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Sentenced to Death: 10/11/17

Sentenced to Death by Lorna Barrett

Sentenced to Death by Lorna Barrett is the fifth of the Booktown Mysteries and the last audiobook to be narrated by Cassandra Campbell. There was a change in audiobook publisher from Penguin to Tantor and they each have their own talent. I do plan to continue on with the series as audiobooks, so I will be listening to Karen White's performances going forward.

In previous books, the murders all happened in close proximity to Tricia or her sister's stores. This one has an unexpected opening, with the town gathered for a Founders' Day celebration. Bob who seems to be the voice for the Town Selectmen has hired a plane to carry a banner for the event. And then things go horribly wrong and a local shopkeeper ends up dead.

Given how the town is described, especially this time with the careful attention to detail on the town gazebo, I realized that I've been imagining Stoneham as Stars Hollow, and Bob as Taylor Doose. Oh well — such is my imagination.

Sentenced to Death was a more compelling mystery because the deaths were even to the most detail oriented, due to a tragic accident. Also death by plane in front of an entire town is more methodical than a crime of passion. All those details make for lots of interesting questions and out of the box thinking.

The tragic side of things though, is how is left behind. In the first book, there's a sister and a daughter (who is only mentioned but never seen). In the second there's a niece and a daughter but the niece is ambivalent and the daughter is again not really part of the story. The third book involves an out of town person, apparently adrift. The fourth one had a lover to grieve and a mother who was more relieved than sad at her son's passing. Not this time, though. This time, the dead person leaves behind a toddler son and a grieving mother / grandmother. Their mourning adds poignancy to Sentenced to Death.

Five stars

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