Monday, July 29, 2013

Victoria Square Mysteries by L.L. Barnett

Of the three Victoria Square mysteries by L.L. Barnett, I have read two so far and am working on the third.

The first one is called A Crafty Killing. As I love crafts, the title called out to me as I walked by the book rack. If I don't care about the main character somewhere near the beginning, I don't waste my time finishing the book. In this case, I not only finished the book, but grabbed the other two in the series and have stacked up four more books from another series by the same author.

Katie, a young widow, suddenly inherits a huge building which houses booths for the local artists. She finds that she has also inherited the business debts - and two people are killed inside the building. Any publicity seems to be good publicity and the curious public comes in droves to see the scene of the crime.

If that weren't enough, she has to sift through the rubble left by vandals (?) and deal with the irate nephew of the previous owner. Two handsome men claim her attention and she is accidentally voted in as the president of the local merchants' association.

The book is fun at the same time that it is suspenseful.

The second book in the series is called The Walled Flower. One of Katie's elder booth renters, Rose, lost her only niece some 20 years earlier. Katie accidentally finds the bones behind a wall she was helping to demolish.

Katie has a love/hate relationship - mostly hate - with the officer on the case, Detective Davenport. He never seems to make any progress or even to care about the dead woman until another woman, one who had information about the first murder, is killed at the same house.

Katie asks questions to help ease Rose's mind about her niece which riles the murderer.

The side complications in Katie's life are that she has to move in only two weeks and another of the older vendors asks her to be her matron-of-honor. Katie thinks that all she will have to do is show up for the wedding, but no, that is not the bridezilla's plan at all. She hands Katie a list with all of the duties she expects her matron-of-honor to do and turns on the tears whenever Katie hesitates. Add to that the mother-of-all-complainers as one of Katie's vendors, and you have huge sympathy for the woman who has to juggle all of these with the skill of a diplomat.

Again, I found this book entertaining throughout the whole mystery.

P.S. Odds are you won't guess the murderer until it's too late.

Kathi Linz

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