Berkley, Nov 2009, $7.99
The town of Stoneham, New Hampshire is a quiet quaint place in which tourists who love to read visit the numerous bookstores as much as go on foliaging treks to see the leaves change colors. Tricia Miles owns the Haven’t Got a Clue bookstore. She has an awkward problem as her college roommate Pammy Fredericks came to stay for the weekend, but has extended her visit to two weeks with the end nowhere in sight.
Sick of Pammy’s laziness, her theft of $100 and her freeloading, Tricia finally tells her to leave her home and business. Pammy gets a job at her sister’s bookstore Booked for Lunch. When Tricia goes to the dumpster with trash, she notices Pammy in a can with a bag around her head. Captain Grant Baker leads the homicide investigation. He and Tricia go to the victim’s car to see if anything was stolen. Nothing seems out of place, but soon afterward Tricia gets creepy phone calls from someone using a voice alteration device; the person demands she hand over the diary. Tricia ignores the caller as she is clueless to whatever the person refers too. That changes when pellets are shot through her home window. The captain warns her to stay out of the way, but Tricia seeks the diary and subsequently the killer.
This is one amateur sleuth whodunit that would be a crime for cozy lovers to ignore due to quirky characters bringing alive the New England change of seasons while concealing secrets inside of a the bucolic colorful town. The story line provides a taste of small town New Hampshire living with a heroine who seems to have as many corpses as she has books (a bit of an exaggeration). Loran Barrett provides her fans with a BOOKPLATE SPECIAL as the feisty heroine is BOOKMARKED FOR DEATH if she fails to hand over to an unknown adversary what she does not have or know what it is.