Sunday, January 12, 2014

Review: Not the Killing Type by Lorna Barrett

Not the Killing Type (Booktown Mystery #7)
by Lorna Barrett
Release Date: July 2, 2013
2013 Berkley
Hardcover Edition; 320 Pages
ISBN: 978-0425252222
Genre: Fiction / Cozy Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher

3.5 / 5 Stars

It’s November in Stoneham, New Hampshire, and that means it’s time for the Chamber of Commerce elections. The race is already a bit heated, as the long-standing Chamber president is being challenged by a former lover—Tricia’s own sister, Angelica. Then local small business owner Stan Berry throws his hat in the ring.

Unfortunately, it’s not there for long when he’s found murdered in the Brookview Inn. The murder weapon is a brass letter opener belonging to the inn’s receptionist. Tricia knows there’s no way the receptionist is a killer. And when Angelica asks Tricia to help clear her name and win the election, she sees little choice except to start snooping.

She soon uncovers a ballot box full of lies and betrayals, and a chamber full of people who had grudges against the victim. But were they serious enough to lead to murder? And who truly had something to gain? Tricia will have to do some serious sleuthing before she pulls the lever on a killer.

My Thoughts
Not the Killing Type is the seventh book in the Booktown Mysteries and while the writing, and the plot, were still interesting, and many of the characters developed quite nicely, it was the main character, Tricia, whom I thought was the most interesting, but it was also her character I had the most problems with in this installment.

This mystery centers around the Chamber of Commerce elections, which gets especially interesting when a third candidate is nominate for the position of president, and is then subsequently murdered.  Naturally, it is Tricia who finds the dead body, putting her sister Angelica into the position of suspect yet again, forcing Tricia into the position of amateur sleuth, searching for clues amongst the rather fascinating residents of Stoneham.  The interactions between Tricia and the other characters are often a delight and I have developed a real fondness for Pixie, Tricia's shop assistant.  Her brash manner and insightful, yet untimely, comments are downright funny.  

I thought the development, or perhaps lack thereof, in Tricia's love life was quite interesting.  There was a bit of a twist to Tricia's life that I wasn't quite expecting, and although I thought the twist was great, I don't think the author really did enough with it in this novel.  I realize that it's probably leading up to events in the next couple of books, but I just felt that the chemistry? zing? something was missing in these events.  And to be honest, I really wasn't all that sympathetic to Tricia's plight because of this - I was more like, get on with it and quit moping around.  And I don't think that was the emotion the author was trying to get across.  I think she was trying to show that Tricia was going through a difficult point in her life, and needed a support system of her own, but so much was happening around her that she was kind of being overlooked.  It just didn't come across that way. 

As always, there were a few surprises and twists in terms of the murder.  I did manage to figure out who the murderer was, but I guessed incorrectly as to the reasons.  There are also a couple of yummy recipes included at the back of the book if you like to cook, one of which I am going to try myself.  

Not the Killing Type is another good mystery in the Booktown series.  I enjoyed learning more about the various characters and reading about their lives. The writing style was good and the plot was interesting.  While I have enjoyed this series very much, in all fairness, I don't think this was my favourite one of the series. It's not that I didn't enjoy it, I did, but I just felt that something was missing from this one.  However, I am still looking forward to the next book in this series, Book Clubbed (July 2014), as I am curious as to what will happen with Tricia's love life and how she will deal with her melancholy.  And who will she find next?


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