Table of Contents
Praise for Lorna Barrett’s Booktown Mysteries
CHAPTER & HEARSE
“Filled with action . . . Lorna Barnett has written a delightful amateur sleuth filled with red herrings and false leads that keep reader interest from the explosion till the explosive climax.”
Genre Go Round Reviews
“There’s misdirection, miscommunication, red herrings, and plot twists galore . . . Tightly plotted and paced to keep you turning the pages, this series is indeed getting better with each book.”
“Well-plotted and there are a few good suspects . . . Best of all, there is plenty of book talk sprinkled throughout and even a few of Angelica’s recipes.”
The Mystery Reader
“The third top-notch Booktown Mystery is a cleverly plotted cozy with everything a reader could want: mystery books, delicious food, and bad guys. With its bookstore setting and small-town charm, this series is bound to be a favorite for cozy readers.”
“Get ready to pop a lot of popcorn, cuddle up under a blanket, and spend a little time with Tricia Miles and crew. Ms. Barrett, queen of the cozies, has a winner here!”
Feathered Quill Book Reviews
“Once again, Barrett has written an interesting, plausible murder mystery with an amateur sleuth that not only entertains but educates . . . Another excellent installment in this series.”
“Barrett is skilled at making her characters flawed and fully believable. This book-based book is a perfect autumn read—right down to those smashed pumpkins—for mystery aficionados.”
BOOKMARKED FOR DEATH
“Interesting characters, growing interrelationships . . . It’s like visiting friends and having an adventure rolled into one book after another.”
“A series that will quickly gain a dedicated readership. If anyone has the formula for a frolicking fun mystery down pat, it’s Lorna Barrett. The read is light and sheer entertainment. A good rollicking read.”
“A good cozy. The characters are likable and the puzzle is intriguing.”
“Clever twists . . . take readers on a journey through the intricate layers of book publishing . . . A mystery to be cherished.”
Merrimon Book Reviews
“Fans of Carolyn Hart and Denise Swanson rejoice! The latest [Booktown] gem . . . sparkles. This first-rate cozy artfully blends crime, cuisine, and even bookselling in a cheerful, witty, well-plotted puzzler.”
—Julia Spencer-Fleming, Edgar
finalist and author of
One Was a Soldier
MURDER IS BINDING
“[A] smart, fast-paced novel with likeable characters and enough plot twists and turns to keep things interesting.”
“Charming . . . The mix of books, cooking, and an engaging whodunit will leave cozy fans eager for the new installment.”
“Move over, Cabot Cove. Lorna Barrett’s new cozy creation,
Murder Is Binding
, has it all: wonderful old books, quirky characters, a clever mystery, and a cat named Miss Marple!”
—Roberta Isleib, author of
Asking for Murder
“Everything a cozy lover could want and more. Bravo!”
—Leann Sweeney, author of
The Cat, the Lady, and the Liar
Berkley Prime Crime titles by Lorna Barrett
MURDER IS BINDING
BOOKMARKED FOR DEATH
CHAPTER & HEARSE
SENTENCED TO DEATH
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: The recipes contained in this book are to be followed exactly as written. The publisher is not responsible for your specific health or allergy needs that may require medical supervision. The publisher is not responsible for any adverse reactions to the recipes contained in this book.
SENTENCED TO DEATH
A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author
Berkley Prime Crime mass-market edition / June 2011
Copyright © 2011 by Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
The Walled Flower
by Lorraine Bartlett copyright © by Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
eISBN : 978-1-101-52899-0
Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
PRIME CRIME and the PRIME CRIME logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
For Jeannie Rigod,
who refused to accept a death sentence.
Long may she live!
Every book is an adventure—for the author and her readers. I couldn’t have survived this adventure without a little help from my friends. My thanks go to Krista Davis, Sandra Parshall, Kelly Raftery, Tyra Blackshear-Dedam, and Pat Remick for assistance with legal, language, police procedures, and local color issues, not to forget my eBay buddy, Nancy Ziefel, and Doranna Durgin, who was very helpful with doggy info.
Michelle Sampson, director of the Wadleigh Memorial Library in Milford, New Hampshire, continues to provide a wealth of useful information and local color.
Leann Sweeney served as my manuscript buddy. Both on tight deadlines, we encouraged each other (and compared notes on a daily basis to see who would finish her manuscript first). Colleen Kuehne kept me on my toes as my first reader.
My pals on the Cozy Chicks blog,www.CozyChicksBlog.com
, and all the Berkley and Signet Girls at Cozy Promo have been there cheering me on, too.
My thanks go to my editor, Tom Colgan, his terrific assistant, Niti Bagchi, and the whole group at Berkley Prime Crime. My wonderful agent, Jessica Faust, gives me great advice and keeps me on track.
weekend. What else could Bob Kelly, the head of the Chamber of Commerce, come up with to try to draw a crowd to the little village of Stoneham, New Hampshire? Tricia Miles shook her head at the notion and resettled the weight of the warm, sleepy—and sweaty—toddler against her shoulder. “Booktown, NH,” as Stoneham was often referred to, had risen from the ashes of near extinction thanks to Bob’s efforts when he’d enticed some ten or so booksellers to locate to the village. It had put Stoneham back on the map and had made Bob quite a handsome profit, too. Tricia hadn’t done too badly either, with her own mystery bookstore, Haven’t Got a Clue.
A small single-engine aircraft buzzed the town with a long banner trailing behind it announcing STONEHAM FOUNDERS’ DAY—WWW.STONEHAMNH.COM
behind it. Trust Bob to think of that, too. However, Tricia wished it wouldn’t buzz quite so close, as it made conversation nearly impossible, and in only minutes her friend, Deborah Black, the architect of the celebration, would be on deck to give her welcoming speech and to open the festivities.
It was Deborah’s child that Tricia held, since Deborah was otherwise occupied. Little Davey wasn’t impressed by all the hoopla, and the warm August morning had sent him straight to dreamland, which was okay with Tricia. A fall had given the toddler a broken right arm, now encased in a purple cast that he sometimes not so playfully used as a club.