In this second book of Lorna Barrett's Booktown series, Trisha is celebrating the anniversary of the opening of her bookstore in Stoneham. Stoneham has become a mecca for avid readers, the so-called Booktown, a result of the Chamber of Commerce inviting bookstores to move into an unfilled area of town, bringing in tourism and brighten up the town. Trisha is hosting a book signing for the one-and-only Stoneham celebrity in town, Zoe Carter, a hugely successful author. Toward the end of the event, Zoe is discovered by Tricia as a murder victim on her premises. Anyone who read book #1, "Murder is Binding", will recall that Sheriff Wendy Adams is definitely not friendly nor helpful toward Trisha and forces her out of her store for several days to do her "investigation". Trisha takes refuge in her sister Angelica's Cookbook store/living quarters.
With many people attending the event, there are of course many suspects to go through, and with Trisha anxious to get back into her home and store, and with lack of trust in the Sheriff, she begins her own investigation. During her investigation she finds out more than she wants to know about Zoe, her niece and assistant, friends, and acquaintances around town and soon draws special attention to herself in a near miss accident. The book has many twists and turns, as did Ms. Barrett's first book, and is an entertaining cozy read. It seems that every time Trisha thinks she is getting somewhere, someone else gets hurt with no apparent reason and that includes herself. I love the camaraderie of the booksellers and book clubs, the feel of small town unspoken separation between the originals and the newcomers is comical in its truth. I also got a kick out of the references to the Canada Goose problem around the town; anyone who has ever lived in their migratory route will certainly find the descriptions true to life and laughable in a "you have to laugh or you will cry" type of way. For a light-weight humourous read, fun yet focused, this series fits the bill. As a bonus there are some quick and easy yet tasty recipes at the back. 4 1/2 stars.
(Review revised Mar. 10/10)