A CRAFTY KILLING
(February 1, 2011)
“One of the best books of 2011!”
– Suspense Magazine
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 applesauce factory building, 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?
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.
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“One of the best books of 2011.”
“Lorna Barrett’s Booktown Mysteries have enthralled readers everywhere. Now writing as Lorraine Bartlett, the author introduces Katie Bonner and her wonderful new Victoria Square Mystery series. With all the excitement, humor, and surprises you’ve come to expect from the Booktown series, Bartlett starts the new Victoria Square series off with a can’t-miss hit!”
–Julie Hyzy, author of the Barry and Anthony award-winning White House Chef Mysteries and the Manor House Mysteries.
“Katie’s native investigative skills match her burgeoning penchant for management, and she is able to orchestrate an artful conclusion. Bartlett has crafted an ingenious venue for her wonderful new series.”
–Mystery Scene Magazine
“A CRAFTY KILLING is the first in a new series and it begins with a bang! I can’t wait to see the next one. Katie is a likeable character with her quirky candy eating and her huge heart. The story line weaves you through multiple people’s lives and leaves open going back into the past, or moving forward. Lorraine Bartlett is an excellent writer, portraying perfect pictures with her words that the reader just steps in and becomes part of the story with ease. This will be a series to watch!”
— The Romance Readers Connection
“A Crafty Killing is a fantastic start to a new cozy series. Ms. Bartlett has created a warm, inviting town where everyone is on a first name basis and murder is a rarity. The characters are quirky, yet relatable. They are begging to tell you the rest of their story. Ms. Bartlett has laid the perfect groundwork for future books in this series that introduces us to Katie and the people who sell their wares at Artisans Alley. Will Katie run Artisans Alley long enough to turn it around and sell it for her dream B&B, or has she found a new dream? A Crafty Killing kept my attention from the very first word until I turned the last page. The red herrings were aplenty, and the killer a complete surprise. Ms. Bartlett has created a crafty tale that must be read.
—The Best Reviews
“A fun, new mystery with a cast of charming characters…readers will look forward to more with Katie and the artisans from Artisan Alley.”
—The Mystery Reader
“A sweet new mystery series by a top-notch author who writes under a few pen names. Katie is a likable heroine, fallible yet strong, tough but tender. A great book for readers looking for something light—and who also look for happy endings. I expect this series to go on for a long time.”
“This opening tale in a small-town amateur sleuth series is a terrific first act.”
—Genre Go Round
“Fun plot, fanciful characters, really fabulous crafts. A palette of colorful characters and enticing crafts. Bartlett put her art and soul into this mystery!
—Laura Child, author of The Teaberry Strangler, and the rest of the Tea Shop Mysteries
“A quaint town square, crafters, quirky characters, and dead bodies. A Crafty Killing is sure to be a winner.”
–Maggie Sefton, author of Skein of Death and the rest of the Knitting Mysteries
“In A Crafty Killing, Lorraine Bartlett has turned out a smoothly written, twisty tale full of memorable characters in a winning setting. I couldn’t put it down and now I can’t wait for the next one.” –Mary Jane Maffini, author of Closet Confidential and all the Charlotte Adams Mysteries
“A co-op of artisans, one disgruntled artist, and a desperate artifice – the perfect canvas for murder. Lorraine Bartlett’s characters come alive in this tightly crafted, suspenseful plot that grips the reader’s attention right up to the satisfying conclusion. –Kate Collins, author of Dirty Rotten Tendrils and the rest of The Flower Shop Mysteries
“Ms. Bartlett has established a plucky, intelligent heroine in Kate Bonner and has surrounded her with a cast of fascinating multi-dimensional characters. Victoria Square is memorable right from the first–a place in which charming shops, vintage treasures, and hidden secrets coexist. I cannot wait for the next installment in the Victoria Square series!”
–Ellery Adams, author of A Killer Plot the Books By The Bay Mysteries
“Are you thinking maybe Andy Rust killed Ezra?” Seth shook his head, cutting another piece of pie with his fork. “Why would he wait for a decade and a half for revenge? If he held a grudge, and I don’t think he did, why did he wait a year before killing Ezra?”
“To avert suspicion?” Katie asked.
“You’ve been watching too many TV cop shows,” Seth said, amused.
Katie scraped another thin layer of chocolate and peanut butter onto her fork, trying to prolong the culinary decadence. “I did warn you I’ve spent the last few days thinking everyone’s a murderer.”
“You might be looked at as a suspect yourself,” Seth admonished.
Katie gaped at him. “Me?”
“You had the most to gain. Or at least that’s the way Detective Davenport’s going to look at it.”
“Me?” Katie echoed again.
“Think of it from a police perspective. Because of Chad’s ten percent investment, when you inherit half the business, you’ll gave the majority interest, meaning you get to call the shots. You got to quit a job you didn’t like, and as the owner of your own business you get more respect, more prestige. People have been killed for a lot less. I wouldn’t be surprised if Gerald Hilton hasn’t already mentioned all this to Detective Davenport. Your favorite cop may also think you’re feeding him all your suspicions to throw him off the track.”
“That’s ridiculous. I’m trying my darndest just to keep Artisans Alley afloat. If you want suspicious, why hasn’t anyone seen Gerald Hilton since last Saturday?”
“This morning—he came to my office. He wants me to persuade you to sell the land to the hotel chain.”
“And you didn’t tell me?” Katie asked, forgetting about dessert and setting her fork aside.
“How is it relevant?”
“Oh, Seth—it proves he’s got a motive for getting rid of his uncle. You said Ezra changed his will in a hurry. Had Gerald been the sole heir before that?”
Seth nodded. “I see what you mean.” He polished off the last of his pie. “I wouldn’t worry about any of this, Katie. Stay focused on keeping Artisans Alley open—if that’s what you want.”