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Murder is Binding

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The streets of Stoneham, New Hampshire, are lined with bookstores...and paved with murder. When she moved to Stoneham, city slicker Tricia Miles met nothing but friendly faces. And when she opened her mystery bookstore, she met friendly competition. But when she finds Doris Gleason dead in her own cookbook store, killed by a carving knife, the atmosphere seems more cutthro The streets of Stoneham, New Hampshire, are lined with bookstores...and paved with murder. When she moved to Stoneham, city slicker Tricia Miles met nothing but friendly faces. And when she opened her mystery bookstore, she met friendly competition. But when she finds Doris Gleason dead in her own cookbook store, killed by a carving knife, the atmosphere seems more cutthroat than cordial. Someone wanted to get their hands on the rare cookbook that Doris had recently purchased-and the locals think that someone is Tricia. To clear her name, Tricia will have to take a page out of one of her own mysteries-and hunt down someone who isn't killing by the book.


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The streets of Stoneham, New Hampshire, are lined with bookstores...and paved with murder. When she moved to Stoneham, city slicker Tricia Miles met nothing but friendly faces. And when she opened her mystery bookstore, she met friendly competition. But when she finds Doris Gleason dead in her own cookbook store, killed by a carving knife, the atmosphere seems more cutthro The streets of Stoneham, New Hampshire, are lined with bookstores...and paved with murder. When she moved to Stoneham, city slicker Tricia Miles met nothing but friendly faces. And when she opened her mystery bookstore, she met friendly competition. But when she finds Doris Gleason dead in her own cookbook store, killed by a carving knife, the atmosphere seems more cutthroat than cordial. Someone wanted to get their hands on the rare cookbook that Doris had recently purchased-and the locals think that someone is Tricia. To clear her name, Tricia will have to take a page out of one of her own mysteries-and hunt down someone who isn't killing by the book.

30 review for Murder is Binding

  1. 5 out of 5

    James

    4 stars to Lorna Barrett's Murder is Binding debut in the Booktown Mystery series. I had my eyes on this one for awhile as a quaint little village full of bookstores in New Hampshire sounds a bit like heaven. And it didn't disappoint! Story Trish Miles uses her divorce settlement to move from NYC to a Stoneham, a lovely little village on the New Hampshire and Massachusetts border, where she opens a mystery-focused book shop nestled amongst several other book shops. Soon after, the older sister 4 stars to Lorna Barrett's Murder is Binding debut in the Booktown Mystery series. I had my eyes on this one for awhile as a quaint little village full of bookstores in New Hampshire sounds a bit like heaven. And it didn't disappoint! Story Trish Miles uses her divorce settlement to move from NYC to a Stoneham, a lovely little village on the New Hampshire and Massachusetts border, where she opens a mystery-focused book shop nestled amongst several other book shops. Soon after, the older sister she's never really been close with decides to show up and build a new relationship after she and her husband also separate. As Trish gets to know her fellow booksellers and villagers, she's making both friends and enemies. Some of the folks resent the new store owners for bringing too much traffic into Stoneham but some are eager to help re-build the town. After The Cookery's book shop owner, Doris, is found stabbed to death and her valuable first edition cooking pamphlet is stolen, Trish is the prime suspect. She works to clear her name against the town sheriff who seems to have it out for Trish. She eventually does prove her innocence but nearly dies herself. Trish also goes on a few dates to see what the men are like in the NH town learning quickly she's got to drop her New York roots in order to survive in New England! Add in a few side stories about a nursing home and a nudist colony, Trish has had more trouble in this small town than she did when she called NYC home! Strengths 1. Stoneham is an intriguing town with a fine cast of characters. Introducing Trish's sister into the mix gives her some roots which makes it feel right for them to stay. Having the older characters, like Grace and William, gives some depth to the history and the relationships. 2. Writing style is easy. It took me a few hours to get through the book and left me wanting to hear more! Weaknesses 1. The initial mystery was too easy to solve. It was clear who was mixed up in the shenanigans from the beginning and as the clues started to come forth, readers could easily solve the puzzle half-way through the book. It was more about how would Trish solve rather than what actually happened. Final Thoughts A good debut novel. Has many charming highlights. I suspect it will continue to get better. About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Megs ♥

    Murder is Binding is a great cozy mystery book filled with excitement, twists, and interesting adventures. I certainly look forward to continuing the Booktown Mystery series over the winter, because winter just feels like the perfect time to read cozy books like this one. Trisha moved to a town in New Hampshire that is considered one of the safest, friendliest places in the U.S. She opened her mystery bookstore named "Haven't Got A Clue" in an area where all bookstores are grouped together and ca Murder is Binding is a great cozy mystery book filled with excitement, twists, and interesting adventures. I certainly look forward to continuing the Booktown Mystery series over the winter, because winter just feels like the perfect time to read cozy books like this one. Trisha moved to a town in New Hampshire that is considered one of the safest, friendliest places in the U.S. She opened her mystery bookstore named "Haven't Got A Clue" in an area where all bookstores are grouped together and called "Booktown" Next door to her is the cookbook store, and when a murder happens there everyone is shocked that this could happen in their safe little area. Naturally, our mystery lover Trisha, and her bossy sister are on the case. I love how this book oozes references to the great mystery writers who paved the way for the current mystery writers. Example: Her cat named Miss Marple. You can definitely tell this author truly loves her mysteries...and just reading in general! (Yes, I'm aware most authors probably love reading, but it was just nice to see her pay her respects through her own novel.) As far as cozy mysteries go it had a decent story. The plot seemed very well thought out and not too predictable. It's weird that I enjoyed this book so much, because I really didn't like the main character, Trisha, too much. She was kind of rude, and I normally like sarcastic characters like her, but she just annoyed me. In fact, I found myself relating more to her sister, and would have probably liked the book more if it was about her sister. This isn't a book that's going to be very memorable, and although I am going to continue the series I don't feel the urge to read the next book right away. It's just a fun, light book that will be here waiting for whenever I'm in the mood for it. 3.5/5 stars. Recommended to all cozy mystery lovers. I didn't love it, but maybe you will. At least it's a very quick read so if you don't like it you won't waste too much time.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    Excellent bookish mystery and the first book of which I hope becomes a long running series. How you not love a small town in NH that has been revitalized by turning main street into a group of specialty bookshops.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jobiska (Cindy)

    The book was okay. I didn't really connect with the protagonist, especially since she was unpleasantly snooty about her sister (although that seems to change over the course of the book). I get that the author is building up backstory and conflict to spice up the relationship, but the conflict is not really clear, just that the protagonist dislikes and judges her sister (there's a lot about her sister's size, and how the protagonist's robe is "a few sizes too small for her" or something like tha The book was okay. I didn't really connect with the protagonist, especially since she was unpleasantly snooty about her sister (although that seems to change over the course of the book). I get that the author is building up backstory and conflict to spice up the relationship, but the conflict is not really clear, just that the protagonist dislikes and judges her sister (there's a lot about her sister's size, and how the protagonist's robe is "a few sizes too small for her" or something like that, and then if I recall correctly the protagonist's dress size is revealed which, adding on a few sizes, means that sis is by no means obese--and so what if she were, anyway?). I like the sis better than I like the protagonist! Also, as the proprietress of a bookstore, the protagonist is true to her character in being a bit snobby about grammar and word usage and so forth...but the book has several instances of inept phrasing, etc. (It's been a while since I read it, so I don't recall specific examples). I did like the introduction of a potential love interest, although he was featured so little that I cannot know whether future books will have a delicious unfolding of two adversaries attracted to each other or just fall flat. I'd be willing to look for more, but free--not worth buying another, even secondhand.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elle's Book Blog

    Actual Rating: 3.5 - 4 stars Gosh I wish this town truly existed! I would be THRILLED to live in a small town that has the streets lined with book stores!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    First of a new series, for once! Every now and then I read a book and put it down thinking, "That author put a lot of work into coming up with that gimmick." I'm not knocking these gimmick-based mystery series - some of them are quite good, and anyway, what is Miss Marple if not a gimmick transformed into an icon through sheer venerableness? And her author's talent. Anyway - the "Booktown" series features not one but two winning gimmicks - Tricia MIles is owner of a mystery bookstore (in a small First of a new series, for once! Every now and then I read a book and put it down thinking, "That author put a lot of work into coming up with that gimmick." I'm not knocking these gimmick-based mystery series - some of them are quite good, and anyway, what is Miss Marple if not a gimmick transformed into an icon through sheer venerableness? And her author's talent. Anyway - the "Booktown" series features not one but two winning gimmicks - Tricia MIles is owner of a mystery bookstore (in a small New Hampshire town that's established a colony of bookstores), and her sister Angelica is a talented cook. (The cover of this book says "Includes Recipes"!) Seriously, though, this is a pretty good light read - the main characters are interesting, so's the mystery, and if it seems a little bit contrived that Angelica winds up staying in town, that's okay. Just for variety, here, the local sheriff is actively hostile; and the answer to the question "Who done it?" really is difficult to get at. I could've done with one or two fewer coincidences, but it was fun all the same.

  7. 5 out of 5

    An Odd1

    Despite my dislike of the heroine's artificial Attitude and the unsurprising twist (view spoiler)[ twins (hide spoiler)] the choice of possible murderers hooks me to the end. I'll try the authors on the back page (Laura Childs - Charleston Tea Shop, Kate Kingsbury - Pennyfoot Hotel) before more Barrett. Familiarity questions: have I read this before, would then have rated higher, or is all just predictable? Tricia Miles uses last year's divorce alimony from handsome rich despicable Chris for fiv Despite my dislike of the heroine's artificial Attitude and the unsurprising twist (view spoiler)[ twins (hide spoiler)] the choice of possible murderers hooks me to the end. I'll try the authors on the back page (Laura Childs - Charleston Tea Shop, Kate Kingsbury - Pennyfoot Hotel) before more Barrett. Familiarity questions: have I read this before, would then have rated higher, or is all just predictable? Tricia Miles uses last year's divorce alimony from handsome rich despicable Chris for five-months on-track exclusive "Haven't Got a Clue" bookshop. Chamber of Commerce president realtor Bob Kelly rents his Main St properties to rejuvenate downtown Stoneham New Hampshire. On the Massachusett border, he caters to tourist buses from Boston and nearby. Cookbook store owner Doris Gleason crabs at everyone, especially Bob for the high rents. Her prized antique booklet is stolen, her shop set fire. Heading to Spoilers ... (view spoiler)[ Proprietor Doris is fatally stabbed in the back. Tricia, first on the scene, is hefty plain single (many euphemisms for fat ugly susceptible) sheriff Wendy Adams' chief suspect. Junk-picker Winnie Wentworth sold the treasure to Doris, and believes her sieve-like memory will keep her safe. Moments after Trish warns Winnie to be careful, the homeless senior's car goes off the road. (hide spoiler)] A second death totals to two. Elder sister Angelica swoops in a dense perfume cloud, treats her to meals repeatedly, helps snoop, defends her, gets a lawyer. Trish complains, whines ad nauseum, sets her only employee at odds with her only relative, (view spoiler)[ and pushes her toward the murderers (hide spoiler)] all from childhood 30+ years' envy. Get over it. Selectman candidate Mike Harris bats his baby greens, and Trish capitulates. She has no "evil ways to mend" p 86. She has a hate on for her ex, until she wants a friend to talk at 1 am. Who does she call? "Piqued", she trashes a full coffee cup. I don't get this girl at all, or cute kitty Miss Marple antics. Maybe she improves in the series? Seems obvious to me. (view spoiler)[ But my family has very identical twins that others still cannot distinguish by face, figure, or voice. Doris has a surprise identical twin Dierdre. (hide spoiler)] Not a surprise. The device is overused and often impossible. Typos: p 201 "This had to (have) just happen(ed)" p 239 "star(t)ing a reading group"

  8. 4 out of 5

    Leslye ♥

    Every once in awhile, a nice cozy mystery is exactly what I need to fill a rainy afternoon. And what better way to spend that afternoon than in Stoneham, New Hampshire- a town full of specialty bookstores which draws in tourists and book collectors. *sigh* If only Stoneham were a real place! Tricia Miles and her cat, Miss Marple, run the mystery bookstore, aptly called "Haven't Got a Clue"- cute, right? Newly divorced and new in town, the village welcomes her- that is until she discovers the murd Every once in awhile, a nice cozy mystery is exactly what I need to fill a rainy afternoon. And what better way to spend that afternoon than in Stoneham, New Hampshire- a town full of specialty bookstores which draws in tourists and book collectors. *sigh* If only Stoneham were a real place! Tricia Miles and her cat, Miss Marple, run the mystery bookstore, aptly called "Haven't Got a Clue"- cute, right? Newly divorced and new in town, the village welcomes her- that is until she discovers the murdered body of Doris Gleason, owner of "The Cookery" cookbook shop. As it turns out, Doris hasn't exactly endeared herself to the other booksellers, and there's an abundance of people who disliked her. However, circumstantial evidence points toward Tricia as a suspect and she sets out to clear her name. I honestly did like this book. It was cute. I loved the booktown setting, and overall I enjoyed the characters. The one thing that rubbed me the wrong way was the fact that the author uses the term "retarded" when referring to a child with Down Syndrome. This was repeated a couple of times, and it annoyed me so much that it just stayed in the back of my mind throughout the rest of the book. As the word is being used by the heroine, I suspect it is the author's own opinion. Doesn't she realize the "R-word" is ugly, and offensive? And no editor challenged this? I really wanted to love this cozy series about a booktown, and I should have, but I won't be able to overlook such ignorance. Ugh!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sen

    My actual rating would be 2.5 stars. I originally had 3 stars, but I knocked off half of one because something that irritated me to no end. Someone needs to inform the author that a character, especially a protagonist, using the term 'retarded' does not endear the character to others. No, I don't believe the character or the author herself meant anything offensive, and given the ages of both they were likely taught that it was the non-offensive term to use. Times have changed, and that is NOT an My actual rating would be 2.5 stars. I originally had 3 stars, but I knocked off half of one because something that irritated me to no end. Someone needs to inform the author that a character, especially a protagonist, using the term 'retarded' does not endear the character to others. No, I don't believe the character or the author herself meant anything offensive, and given the ages of both they were likely taught that it was the non-offensive term to use. Times have changed, and that is NOT an appropriate term. Had the character been corrected by another, or had this book been written twenty years ago, I would have tolerated it. For something released in the 2008? No. I very nearly did not continue this series due to this, because if that was allowed, what else would be? I'm glad to say that I have continued the series with no similar issues thus far. I know this may seem as an over-the-top fuss, but I can't lie and say it didn't bother me, and I didn't want to give a lower rating without explaining why.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    Quit this book 1/3 of the way through. Did not like the main character and did not like the author's writing style at all. Quit this book 1/3 of the way through. Did not like the main character and did not like the author's writing style at all.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Trina Hughes

    I wanted to like this book, but I have no patience for the casual fat phobia and use of the r word. Not to mention the sexism. Even without those problems, I don’t think it was a strongly written book, many unnecessarily confusing descriptions and use of words to sound smart instead of conveying clear meaning. I read to the end, but I shouldn’t have bothered.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mayda

    This small town has been revamped as a booksellers’ town. Although locals visit the shops, it is the tourist travel that keeps the town going now. When mystery bookshop Tricia Miles finds the next door store owner of The Cookery dead in her shop, she becomes the sheriff’s number one suspect. It doesn’t help that the sheriff hates her for a reason not readily known to Tricia. But Tricia does know that if she doesn’t get to the bottom of the killing, she will be looking the wrong way through priso This small town has been revamped as a booksellers’ town. Although locals visit the shops, it is the tourist travel that keeps the town going now. When mystery bookshop Tricia Miles finds the next door store owner of The Cookery dead in her shop, she becomes the sheriff’s number one suspect. It doesn’t help that the sheriff hates her for a reason not readily known to Tricia. But Tricia does know that if she doesn’t get to the bottom of the killing, she will be looking the wrong way through prison bars. Much happens in this novel, the first in the series. While it does introduce the characters, and sets up future books, it is a delightful and intriguing mystery in its own right, and a promising start to the series.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I really need to stop raising my expectations when a book has a lot of holds at the library. I think to myself, 'wow, it took me 3 months to get this one. It must be something amazing.' But then, of course, it isn't and I feel robbed. Case in point: Murder is Binding. It was a perfectly fine cozy mystery. It follows all the cozy mystery cliches and demonstrates an imaginative love of books that should have won my heart. But mostly...I felt disappointed. 1. The main heroine is an insufferable twat I really need to stop raising my expectations when a book has a lot of holds at the library. I think to myself, 'wow, it took me 3 months to get this one. It must be something amazing.' But then, of course, it isn't and I feel robbed. Case in point: Murder is Binding. It was a perfectly fine cozy mystery. It follows all the cozy mystery cliches and demonstrates an imaginative love of books that should have won my heart. But mostly...I felt disappointed. 1. The main heroine is an insufferable twat who calls her employees "the help" and whines when her sister comes to town and offers to cook her dinner. She is not always stressing about money (admittedly, a welcome change from the usual cozy mystery heroine who is usually on her last buck) but still weirdly obsessive with it. Maybe the author just intended to channel the feelings of a small business owner, but at the same time, I really did not care about every dollar that went into her register. Great, she sold $300 worth of books. Remind why that is relevant again? 2. The police chief was an offense to women. Again, though, this feeling stems from disappointed expectations. When the sheriff turned out to be a female instead of the usual overweight, incompetent, middle age male police chief (or hot, six-pack toting, very available sheriff/detective) I actually felt quite excited. A female sheriff? Cool! Good representation and good opportunity for a different kind of logistics with the local constabulary. Except the sheriff is the overweight, incompetent, middle age male stereotype except female so she can behave with petty jealousy and contrast with our lovely, intrepid, insufferable heroine. Talk about a let down. 3. Finally...the villain. (view spoiler)[ Initially, I felt excited when I realized a main suspect was the hot love interest. I mean, I think it is written in stone somewhere that "hot love interests cannot be the bad guy." But at soon as the newspaper guy turned out to be hawt and interested I knew the first guy was our man. And then, as if to prove his evilness, the author literally has him turn into a super evil jerkface who locks up old women and throws rocks through windows for fun and probably kicks puppies or something. He's super psycho. No subtly what-so-ever. Bad guys are bad and rude. Good guys are good. The end. (hide spoiler)] Despite my disappointment, the story did pique my interest enough that I might find the sequel. We'll see.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    In the Cozy Mystery universe this is probably a 3 star. Maybe even a 4 star. In the general universe compared to other cheap novels & easy best sellers this is probably a 2 star. I had to settle on 2 stars regardless the plane of existence I might be careening through. I thought Cozy Mysteries were a fun guilty pleasure for me now and again, and maybe they still are. But they are also dumb and silly and cheesy and usually average. On the one hand this CM started out better than others, it didn't be In the Cozy Mystery universe this is probably a 3 star. Maybe even a 4 star. In the general universe compared to other cheap novels & easy best sellers this is probably a 2 star. I had to settle on 2 stars regardless the plane of existence I might be careening through. I thought Cozy Mysteries were a fun guilty pleasure for me now and again, and maybe they still are. But they are also dumb and silly and cheesy and usually average. On the one hand this CM started out better than others, it didn't belabor excessive Victorian descriptions of inns, boutiques, antiques or god knows what else. Honestly this CM started out strong but great golly it was too long. Listening on audio book I could not believe I was still listening days later and that really started to piss me off. The length took away from the ease of just reading something fun and throw-away. This is becoming a common theme for me, and a big mark for low stars, but I knew nothing about the main character. No depth but her current predicament. The way her sister Angelica acted, and Trish's (the main character) refusal to tell her to STFU was infuriating and unbelievable. The sheriff's crazy hatred/animosity toward Trish was also unbelievable. There was no typical love story in this, which I have enjoyed in previous CMs but would probably have made this book hours longer. The lack of romance might not be a bad thing in this case. It almost seems like the author was trying to write more of a "real" (for lack of a less insulting word) crime who-done-it novel but there was just enough cozy mystery flair in there to make both points result in an average book. I say give me full on ridiculous I-hate-myself-for-reading-this cozy mystery shtick & cuteness or give me something else. Man, I don't know. I think at the end of the day I wanted a particular kind of CM read and this wasn't it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    DNF From the get go, the main protagonist rubbed me the wrong way. Cagey and full of her own self-importance. Didn’t wear a pinny to distinguish herself from the “help”. Ginny is her employee... not her domestic staff. Also, it began in such as fashion as though we should already know things about Tricia, the shop and her relationship with her sister. Angelica and Tricia aren’t sisterly names either. The author is trying too hard to distinguish the supposedly down to earth Tricia from her high-falut DNF From the get go, the main protagonist rubbed me the wrong way. Cagey and full of her own self-importance. Didn’t wear a pinny to distinguish herself from the “help”. Ginny is her employee... not her domestic staff. Also, it began in such as fashion as though we should already know things about Tricia, the shop and her relationship with her sister. Angelica and Tricia aren’t sisterly names either. The author is trying too hard to distinguish the supposedly down to earth Tricia from her high-faluting sister. When I read the victim’s daughter being described as “retarded”! I actually made an involuntary noise. This book was written in 2008... I’m pretty sure we stopped using that kind of derogatory terminology back in the 90’s. Not for me and I’m so disappointed! I love books and this should have been a good one. How do books like these get published???

  16. 5 out of 5

    Patty

    Very good first book in a series. I love the idea of a town with its major tourist attraction different kinds of bookstores. The main character in this one owns the mystery shop (big surprise). This is one of those series where the sleuth DOESN'T sets out to get involved in a murder mystery, in fact she has to be dragged into the whole thing when it becomes obvious that someone is trying to frame her for the murder. The whole family dynamics aspect of this is interesting, as in, there is dysfuncti Very good first book in a series. I love the idea of a town with its major tourist attraction different kinds of bookstores. The main character in this one owns the mystery shop (big surprise). This is one of those series where the sleuth DOESN'T sets out to get involved in a murder mystery, in fact she has to be dragged into the whole thing when it becomes obvious that someone is trying to frame her for the murder. The whole family dynamics aspect of this is interesting, as in, there is dysfunctional and then there is DYSFUNCTIONAL. Made for some good twists and turns. I'll be watching for the next book in the series.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chaitra

    Surprisingly, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I had supposed, initially, that it would be one of those books in which the lady turns out to be more than a little stupid, but still gets to live. Not so, Tricia really does some work. She also has a brassy sister that seems to be an Andrea clone from the Hannah Swenson books. But it doesn't matter. I like both sisters better than I like the main character, and Angelica seems to have a little depth to her. The mystery was alright, I liked Surprisingly, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I had supposed, initially, that it would be one of those books in which the lady turns out to be more than a little stupid, but still gets to live. Not so, Tricia really does some work. She also has a brassy sister that seems to be an Andrea clone from the Hannah Swenson books. But it doesn't matter. I like both sisters better than I like the main character, and Angelica seems to have a little depth to her. The mystery was alright, I liked the direction it took. I'll continue the series.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Diane Morasco

    Murder Is Binding is a definite must for cozy mystery fans. Lorna Barrett is the pseudonym of author Lorraine Bartlett aka L.L. Bartlett who pens psychological suspense & the Jeff Resnick mystery series. Let me say, I'd love to visit the charming town of Stoneham, New Hampshire. I mean after all, I'd be living in Kate Borden's incredible Cobbs's Landing so a day trip by bus or a stay @ The Brookside Inn for a four-day weekend would be sheer paradise. Stoneham is known as "Booktown" & consists of ma Murder Is Binding is a definite must for cozy mystery fans. Lorna Barrett is the pseudonym of author Lorraine Bartlett aka L.L. Bartlett who pens psychological suspense & the Jeff Resnick mystery series. Let me say, I'd love to visit the charming town of Stoneham, New Hampshire. I mean after all, I'd be living in Kate Borden's incredible Cobbs's Landing so a day trip by bus or a stay @ The Brookside Inn for a four-day weekend would be sheer paradise. Stoneham is known as "Booktown" & consists of many used bookstores ~ think Hay-On-Wye in Wales. Oh, my deliciousness. Talk about a bibliophile's b spot. The characters are appealing. An author can write the most gripping mystery, but w/o amiable characters it's going to fall as flat as an undercooked souffle. Tricia Miles is a welcome addition to the cozy scene, but I must say Tricia's older sister, Angelica, tends to steal some of the spotlight. Angelica is an amusing character w/ a quirky sense of humor that endears her to you. Angelica's presence enhances Tricia's character by giving her more depth & allows Ms. Barrett to break free from the emergence of "cookie cutter" mystery scribes. What I love about the sisters most is they are authentic. Tricia & Angelica have an intricate relationship that will take some time to resolve ~ no "hugs & kisses" all better in time for the ending phony bologna. Which is so refreshing. Tricia's regular customer, Mr. Everett is an absolute stellar standout. Tricia's employee Ginny is entertaining. I am champing at the bit to learn more about both of them. Kudos to Ms. Barrett for layering on some clever twists. I loved Murder Is Binding but the writing was a bit flawed. I'm a stickler for rhythmic writing. There were moments of disjointed grammar that aggravated me & I did stop to reread. I blame this on the proofreader not on Ms. Barrett. I'm a bit anal about awkward writing & strong writing is unquestionably essential for all of my reading indulgences. It not only makes or breaks the book, it sets the bar on buying anymore of the author's work. Murder Is Binding is a terrific debut despite the grammatical flaws.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

    Just what I needed to break up reading the serious books I'm in the middle of - a worthy cozy. Stoneham, New Hampshire sounds like an epic little town - a bookish area that is covered with bookstores given by theme. Loved the names of the stores: The Cookery for cookbooks; Haven't got a clue for the mystery store and protagonist, Trish; History Repeats itself for the history; Have a heart for romance. How fun that little town would be. The protagonist is a likable enough sort - she loves books, s Just what I needed to break up reading the serious books I'm in the middle of - a worthy cozy. Stoneham, New Hampshire sounds like an epic little town - a bookish area that is covered with bookstores given by theme. Loved the names of the stores: The Cookery for cookbooks; Haven't got a clue for the mystery store and protagonist, Trish; History Repeats itself for the history; Have a heart for romance. How fun that little town would be. The protagonist is a likable enough sort - she loves books, so that's already a brownie point. Tricia even has a pet cat, Miss Marple, which is a fun touch. The only issue I held with her is she's a little judgmental about her sister - the woman may be flawed, but it got irritating and not enough plausible reason to carry it that far. Her knowledge of mystery helps her solve crimes and was enjoyable to bring up some famous sleuth books. The theme worked better than the protagonist, although I'm hoping she'll grow on me a little more with sequels. I guessed one of the culprits a little over halfway through - author threw in too many hints - but it was still a fun book. Not perfect of course, some of these crimes can't be pulled off to full realism and it's not gripping for those who are used to mysteries and solve them easily. The detective who is determined to press the blame on Tricia was a little stereotypical, but for a cozy it worked well enough.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    This was really 2.5 stars, maybe 3 - for a cozy mystery. It was enjoyable but closely followed the cozy mystery formula: recently divorced woman (because who else has time to solve mysteries) who runs her own business (a mystery book store!) in atmospheric location stumbles on a dead body. While there was some character development, such as a relationship with her sister, some thoughts about her divorce, etc., there are some things you cannot skip in a book. The only mention of her appearance wa This was really 2.5 stars, maybe 3 - for a cozy mystery. It was enjoyable but closely followed the cozy mystery formula: recently divorced woman (because who else has time to solve mysteries) who runs her own business (a mystery book store!) in atmospheric location stumbles on a dead body. While there was some character development, such as a relationship with her sister, some thoughts about her divorce, etc., there are some things you cannot skip in a book. The only mention of her appearance was that she was thinner than her sister. I don't need to know everything - someone's looks are not essential to the plot, but frankly, a recently divorced female character who is contemplating dating again (as this one is) who NEVER has a thought about her hair or make up or apearance is just downright unrealistic. Aside from that, the mystery was decent and there was setup of some secondary characters that could make the future books in this series entertaining.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne (The Novel Sanctuary)

    DNF due to use of 'r' word. Plus the characters are boring. DNF due to use of 'r' word. Plus the characters are boring.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    This one was decent. I really liked the concept of a book town; that was the real plus for me. The mc's store being a mystery bookstore was cool (though cozies weren't really featured). Then there were things that bothered me, such as the mc being singled out as the main suspect when there was no motive. The characters seemed a bit flat. There was repetition, which seems to be a downfall in many cozies. Being that this is the first in the series I'm more than willing to try the next to see how i This one was decent. I really liked the concept of a book town; that was the real plus for me. The mc's store being a mystery bookstore was cool (though cozies weren't really featured). Then there were things that bothered me, such as the mc being singled out as the main suspect when there was no motive. The characters seemed a bit flat. There was repetition, which seems to be a downfall in many cozies. Being that this is the first in the series I'm more than willing to try the next to see how it develops.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Andree

    An entertaining cozy mystery, and I like the concept, but I admit, the focus on the sibling relationship bugs. Essentially there's friction between the main character and her sister - with good reason or no is hard to say at this point - and I'm just in no mood to be particularly sympathetic to the sister deciding to move to the same small town. I'll likely read the second, but so far I find the sibling dynamics to be the weak point. An entertaining cozy mystery, and I like the concept, but I admit, the focus on the sibling relationship bugs. Essentially there's friction between the main character and her sister - with good reason or no is hard to say at this point - and I'm just in no mood to be particularly sympathetic to the sister deciding to move to the same small town. I'll likely read the second, but so far I find the sibling dynamics to be the weak point.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Robbins

    For complete review check out my blog at https://booksaplentybookreviews.blogs... For complete review check out my blog at https://booksaplentybookreviews.blogs...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    In Lorna Barrett's Murder is Binding, the first installment in the Booktown Cozy Mystery series, a brand new series from Lorna Barrett with the theme of books and reading. For Tricia Miles, she was new to Stoneham New Hampshire and just opened her used bookstore, Haven't Got a Clue. It started out for her, when her neighbor Doris Gleason was killed in her store. As a fellow newbie, all eyes were on her as the prime suspect. Then when Winnie was hit by a car, this small town have been rocked by t In Lorna Barrett's Murder is Binding, the first installment in the Booktown Cozy Mystery series, a brand new series from Lorna Barrett with the theme of books and reading. For Tricia Miles, she was new to Stoneham New Hampshire and just opened her used bookstore, Haven't Got a Clue. It started out for her, when her neighbor Doris Gleason was killed in her store. As a fellow newbie, all eyes were on her as the prime suspect. Then when Winnie was hit by a car, this small town have been rocked by two murders, the first in over sixty years. And once again, the sheriff blamed Tricia. If there wasn't enough going on, her sister arrived in town, someone handed out tracts for a nudist columnist retreat, and more surprises came in store for her with Doris's twin sister and the selectman's suspicious motives. As they uncovered the truth, the more lives were in peril until it became almost deadly for them with a surprising twist in the end.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jodi

    I really wanted to like this book and I did in many ways. The setting is idyllic Stoneham, NH which hadn't had a murder in 60 years. Until now. The victim is one the booksellers who has revived the small downtown. She wasn't a very nice person but nevertheless, murder is murder. Tricia Miles, a fellow bookseller, found the body and the Sheriff is certain she is the murdered. Tricia is equally certain it is their landlord. There are not enough characters in the book for the killer not to be prett I really wanted to like this book and I did in many ways. The setting is idyllic Stoneham, NH which hadn't had a murder in 60 years. Until now. The victim is one the booksellers who has revived the small downtown. She wasn't a very nice person but nevertheless, murder is murder. Tricia Miles, a fellow bookseller, found the body and the Sheriff is certain she is the murdered. Tricia is equally certain it is their landlord. There are not enough characters in the book for the killer not to be pretty obvious. But that wasn't what made me give this book 2 stars. This book was published in 2008. That is only 7 years ago. And the story is contemporary. Which is why I was furious when the victim's Down Syndrome-impacted daughter was referred to not once, but twice, as retarded. It took me off guard and made me think less of the characters and of the writer and editors.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jane C.

    A cozy enough mystery, but the ending was more violent than I'd expect from the genre. I think it would have been more interesting if the author had delved into books more, perhaps the history of the antique cookbook and why it is so special. As a resident of New Hampshire, I didn't read enough sense of place. A minor character remarks during the conclusion that the mystery was so convoluted her head was spinning - mine too! I had trouble following which twin, which beneficiary etc. The sheriff' A cozy enough mystery, but the ending was more violent than I'd expect from the genre. I think it would have been more interesting if the author had delved into books more, perhaps the history of the antique cookbook and why it is so special. As a resident of New Hampshire, I didn't read enough sense of place. A minor character remarks during the conclusion that the mystery was so convoluted her head was spinning - mine too! I had trouble following which twin, which beneficiary etc. The sheriff's jealousy was not believable considering how insignificant Tricia and Mike's relationship was. It was grating to keep reading that everyone considered Tricia a suspect for no reason. And I don't know what purpose the nudist camp subplot served.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kyra Moore

    Very fun! A great murder mystery and well written.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    The first in a series about a woman who owns a mystery bookstore in a small bookstore-filled town in New Hampshire (recursive much?). This got a lot of positive ratings on Amazon, but I was not impressed - very superficial both in terms of character development and plot.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Britney

    This was my first read by this author and it was pretty good,eventhough I guessed the killer half way through the book. All the characters were interesting, except for the sister. She was mostly annoying and I wanted to strangle her. It was an overly good light hearted read.

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