A Christmas crime shocks the merchants of a quaint shopping district in this latest installment of The New York Times bestselling Victoria Square series.
It's Christmastime, but not everyone is jolly--especially not Vonne Barnett. Her dead body has been found in Victoria Square. Katie Bonner, the manager of Artisan's Alley, happens to be at the tea shop Vonne's mother, Francine, owns when the news is delivered.
Vonne left a trail of men behind her so the suspects are many--but the clues are few. A broken teacup leads Katie to one of the suspects, but before she can investigate, she's attacked. Katie may be closing in on a murderer, but time is ticking because the murderer is definitely closing in on her.
Holidays can be Deadly
With Christmas just around the corner, Artisan's Alley and the rest of Victoria Square are getting ready for their busy season. Everywhere Katie looks things seems to be in chaos, the vendors at the Alley keep having conflicts, Katie's former mother-in-law is coming to town, and Katie and Andy are having a hard time finding time to spend together. All these issues make a great storyline as well as the mysterious death one of Victoria Square own-Vonne. Vonne's death seems to bring to light some secrets that someone might want kept secret. As the secrets are revealed my thoughts of Vonne's death changed. This book definitely kept me guessing. In addition to this being a book for enjoyment author Lorraine Bartlett brings to light some real-life issues such as eating disorders (there are others discussed but I don't want to give too much away).
I recommend this book as either a stand-alone read or another great book in the series. I received an ARC of this book in hopes I would supply a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and in no way have been influenced.
Murder at the Holidays
Katie Bonner is helping to get Artisans Alley ready for the Christmas holidays, when she receives a call from her former mother-in-law, Margo Bonner. Margo will be in the area and wants to spend some time with Katie...incredible considering that she never really wanted to spend time with Katie when her husband, Chad, was alive. But while she is attempting to process this, she first learns that Francine Barnett, owner of the Afternoon Tea, is considering selling the business because things aren't going well, and then second, the shocking revelation that Francine's daughter, Vonne, has been killed in an accident. Between Margot's visit, dreams about owning and running the Afternoon Tea, and her own suspicions about the cause of Vonne's death, Katie has her hands full. But her questions quickly lead her to be physically attacked, and thereafter she acquires her own personal bodyguards in the persons of Ray Davenport and her boyfriend, Andy. This is an enjoyable series, filled with interesting characters. There are several subplots here besides the murder mystery, including projected ownership of a new business, and helping out with Ray's daughters. I enjoyed how Katie and Margot work on mending their relationship, as well as how Katie and Andy look to further their own. It was also fun to watch a better friendship emerge between Katie and Ray. The murder itself provided several suspects and twists and turns. This is a series better read in order, to appreciate the characters' developments. Disclosure: I am voluntarily reviewing this book received from NetGalley.