Sunday, 21 December 2014
Book Review No 13: A Crafty Killing by Lorraine Bartlett (cozy time!)
Here's the blurb from the back:
Murder is right up her alley... The last thing Katie Bonner wanted was to become the manager of Artisans Alley. But when her business partner, Ezra Hilton, is found lying at the bottom of a staircase, bludgeoned to death, she has no other choice. A collection of booths for artisans and craft sellers in a renovated apple warehouse, Artisans Alley is the main attraction in the quaint Victoria Square shopping area. But business under Ezra had been faltering - enough to provoke someone to murder?
Katie has had more than her fair share of death - her late husband (and Ezra's former partner), Chad, died in a car accident six months ago. But as she digs deeper into Ezra's murder, her husband's death starts to look suspicious. While the cops are proceeding by the book, Katie is investigating by the booths - for the answer to the killer's identity lies in the hidden secrets of Artisans Alley itself.
First things first, the name Artisans Alley really doesn't trip off the tongue. And when it's used in conjunction with the possessive (ie Artisans Alley's), it becomes even more of a tongue-twister. Well, it does for me; perhaps the author could have the new manager rename her business venture, just to make me happy. So, that's my first complaint. Secondly, I'm not sure I really liked the characters; however, I already own the next book in the series so I'm willing to reserve judgement for now and give them one more try (kind, aren't I?!)
But, on the plus side, the story is strong. It's not a light-hearted cutesy cozy, having its dark moments and that certainly helps it stand out from the crowd a little. The characters, although possibly not to my immediate liking, are strong and certainly look like they have plenty of room to develop as the series continues. The setting is interesting too, even if the name is awkward.
So, it's probably a 6.5 out of 10 for this one, with some judgement reserved til I read the next one in the series, which will probably be some time in 2015!