tricia hissed at Mary.

    "Yes, but not to each other." (279)

    Really. That wasn't just a shamefully transparent misdirect that you tried halfheartedly to cover up from the readers?

    It also surprises me since the scene seemed like it was trying to set it up that Mary was abused by her husband - "You are my wife and you will do as I tell you...or do you want to suffer the consequences?" (278) - but there was no further mention of this and she readily flipped on him.

    Finally, Tricia became very judge-y in this one. Tricia is, of course, somewhat spoiled (in one, she even tells someone that she's been poor before, which she hasn't, but she's read Dickens, so that must count for something), and that actually creates some dynamic to her character. In the book with the freegans, she evinces genuine disgust at the practice, which is keeping with her character.

    However, this one crossed the line into true unpleasantness. One of the new characters - who later becomes a favorite of mine - is a former sex worker, and the characters' reactions are deplorable and left a bad taste in my mouth.

    As I said, this series is mostly enjoyable in a kitschy, fun way, but this one was definitely a weak entry in the series.
  • (4/5)
    This was definitely one of my favorite titles of the series.

    I was a little miffed however at the way Angelica treated her sister Tricia at the opening of the novel as they were entering the Sheer Comfort Inn. Tricia is definitely most accommodating whether she's asked to carry heavy luggage or take care of walking Angelica's dog, Sarge. There are moments when Angelica seems to have her sister Tricia's best interests at heart as Tricia does in reverse for Angelica and then there are other moments when Angelica seems quite self-centered and seems to treat Tricia like her personal servant.

    This is one series that I'd definitely suggest reading "in order" as knowing the "back story" of the large supporting cast of characters definitely adds to the pleasure of reading the series and also gives the reader the fine nuances of the current updates.

    I also just adore Miss Marple, Tricia's cat, who rules the roost of Haven't Got a Clue, vintage mystery bookstore. Having been staff rather than owner of cats myself, the description of Miss Marple's behavior and communication never fail to make me smile. I'm glad Miss Marple had more of a presence in this novel as did Sarge.
  • (4/5)
    I had been reading a couple very dark books and wanted some comfort food so I turned to Lorna Barrett because she writes characters who feel like family and they don't call them cozy's for nothing. The non-crime related plots in this book were amazing (can't wait to read more about Pixie).
    Not a 5 star book only because this mystery book seemed to overlook the mystery/murder. It wasn't until half way through the book that the mystery solving began and I really don't think there were enough clues for anyone to figure it out.
    But
    I really don't read her murder mysteries for the murder or the mystery...it's all about the characters and she did a great job.
  • (3/5)
    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.
  • (4/5)
    This was a well written cozy mystery by author Lorna Barrett. It is the 5th or 6th book in the "BookTown" series, but can be read alone. I haven't read a cozy in quite some time and almost forgot how fun they could be. This particular murder mystery involved a Bed and Breakfast proprietor who is found dead on the property not long after the guests arrive. There are a host of characters that I thought I'd have a hard time keeping up with throughout the book, but surprisingly I was able to remember mostly everyone who was mentioned. I attribute this to the author's writing style. I think one of the reasons why I didn't care to read cozies is because there are too many characters involved and it was too difficult trying to remember all of them. Now I realize that it may not be how many characters are involved, but the way the story is written that makes the difference. I liked the fact that any number of the characters could have been responsible for the murder, so I found myself musing about who and how any one of them could have done it. I liked reading about the town where the protagonist lived because it was made up of many delightful shops, including book stores which are my favorite. So overall this was a very enjoyable read and I look forward to reading more of Lorna Barrett's mysteries.
  • (5/5)
    Murder On The Half Shelf is the sixth book in the interesting Booktown Mystery series. Barrett does a wonderful job of putting together an intriguing mystery with a touch of humor to provide the reader with an enjoyable book.

    Tricia and Angelica are walking over to Sheer Comfort Inn, a much needed B&B, to enjoy a free one night lodging. Angelica won the stay in a raffle and elected take her sister, rather than her sometime boyfriend, Bob Kelly. As they are getting ready to check in Tricia see someone that she thinks she knows. As he is disappearing out the backdoor, she realizes that it is a boyfriend from long ago who had gone missing and was presumed dead from a boating accident. As they are going to their room they pass Mary Fairchild on the landing, who appears deep in thought. Angelica has snuck her dog, Sarge, into the B&B. While Angelica is getting ready for dinner, Tricia takes Sarge for a quick walk out back. As he looking for the perfect spot, he finds the body of B&B's owner, Pippa.

    Tricia soon finds out that Jon Comfort is in fact her old boyfriend Harrison Tyler and the husband of Pippa. Of course Tricia wants to find out where he has been and why he staged his drowning, when he had a chance for a successful career as an author. As is usually the case, he becomes the prime suspect as there is an unexplained period of time that he can't account for, around the time of her death. But two other guests have known her is the past too.

    Then Grant Baker, the police chief and someone Tricia would like to know better, warns her off looking to murder and also puts their working on a relationship on hold, too. Quite naturally this is the wrong thing to say to Tricia.

    In addition to her sleuthing, she also has problems to deal with at her bookstore. She has just started training a new assistant manager. Luckily, Amy is a quick learner and Tricia is fairly confident in leaving to run the store while she is chasing down leads. Her other employee, Mr. Everett, is upset, as he thinks his wife is spending to much with their charity foundation and wants Tricia to talk with her. Tricia doesn't know where to turn first.

    For the lighter side, the reader will enjoy Angelica as she ventures into the TV world. There is a new TV station starting up and they have invited Angelica to come and talk about her cookbooks and prepare a dish. Well, let's just say that what happened wasn't pretty.

    This a wonderful series and has a great cast of characters that you have to love.

    Looking forward to the next book.
  • (4/5)
    Murder on the Half Shelf, the sixth Booktown mystery, is the earliest entry I found at my local library. The relationship between heroine Tricia Miles and her sister, Angelica Miles, reminds me a little of that between Patricia Hollowell and her sister, Mary Alice Crane, in the late Anne George's delightful Southern Sisters mysteries. They're younger, live in New England (the fictional Stoneham, New Hampshire, to be precise) instead of Birmingham, Alabama, and they both run their own businesses.Tricia is divorced instead of happily married, and her sister has a knack for falling for cheaters instead of being widowed from rich husbands. Still, Angelica is the more colorful, bossy sister and she does have more money.Angelica has won one of the local Chamber of Commerce's free pre-opening stay at the town's new and only bed-and-breakfast, the Sheer Comfort Inn. Bob Kelley, the CoC head and one of Angelica's cheating ex-boyfriends, expected to join Angelica. She chose Tricia. The contrast between how much luggage Angelica and Tricia brought for an overnight stay made me smile. Angelica not only breaks one of the rules by bringing her dog, Sarge, with her; she makes Tricia smuggle him out for a 'potty break'. It's while Sarge is sniffing around after anointing the ground that he discovers the body. Technically, Tricia merely called 911, but her attempts to give Sarge the credit/blame do no good. She's considered the discoverer. Because Tricia has discovered the bodies before, there's a rumor that she's the town jinx. How unfair is that? (Speaking of unfair, that's my opinion of what Police Chief Grant Baker says to Tricia when they meet after the call.) If you guessed that Sarge will also be instrumental in discovering the murder weapon, pat yourself on the back.It doesn't help that one of the suspects was once Tricia's first love. Grant even declares that he and Tricia shouldn't speak to each other (except in an official capacity) until the case is solved. This gives Tricia reason to wonder if Grant is a good romantic prospect after all.Tricia has been having trouble finding a competent assistant manager to replace Ginny Wilson. Yes, Mr. Everett is helping out, but still... Will Linda Fugitt, overqualified victim of the 2008 economic crash, prove the charm? She's certainly miles above Pixie Poe, the receptionist hired by Mr. Everett's wife, Grace, for the Everett Charitable Foundation. (I feel for Linda. I remember how it felt to be desperate for a job, but being told I was overqualified for the ones I I hoped to get.)That foundation is proving to be a problem for Mr. Everett. His beloved Grace is giving their non-profit more time than she's giving him. Worse, she hasn't been listening to his attempts to tell her how much he misses her. Tricia is asked to intervene. That's when her troubles with Pixie start.No, I didn't guess the killer or the motive. I did enjoy the climax. This is a nice cozy. Hope my library gets the earlier books.Cat lovers get to rejoice in Tricia's Miss Marple (I named one of my cats for another vintage mystery sleuth, Miss Silver, so of course I approve).Dog lovers get to preen over Sarge the bichon frise's more important role in this book.
  • (4/5)
    Thought this was was one of the better books in the series. The Booktown mystery series is about Trisha who owns Haven't Got a Clue bookstore located in Stoneham, New Hampshire. Although there's a bookstores a plenty there aren't enough places to stay for tourists. That changes when a B&B opens but then one of the managers is killed and Trisha finds the body.

    I enjoyed getting to know a few more characters. I didn't feel like Grace's character would go off the deep-end but glad it was short-term. I suspected who did it very quickly but couldn't figure out why. I hope Trisha can start to have some good things happen to her soon.
  • (5/5)
    In Barrett’s mystery novel, the town of Stoneham lacks a decent Bed & Breakfast but is stocked in book stores. A new business venture, the Sheer Comfort Inn is about to change things by opening its doors. When the Chamber of Commerce offers a free nights stay in the Inn before the official opening, Tricia Miles, owner of Haven’t Got a Clue bookstore, finds herself joining her sister for what was intended to be a pleasant one night stay in the cozy Inn to sample its offerings. Unfortunately, not long after arriving, Tricia finds the hostess, Pippa, murdered in the backyard and her husband, Jon, is actually Harry Tyler, a man Tricia was once involved with years ago and believed dead for twenty years. Although the husband is the prime suspect, Tricia doesn’t buy it and sets out on her own investigation to solve the crime once again.Well plotted and intriguing; a wonderful addition to the A Booktown Mystery series.
  • (4/5)
    Angelica “wins” a night at the new local Inn and takes Tricia who discovers a dead body shortly after arriving. Trish can’t help but investigate while dealing with the problems of finding a new assistant manager, helping Mr. Everett and Grace, mending her relationship with Grant, and of course dealing with her high maintenance sister. Looking forward to reading the next book and seeing how her new employee settles in to life in a second hand mystery bookstore.
  • (5/5)
    When a Bed and Breakfast Inn comes to Stoneham, New Hampshire, Tricia Miles and her sister Angelica have a chance to stay there overnight before it opens to the public. Unfortunately, before they are there long Tricia, who is rapidly becoming known as the Town Jinx, stumbles across the body of Pippa Comfort one of the people running the Inn. When it is discovered that Tricia was involved with Pippa' husband years ago she quickly becomes a suspect in Pippa's murder. Tricia needs to find the killer to clear her name and save her reputation - and her relationship with police chief Grant Baker."Murder on the Half Shelf" is the nicely done sixth book in Lorna Barrett's Book Town cozy mystery series. There is a lot to like about this series starting with the setting and characters. The idea of Stonheam being a tourist attraction with all bookstores (specializing in certain items like cookbooks) is an inspired idea and Barrett makes it very real as some store owners are struggling financially. In fact, all of the business aspects are well done while not bogging down the book in boring details. Another thing that makes this series sparkle is the relationships between the characters - starting with Tricia and Angelica. Angelica is definitely high maintenance and may seem to take advantage of Tricia at times but it is clear that the two sisters love and take care of each other. Along with Tricia's relationship with Angelica is her friendship with others in town including her complicated romance with Grant Baker, her friendship with her employee Mr. Everett and his beloved wife Grace, and her search for another employee to help out at the store (which leads to the introduction of a new truly unforgettable character!). The mystery aspects are well done, with plenty of suspects although the killer's motive seemed to come out of nowhere and perhaps could've been foreshadowed more. Still this is an enjoyable cozy mystery series and the book ends on a cliffhanger that has me eagerly waiting for the next book.
  • (5/5)
    This series just keeps getting better and better.

    Tricia has lost her assistant manager, is having trouble with people she interviews and to top if off her sister Angelica invites her to a new hotel, where she and Angelica's dog find a body!

    With the return of former lover, who btw was declared dead several years earlier, current boyfriend not wanting to talk to her because she is a suspect in a murder case, and all of the drama that goes along with being sisters with Angelica, Tricia is feeling more than a little pressure.

    Eventually Tricia works her way through all the problems, including solving the murder.

    There are lots of bits and pieces of mystery book lore, some cooking tips and recipes from Angelica and some more character development of the main characters.

    Oh, and for those who love Mr. Everett and his wife Grace, there are plenty of scenes with both of them.

    As usual, will be waiting impatiently for the next in the series.
  • (5/5)
    I have really enjoyed this series so far and look forward to seeing where the characters are headed. It is great cozy mystery with developed characters.
  • (5/5)
    As the story begins, Tricia and Angelica, two sisters who own shops in Booktown, a revamped original part of Stoneham, New Hampshire, are trundling their way to the new Sheer Comfort Inn, where Angelica has won an overnight stay for two in a draw at the town Chamber. The Sheer Comfort Inn, a beautifully renovated Victorian home, has not been officially opened yet and is having a sort of dry run a week before opening. After a brief conversation with their hostess Pippa Comfort, Tricia becomes aware that Mrs. Comfort was expecting Angelica to be accompanied by Bob Kelly, owner of Kelly Real Estate and head of the Chamber of Commerce. As they head to their room, Tricia gets a glimpse of a slightly familiar man in the hall who suddenly turns away as though he does not want to be seen by her. Who would she know here aside from the other Chamber members who were recipients of the free stay? He looked like he worked at the hotel.Love is definitely not in the air, but that doesn't stop a bit of running around among some of the residents. What is happening to romance in Stoneham? Angelica is angry with ex-boyfriend Bob, Mr. Everett is concerned about his marriage with Grace, Tricia is on the outs with Grant Baker, police chief and sometimes boyfriend/lover, too busy to see her, and more. Some friendships slip and jealousy rears its head. The mixed bunch of guests at the Inn don't seem to be having a romantic evening either. When Tricia takes Angelica's dog out for a walk a few minutes after getting to their room, Sarge sniffs out a body behind the fence and wouldn't you know it, the body is that of Pippa Comfort, last seen about five minutes before! What on earth could have happened? Naturally Tricia is faced with interrogation by Grant resulting in further distance between them after she reports the "accident". On the suspect list as the one who discovered the body, he can't be seen talking to her except about the case.There are so many suspects for this murder and a lot of very interesting hobbies among the shopkeepers come to light. Nothing like a murder investigation to bring out the dirt, and this bit of laundry is sure to hang out someone to dry eventually. A lot of changes in this, the sixth of the Booktown Series. Lorna Barrett has served up another great mystery with old and new characters, a surprise from the past, good news and seriously bad news for Angelica in particular. Will she rise from the ashes of her career? Lorna Barrett's characters are believable, although possibly a stretch with one. When we get to know her better. we learn you not only can't judge a book by its cover, but the first introduction doesn't tell the whole story. I love some of the tongue-in-cheek names that show up occasionally in these books. Now I ask you, what could be more fitting than the Full Moon Nudist Camp and Resort?Meanwhile, with the town beginning to think of Tricia as a jinx, who is sending her "gifts" in the mail with oblique messages? Who is always standing in shadow? Why does she have to find another body, fortunately one that is still breathing, on her next walk with Sarge, the dog with the great sniffer? So many questions to be answered and difficult to guess what the answers may be. Lots of twists and mixed emotions among the Booktown people in this book. Once again, a downright good read with recipes as a bonus. Even with all the many conflicts and resolutions in this book, all part of the mystery, this storyline does not falter nor confuse. Good, solid writing and a very funny last paragraph...don't peek, it won't make any sense unless you read the book! Four easy and tasty recipes included.