cover image Not the Killing Type

Not the Killing Type

Lorna Barrett. Berkley Prime Crime, $25.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-425-25222-2

In Barrett’s middling seventh Booktown mystery (after 2012’s Murder on the Half Shelf), Angelica Miles—cookbook author, cafe owner, and sister of mystery bookshop owner Tricia—decides to challenge her former boyfriend, Bob Kelly, in the upcoming election for president of the Stoneham, N.H., chamber of commerce. An unexpected contender for the position is sign store proprietor Stan Berry, but his campaign comes to a premature end when Tricia finds him in the local inn’s restroom, stabbed in the chest with a letter opener. Other complexities include Stan’s questionable choice of reading material as well as Tricia’s stormy interactions with her ex-husband, Christopher, who recently arrived in Stoneham; her erratic relationship with her boyfriend, police chief Grant Baker; and her confusing encounters with Will, Stan’s handsome and estranged son. Illogical behavior as well as the lack of clues to the perpetrator and alternative suspects early in the narrative mar the reader’s enjoyment. Agent: Jessica Faust, BookEnds. (July)