Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Chapter & Hearse by Lorna Barrett

Title: Chapter & Hearse
Author: Lorna Barrett
ISBN: 9780425236017
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, 2010
Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Genre: Amateur Sleuth, Cozy Mystery, #4 Booktown Mystery
Rating: B+
Source: Paperback Swap

First Line: The poster on the Cookery's display window had advertised the book signing for at least a month.

Tricia Miles's sister is embarking on a book signing tour for her just-published cookbook when a gas explosion demolishes Stoneham's history bookshop, killing the owner and injuring Bob Kelly, head of the Chamber of Commerce and Angelica's boyfriend. Tricia's never been all that fond of Bob, but when she finds out that he's keeping a very low profile after the tragedy, she knows it's time to do something.

This series continues to get better and better. No longer weighted down by the Wicked Witch of Stoneham, Sheriff Wendy, other characters have become strong and sassy. Tricia's sister, Angelica, has mellowed and isn't the parasite she was at the beginning. And even a dog lover like me can like Tricia's cat, Miss Marple, because she's just a cat. She doesn't talk, she doesn't spell help in the mashed potatoes, she doesn't cough up hairballs, and she doesn't twine around ankles to trip people up.

Tricia is stronger and no longer the complete doormat she was in the first two books. This is a series that can easily become a reading staple-- just like that favorite pair of jeans or that faded sweatshirt-- because the characters are known, loved, and constantly evolving.

Characters that feel like friends combined with interesting plots? The perfect way to spend an afternoon for just as long as Ms. Barrett wants to continue this series.


  1. Cathy - I'm glad you liked this one :-). I agree that sometimes, a series just really does get better with time.

  2. Ive read the first 2 books in this series and just love them!! This book is in the mail and on it's way here now!! Can't wait to read it! Great review!!

  3. I have read the first two books and simply loved them. I want to retire to "book town" :)

    I am hoping that I will find the time to read the next books in the series on some cold wintry january weekend.

  4. Glad you enjoyed this one more than the others..or at least that you feel the series is improving.

  5. Margot-- I just finished another book in a different series, and it, too, is just getting better and better! :)

    Allison-- I'm glad you enjoyed my review, and may we both enjoy many more books to come in this series!

    Molly-- I hope you find the time, too. When I lived in Cold Country, I found that that was the best thing to be done with Januarys!

    Kris-- I've always liked the series; there were just a couple of characters that rubbed my fur the wrong way. I'm glad to see that they're either gone or have slowly been undergoing personality changes!

    Mystica-- Berkley Prime Crime always seems to have the best covers. I hope their artists are well paid!!


Thank you for taking the time to make a comment. I really appreciate it!