Just when things are getting back to normal in Booktown, Tricia and Angelica have their lives turned upside down by a shocking visitor from their past in this cozy mystery in the New York Times bestselling series.
Tricia Miles, mystery bookstore owner and amateur sleuth, is in for a surprise when her ne’er-do-well father, John, comes to town—and promptly becomes a prime suspect in the murder of a woman with her own scandalous past. Even Tricia’s faith in the old man is shaken when the Stoneham police break the news that her father is a known con man who has done jail time.
But what about bestselling thriller author Steven Richardson? Is it a coincidence that he arrived for a book signing just before the crime or that the victim was found with a signed copy of his latest bestseller?
From merlot to murder, Tricia is determined to clear the family name before another body shows up and ruins Stoneham’s first—and highly anticipated—wine and jazz festival.
Set in Stoneham, N.H., a town that rivals Hay-on-Wye as a destination for book lovers, Barrett's delightful 11th Booktown mystery (after 2016's Title Wave) opens at a signing party for thriller writer Steven Richardson at Haven't Got a Clue, a bookstore owned by the intelligent and inquisitive Tricia Miles. The event is marred by the surprise arrival of Tricia's ne'er-do-well father, John Miles, and the slap in the face he receives from Carol Talbot, a recent widow and Tricia's rival in the village darts competition. Shortly after closing the shop, Tricia and her sister, Angelica, owner of the Booked for Lunch caf , find Carol dead; an autographed copy of Steven's book is nearby. It doesn't take long for Grant Baker, chief of the Stoneham PD and Tricia's former flame, to suspect John of the murder. With wit and verve, Barrett smoothly blends the story lines involving Tricia's dysfunctional family with her investigations into the death of Carol and of another seemingly upstanding member of the community.
Mystery and Family Drama
A Just Clause is book 11 in the Booktown Mystery Series by Lorna Barrett. Although some details about the about the characters can be better understood by reading the previous books in the series this book can be enjoyed as a stand alone mystery. A Just Clause picks up just a few months after book 10 (Title Wave). Tricia once again is involved in finding a dead body, continuing her nickname of the village jinx. While dealing with her living space being renovated, Tricia is having to deal with some new and unsettling information about her father and her parents separation. Can Tricia and her sister Angelica help their parent reconcile? Can the sisters get past finding out about their father’s past and their mother’s refusal to put past issues behind her? Will Tricia once again get involved in the investigation and can she keep out of harm’s way
My favorite characters are the main characters-Tricia and Angelica Miles. The sisters although successful business women do not have perfect lives which makes them more realistic. Their family issues make the sisters more relatable. Mrs. Barrett added enough red herrings in the story to keep you guess until the end of the book. In addition to the mystery of a murder or two, Tricia and Angelica are having to deal with some upsetting new about their father. Angelica continuously has to make restitution for their father’s “borrowing” and their mother has thrown Mr. Miles out and is refusing to take him back. As much as I like the sisters I find it hard to root for a reconciliation between them and their parents. However I was pleasantly surprised at the ending. I can’t wait to to see what happens in the next book with the family and how Tricia’s renovation turns out. I would definitely recommend this book to mystery lovers.
Just Cause Isn’t
This book was a disappointment. Tricia was too petulant and Angelica too shallow. The dialogue was stilted and the ending felt like Barrett was just tired of writing so she just tied everything up in a couple of sentences. Lorna Barrett has done better.