Just A Clause by Lorna Barrett (3 out of 5) 

The latest in the Booktown series has Tricia hosting a book signing for author Steven Richardson. And a sidewalk sale. Life does imitate art…because my store had both on Saturday, and I finished this on Friday. Oh, irony. In the book, all’s well does not end well when a heckler disrupts throughout the signing. The alleged, Carol, is also spotted slapping the author after the signing. Topping off Tricia’s dismay, her ner-do-well father, John, shows up out of nowhere, after running off months before and leaving Tricia and her sister Angelica to make good on his many debts to the town. He’s also slapped by Carol, to the bemusement of both of his daughters. Tricia kinda of makes a date with the author for the next day, and she and Angelica take the fog for a walk, and surprise! They find Carol’s dead body. The town police chief is right up in Tricia’s grill, because she is known as the “town jinx” with her knack of stumbling on dead bodies. Things get downright odd quick, as Angelica and Tricia try to find out why their father and mom are suddenly separated, why Richardson is suddenly investigating Carol’s death as a fiction book for him to write, and then one of Tricia and Carol’s darts opponents turns up dead. Who is killing people? It’s up to Tricia and her sister to try to put the pieces together. The chief is supposedly holding multiple cards of potential suspects, but he never shows them or does more than pester Tricia, so it’s clear to the reader that our girl is on her own again. Maybe she should stockpile zucchini as a potential defense in the next murder in the series. 

I love the Booktown series, but as I said, I sometimes feel as if there are too many revolving story arcs going on at once. This one has two murders, a home renovation gone mad, an impending wedding, micommunication over bridal showers, x-rated bookstores, secrets of the dead being held captive by Grace even when Tricia asks for help, an estranged mom, the impending murder case against Angelica’s ex, a potential future job for Tricia, her ex’s depression over his job taking a back seat to his family, her other ex moving on, etc. There is no end to all of it. Well, that’s not true. There’s an end to most of it, most importantly, both murders are solved. However, it was clear to me pretty quick who did it. It was also clear to me that the other arcs Barrett started, most are left untied. I am going to hope she ties up all those loose ends with her next book. They are mighty distracting to those who like a nicely tied up package at the end of their book. 

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~ by generationgbooks on June 16, 2017.

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