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Sunday, August 28, 2016

67) A Crafty Killing by Lorraine Bartlett

The Blurb :

The last thing Katie Bonner wanted was to become the manager of Artisans Alley. But when her business partner, Ezra Hilton, is found bludgeoned to death, she has no other choice. Business under Ezra has been faltering-but was it enough to provoke someone to murder? Only Katie can find the answer.

My Thoughts :

Well August is nearly over and I haven't made much progress reading wise.  Apologies to authors who are waiting for me to review their books!  Maybe don't release in Summer when there are so many other things to do and holidays to be enjoyed!  I did however manage to squeeze in another audio book and because I didn't have any Audible credits I took one from my library that has been waiting for my attention!

I have enjoyed many a book by this author.  Lorraine Barlett's Booktown Mysteries (written under the name Lorna Barrett) is a favourite of mine and I am eagerly awaiting a sequel in the Lotus Bay series.  She has always had some great characters lined up and a great mystery.  So naturally I wanted to try the Victoria Square series and have to say I kept putting it off and this is why I ended up with the audio version.

Now while I love the two series I already mentioned I have to say I am left with mixed feelings about this debut in the series.  I had a very hard time envisioning what Victoria Square and Artisans Alley are supposed to look like.  Despite the descriptions I was left confused about the whole set up and couldn't place everything where it should be.  Which didn't help when following the plot.  This was strange for me because the author has left me with a very vivid idea of how her Booktown location would look and even, after only one installment, the Lotus Bay location.

Another problem I had with this first in the series was the amount of characters involved.  I found it really hard to keep track of the many people who were involved in the story.  I managed to keep the main few characters in check but I couldn't tell you who the others were, why they were involved and where they fit into the Artisan's Alley/Victoria Square concept.

The plot was actually mediocre and not very compelling.  I found I could follow it will no problem despite the location and character confusion.  However it wasn't the most exciting or interesting.  It wasn't bad enough to make me give up but I guess my expectations were higher or I am just used to a different style where this author is concerned.  It didn't feel like the same writer that I have come to like so much.

Despite my less than glowing review I am going to give the second book a chance.  Why?  Because I did actually like the main character and I think the concept shows a lot of promise.  The strength and determination Katie shows to get Victoria Square up to scratch is inspiring and I want to know how she does.  What I am not sure about is if I will listen to the next book.  This means it could take a long time for me to get around to the next installment but the narrator sounded like she had a blocked nose.  This made it sound like Katie was ill with a cold all the time and the other characters too.  It was pretty weird sometimes.  Not at all the quality of audio book I am used to.

In conclusion...not bad but not that good either.  This author has many other great books out there and I guess if you are a fan of her work and love cozies then you won't be able to stay away from this one.  However be aware that this first book in the series isn't totally on par with her other work.  That isn't to say it won't get better.  Who knows, the second part could surprise me!  Only time will tell.

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