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Month in review

Reviews
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
Big Dog...Little Dog: A Bedtime Story by P.D. Eastman
The Book Stops Here by Kate Carlisle
By Motor to the Golden Gate by Emily Post
Chapter and Hearse by Lorna Barrett
Cleopatra in Space: The Golden Lion by Mike Maihack
Cotton Tenants: Three Families by James Agee
Crafty Cat and the Crafty Camp Crisis by Charise Mericle Harper
Demon, Volume 3 by Jason Shiga
The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews
The Fog by Kyo Maclear
The Great Good Summer by Liz Garton Scanlon
Lumberjanes, Volume 2: Friendship to the Max by Noelle Stevenson
Max Versus The Cube by Hanne Türk
Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle
Once Upon a Thriller by Carolyn Keene
The Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters and Joan Hess
A Perfect Day by Lane Smith
Practical Artistry: Light & Exposure for Digital Photographers by Harold Davis
Race the Night by Kirsten Hubbard Race to the Bottom of the Sea by Lindsay Eagar
Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali
Say No to Murder by Nancy Pickard
Sentenced to Death by Lorna Barrett
Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan
The Stone Warriors by Michael Northrop
The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey
Under the Dragon's Tail by Maureen Jennings
The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang
Watch the Sky by Kirsten Hubbard

Miscellaneous
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 02)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 09)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 16)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 23)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 30)
September 2017 Sources
September 2017 Summary

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Chapter and Hearse: 10/18/17

Chapter and Hearse by Lorna Barrett

Chapter and Hearse by Lorna Barrett is the fourth of the Booktown mystery series. Angelica's cookbook has been published but the big launch party she was hoping to have in Stoneham is a complete bust. As they are putting away the uneaten food, there's a huge bang — the book store next to Angelica's restaurant has exploded, instantly killing the store's owner and injuring Bob — the man who owns most of the stores in the town.

Whenever there's not a body in a murder mystery, I immediately assume that it's a faked death. I'm still holding out for the deceased here to show up in a later book— having ended his money troubles temporarily by faking his death.

But that's not the point here. The point is, someone wanted the bookseller dead and knew that he always took a smoking break at a certain time in a certain place. The gas to his building was tampered with to make the explosion possible.

As seems to be the case in these Booktown mysteries, the death of retailer opens up a neverending flood of bad feelings and dark secrets. The beloved, now dead, towns-member isn't as beloved nor perfect as everyone has pretended — and Tricia has come to believe. Here the animosity is so strong that even the deceased's mother is involved.

It was the rocky (to put it politely) relationship of mother and son that was the most interesting piece of this book. It was also the plot that wasn't explored thoroughly enough. Again, going back to my original theory (the faked death), it was entirely plausible for the mother to have either killed him (as Tricia expects) or for them to have colluded to fake his death for insurance money so that she can travel the world and that he can leave town without having his store foreclosed. Unfortunately none of those things happen.

Instead, the solution comes out of left field. The clues are there too but the red herrings were more interesting and compelling.

Four stars

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