cover image A Killer Edition: A Booktown Mystery

A Killer Edition: A Booktown Mystery

Lorna Barrett. Berkley Prime Crime, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-9848-0272-9

The residents of Stoneham, N.H., a book lover’s dream village, are gearing up for the Great Booktown Bake-Off in Barrett’s charming 13th Booktown mystery (after 2018’s Poisoned Pages). Even Tricia Miles, who owns the mystery bookstore Haven’t Got a Clue, decides to enter the contest, not that she’s a master baker. Boredom has set in since she promoted the efficient Pixie Poe to assistant manager, so Tricia is looking for new hobbies, including gardening. When Tricia and fellow shopkeeper Joyce Widman find the body of irascible Vera Olson in Joyce’s garden, a “pitchfork thrust through its midsection,” Tricia once again turns amateur sleuth. What at first appears to be a matter of tension between Vera and a neighbor leads Tricia to a more serious matter that involves pure greed and would anger a lot of people. Appealing characters and the picture of small-town life offset the weak resolution. Scrumptious cupcake recipes round out the volume. Cozy fans will be pleased. Agent: Jessica Faust, BookEnds. (Aug.)