Author: Lorna Barrett
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, 2009
Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Genre: Cozy, Amateur Sleuth, #3 Booktown mystery
Source: Paperback Swap
First Line: "Get out of my house!"
Former college roommate Pammy Fredericks has overstayed her welcome in more ways than one. After Tricia discovers that Pammy has stolen one of her checks, forged her signature, and cashed it, Tricia throws her out of the house. That very same day, Pammy is found dead in a trash container behind the café owned by Tricia's sister.
Tricia learns that Pammy had found a diary and was trying to blackmail someone. When she starts getting threatening phone calls linked to Pammy, Tricia decides to do her own investigating. Even though the county sheriff has given the case to a handsome captain, Tricia wants to learn the facts firsthand-- while she's also running her bookstore, helping to plan a wedding, and dealing with her annoying sister.
When I read that the latest Booktown mystery, Chapter & Hearse, had been published, I knew I had to get this book off my TBR shelves and get it read. I enjoy this series, and I don't want to get too far behind in reading it.
The mystery kept me guessing, and I enjoyed the camaraderie of Tricia with her employees and other friends in town. What absolutely tickled me six shades of pink was the non-appearance of Sheriff Wendy Adams. There are certain types of characters that annoy the pudding out of me: the meddling mother who disapproves of her daughter's choice of career and won't rest until said daughter is married, pregnant, and chained to a stove (preferably six-burner and stainless steel); the obnoxious sibling who takes the main character for granted and signs her up for all sorts of things she doesn't want to do; and the law enforcement official who takes an unreasoning dislike to someone and spends all his/her energy trying to pin the crime on the hated person.
Sheriff Wendy was a prime example of the third type of annoying character I listed, and I was sick of her trying to pin everything from crab grass to murder on Tricia. Having a new (and handsome) captain taking over crime solving and also providing a romantic interest is a definite plus.
Unfortunately, there also happens to be an obnoxious sibling in residence. Her name is Angelica, and no matter how wonderfully she cooks, I'd love to ride the woman out of town on a rail. She's constantly taking on work she knows she can't do because she fully expects her sister, Tricia, to do it for her. I suppose all this means that I'm also annoyed at Tricia for being so spineless.
Grow a backbone, Tricia! Learn how to say NO! I'm only saying this because I like you and your investigations so much. There is hope for you, and I'll keep reading and hoping you'll see the light. It is possible to be nice and be able to stand up for yourself, you know! (Oh oh. Please don't tell anyone that I just yelled at a fictional character....)