Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett

(Bookworm Mystery, #1)

The streets of Stoneham, New Hampshire, are lined with bookstores...and paved with murder.

When she moved to Stoneham, city slicker Tricia Miles met nothing but friendly faces. And when she opened her mystery bookstore, she met friendly competition. But when she finds Doris Gleason dead in her own cookbook store, killed by a carving knife, the atmosphere seems more cutthroat than cordial. Someone wanted to get their hands on the rare cookbook that Doris had recently purchased-and the locals think that someone is Tricia. To clear her name, Tricia will have to take a page out of one of her own mysteries-and hunt down someone who isn't killing by the book.

Just what I needed to break up reading the serious books I'm in the middle of - a worthy cozy.

Stoneham, New Hampshire sounds like an epic little town - a bookish area that is covered with bookstores given by theme. Loved the names of the stores: The Cookery for cookbooks; Haven't got a clue for the mystery store and protagonist, Trish; History Repeats itself for the history; Have a heart for romance. How fun that little town would be.

The protagonist is a likable enough sort - she loves books, so that's already a brownie point. Tricia even has a pet cat, Miss Marple, which is a fun touch. The only issue I held with her is she's a little judgmental about her sister - the woman may be flawed, but it got irritating and not enough plausible reason to carry it that far. Her knowledge of mystery helps her solve crimes and was enjoyable to bring up some famous sleuth books. The theme worked better than the protagonist, although I'm hoping she'll grow on me a little more with sequels.

I guessed one of the culprits a little over halfway through - author threw in too many hints - but it was still a fun book. Not perfect of course, some of these crimes can't be pulled off to full realism and it's not gripping for those who are used to mysteries and solve them easily. The detective who is determined to press the blame on Tricia was a little stereotypical, but for a cozy it worked well enough.

   Book Quotes:

“Deception wasn’t Tricia’s strongpoint. Not when she’d been seven and blamed Angelica for a vase she’d broken, nor when coming up with excuses to avoid dating high school jocks who couldn’t spell, let alone comprehend, Sherlock Holmes.”

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