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Dead, Bath and Beyond
Victoria Square Mystery #4
Lorraine Bartlett with Laurie Cass

Berkley
December 6, 2016/ ISBN 978-0-425-26599-4
Mystery/Cozy/Amateur Sleuth

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

 

Katie Bonner picked up her life and started over as the owner of Artisans Alley in Victoria Square in upstate New York. Her marriage had fallen apart and then Chad, while they were separated, died. She left a job she hated because her boss was a first-class jerk, and turned Artisans Alley into a business that was quickly becoming successful.

After a day spent sailing on Lake Ontario with her dear friend Seth Landers, she runs into the jerk of an ex-boss, Josh Kimper, and publicly lets him know what she thinks of him. The next day Josh is found dead in the bathtub at the local bed-and-breakfast which belongs to her good friends Nick and Don. Josh was drowned, but not in that bathtub. He was placed there when already dead. But who did it, and why? It seems there are any number of suspects because Josh was, truly, a first-class jerk to just about everyone. To help save Nick and Don’s business, as well as her own, and keep an innocent party (including herself!) from being arrested, Katie sets out to nose around and see if she can get people to talk to her and give something away.

It’s been quite a while since there was a new book in this series, and it took me a minute or so to re-familiarize myself with Katie, Nick, Don and the other characters. Once I remembered them, I was thrilled to have a new adventure with the gang and to once again enjoy Victoria Square and Artisans Alley.

I enjoy Lorraine Bartlett’s writing, and the addition of Laurie Cass who collaborated on this book made it even better, as I really love Cass’ “Bookmobile Cat”series, too.

I found this to be a well-crafted mystery that kept me guessing until the end. It was layered well and the characters remained true to who they have been in earlier books, while relationships continued to grow and develop. I highly recommend this new Victoria Square mystery to cozy lovers everywhere, especially those who appreciate a great plot, a few romances, and small business owners trying to work together while wondering if there is a killer among their own. Great job Ms. Bartlett and Ms. Cass! Thank you both!

Reviews of other titles in this series

The Walled Flower #2
One Hot Murder #3
Dead, Bath and Beyond #4

Reviewed 2017
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