Not the Killing Type by Lorna Barrett (4 out of 5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The latest in the Booktown series by Lorna Barrett. I really didn’t think I was going to enjoy this because the lead heroine was driving me nuts with her posturing about herself. However, it surprised me. Before I launch into the review, you should know this is a series and they do need to be read in order. 

The book starts out with a board meeting in which pompous ass realtor Bob Kelly declares his candidacy for President of Chamber of Commerce. Angelica Miles, Tricia’s sister and a large part of the last four novels, challenges him. Stan Berry, another relatively unknown businessman, also throws his hat in the ring. Shortly after, Tricia finds Stan in the loo with a letter opener buried in his chest. Was it Bob? Was it Angelica? Was it a tourist who was staying at the Inn where the board meeting was held? 

While that is unfolding, Tricia has her hands full with her ex husband Christopher, who shows up and attempts to reconcile, despite her refusals. She has her screwy relationship with Police Chief Grant Baker, who is on and off in his affections toward her and enthusiasm toward taking their relationship futher. In fact, this guy only seems to give a rat’s ass when Tricia finds a dead body and he wants facts and theories for the case. She also has a growing attraction to Will Berry, who just happens to be in Stoneham the same time his father Stan is stabbed to death. He’s also looking for his long-lost aunt who lived there many years ago. Many mysteries going on in this one. You have your usual cast: Pixie Pie and Mr Everett, who work with Tricia, Sarge and Miss Marple who are Angelica’s dog and Tricia’s cat, respectively. Ginny and Antonio, friends and colleagues who are getting married, and even Russ, who no one likes but they try to be civil to. In fact, the Russ/Nikki wedding is quickly dealt with and subsequently dismissed. Since I was not a fan of either from previous books, I am glad they got the short shift. You have a number of side-stories and emotional dilemmas that come along, but when the crime is solved, you are still surprised. I thought Barrett was taking a tried and true route with her evildoer, but she surprised me. It did end up being whom I thought it would be, but the events leading up to that point and all of the reveals that come about in its wake, made this book all over for me. I was stunned, and that means I loved it. 

What didn’t I love? Well, a good portion of the book is Tricia bemoaning her topsy turvy love life and the decisions that she has to make but is avoiding at all costs. When the wedding planner for Ginny and Antonio’s wedding continues to berate Tricia and other members of the wedding party, Tricia lights into her with a ferocity that I haven’t seen in her in other novels. Worse yet, you have the impression that she’s getting to this point because things are so wonky in her own life, not because it’s just wrong. Tricia spends a lot of time feeling sorry for herself, and that took a lot of the allure away for me.  She also became more of a kiljoy- I mean, having those thoughts about Pixie wanting to contribute to Christmas decorating? If more than two of my staff showed anything in way of Christmas spirit with decorating, I would be thrilled! Instead, Tricia is a real grinch to Pixie when she suggests it. I wanted to smack Tricia through the first half of the book, and that’s why a star less, I felt like she was turning into a different person, and for not much more of a reason than she felt like being that way. It wasn’t for plot development, that’s for sure.Thankfully, Angelica plays a larger role in this one, and she and Tricia are a lot closer as sisters. That was nice to see. I wish the mysterious Nigela Ricita would have made more of an appearance at Ginny and Antonio’s wedding, because the play up of “Who is she?” was so often mentioned in the novel that you almost felt like it was going to be solved. But as I said, Lorna Barrett surprised with this ending, and I was so glad. I thought it was going to be lamesauce, but it turned out to be a great ending. 

Overall, it ended up being pretty awesome. 

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~ by generationgbooks on July 24, 2013.

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