Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Review: Sentenced to Death by Lorna Barrett

First a disclosure: Lorna Barrett is a member of the Guppies (see the link on the right) whom I've known for several years. I don't think that influences my opinion of the books she writes, but it might. I borrowed this book from the library based on the fact that I didn't like the last book in this series very much and am reluctant to buy books that I'm not sure I'll want to keep.

In this fifth novel in the Booktown Mystery series, Tricia's friend Deborah is killed when a small plane carrying a banner for the Founder's Day celebration runs out of gas and crashes into the gazebo where she's giving a speech. Everyone in town believes that this is just a tragic accident except Tricia. It doesn't make sense to her that an experienced pilot would forget to put gas in his plane.

Of course, Tricia doesn't sit still or mind her own business. She immediately talks to the NTSB representative sent to investigate the plane crash, persuades the local newspaperman (an ex-boyfriend of hers) to ferret out information, and generally noses about. This leads to the discovery that her friend had lots of secrets. As do others in Stoneham, New Hampshire.

This was a fun read that kept me turning the pages. Tricia's sister, Angelica, makes a perfect sidekick who listens to Tricia's speculations and aids her in the investigation. Although I do miss the antagonism that existed between them in an earlier book, I've come to accept Angelica's new role. Ginny, Tricia's employee at Haven't Got a Clue, the mystery book store she owns, grows and develops in this story. Mr. Everett and Grace put in an appearance.

The primary reason readers come back to a mystery series is to follow the lives of the characters as each mystery is solved. Lorna Barrett has created an ensemble cast that has become a group of old friends we want to keep up with.

Definitely recommended.
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