Friday, June 3, 2022

Clause of Death by Lorna Barrett

 Clause of Death
Book Summary

Bookstore owner Tricia Miles tries to open a new chapter in life, but murder mars the pages in the latest entry to Lorna Barrett's New York Times bestselling Booktown series.

Tricia Miles and her sister, Angelica, are the co-presidents of the Stoneham Chamber of Commerce. Things are changing in the booktown, and some merchants would say not for the better. They grumble that too many non-book-related stores are moving into the village, taking up the most visible storefronts on Main Street, diluting the “Booktown” moniker. Of course, the members with other businesses, like the latest, The Bee’s Knees, are fine with other businesses moving in. No matter what side of the argument they're on, all the business owners agree on one thing: Tricia and Angelica are to blame. 
Still, it's a pretty typical day in the life of a small-town Chamber of Commerce until one of the disgruntled bookstore owners is killed—Eli Meier from The Inner Light Bookstore, the most vocal of the Chamber complainers. He sold religious and other spiritual books, but also stocked books on wild conspiracy theories and sold incense, crystals, etc. Eli had never been a member of the Chamber until Angelica recently convinced him to join. He hit on her and she, having good taste, turned him down. He hounded (but not stalked) her, and some might think that was a motive for murder. 
Stoneham's new police chief is an old friend of Tricia's, but that doesn't mean he's going to go easy on her sister. One might even say that he's going to throw the book at her.

My Thoughts

Clause of Death by Lorna Barrett is the sixteenth A Booktown Mystery.  Tricia Miles finds herself once again embroiled in a mystery.  She does not find the dead body (this time), but Tricia finds herself dragged into the case by the person who did.  The town has a new chief of police, and it is the one person Tricia thought she would never see again.  There is tension among the members of the chamber of commerce about the introduction of new businesses.  Eli Meier is raising a stink over a new business that is not a bookstore.  Eli has been causing trouble all over town.  It is not a shock when Eli is found dead in an alley.  There is a town full of suspects. Unfortunately, Tricia’s sister Angelica is at the top of the list thanks to a public bruhaha caused by Eli.  Tricia casually asks some questions, stumbles upon clues, and is fortunate when some information comes her way.  Tricia will need to be careful, or she could become the next victim.

I enjoyed reading Clause of Death by Lorna Barrett.  We get to catch up with Tricia, Angelica, Mr. Everett, Pixie, Grace, Miss Marple, and the rest of the gang.  It is a pleasure to visit Stoneham with its town full of bookshops.  There are enjoyable, developed characters in this engaging series.  In addition to the whodunit, Mr. Everett suffers a fall, and an injury puts him at a disadvantage.  A homeless man keeps coming around Tricia’s bookshop.  He makes Tricia and Pixie nervous.  Clause of Death can be read as a standalone if someone is new to the series.  I like who has become the new chief of police.  I was hoping this character would show up again.  The mystery surrounding the death of Eli gives us a town full of suspects.  He was not well-liked (one person liked him).  I thought the killer was easy to identify.  I had no idea why this person did the crime though.  The reveal was eventful and entertaining.  There was some sadness as well.  I wish the mystery had been at the forefront of the story.  It seemed to take a backseat to the other events in the book as well as Tricia and Angelica’s lunches and their happy hour each day.  The storyline about the homeless man, Edward brings up some difficult subjects (stalking, intimidation).  I was surprised by what was revealed about Edward.  Becca Dickson-Chandler is still in town.  Tricia knows that the woman has an agenda, but she needs to figure it out.  Ginny’s due date is getting closer.  Angelica cannot wait to meet her first grandchild.  There is a small amount of foul language in the book (just a few words).  Guns and people owning them is discussed a couple of times (just to let you know).  I love the ending.  It has me wondering what will happen in the next A Booktown Mystery.  There are recipes at the end for Angelica and Tricia’s Happy Hour Repasts.  Clause of Death is a charming whodunit with chamber meeting madness, a strange stalker, a killed conspiracy theorist, a storage shed search, an unanticipated appearance of an old acquaintance, a bothersome Becca, and a killer is caught.

Clause of Death comes out Tuesday, June 7 and is available for preorder from Amazon*.  You can find the other fifteen A Booktown Mysteries here.  You can follow Lorna Barrett on Amazon to receive an email when she has a new release.  Thank you for visiting today.  Tomorrow I am featuring A Time to Bloom by Lauraine Snelling.  It is the second book in Leah's Garden.  I am off to work in my closet.  I am changing out the hangers for slimmer ones (my closet is packed).  I have never owned this many clothes in my whole life (I could wear a different shirt every day of the year).  I found hangers that take up less space (it is actually helping).  I have also fit a dresser in my closet to help (a switch out shirt on the hangers with the season).  I want an organized closet so I must do the tedious work to get one (it is a boring but necessary task).  I am taking a break from the outside chores for a day.  I need to get done outside so I can start on the inside chores.  My mother is anxious to have her new bathroom cabinet put together and the walls painted (since the shyster did not finish the work, I get to do it).  I hope that you have a contented day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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