I love Booktown and always look forward to the next story and a visit with old friends. Tricia has just returned from Ireland with her boyfriend of sorts. When Pixie finds a dead body behind the Bookstore. Well, obviously that via going to make Pixie the prime suspect. Tricia knows she is going to have to help clear Pixie’s name. An ending I definitely was not expecting! I received an ARC prior to publication and decided to voluntarily review it.
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Handbook for Homicide by Lorna Barrett is the 14th A Booktown Mystery. I found Handbook for Homicide to be well-written with a colorful cast of characters. It was nice to catch up with everyone in Stoneham including Miss Marple and Sarge. Tricia Miles owns Haven’t Got a Clue in Stoneham, New Hampshire known for its bookstores. Tricia is returning from a trip to Ireland with boyfriend, Marshall Cambridge and the trip was disappointing to Tricia. She knew it was a working trip for Marshall since he was leading a tour group, but she expected them to have time to themselves. Tricia wonders if their relationship is near its end. She is not home thirty minutes when Pixie Poe finds a dead woman in their dumpster. The victim is Susan Morris, a naval veteran who was living in her car. Pixie is at the top of Chief Baker’s suspect list which has her worried, so she asks Tricia to do a little nosing around. Tricia, of course, agrees. Her investigation takes her to a local homeless camp where she finds a suspect or two. The mystery was not at the forefront of this book. It seemed to take a backseat to Tricia’s love life. There is also someone trying to break into the store. The two mysteries are easily solved. I would have liked more action in the book. The investigation was minimal on Tricia’s part. Of course, Tricia was distracted by her love life along with the disagreeable Russ Smith, a request for help regarding Nikki Brimfield, Angelica needing extra help, and family drama. There is plenty of eating in this book. I do not think Tricia will be losing those extra pounds from her vacation any time soon. There seem to be several people in town who dislike Tricia which was mentioned several times. I guess investigating murders will earn you a few enemies. I found the pacing a little slow in this edition and there is some foul language as well. I enjoyed the humor when Tricia utilized a unique skill to do a little sleuthing. We are left with an unanswered question at the end of the book, and I am curious how this situation will turn out. The story delves into the situation of homeless veterans and how people can assist them in a helpful and respectful manor. There are recipes at the end of the book for some of the dishes Tricia and Angelica enjoyed. Handbook for Homicide is an appealing cozy mystery with a valuable video, chamber of commerce chaos, a sidelined sister, a cookie conundrum, helping the homeless, and courtship challenges.
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