Thursday, February 9, 2012

Review and Giveaway: The Walled Flower

The Walled Flower (Victoria Square Mystery - Book 2) by Lorraine Bartlett

Publication Date: February 7, 2012
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: Paperback, 294pp
ISBN-13: 978-0425246160
ISBN: 0425246167

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Lorraine Bartlett on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter

Books in the series: A Crafty Killing (2011), The Walled Flower (2012)

CoverArt: Click the picture for a larger, clearer image of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from The Walled Flower


Her fate was sealed...

If Katie Bonner's late husband hadn't invested all their savings in the craft fair Artisans Alley - which Katie is now responsible for keeping in the black - the Webster mansion could have been hers to remodel. For years she dreamed of renovating the old place on Victoria Square into a bed-and-breakfast. Now that dream belongs to another young couple.

But their dream becomes a nightmare when a skeleton is discovered sealed in one of the walls of the mansion. The bones belong to Heather Winston, who went missing twenty-two years ago. her aunt is Rose Nash, a jewelry vendor at Artisans Alley, who is determined to find her niece's murderer and asks for Katie's help to do it. The case may be cold, but the killer is very much alive - and ready to go to any lengths to keep past secrets buried...


Lorraine Bartlett under any other name would definitely write just as good! This author uses many pen names but her writing remains stellar no matter what guise it takes. The second book in the Victorian Square Mystery series, The Walled Flower, takes on a cold case. A twenty-two year old murder that has never been solved. The premise is unusual enough to grab the reader from the first page and grip them all the way to the end. If finding a body walled up in an old mansion doesn't creep you out, this book is right up your alley!

I kind of had one of those hair standing up on the back of your neck moments with this book, which is really unusual considering the sheer number of cozy mysteries I read. It takes a very in-genius plot to give me that kind of heebie-jeebie feeling and this one certainly had it. The whole time I was reading it I kept being reminded of the Kevin Bacon movie, "Stir of Echoes", the movie and this book give off his haunting kind of atmosphere. I loved it! 

Bartlett is hitting her stride early on with this series, since this is only book two. She gives the reader a somewhat more serious tale than most cozies that try to lighten the subject matter with a lot of humor. This one is a more real mystery that is riveting and still hits all the right points to make it a super cozy. Bartlett doesn't make it too over the top, just very realistic and interesting. This is probably my favorite book by her under any name!

Cozy readers will love learning more about Kate Bonner and the crafter's from Artisan's Alley. Kate is a very no-nonsense kind of person. She's a realist and she's very practical. She has a lot on her plate trying to keep the booths in the Alley open and the vendors from fighting. When her husband sunk all their money into the venture and then died in a car accident she had no choice but to become a businesswoman and in this case an amateur sleuth. When the remains of the niece of one of her vendors is found walled up in the old Webster mansion, Kate is on the case! I loved the character and thought Bartlett let a lot more of her personality shine in this novel than in the first. I enjoyed seeing the changes in Kate and how she's grown.

I also really enjoyed learning more about various Artisan Alley personalities and people. Rose was a treasure in this one and I hope that we haven't seen the last of her. Bartlett has created some very interesting secondary characters including Davenport who originally investigated this case twenty-two years ago. He couldn't solve it then... I'm thinking he definitely needed Kate's help on this one. I liked the fact that Bartlett is letting more townspeople enter the picture and giving Kate's personal life some much needed attention.

I really enjoyed this installment in a great series. I was a little skeptical about this series in the beginning. I'm glad that I gave it a try and can't wait to read the next book in the series. The mystery was gritty and emotional and very well written. Kate's personal life is explored in more depth and readers are treated to a more in depth look at the Alley and it's vendors. It's a great cozy and a very stirring novel to boot. You don't want to miss this one!

The Walled Flower is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from m y book bag!

Lorraine Bartlett is a New York Times bestselling author of another mystery series. She lives and writes in Rochester, New York.


The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of The Walled Flower by Lorraine Bartlett.

~ You must be a GFC follower or E-mail subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only!
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST February 23rd.

1. Please leave a comment in appreciation to the author on THIS post.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


Wendy Newcomb said...

Sounds like a great series, would love to win this book. Thank you for hosting the giveaway.

I am a GFC follower and I get your E-mail's.


lag123 said...

I just heard of this series yesterday and I have it on my TBR list.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

mamabunny13 said...

A cozy about finding a body walled up in a mansion has intriged me. It will be fun figuring out who did it and why.

Cheryl said...

Wow! This sounds like a fabulous book. I love cozy mysteries. Like you said they don't usually creep you out, so I would love to give this one and the previous book a try.

Karen B said...

Thanks to your great review both books are now on my wish list.
Email subscriber, GFC follower.

Carol N Wong said...

I love old Victorian houses,not far from where I used to live, there were so many of the ornate gems. I consider this author to be one of the very best cozy writers.


Sue Farrell said...

I enjoy a good cozy--and one with a cold case should be fun.

My Recent Favorite Books said...

I would love to win this book!
It sounds like a great series!

I received the post card describing this book, and the post card is sitting here by my computer.... =)

Thanks for the giveaway!

My Recent Favorite Books said...

I forgot to mention that Im a GFC follower and Email subscriber. =)

holdenj said...

I really liked A Crafty Killing and can't wait to get back into Kate's life! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I can't wait to read this book.

Linda Kish said...

Sounds like a terrific story and series. I'd love to read it.

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

bn100 said...

I enjoyed your review. This sounds like a very suspenseful book.

Renee said...

This sounds like a series I definitely would like. I can't wait to read it!

ann said...

Email subscriber and GFC follower- amhengst
I love cozy mysteries and victorian houses cant wait to read the book
amhengst at verizon dot net

Kathleen O said...

I love the cover and title of this book and the story sounds intriguing.


Theresa N. said...

This author has been at the top of my reading list for a while.
Theresa N

cyn209 said...

soooo want to read this!!!

thank you for the giveaway!!!!

catslady said...

This sounds like a great suspense/mystery :) thanks.


Carol M said...

I like Victorian homes and mysteries! This sounds good!