Thursday, July 25, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Murder on the Half Shelf

Murder on the Half Shelf (Booktown Mystery - Book 6) by Lorna Barrett

Publication Date: July 2, 2013 (Paperback Edition)
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 320
ISBN-10: 0425262731
ISBN-13: 978-0425262733

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

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

Lorna Barrett on the WEB: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the series:

Murder is Binding (2008), Bookmarked for Death (2009), Bookplate Special (2009), Chapter and Hearse (2010), Sentenced to Death (2011), Murder on the Half Shelf (Hard-Cover) (2012)

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from Murder on the Half Shelf, courtesy of the author's website.


Tricia Miles—owner of Haven’t Got a Clue, the best mystery bookstore in Stoneham, New Hampshire—once again plays amateur sleuth as she is unexpectedly reunited with a man from a chapter of her life she closed long ago…

The town of Stoneham is a haven for bookstores, but it is sadly lacking in bed-and-breakfasts. Fortunately Pippa and Jon Comfort’s Sheer Comfort Inn is about to open, and the couple has offered some locals a free night as a trial run.

But it won’t be so easy to sleep after Tricia makes two startling discoveries: Pippa’s murdered body in the backyard, and the fact that Pippa’s husband, Jon, is actually Harry Tyler, a man Tricia loved—and believed dead—for nearly twenty years.

Though Harry is the prime suspect, Tricia doesn’t believe him capable of murder, even though he’s led a life of lies. Especially when she discovers that Pippa had a few secrets of her own—some that may have been worth killing for.


Lorna Barrett's sixth book in the Booktown Mystery series, Murder on the Half Shelf finds heroine, Tricia Miles once again involved in a murder. Tricia is quickly becoming known in the little town of Stoneham, New Hampshire as the town "jinx". Fans of this series were eagerly awaiting this installment and won't be disappointed as Barrett brings more of Tricia's past into the story. With an unpredictable motive and outcome, Murder on the Half Shelf may be the best in the series so far!

First let me say, that Stoneham is a town I would love to live in. I live in a relatively small town with one bookstore. Yes, just one! The idea of a tourist town specifically based on bookstores would definitely be a dream for me. I am a very eclectic reader and love something from just about every genre. Today's economic climate may not be conducive to this kind of a town because of e-books and the like, but wouldn't it be great?

Barrett once again brings back the tried and true characters that have made this series so successful. Tricia and her domineering sister Angelica, Mr. Everett and Grace, Grant and of course Miss Marple the cat. I love the nod to Agatha Christie with the name. Great idea! But she also infuses new life into this character driven series with two new Stoneham residents, Linda and Pixie. I like the way that Barrett never gets rid of an old character without replacing them with someone new. I think Pixie is going to be amazing going forward with the series. She is very intriguing and fun to read about.

The mystery aspect of the story was definitely interesting. It did not go the direction I expected at all. In fact the motive kind of came out of nowhere on this one. I wasn't too sure how I felt about that part. I felt like I had no idea this was even a possibility. I wish Barrett had given a few minor clues along the way, that way readers could have speculated, what if... But it wasn't detrimental to the story and in the end it all comes out, so no harm, no foul. 

Tricia's love life is once again, not exactly where she would like it to be. She really needs to catch a break and find that one special guy. Especially, when the murder victim's husband ends up being Tricia's ex that faked his own death. I think Barrett needs to let Tricia settle down, find that perfect balance between sleuthing and bookselling and love. Readers have watched her struggle with her personal life throughout the series, and I think all of us want to see something really good happen for this character that we have grown to love. Just a thought!

A great addition to the series, with a flawless set up for the next book. Looking forward to seeing where Barrett will take us next with this series.

Murder on the Half Shelf is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

The immensely popular Booktown Mystery series is what put Lorna Barrett's name on the New York Times Bestseller list, but it's her talent -- whether writing as Lorna, or L.L. Bartlett, or Lorraine Bartlett -- that keeps her there. This multi-published, Agatha-nominated author pens the exciting Jeff Resnick Mysteries as well as the acclaimed Victoria Square Mystery series and has many short stories and novellas to her name(s).

Lorna lives in Rochester, NY with her husband and three felines.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Murder on the Half Shelf by Lorna Barrett.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US Addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, August 8th.

1. Please leave a comment describing the kind of bookstore you might want to own if it were possible.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


Anonymous said...

I want to own a quaint little bookstore that also sells cupcakes. ;)

Unknown said...

Thank you for the lovely review.

Angela - Bookaunt said...

I love this series - who would not want to live in a town like this. Thank you for the giveaway

NoraA said...

I'm a big fan of Lorraine's books in all her incarnations and have read and loved them all. I'd love to be the lucky winner and add this one to my personal home library (with the burgeoning shelves).

Rita Wray said...

I would like a book store with an attached small coffee shop. I would want it to be a friendly place where people feel comfortable and get to know each other.

Angela - Bookaunt said...

I forgot to answer your question. I am sorry I missed it. I would love to have a bookstore that was small and had a homey feel to it where you would want to sit and read while enjoying a cup of tea.

Elizabeth Schroedle said...

I would love to own a bookstore that only sold mysteries and romances. These are my favorite genres. Maybe I would call it, "Romantic Mayhem".

Sue Farrell said...

I haven't been to a bookstore that sells just mysteries since I left Minneapolis for "up north". Now you have me dreaming of getting back to a good mystery book store again.

My Recent Favorite Books said...

I would love to own a "vintage" type of bookstore ( not with really old books..but with a vintage "decor" - lots of 50's type decoration on the walls ) - with comfy chairs to sit on and maybe serve desserts with a glass of wine.

Michelle F. said...

A mystery book store, of course! With lots of cozies and historicals. An attached cafe that serves coffee, tea, and sandwiches would be good, but I think it would be easier to manage the bookstore than the cafe.

I have been to one mystery bookstore, Sleuth of Baker Street, in Toronto.


I have always wanted to own a little bookstore in the downtown area of my hometown. The first level would be new books and the upstairs would be used books. There would be comfy chairs throughout the store.

ann said...

Oh I love mysteries and would enjoy having a bookstore like this in my town. I love to read .
thanks for the chance to win

Linda Kish said...

I think I'd have a "gently used" book store with big comfy chairs and maybe a few less comfy seats for those that can't get in and out of the pillowy kind.

bn100 said...

new and used books in any genre

cyn209 said...

my bookstore would hold all kinds of books!!!

thank you for the giveaway!!

lag123 said...

I would like a mystery bookstore!

lag110 at mchsi dot com

traveler said...

A charming bookstore filled with wonderful treasures, attached to a cafe with homemade goodies and treats. Comfortable chairs and tables and beautiful artwork. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Linda said...

I'm reading this series & enjoying it greatly. Hmmm, the type of bookstore I'd own - Mystery of course! Of course, I'd spend any profit buying new mysteries by my favorite authors. Guess I'd have a large section of "gentle read" books. :)

Anonymous said...

One that specializes in romance, suspense and mystery.

Brooke Showalter said...

Oh I would love to own a cozy mystery book store/cafe. It would be wonderful to have a store full of new and used cozy mysteries...and a little area with comfy couches and chairs where you could enjoy a snack and something to drink while you read. That would be so perfect!

Renee said...

I love this series! I think it's because it is set in a bookshop. Love it!