Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Walled Flower-Lorraine Bartlett

The Walled Flower

Lorraine Bartlett

Berkley, Feb 7 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780425246160

Near Rochester, New York in McKinlay Mill, without discussing it with his wife Katie, Chad Bonner bought ownership of the Artisans Alley craft fare. Soon afterward he died in a car crash leaving her stuck with a money guzzler and the death of her dream to renovate the Webster mansion into a B&B (see A Crafty Killing).

Katie visits Toby and Janice Ryan, who now own “her” mansion, which they are converting into a B&B. She asks if she can use their sledgehammer to smash a wall, which the couple agree to let her do. When Katie opens up a wall, they find female remains. Detective Ray Davenport leads the investigation into who buried Heather Winston inside that wall twenty-two years ago. However, Heather’s only living relative, septuagenarian Rose Nash pleads with Katie to help her solve the truth as both ladies know cantankerous Davenport will do nothing. Moving in ten days with no place to go to yet, seeing her boyfriend Andy Rust the pizza king sporadically and trying to be supportive matron of honor to bridezilla, Katie agrees to investigate.

This is an entertaining regional cozy as Katie and Rose work a cold case (Davenport led the missing person’s inquiry over two decades ago) that turns contemporary deadly with the murder of Heather’s childhood BFF Barbie. Although there is too much going on from the Artisans Alley disputes and friendships to the bride’s demands to the interesting romance and finally to the homicide with links to Hollywood, fans will still take pleasure with the second Victoria Square mystery as agreeable Katie who never says no never sleeps.

Harriet Klausner

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