Lately I’ve been going through some of the most recommended Cozy Mystery series among this site’s visitors. Some of the earlier posts on these topics covered the Kate Carlisle Bibliophile Series and the League of Literary Ladies Series by Kylie Logan. This time I’m focusing on Lorna Barrett‘s Booktown Mystery Series. As long time visitors might know, I’ve been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to interview Lorraine Bartlett (aka Lorna Barrett & L.L. Bartlett). (It was a WOW occasion in my life!)
So I finally got around to rereading Murder is Binding, the first book in Lorna Barrett’s Booktown series. This book is the introduction to Tricia Miles, owner of the Haven’t Got a Clue mystery bookstore, in the town of Stoneham, New Hampshire. Tricia is a big city former upper class woman who has moved to Stoneham following her amicable divorce >>> to start-up her dream shop, a mystery bookstore. (Something I’m sure a lot of us would love doing!)
Tricia opened her store on the main street area of small town Stoneham as part of an effort to revitalize the town’s flagging economy to help develop the town as a stop for local tour buses. She wasn’t the only one, though. There were others who follow suit and opened book-related shops as well. Unfortunately, not all the locals are pleased to have so many out of towners coming in to take over prominent real estate area >>> and this conflict is an important part of some of these early books, and part of the reason Tricia finds local law enforcement less than cooperative when she finds an unpleasant neighbor dead.
Tricia’s problems aren’t limited to dying neighbors though, as she also has to contend with her sister (Angelica) coming to town. Tricia and Angelica never got along terribly well as children, so Tricia is less than completely happy when Angelica’s stay turns out to be a more or less indefinite duration. Fortunately Angelica does turn out to give some helpful advice and help in getting to the bottom of the recent murder >>> including suggesting actually getting a lawyer, a completely reasonable step to consider when potentially faced with a serious murder charge!
Another interesting touch to this particular series is that since the protagonist is an unabashed fan of mystery novels, she also does often bring up other mystery authors that the reader might already read – or might be interested in reading afterward! And from the names that she lists, it does sound like Tricia might be a fan of Cozy Mysteries in particular…
If you’re interested in reading more of these brief revisits of some of the more popular Cozy Mystery Series that I’ve written in the past, you can find them at the Most Recommended Cozy Mystery Series page on my site.