Title: Dead in Red
Author: L.L. Bartlett
Website of Author: http://www.LLBartlett.com; http://lornabarrett.com/
Publisher: Penguin Group
Website of Publisher: http://us.penguingroup.com
Genre: Mystery Suspense
Publication Date: April 1, 2008
ISBN: Paperback: 978-0-425-21958-4; eBook: 9781436204217
Length: 288 pages
Format: eBook, Print
Reviewer: Lucille P Robinson http://www.lucilleperkinsrobinson.com
Tricia Miles was one of many book store owners who had been enticed to open a store in Stoneham, New Hampshire as a means to bring in tourists. When she opened her mystery book store next door to The Cookery, Cook Book store and met the all the other book store owners and experienced the slow and easy living prevalent in the quiet town she welcomed the new life feeling she’d found her niche in the world. Soon her world fell apart.
It all started with the murder of The Cookery’s owner, Doris Gleason. From then on the citizens of Stoneham regarded Tricia as the killer. Distrust and curiosity met her in the eyes of every customer that visited her store. Even people of the town who’d never came into the shop, visited her just to see her because Doris’s murder was the first murder in ten years and they just had to see the murderer face to face. When the sheriff acted as though her mind was already settled on Tricia being the murderer, Tricia knew she would have to solve the crime or end up in prison. One would think a mystery book lover and store owner would know what to do. She knew what Miss Marple would do. Question the suspects. Her questioning everyone that even knew Doris
Gleason stirred a cauldron of activity that threatened her life even before the courts ever had a chance to try her and send her to prison. Too many deceptive people. Who to trust?
Was the murderer Bob Kelly, the real estate man who’d convinced all the book store owners to open in Stoneham? Had he killed her because Doris was refusing to pay the higher rent and he’d decided the bookstore would have to close? Was Doris’s sister, Deirdre, the killer who didn’t want to wait for Doris to die to inherit her bookstore? Was it Mike Harris, the young man is trying to get elected as the next Stoneham selectman? Could the killer be any one of a handful of women who’d known Doris and never bothered to try to hide the fact they didn’t like her? Then another woman is killed just minutes after being seen with Tricia and the screws of accusations tighten.
You’ve got to read the book. Lorna Barrett weaves a marvelous tale of murder and suspense with twists and turns that fully satisfies even the most skeptical of mystery lovers. At first I thought this had to be a boringly quiet mystery such as the ones written eons ago. Not so, however, tension builds steadily and even more so when Tricia is in the presence of the real killer and she doesn’t know it. You won’t be disappointed.
Lorna Barrett is the nom de plume of author Lorraine Bartlett. Lorraine’s other alter ego, L.L. Bartlett, writes psychological suspense and the Jeff Resnick mystery series. She’s done it all, from drilling holes for NASA to typing scripts in Hollywood, and lives a life of crime in western New York. Her first sales were to the confession magazine market. In all, she’s sold nine short stories, including one on Amazon Shorts.