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One Hot Murder: 09/02/21
One Hot Murder by Lorraine Bartlett is the third book in the Victoria Square mystery series. It's Katie Bonner's first summer running Artisan's Alley and it's a scorcher. On one particularly hot muggy night Wood U catches fire and a body is found inside.
Katie is roped in by circumstance to figure out who died Wood U. Is it the owner? Is it someone else? The uncertain identity of the deceased gives One Hot Murder a similar thematic feel to Among the Departed by Vicki Delany (2011). Both mysteries bring up the uncomfortable realities of troubled family lives.
Katie, though, has a few extra mysteries to solve. There's a thief in Artisan's Alley. There's a missing delivery person. There's a new owner to the B&B Katie wants to own. All of these smaller questions keep her busy but do come together to build a fuller understanding of what happened the night of the fire.
The best part of this volume was the oppressive summer atmosphere. Every scene is punctuated by the heat or by how well the air conditioning works. The heat gives a sense of urgency to Katie's tasks and to the need to solve the murder.
The fourth book is Dead, Bath, and Beyond (2016)