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Murder on the Half Shelf (Booktown Mystery, #6)

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“If anyone has the formula for a frolicking fun mystery down pat, it’s Lorna Barrett” (Roundtable Reviews), the New York Times bestselling author whose latest Booktown Mystery finds amateur sleuth Tricia Miles unexpectedly reunited with a man from a chapter of her life she closed long ago… Stoneham, New Hampshire, is a haven to bookstores, including Tricia’s own mystery s “If anyone has the formula for a frolicking fun mystery down pat, it’s Lorna Barrett” (Roundtable Reviews), the New York Times bestselling author whose latest Booktown Mystery finds amateur sleuth Tricia Miles unexpectedly reunited with a man from a chapter of her life she closed long ago… Stoneham, New Hampshire, is a haven to bookstores, including Tricia’s own mystery shop, Haven’t Got a Clue, but is sadly lacking in bed and breakfasts. Pippa and Jon Comfort’s Sheer Comfort Inn opens its doors to the public in a week and the couple has offered some locals a free night as a trial run. But what should have been a pleasant overnight stay for Tricia becomes a nightmare when she makes two startling discoveries: Pippa’s murdered body in the backyard, and the fact that her husband Jon is actually Harry Tyler, a man Tricia loved—and believed dead—for nearly twenty years. Now Harry is the prime suspect, but Tricia doesn’t believe him capable of murder, regardless of her own feelings toward him. And even though Harry’s led a life of lies, Tricia’s learning that Pippa had her share of secrets that some people may have not wanted revealed…


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“If anyone has the formula for a frolicking fun mystery down pat, it’s Lorna Barrett” (Roundtable Reviews), the New York Times bestselling author whose latest Booktown Mystery finds amateur sleuth Tricia Miles unexpectedly reunited with a man from a chapter of her life she closed long ago… Stoneham, New Hampshire, is a haven to bookstores, including Tricia’s own mystery s “If anyone has the formula for a frolicking fun mystery down pat, it’s Lorna Barrett” (Roundtable Reviews), the New York Times bestselling author whose latest Booktown Mystery finds amateur sleuth Tricia Miles unexpectedly reunited with a man from a chapter of her life she closed long ago… Stoneham, New Hampshire, is a haven to bookstores, including Tricia’s own mystery shop, Haven’t Got a Clue, but is sadly lacking in bed and breakfasts. Pippa and Jon Comfort’s Sheer Comfort Inn opens its doors to the public in a week and the couple has offered some locals a free night as a trial run. But what should have been a pleasant overnight stay for Tricia becomes a nightmare when she makes two startling discoveries: Pippa’s murdered body in the backyard, and the fact that her husband Jon is actually Harry Tyler, a man Tricia loved—and believed dead—for nearly twenty years. Now Harry is the prime suspect, but Tricia doesn’t believe him capable of murder, regardless of her own feelings toward him. And even though Harry’s led a life of lies, Tricia’s learning that Pippa had her share of secrets that some people may have not wanted revealed…

30 review for Murder on the Half Shelf (Booktown Mystery, #6)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Marge

    I have read this entire series but I will not continue it. The people in this town including Tricia are just awful, mean, and snarky. Even the 911 operator has an attitude. The author is writing Tricia's personality just like Katie's in her Victoria Square Mystery series, which I find very grating and distasteful. How can you enjoy a book when the main character is unlikable? She even complains that Grant brings a sandwich made the way he likes it and not her way - grow up Tricia. Also, for a mys I have read this entire series but I will not continue it. The people in this town including Tricia are just awful, mean, and snarky. Even the 911 operator has an attitude. The author is writing Tricia's personality just like Katie's in her Victoria Square Mystery series, which I find very grating and distasteful. How can you enjoy a book when the main character is unlikable? She even complains that Grant brings a sandwich made the way he likes it and not her way - grow up Tricia. Also, for a mystery expert and "sleuth" how does Tricia not realize that Nigela Ricita Associates stands for Angeli (Angelica) and Tricia? Also the author has discovered that dogs need to be walked to relieve themselves and cats need to be fed constantly. Every scene has one or the other described in detail.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

    Usually, I enjoy the Lorna Barrett book sellers series, but Murder on the Half Shelf just wasn't quite as good as some of her others. It was still a page turner and held my interest, but I hate mysteries where the reader doesn't have a chance at legitimately figuring it out and this one felt like that. Also, the characters usually seem more real then they did this time around - perfectly normal people start behaving quite irrationally. Who knows, maybe I just wasn't in the right mood, but this o Usually, I enjoy the Lorna Barrett book sellers series, but Murder on the Half Shelf just wasn't quite as good as some of her others. It was still a page turner and held my interest, but I hate mysteries where the reader doesn't have a chance at legitimately figuring it out and this one felt like that. Also, the characters usually seem more real then they did this time around - perfectly normal people start behaving quite irrationally. Who knows, maybe I just wasn't in the right mood, but this one just didn't work for me.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    Murder on the Half Shelf by Lorna Barrett. I finally made myself finish this book so I could return it to the library. I don't understand all the glowing reviews this book got from other readers. The main character is so unlikeable that even the other characters in the series don't like her. Tricia Myles is a 40-something woman that does nothing but whine about her life -- why can't she find a man? Why isn't she successful? Mommy and Daddy liked Angelica best, etc. A perfect example of why Myles Murder on the Half Shelf by Lorna Barrett. I finally made myself finish this book so I could return it to the library. I don't understand all the glowing reviews this book got from other readers. The main character is so unlikeable that even the other characters in the series don't like her. Tricia Myles is a 40-something woman that does nothing but whine about her life -- why can't she find a man? Why isn't she successful? Mommy and Daddy liked Angelica best, etc. A perfect example of why Myles is unlikeable is on pages 225 and 226. Myles is totally ungracious and even the few people in town that like her should lose some respect for her after this section. Ginny was non-existent in this book and it's a shame. Besides Mr. Everett, his wife Grace and Ginny there just aren't any other characters that are likeable. It's so bad that even the self-absorbed annoying sister, Angelica, is becoming more likeable than Tricia Myles, the main character. This becomes more apparent when you read a book in this series after reading one of Sally Goldenbaum's Seaside Knitters books. I'm sure I'll read another book in the series, when I'm desperate for something to read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    I revisited this series to see if I wanted to return to it.. I don’t it’s still too dramatic for my tastes but still a decent book!

  5. 5 out of 5

    LORI (Dollycas) CASWELL

    We return to Stoneham, New Hampshire just when a man from Tricia's past also arrives in town. Tricia, owner of the Haven't Got A Clue Mystery Shop and her sister Angelica have received a free night at the town's new Bed & Breakfast, Sheer Comfort. They join some other members of the Chamber of Commerce so the hosts can have a trial run before they open to the public. Pippa and Jon Comfort are new in town but it seems they already know some of Stoneham's prominent residents. Of course Angelica cou We return to Stoneham, New Hampshire just when a man from Tricia's past also arrives in town. Tricia, owner of the Haven't Got A Clue Mystery Shop and her sister Angelica have received a free night at the town's new Bed & Breakfast, Sheer Comfort. They join some other members of the Chamber of Commerce so the hosts can have a trial run before they open to the public. Pippa and Jon Comfort are new in town but it seems they already know some of Stoneham's prominent residents. Of course Angelica couldn't leave her dog at home even though the inn has a strict no pets policy. As usual she cons Tricia into sneaking him outside for a comfort walk. That's when what should have been a relaxing overnight stay turns into nightmare. Sarge sniffs out a dead body in the backyard. Tricia has too much experience in this kind of discovery so it takes her only seconds to realize that Pippa has been murdered. If that isn't enough, Tricia meets Pippa's husband Jon and discovers he is actually Harry Tyler, a man Tricia loved and thought was dead for the past twenty years. Harry needs to answer a lot of questions for Tricia but he has become the prime suspect in his wife's murder. Tricia may not have seen this man for 20 years but she knows he wouldn't murder his wife. There is much more to Pippa's story and Tricia can't help herself, she just needs to follow the clues and catch the real culprit. Dollycas's Thoughts Lorna Barrett is one of the best at writing a cozy mystery and I believe this is the best story she has written yet. This is a tight, well written fast moving mystery with well developed characters readers have grown to love, including Miss Marple the cat and now Sarge the dog. We are also introduced to some new very interesting characters in this edition. I can't wait to see how Pixie impacts the next installment. You know characters are wonderfully created when you as the reader want to reach into the pages and slap one of them up aside the head. C'mon Grant, seriously!! The story is also chock full of humor. Angelica has quite a harrowing experience but it had me laughing out loud and quickly turning the pages. Also when Tricia meets Pixie, priceless. This wonderful mystery is filled with plenty of suspects, more twists and turns that a carnival ride, and a few surprises. Barrett has also gone the way of television drama. This book has a cliffhanger! Yes, a cliffhanger. I was already anxious for a return trip to Stoneham but Lorna this is just cruel :) I will be baking some of the delicious recipes included in the book while I wait not very patiently.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Betty

    As the story begins, Tricia and Angelica, two sisters who own shops in Booktown, a revamped original part of Stoneham, New Hampshire, are trundling their way to the new Sheer Comfort Inn, where Angelica has won an overnight stay for two in a draw at the town Chamber. The Sheer Comfort Inn, a beautifully renovated Victorian home, has not been officially opened yet and is having a sort of dry run a week before opening. After a brief conversation with their hostess Pippa Comfort, Tricia becomes awa As the story begins, Tricia and Angelica, two sisters who own shops in Booktown, a revamped original part of Stoneham, New Hampshire, are trundling their way to the new Sheer Comfort Inn, where Angelica has won an overnight stay for two in a draw at the town Chamber. The Sheer Comfort Inn, a beautifully renovated Victorian home, has not been officially opened yet and is having a sort of dry run a week before opening. After a brief conversation with their hostess Pippa Comfort, Tricia becomes aware that Mrs. Comfort was expecting Angelica to be accompanied by Bob Kelly, owner of Kelly Real Estate and head of the Chamber of Commerce. As they head to their room, Tricia gets a glimpse of a slightly familiar man in the hall who suddenly turns away as though he does not want to be seen by her. Who would she know here aside from the other Chamber members who were recipients of the free stay? He looked like he worked at the hotel. Love is definitely not in the air, but that doesn't stop a bit of running around among some of the residents. What is happening to romance in Stoneham? Angelica is angry with ex-boyfriend Bob, Mr. Everett is concerned about his marriage with Grace, Tricia is on the outs with Grant Baker, police chief and sometimes boyfriend/lover, too busy to see her, and more. Some friendships slip and jealousy rears its head. The mixed bunch of guests at the Inn don't seem to be having a romantic evening either. When Tricia takes Angelica's dog out for a walk a few minutes after getting to their room, Sarge sniffs out a body behind the fence and wouldn't you know it, the body is that of Pippa Comfort, last seen about five minutes before! What on earth could have happened? Naturally Tricia is faced with interrogation by Grant resulting in further distance between them after she reports the "accident". On the suspect list as the one who discovered the body, he can't be seen talking to her except about the case. There are so many suspects for this murder and a lot of very interesting hobbies among the shopkeepers come to light. Nothing like a murder investigation to bring out the dirt, and this bit of laundry is sure to hang out someone to dry eventually. A lot of changes in this, the sixth of the Booktown Series. Lorna Barrett has served up another great mystery with old and new characters, a surprise from the past, good news and seriously bad news for Angelica in particular. Will she rise from the ashes of her career? Lorna Barrett's characters are believable, although possibly a stretch with one. When we get to know her better. we learn you not only can't judge a book by its cover, but the first introduction doesn't tell the whole story. I love some of the tongue-in-cheek names that show up occasionally in these books. Now I ask you, what could be more fitting than the Full Moon Nudist Camp and Resort? Meanwhile, with the town beginning to think of Tricia as a jinx, who is sending her "gifts" in the mail with oblique messages? Who is always standing in shadow? Why does she have to find another body, fortunately one that is still breathing, on her next walk with Sarge, the dog with the great sniffer? So many questions to be answered and difficult to guess what the answers may be. Lots of twists and mixed emotions among the Booktown people in this book. Once again, a downright good read with recipes as a bonus. Even with all the many conflicts and resolutions in this book, all part of the mystery, this storyline does not falter nor confuse. Good, solid writing and a very funny last paragraph...don't peek, it won't make any sense unless you read the book! Four easy and tasty recipes included.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Juanita

    Not my favorite Booktown installment. I wasn't very happy with some of the secondary characters (view spoiler)[(Nikki, Frannie, and even Grace at the beginning) (hide spoiler)] , and I don't see why Trish would be interested in continuing to see Grant. I understand that he could be frustrated that (view spoiler)[she found the body and keeps getting mixed up with these mysteries, but he should know she would never commit murder. His behavior was not cool, and I don't see why she appears ready to f Not my favorite Booktown installment. I wasn't very happy with some of the secondary characters (view spoiler)[(Nikki, Frannie, and even Grace at the beginning) (hide spoiler)] , and I don't see why Trish would be interested in continuing to see Grant. I understand that he could be frustrated that (view spoiler)[she found the body and keeps getting mixed up with these mysteries, but he should know she would never commit murder. His behavior was not cool, and I don't see why she appears ready to forgive him. And what are the odds that Harry would mail her that picture and then Christopher, her ex-husband, would also mail random objects to her, both of them doing so anonymously? (hide spoiler)] On the other hand, I like the setting up for the future, (view spoiler)[such as Angelica running against Bob for head of the Chamber, (hide spoiler)] and I'm glad Ginny (sp?) is doing well at the Happy Domestic.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mystereity Reviews

    I don't know what it is about this series that keeps me reading it. Tricia is a doormat who doesn't stand up for herself. Angelica needs a swift punch in the nose for being a selfish, self-absorbed narcissistic pain in the butt. Chief Baker can't seem to detect his way through a box of donuts. And the rest of the cast of characters are busybody gossips. So why can't I stop reading it? I don't know. I didn't figure out who the murderer was because there was little to no mention of them or their m I don't know what it is about this series that keeps me reading it. Tricia is a doormat who doesn't stand up for herself. Angelica needs a swift punch in the nose for being a selfish, self-absorbed narcissistic pain in the butt. Chief Baker can't seem to detect his way through a box of donuts. And the rest of the cast of characters are busybody gossips. So why can't I stop reading it? I don't know. I didn't figure out who the murderer was because there was little to no mention of them or their motive until the end of the book. As for the subplot, I figured out the source of the gifts from the beginning, it wasn't hard to suss out if you've read the previous books. So only 2 stars for this one, I'd have given it more if Angelica wasn't such an annoying witch and the police department actually learned how to solve a crime.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jeannie and Louis Rigod

    This series is without question earning my respect with each and every new novel published. I liked the series from book one, but the maturity levels now reached, make me feel, that I am almost reading a completely different series and loving it! I do suggest reading the entire series from volume one, "Murder is Binding" through this current novel, "Murder on the Half Shelf." I have heard that the first three novels will be put into one book in October, 2012...check that rumor out. Great idea if This series is without question earning my respect with each and every new novel published. I liked the series from book one, but the maturity levels now reached, make me feel, that I am almost reading a completely different series and loving it! I do suggest reading the entire series from volume one, "Murder is Binding" through this current novel, "Murder on the Half Shelf." I have heard that the first three novels will be put into one book in October, 2012...check that rumor out. Great idea if correct. Without question, Ms. Barrett can write a solid, fast-paced, complicated, yet cozy murder mystery. What makes this series so attractive is the intense attention given to the very drawing of each character. Take for instance, Tricia's (our sleuth and book store owner,) physical appearance, to her personality, to her viewpoints of life, to the interactions with her family, friends, and co-workers, we realize that Tricia is a 'live' person (yes, I understand this is a fictional book,) that makes me, the reader, care about her. Tricia can make me angry, sad, happy, and even confused at times. Tricia is complex and each novel reveals new and varied dimensions to her character. As I finished this current book, past questions had been resolved, new questions opened, and even an exasperated, "What next?" sprung from my lips. However, isn't that what makes this series so creditable? Tricia is believable and flawed. I am drawn into the situations right along with this fictional character and the pages slide by without any sense of time. Normally, characters drawn so completely are only found in the traditional British Murder Mystery, such as an Agatha Christie. I love that this series is now in Hardcover, as I can keep it neatly in my bookshelves at a finger's touch away. My one regret is that we must wait so long for the next book out. However, I fill in the time by cooking recipes from "Recipes to Die For" by Lorraine Bartlett, not to mention recipes found in the book just read! Join me in this reading adventure!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Pixie Poe

    Tricia Miles, owner of Stoneham, New Hampshire's Haven't Got a Clue mystery bookstore, returns in Lorna Barrett's Murder on the Half Shelf, the sixth in her Booktown mystery series. Tricia agrees to join her sister, Angelica, who has won an overnight stay at the new Sheer Comfort Inn. Tricia realizes this trip is going to be no prize when she stumbles across the body of Pippa Comfort, who ran the inn with her husband Jon. Things go from bad to worse when Tricia realizes that Jon is actually Ha Tricia Miles, owner of Stoneham, New Hampshire's Haven't Got a Clue mystery bookstore, returns in Lorna Barrett's Murder on the Half Shelf, the sixth in her Booktown mystery series. Tricia agrees to join her sister, Angelica, who has won an overnight stay at the new Sheer Comfort Inn. Tricia realizes this trip is going to be no prize when she stumbles across the body of Pippa Comfort, who ran the inn with her husband Jon. Things go from bad to worse when Tricia realizes that Jon is actually Harry Tyler, a man from her past who faked his own death and has been living under an alias. This means that Tricia can not be ruled out as a suspect, which puts a big wrinkle in her and police chief Grant Baker's relationship. Tricia is determined to clearer name and get her relationship back on track by finding the killer. Besides the main mystery which will keep you guessing until the end, there are also some awesome side storylines and two new characters, Linda Fugitt and Pixie Poe taking up residence in Stoneham. I'll leave it up to you to guess which one is my favorite. I am already looking forward to the next one, as each book in this series just seems to get better and pull me in more.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    As always Lorna Barrett has given me an escape from the real world. Her people are a true delight and the setting of the bed and breakfast makes you feel like you are truly there. And of course leave it to Tricia's sister Angie, in her totally self-centered way start the ball rolling in yet a fine fix for Tricia. From the finding of the body, to the realization of who Jon Comfort is, to Tricia's still not finding the perfect replacement for Ginny. I just couldn't put my finger on who the murdere As always Lorna Barrett has given me an escape from the real world. Her people are a true delight and the setting of the bed and breakfast makes you feel like you are truly there. And of course leave it to Tricia's sister Angie, in her totally self-centered way start the ball rolling in yet a fine fix for Tricia. From the finding of the body, to the realization of who Jon Comfort is, to Tricia's still not finding the perfect replacement for Ginny. I just couldn't put my finger on who the murderer was. And the twist at the end, even though I should have expected it, it still came as a surprise. And of course Angie's recipes, well lets just say I am devoting a whole notebook to those. And I have to admit some of the recipes that I have made might just be gaining on the book. On to #7 Can't wait for Mr. surprise and his role.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kirsti

    A town with more than one bookstore? A town where the bookstores are divided up according to genre? Seriously, I want to live there! I have ONE bookstore in town, and ONE secondhand bookstore. This would be my own little slice of heaven! Jumping into this series with book 6 was probably never a good idea, but my library is pretty limited with this series. Still, it sounded promising, and it lived up that promise. This was a fun mystery, and I had no clue who had committed the murder (admittedly, A town with more than one bookstore? A town where the bookstores are divided up according to genre? Seriously, I want to live there! I have ONE bookstore in town, and ONE secondhand bookstore. This would be my own little slice of heaven! Jumping into this series with book 6 was probably never a good idea, but my library is pretty limited with this series. Still, it sounded promising, and it lived up that promise. This was a fun mystery, and I had no clue who had committed the murder (admittedly, that might be because we were given very few clues) I enjoyed the journey there though, and that's what counts. I'll definitely check out more from this author, I think I even have another of her books in my library pile. Four stars.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    The series is still fun, but seems to be losing steam. I kept finding myself mad at the main character who has been drawn intelligent enough to not keep making the same mistakes.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Poor self absorbed snob Trisha has so many problems. She owns her own business thanks to a helfty inheritance and money from a divorce, and she keeps finding dead bodies. Though this time she says a dog finds the dead body. All she cares about is trying to find a man, and all the men she's encountered don't want to be with her. Probably because she's a total passive-aggressive bitch. Even in this book she was called a bitch two times. For good reason. EVERY SINGLE person she encounters, she thin Poor self absorbed snob Trisha has so many problems. She owns her own business thanks to a helfty inheritance and money from a divorce, and she keeps finding dead bodies. Though this time she says a dog finds the dead body. All she cares about is trying to find a man, and all the men she's encountered don't want to be with her. Probably because she's a total passive-aggressive bitch. Even in this book she was called a bitch two times. For good reason. EVERY SINGLE person she encounters, she thinks negative and disparaging things about their appearance and/or personality. no one is good enough for her and she feels she just has to constantly put up with people. That's probably why she doesn't have any friends, and has to consider people she's barely known, and has only a working relationship with them, her friends. On a brighter note, when Angelica got hit by the microphone and then started the studio on fire, I laughed and laughed thinking it was some sort of Lucille Ball comedy. But then the author started saying how Trish was so upset and worried, I thought wow, are we supposed to actually supposed to have sympathy for these two drama queens? It's pure comedy. The author thinks that Trish and her sister employing ex-cons makes them redeemable. She might want to think again. They're both so self-absorbed and self-centered, I have highly doubt people get past that. Can't wait to read the next one so I can laugh at Trish's self-pitying and self-absorbed behaviors. What she really needs is a therapist. I'm also thankful I haven't paid a dime for any of these books thanks to my local library.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mary Ann

    #6 Booktown Mysteries Tricia and Angelica, her sister, are still trying to find their way as sisters and still running their businesses. When Angelica wins a night stay at the newest Inn, she takes her sister along for the night and her little dog, Sarge. When they get to the room, Angelica gets Tricia to the dog out for his walk, when they stumble across a body, Pippa, the woman hotelier. She calls the police and her boyfriend, the sheriff, Grant Baker, comes out and then they meet the woman's h #6 Booktown Mysteries Tricia and Angelica, her sister, are still trying to find their way as sisters and still running their businesses. When Angelica wins a night stay at the newest Inn, she takes her sister along for the night and her little dog, Sarge. When they get to the room, Angelica gets Tricia to the dog out for his walk, when they stumble across a body, Pippa, the woman hotelier. She calls the police and her boyfriend, the sheriff, Grant Baker, comes out and then they meet the woman's husband, a man who used to date Tricia and then pretended to die over 30 years before. She becomes a suspect, too and Grant says he cannot be with her until the investigation is over. While all this is happening, her friends, Grace and Mr. Everett, are having marital issues and he asks her to talk with his wife to see if they can work out the issue. When she tries to get into the office to see her, the receptionist refuses to let Tricia in and calls her names and tells her to move on. When Grace learns of the problems, she calls Pixie on the carpet and then after Tricia sees Grace the next day, more problems with Pixie present. This book is the introduction of Pixie and Linda and Michelle. They all come into the village and start becoming a part of the story full time.

  16. 5 out of 5

    LibraryCin

    3.5 stars There’s a new inn in town, just about to open up, and bookstore owner, Tricia, and lunch counter owner and Tricia’s sister, Angelica, win tickets to stay one night at the new inn. Unfortunately, no one gets to stay that night, after one of the people running the inn, Piper Comfort, is murdered. She is, of course, found by Tricia. To Tricia’s surprise, it turns out Piper’s husband is someone Tricia used to date, and everyone thought he was dead! This was good. I enjoyed it. I listened to 3.5 stars There’s a new inn in town, just about to open up, and bookstore owner, Tricia, and lunch counter owner and Tricia’s sister, Angelica, win tickets to stay one night at the new inn. Unfortunately, no one gets to stay that night, after one of the people running the inn, Piper Comfort, is murdered. She is, of course, found by Tricia. To Tricia’s surprise, it turns out Piper’s husband is someone Tricia used to date, and everyone thought he was dead! This was good. I enjoyed it. I listened to the audio, and it was done well. For now, at least, I’ll continue on with the series (although I’m not impressed with Tricia’s newest employee!).

  17. 4 out of 5

    Darinda

    The 6th book in the Booktown Mystery series by Lorna Barrett. Tricia lives a small town and runs a mystery bookstore. The town has several specialty book shops that bring in visitors to the town. Tricia is also an amateur sleuth when it comes to local crimes. In this book, one of the owner's of a local inn is killed. Tricia gets involved, and she has a connection to the prime suspect. An entertaining cozy mystery. Light and charming.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    I understand that cozy mysteries are often a bit silly, but I usually expect the silly parts to be kind of heartwarming. This book wasn't like that. Tricia is our not-very-likable narrator and a rather poor sleuth. The author for some reason tries to incorporate a cat and dog into the book, but I think she only really understands that dogs need to be walked and cats like to be fed. Tricia's sister Angelica is a terrible person and treats Tricia terribly, but it's hard to sympathize with Tricia b I understand that cozy mysteries are often a bit silly, but I usually expect the silly parts to be kind of heartwarming. This book wasn't like that. Tricia is our not-very-likable narrator and a rather poor sleuth. The author for some reason tries to incorporate a cat and dog into the book, but I think she only really understands that dogs need to be walked and cats like to be fed. Tricia's sister Angelica is a terrible person and treats Tricia terribly, but it's hard to sympathize with Tricia because she loves to complain about it but never says anything or stands up for herself. Tricia's love life is also a source of fodder for the book, but I couldn't really figure out if I was supposed to like the current on-again/off-again boyfriend. At one point, Tricia asks him to get a pizza and he comes over with a sandwich instead, and it has ingredients that Tricia doesn't like. Seems like a jerk to me, but I am not convinced that the author meant it that way. As for Tricia's sleuthing skills, I made most connections way before she did, and was constantly irritated by how she decided to handle situations. And as for the silliest part of the entire book: apparently "Booktown" Mystery means that the downtown of the village is just a series of bookshops - all of which specialize in a different kind of book, like mysteries, romances, etc. What? I love books, but that makes no sense and is the most ridiculous town set up I've ever heard. Needless to say, I won't be revisiting the Booktown Mysteries.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ciara Wilkie

    These are some of my favorite cozy mysteries. I love the wide variety of characters and just the town itself. Always a good twist too.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Georgette

    This is another book in the Booktown series by Lorna Barrett. If you like “niche mystery” and books, this is a good series to read. Trish is the owner of Haven’t Got A Clue, a mystery bookshop in Massachusetts. One bookshop of many- the entire town is made up of specialty bookstores, and a tourist attraction. Trish’s sister Angelica now runs a store in the town, and she ends up being Trish’s partner in solving crimes, unwittingly. This time, Angelica has won a night free at the new hotel in town- This is another book in the Booktown series by Lorna Barrett. If you like “niche mystery” and books, this is a good series to read. Trish is the owner of Haven’t Got A Clue, a mystery bookshop in Massachusetts. One bookshop of many- the entire town is made up of specialty bookstores, and a tourist attraction. Trish’s sister Angelica now runs a store in the town, and she ends up being Trish’s partner in solving crimes, unwittingly. This time, Angelica has won a night free at the new hotel in town- the Sheer Comfort Inn. The two sisters have barely settled into their night out when during a walk with Angelica’s dog, Trish finds the body of Pippa Comfort, who was one of the owners of the hotel. The search turns up Pippa’s husband, who Trish is stunned to recognize as Harry Tyler- her ex who disappeared over twenty years ago and was presumed dead. He’s immediately under suspicion. So are a number of people who won the raffle that the hotel was holding. One by one, the suspects are eliminated. In the meantime, Angelica is almost killed during a talk-show appearance hyping her cookbook, and Trish has her hands full with chatty gossip town-goers trying to get information out of her about the murder. Trish’s now-estranged boyfriend is the chief of police, and after telling her she is also a suspect, she cools things off between them for the forseeable future. Trish also has her hands full with her store, her part-time employee and his marriage issues, and her new hire, who’s doing a great job but is being courted away by another job. Sounds like a lot? It is. Throw in Trish getting mysterious items in the mail alluding to her past, although she honestly has no idea who could be sending her this stuff. Still more….one of the most disappointing things about this book was that there was so much upheaval going on around. There are character references of familiar Stoneham residents throughout the book, but none of them are ever followed through. Nikki, the town’s baker, is a friend of Trish’s who is now engaged to her ex Russ. There’s a misunderstanding between them and Nikki tells her to buzz off and stay away from her soon-to-be husband. This is quite upsetting to Trish, and yet it’s brought up- and dropped. No resolution. Angelica’s accident that could have killed her? It’s never really investigated or deemed suspicious, except by Trish. We never hear of any resolution with regard to what happened. Frannie, the gossipy older lady- she keeps sticking her nose into everyone’s business, and she drops a big bomb- then just- disappears. Michelle, one of the owners of the new bar/restaurant/tourist attraction in the town, supposedly hates Trish and is on best friend terms with Angelica, but she suddenly is buddy-buddy with Trish. There’s a scene toward the end of the book where Michelle acts rather oddly, which you are led to believe, is leading to a great revealation- or some part in this murder. Guess what? It’s dropped- never addressed. That’s really frustrating. None of the other books in this series have ever done that. I don’t know why it’s going on in this one, but I hope by the next one, this new writing plot- whatever it is or what’s it called, I could care less about-is gone. Another thing I was heartily sick of in this novel is the fact that Trish is finally starting to come out from her sister’s shadow and stand her ground(Angelica was always the go-getter overly ambitious success- Trish went the quieter route to her life, and the earlier books touch a lot upon the fact that she always felt she didn’t measure up to Angelica). Then- half of the book has her mooning over her past with the ex who’s wife has just been murdered. Then she re-visits her broken marriage, her back-and-forth flirtation with Russ, and her now faltering relationship with the police chief. You have the feeling that she doesn’t feel like she can be anyone unless there is a man there for her to focus on. Trish is a great character, I would love one of these books to be her on her own, and not pining over the males that have come and gone in her life. After the ending Barrett throws at us, well, I don’t see that happening in the next book. The end pleased me to no end. I had no flipping idea who killed the hotel owner. There was a revolving door of probable suspects, and when the big reveal came, it wasn’t convoluted, it made perfect sense. They introduced 2 new characters- a lady who starts out as an assistant manager at Haven’t Got a Clue, and a sarcastic punk girl who ends up being on parole for being a hooker, and who’s sentenced to working the phones at a non-profit organization. They end up switching jobs at the end, but not before both characters have endured themselves to you, and in the future Booktown books. So great job. And as usual, the book is a quick, enjoyable read. I just wish it flowed smoothly as it usually does. Not one of her better books in the series, but still a highly enjoyable quick read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    In a quiet town filled with genred book shop, cafes and niche establishments, a vintage mystery bookseller has again been the finder of a recent corpse when partaking in the post opening event for a bed and breakfast. Bookstore owner, Tricia and her sister the culinary diva, Angelica then set out to find the culprit, whilst irritating the police chief (whom Tricia has been dating) and a slew of other town folks. A collective of quirky residents and visitors add into the stew. This is just the ki In a quiet town filled with genred book shop, cafes and niche establishments, a vintage mystery bookseller has again been the finder of a recent corpse when partaking in the post opening event for a bed and breakfast. Bookstore owner, Tricia and her sister the culinary diva, Angelica then set out to find the culprit, whilst irritating the police chief (whom Tricia has been dating) and a slew of other town folks. A collective of quirky residents and visitors add into the stew. This is just the kind of quaint downtown I always want to stumble into, where everyone knows everyone and is eager to welcome you in. It's a cozy night's read with some LOL's and twists. Barrett does well with her settings, characters and dialogue. This will be a series to add to my ever increasing shelf of bookstore mysteries. Love the addition of plot line recipes added at the end.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Another Great Mystery by Lorna Barrett. Tricia Miles is again knee-deep in murder... now a web of lies intimately involves her. How will she sort fact from fiction? A Fabulous whodunit!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    This is the sixth in the Booktown Mystery series. Though I have read all previous entries, this is my favorite to date. I enjoy this series, but I never really liked the main character, Tricia Miles. I even posted on a cozy board in GoodReads that I'd shop her store and discuss books with her, but wouldn't consider her a "friend"---which is unusual in cozy series because the characters become friends, which is why one returns to series book after book. I don't know what it was about her in the e This is the sixth in the Booktown Mystery series. Though I have read all previous entries, this is my favorite to date. I enjoy this series, but I never really liked the main character, Tricia Miles. I even posted on a cozy board in GoodReads that I'd shop her store and discuss books with her, but wouldn't consider her a "friend"---which is unusual in cozy series because the characters become friends, which is why one returns to series book after book. I don't know what it was about her in the earlier stories, but this is the first time I actually liked her. Maybe I'm just used to her after six books, but one would think it wouldn't take that long. Oh well... This outing has Tricia, Angelica, and several other Chamber of Commerce members visiting a new, local B&B for a pre-opening test run. The B&B is being run by a couple new to Stoneham, Jon and Pippa Comfort. It isn't long before Tricia makes a couple of discoveries, Pippa's body and ex-boyfriend Harry Tyler living under an assumed name---Jon Comfort. Harry, one-time author, is accused of Pippa's murder. Tricia believes him to be innocent. This puts Tricia at odds with her sort-of beau Police Chief Grant Baker, who doesn't think they should see one another while he's investigating a murder involving her---even though he believes her to be innocent---and head of Chamber and Angelica's off again, Bob Kelly, who has his own reasons for wanting Tricia to stop investigating. Add a few red herrings to the mix and you get a pretty good mystery. If that weren't enough, Tricia and Mr. Everett are being run ragged because they haven't found a replacement for Ginny, who's now managing another store. Mr. Everett is stressed; he and his wife are at odds over her involvement in their charitable endowment to the exclusion of all else. Angelica is going to be on TV. Plus, Tricia is getting weird gifts in the mail. And...well, you get the picture. Maybe what made this most enjoyable for me was (view spoiler)[the way the women of the town finally took control. Angelica refused to let Bob walk all over her. Tricia tried to give Grant the heave-ho for choosing his job to the exclusion of her. Michelle, the real estate lady introduced in the last addition and now set to open the new pub, deciding to run for head of the Chamber of Commerce to get rid of Bob and bring new business to Stoneham. There are two new characters: Pixie Poe, who doesn't take any gruff from anyone, and Linda Fugitt, coming off a recent lay-off and looking for work. (hide spoiler)] My only negative (view spoiler)[ is the resolution of the murder. Though not completely out of the blue, it was a bit unbelievable to the point that I almost went back through the book to reread the clues leading to that suspect---almost. The resolution was fine, just sort of out of the blue for me. (hide spoiler)] Finally, this story ended on a sort of cliffhanger that has me---for once---anxiously awaiting the next edition. Thank you, Lorna Barrett!!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Cole

    This is one of those reviews that I find extremely difficult to write, and I'll tell you why. This is the sixth installment of the Booktown series that I've read. I love the setting that Lorna Barrett has created-- a small town in New Hampshire revitalized into a "booktown," filled with store owners who care for one another, help each other out, and work together to think of ways to keep the community thriving. This is a setting in which I could easily live. It also helps that the main character This is one of those reviews that I find extremely difficult to write, and I'll tell you why. This is the sixth installment of the Booktown series that I've read. I love the setting that Lorna Barrett has created-- a small town in New Hampshire revitalized into a "booktown," filled with store owners who care for one another, help each other out, and work together to think of ways to keep the community thriving. This is a setting in which I could easily live. It also helps that the main character runs a store specializing in crime fiction, and this devoted dog person even likes Tricia's cat. I also enjoy the author's writing style and sense of humor. She creates intriguing mysteries that keep readers guessing chapter after chapter, peppered with scenes that can make you laugh out loud-- just like she's done here with Murder on the Half Shelf. She also has created characters that I've grown to care about, like the elderly couple Mr. and Mrs. Everett. However, it's several of those characters that have created a dilemma for me. I can-- and do-- read books that have characters I do not like, and as in real life, I simply deal with them and move on. Many cozy mystery series seem to have that one character you'd just like to smack. The problem occurs when the number of characters you want to smack just keeps growing and growing. Sooner or later I reach a saturation point, and that is what has happened with the Booktown series. The last sentence of chapter twenty-two pretty much sums up the main character: "And why couldn't Tricia ever get a break?" I have an answer for that: because Tricia spends too much of her time letting people walk all over her and then she whines about it. The main person running roughshod over her is her older sister, Angelica, who has to be one of the most self-absorbed divas in the fictional world. True, Angelica does have the occasional scene when she actually thinks of someone other than herself and comes through for her sister, but these scenes are few and far between. Angelica's on-again off-again main squeeze, Bob Kelly, is not above trying to broker shady deals or cavorting with other women. I can't think of one redeeming quality he's shown. Then there's the police chief who knows Tricia attracts corpses like mud puddles attract little boys, and instead of dealing with the investigation and their relationship in an adult manner, he gets huffy and argumentative. (Don't worry, I'm not going to list all the characters who aggravate me!) I like this author. She writes solid, enjoyable mysteries that I have enjoyed in the past, and just because I started having problems with this series does not in any size, shape or form mean that you should avoid reading them. However, I've come to the reluctant conclusion that it's time for me to leave Booktown. I'm not happy about it, but there it is. Fortunately Lorna Barrett (AKA L.L. Bartlett and Lorraine Bartlett) has other series that I can enjoy.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    Tricia and her sister Angelica get a chance for some much-needed downtime away from their bookstores when Angelica wins an overnight stay at Stoneham, New Hampshire's newest business, a bed and breakfast called the Sheer Comfort Inn. It proves to be relaxing than they thought when Tricia finds the body of the inn's manager, Pippa Comfort, in the backyard while walking Angelica's dog. To make matters more interesting, it is right after the body is found that Tricia realizes that Pippa's husband a Tricia and her sister Angelica get a chance for some much-needed downtime away from their bookstores when Angelica wins an overnight stay at Stoneham, New Hampshire's newest business, a bed and breakfast called the Sheer Comfort Inn. It proves to be relaxing than they thought when Tricia finds the body of the inn's manager, Pippa Comfort, in the backyard while walking Angelica's dog. To make matters more interesting, it is right after the body is found that Tricia realizes that Pippa's husband and the handyman for the him is not just Jon Comfort, but is actually an ex-boyfriend, Harry Tyler, who had disappeared 20 years ago. Tricia doesn't believe that Jon/Harry could have murdered his wife despite the fact that he disappeared so many years earlier. As a result, she dives into yet another case. This leads to some division between herself and her new boyfriend, Captain Grant Baker, who is also the Chief of the new Stoneham Police Department. Grant feels the need to still consider a suspect since she was present, and he doesn't want the town to think he would put his personal life in the way of justice. Mr. Everett, one of Tricia's employees at her bookstore, has also been going through a difficult time with his wife Grace, who recently took over managing a foundation they established after he won the lottery. She is loving the work, but that means some very long hours and time apart from her husband. Tricia is also struggling with finding a new employee to replace her most dedicated employee who left to take over managing one of the other shops in the village. It has been a series of hires that have simply not worked out. This volume definitely has everything that has made all of the books in this series so much fun. It definitely made it easy to look forward to the next book!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Fred

    Murder On The Half Shelf is the sixth book in the interesting Booktown Mystery series. Barrett does a wonderful job of putting together an intriguing mystery with a touch of humor to provide the reader with an enjoyable book. Tricia and Angelica are walking over to Sheer Comfort Inn, a much needed B&B, to enjoy a free one night lodging. Angelica won the stay in a raffle and elected take her sister, rather than her sometime boyfriend, Bob Kelly. As they are getting ready to check in Tricia see so Murder On The Half Shelf is the sixth book in the interesting Booktown Mystery series. Barrett does a wonderful job of putting together an intriguing mystery with a touch of humor to provide the reader with an enjoyable book. Tricia and Angelica are walking over to Sheer Comfort Inn, a much needed B&B, to enjoy a free one night lodging. Angelica won the stay in a raffle and elected take her sister, rather than her sometime boyfriend, Bob Kelly. As they are getting ready to check in Tricia see someone that she thinks she knows. As he is disappearing out the backdoor, she realizes that it is a boyfriend from long ago who had gone missing and was presumed dead from a boating accident. As they are going to their room they pass Mary Fairchild on the landing, who appears deep in thought. Angelica has snuck her dog, Sarge, into the B&B. While Angelica is getting ready for dinner, Tricia takes Sarge for a quick walk out back. As he looking for the perfect spot, he finds the body of B&B's owner, Pippa. Tricia soon finds out that Jon Comfort is in fact her old boyfriend Harrison Tyler and the husband of Pippa. Of course Tricia wants to find out where he has been and why he staged his drowning, when he had a chance for a successful career as an author. As is usually the case, he becomes the prime suspect as there is an unexplained period of time that he can't account for, around the time of her death. But two other guests have known her is the past too. Then Grant Baker, the police chief and someone Tricia would like to know better, warns her off looking to murder and also puts their working on a relationship on hold, too. Quite naturally this is the wrong thing to say to Tricia. In addition to her sleuthing, she also has problems to deal with at her bookstore. She has just started training a new assistant manager. Luckily, Amy is a quick learner and Tricia is fairly confident in leaving to run the store while she is chasing down leads. Her other employee, Mr. Everett, is upset, as he thinks his wife is spending to much with their charity foundation and wants Tricia to talk with her. Tricia doesn't know where to turn first. For the lighter side, the reader will enjoy Angelica as she ventures into the TV world. There is a new TV station starting up and they have invited Angelica to come and talk about her cookbooks and prepare a dish. Well, let's just say that what happened wasn't pretty. This a wonderful series and has a great cast of characters that you have to love. Looking forward to the next book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    bella

    In the sixth book in the Booktown Mysteries, Tricia and her sister, Angelica, are looking forward to being two of the very first guests to stay at the new bed-and-breakfast, Sheer Comfort Inn. However what starts out as a nice night away turns into murder, when one of the owners, Pippa Comfort turns up dead. Tricia finds herself in another murder investigation, when she discovers the body of Pippa and discovers someone at the Inn from her a past. Someone that she thought was dead. It's now up to In the sixth book in the Booktown Mysteries, Tricia and her sister, Angelica, are looking forward to being two of the very first guests to stay at the new bed-and-breakfast, Sheer Comfort Inn. However what starts out as a nice night away turns into murder, when one of the owners, Pippa Comfort turns up dead. Tricia finds herself in another murder investigation, when she discovers the body of Pippa and discovers someone at the Inn from her a past. Someone that she thought was dead. It's now up to Tricia to find a killer, before she ends up being put behind bars for a murder she didn't commit. I love cozy mysteries that feature bookstores. Many years ago I featured a series of books that centred around not just bookstores, but a village of bookstores and a mystery bookstore called "Haven't Got a Clue". That series was the Booktown mysteries and from the very first chapter I've been hooked. This is one of the few series that I make sure I always read each new story. I always love the murder mystery. Lorna Barrett can plot with the best of them, and she has never disappointed me in creating a multi-layered mystery that I simply cannot solve. That doesn't stop me from trying though!! I also love the underlying story lines, that thread through each book and carry onto the next. Both Tricia and Angelica are having a little trouble in their love lives and there is the question of who exactly is behind this company that is funding some of the new business in Stoneham. Needless to say Murder on the Half Shelf was another thoroughly enjoyable visit to Stoneham and I absolutely can't wait to visit again.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ferne

    This was definitely one of my favorite titles of the series. I was a little miffed however at the way Angelica treated her sister Tricia at the opening of the novel as they were entering the Sheer Comfort Inn. Tricia is definitely most accommodating whether she's asked to carry heavy luggage or take care of walking Angelica's dog, Sarge. There are moments when Angelica seems to have her sister Tricia's best interests at heart as Tricia does in reverse for Angelica and then there are other moment This was definitely one of my favorite titles of the series. I was a little miffed however at the way Angelica treated her sister Tricia at the opening of the novel as they were entering the Sheer Comfort Inn. Tricia is definitely most accommodating whether she's asked to carry heavy luggage or take care of walking Angelica's dog, Sarge. There are moments when Angelica seems to have her sister Tricia's best interests at heart as Tricia does in reverse for Angelica and then there are other moments when Angelica seems quite self-centered and seems to treat Tricia like her personal servant. This is one series that I'd definitely suggest reading "in order" as knowing the "back story" of the large supporting cast of characters definitely adds to the pleasure of reading the series and also gives the reader the fine nuances of the current updates. I also just adore Miss Marple, Tricia's cat, who rules the roost of Haven't Got a Clue, vintage mystery bookstore. Having been staff rather than owner of cats myself, the description of Miss Marple's behavior and communication never fail to make me smile. I'm glad Miss Marple had more of a presence in this novel as did Sarge.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Patty

    This series just keeps getting better and better. Tricia has lost her assistant manager, is having trouble with people she interviews and to top if off her sister Angelica invites her to a new hotel, where she and Angelica's dog find a body! With the return of former lover, who btw was declared dead several years earlier, current boyfriend not wanting to talk to her because she is a suspect in a murder case, and all of the drama that goes along with being sisters with Angelica, Tricia is feeling m This series just keeps getting better and better. Tricia has lost her assistant manager, is having trouble with people she interviews and to top if off her sister Angelica invites her to a new hotel, where she and Angelica's dog find a body! With the return of former lover, who btw was declared dead several years earlier, current boyfriend not wanting to talk to her because she is a suspect in a murder case, and all of the drama that goes along with being sisters with Angelica, Tricia is feeling more than a little pressure. Eventually Tricia works her way through all the problems, including solving the murder. There are lots of bits and pieces of mystery book lore, some cooking tips and recipes from Angelica and some more character development of the main characters. Oh, and for those who love Mr. Everett and his wife Grace, there are plenty of scenes with both of them. As usual, will be waiting impatiently for the next in the series.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gail

    Hmmm not committed. Didn't realise it was a series, although that become obvious quickly. Given some of the feedback below I will probably give the series another try. But for this one: Far fetched in so many murders in one small town discovered by the same person. SO many bookshops in one town?! But I did enjoy the bantering between the characters and continued to read through the slow first half because of that. You are not going to plough through this if it is mystery you are after....in some Hmmm not committed. Didn't realise it was a series, although that become obvious quickly. Given some of the feedback below I will probably give the series another try. But for this one: Far fetched in so many murders in one small town discovered by the same person. SO many bookshops in one town?! But I did enjoy the bantering between the characters and continued to read through the slow first half because of that. You are not going to plough through this if it is mystery you are after....in some places that seems secondary to the day-to-day soap opera of the characters. One BIG editting issue - which ruins a story for me: on page 241 it says 'And they parted. Never to see each other again.' Never is such a short time. 29 pages later '"I thought you'd left town," she told Harry Tyler." C'mon, you can do better than that.

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