Monday, September 5, 2011

Review: Sentenced to Death

Summary: As the owner of Stoneham, New Hampshire's mystery bookstore Haven't Got a Clue, Tricia Miles can figure out whodunit in the latest bestseller long before she gets to the last page. But when her friend is killed in a freak accident, Tricia must use her sleuthing skills to solve a murder mystery that promises to be much more sinister than the books on her shelves. -- Berkley Prime Crime

Talk about a cute idea for a cozy mystery series! The Booktown Mysteries sound positively adorable. Or should I say the small New Hampshire town that this series takes place in sounds like somewhere I'd love to visit? The setting of this series is in  Stoneham, New Hampshire, and this little town has a collection of specialty bookstores. The main character and resident amateur sleuth, Tricia Miles, owns and operates the mystery bookstore Haven't Got a Clue. And somehow she always seems to find herself in the middle of the town's murder mysteries.

I'm a bit surprised that it's taken me this long to read one of these books because I do love the premise, but once again I find myself a little late to the game with a series. SENTENCED TO DEATH by Lorna Barrett is actually the fifth book in the Booktown Mystery series (see...I'm not that far behind in this one!) and I was happy to learn that I didn't have any problems catching up with the characters' personal lives. Nor did I feel like I was missing much by not reading the other four books first.

In SENTENCED TO DEATH, Tricia watches as her good friend and fellow store manager Deborah dies when a small airplane crashes into the gazebo where she is giving a speech. By all accounts, it appears to be an accident; however, Tricia suspects that there is more to it. She begins investigating and discovers some surprising facts about her friend and her personal life. In addition, she uncovers a pretty complex and evil plan surrounding Deborah's death.

SENTENCED TO DEATH was a fun read for me, and it pretty much encompassed all those elements that I've come to expect from these series. There was a very likable main character, a good supporting cast, some humor, an intriguing mystery, a little romance, and a great setting. While I liked a lot of Tricia's friends, I especially appreciated her sister Angelica. Angelica has a great personality (with lots of spunk) and she owns a restaurant near Tricia's bookstore. I can't lie when I tell you that I love that this series has references to books and food -- it doesn't get much better than that! In addition, the author even included a couple of bonus recipes in the back of the book.

Because SENTENCED TO DEATH is a cozy, I didn't spend much time trying to solve the mystery. I usually save that for longer mystery and/or suspense novels. I will say that I found the mystery to have quite a few twists and some very credible suspects; and I was kept in the dark until the ending was revealed. Overall, I'd say that I was satisfied with the mystery and its resolution.

I am glad to have discovered another cute mystery series with SENTENCED TO DEATH, and I recommend it to fans of cozies as well as book and food lovers.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


Kaye said...

I've read this series except for the last one. The dumpster diving one kind of turned me off so I haven't pursued the latest. Glad to see you enjoyed it though.

I wish there were a town like this but in FL!

Beth F said...

I've had this series on my list -- glad to know that it's good for us cozy lovers. Also good to know that you can start late in the series and not be lost.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read a cozy mystery in a while but this seroes sounds like one I'd really enjoy. Thanks for the heads up!

bermudaonion said...

This sounds really cute! I love cozies and I agree they aren't all about the mystery, so it's fun to sit back and watch it all unfold.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Very cute idea for a cozy! And books and food: hard to beat!

Swapna said...

Oh I love bookstore cozies! I wasn't aware of this series before, but I'll have to pick these books up.

Serena said...

Interesting idea for a series of mystery books, but I wonder how many murder mysteries can be in a small town in NH...perhaps...she will branch out to other murder mysteries. :)

Jenn's Bookshelves said...

The first book in this series is the first book I ever bought from my local indie :) Now...I just need to make the time to read the series :)

Karlie said...

This sounds cute!