A Berkley Prime Crime publication
Review based on Advance Reading Copy (ARC)
Third in the Victoria Square Mystery Series, this book does not disappoint, in fact if anything, it surpasses with a mysterious fire and death in Artisans Alley. As Katie's mind races between one suspect and another, one victim and another, the reader is hard put to try and outguess the protagonist. With her keen sense of intuition, she needs to talk her ideas out with someone. What a time for Detective Davenport to retire! So many loose threads, but who is holding the winning one, the one with the right answers? Why did two men disappear at the same time, with one body left behind at Artisans Alley? Katie has two many suspects and too many victims. But Detective Davenport does not go lightly into the sunset but is actively hoping to solve this last case before his official retirement date and time. Who died in the Wood U fire?
Another thorn in Katie's side, she has once again seen her dreams of owning the Webster Mansion to a new buyer. Turning to Seth, her lawyer friend, she finds no answers but more questions, but on meeting the new owners, she finds that they have a lot of ideas similar to her own, and even better, she really likes them. But can she part with all her stored treasures she bought in anticipation of turning the house into the English Ivy Inn?
In this sizzling early summer heat, tempers flare, strange things are happening at the Alley, and the air conditioner is ill-equipped for both the extreme temperatures and the size of the building. Going home at the end of the day to her room over the pizza parlor is no better. Emotions run high, and dealing with Ida's frustrating personality has driven her to remove her from the Alley. A decision that will come back to haunt her.
Once more Lorraine Bartlett has given us a very hot mystery to keep us guessing. A large part of the charm of the Victoria Square Mystery Series is the camaraderie shared by so many mainstays in the series, and that charm continues. Well-written as always, introducing new characters and perhaps a new direction, this book will certainly keep our brain cells cooking! With Katie's mind going in so many directions, there are twists and turns galore. Recipes included.