Merrimon Book Reviews

Canadian Goose
Photo Credit: Sujit kumar

Murder on he Mind
first in the Jeff Resnick mystery suspense series


From Merrimon Book Reviews
Bookmarked For Death
Bookmarked For Death by Lorna Barrett
by Lorna Barrett

Booktown is a town for mystery lovers!

Stoneham, New Hampshire is a haven for book lovers and brick and mortar bookstores.  Once another dying small town, bookstores of every genre have helped Stoneham give it its unique Booktown image, a place that draws in tourists by the bus load.  Tricia Miles, owner of the Haven't Got A Clue mystery bookstore, thought she had put away the jinx label when she solved her last mystery.  Now celebrating her bookstore's anniversary with a book signing from the renowned mystery writer Zoe Carter, Tricia could not be more thrilled.  Her plans turn into a nightmare when the famous author is found dead right in the bathroom of her store.  Not only are the police questioning her but the local story goes national.  Tricia's life is upturned when her bookstore becomes a restricted crime scene.  She and her cat, Miss Marple, are forced to move in with her sister Angelica, a sister with whom she has only recently reunited.  Tricia decides to take matters into her own hands and investigate the crime when the sheriff's approach to the crime leaves much to be desired.  Anxious to figure out the mystery and get her bookstore back in business,  Tricia sets about investigating the mysterious past of  Zoe Carter.

Second in the Booktown Mystery series, Lorna Barrett's BOOMARKED FOR DEATH takes fans back to the wonderful town where books and book lovers populate the town and the pages of the mystery.  The series' first book, MURDER IS BINDING, gave readers an overview of the mystery genre itself with its insider's look into the great mysteries and book business.  Here, in BOOKMARKED FOR DEATH, Lorna Barrett takes the reader deeper into the world of books as the hunt for the murderer examines the life of a celebrated but reclusive author, her agent, her family and the idea of authorship itself.  Small town gossip and local issues, both civic and personal, give the reader an insider's look at the town's personality, a side not seen by the tourists. 

BOOKMARKED FOR DEATH is a mystery for book lovers!  Once again, Lorna Barrett delves into an aspect of books beneath the finished product between the covers.  What can be better than a good mystery puzzle and a scrumptious meal?  Angelica's cooking stimulates the palette with hints of cooking perfection while Tricia's investigation takes the mystery lover on a trail of clues that keeps the reader guessing until the very end. 
Fortunately, recipes of the mouthwatering dishes are included at the back of the book.   Lorna Barrett captures the joys and difficulties of sibling relationships as the two sisters help one another.  A couple of heart-warming scenes present a nice contrast to some of the more troubled family relationships in the books.  Zoe's relationship with her impossible niece Kimberly stirs things up in this small town.  In this book and her previous book, Lorna Barrett's character development shines in her portrayal of  family relationships.  Clever twists in the mystery puzzle take readers on a journey through the intricate layers of book publishing known to avid fans and book collectors.   BOOKMARKED FOR DEATH, and indeed the Booktown series, is a mystery to be cherished by insiders in the book world from authors and agents to readers tracking down all the connections between an author's works under pseudonyms.  Mention of the Jeff Resnick mystery suspense series will bring a special delight to mystery lovers following the works of Lorna Barrett.

BOOKMARKED FOR DEATH can be read as a stand alone mystery.  Lorna Barrett gives her new readers the important connections from her past book in just the right measure without getting bogged down in a summary of her past book.   The past flows naturally in this story, cluing in new readers but also bringing a smile to readers of the series as they recall some of the highlights of MURDER IS BINDING.  Although this book works as a stand alone mystery, reading BOOKMARKED FOR DEATH in conjunction with the first book allows the reader to see the the author's fine handling of the series.  The sometimes tense relationship between Tricia and her sister Angelica develops as the two are forced into closer proximity.
   Even Miss Marple's changed environment adds a flair to the feline character development from book to book.  Fans of the Booktown Mysteries will leave this book anxious for the third as Lorna Barrett's BOOKMARKED FOR DEATH demonstrates the joy of revisiting characters and the town as it changes through time.

Berkley Prime Crime (February 2009)
Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews
Merrimon Book Reviews

Custom Search

Copyright Merrimon Crawford  2009  All Rights Reserved