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In the latest New York Times bestselling Booktown Mystery, amateur sleuth and bookstore owner Tricia Miles gets caught up in a local election that turns lethal . . .
It’s November in Stoneham, New Hampshire, and time for the Chamber of Commerce elections. The long-standing Chamber president is being challenged by a former lover—Tricia’s own sister, Angelica. Also throwing his hat in the ring is small business owner Stan Berry. Unfortunately, Stan isn’t in the race for long.
When Stan is found murdered, his political rivals become suspects. Angelica is going to need more than a vote of confidence from her sister—she needs Tricia to clear her name so she can win the election.
Tricia soon uncovers a ballot box full of lies and betrayals, and a chamber full of people who had grudges against the victim. But were they serious enough to lead to murder? It’s up to Tricia to pull the lever on a killer before it’s curtains for someone else.
In Barrett's middling seventh Booktown mystery (after 2012's Murder on the Half Shelf), Angelica Miles cookbook author, cafe owner, and sister of mystery bookshop owner Tricia decides to challenge her former boyfriend, Bob Kelly, in the upcoming election for president of the Stoneham, N.H., chamber of commerce. An unexpected contender for the position is sign store proprietor Stan Berry, but his campaign comes to a premature end when Tricia finds him in the local inn's restroom, stabbed in the chest with a letter opener. Other complexities include Stan's questionable choice of reading material as well as Tricia's stormy interactions with her ex-husband, Christopher, who recently arrived in Stoneham; her erratic relationship with her boyfriend, police chief Grant Baker; and her confusing encounters with Will, Stan's handsome and estranged son. Illogical behavior as well as the lack of clues to the perpetrator and alternative suspects early in the narrative mar the reader's enjoyment.