Berkley, Jul 1 2014, $25.95
In Stoneham, New Hampshire, Haven't Got a Clue bookstore owner Tricia “The Town Jinx” Miles finds her latest corpse when a bookcase in the cookery bookstore owned by her sister Chamber of Commerce president Angelica fell on the Chamber’s shrewish secretary Betsy Dittmeyer. However, the cause of death is not from the bookcase, but instead strangulation.
Tricia investigates the murder of the town’s most unpopular person and quickly uncovers an anomaly as the victim possessed plenty of money with no obvious source. Betsy’s computer reveals the most likely basis for this income is Betsy’s incriminating files on Chamber of Commerce members. As she continues her inquiry, two males no longer acceptable in her life (ex-husband Christopher Benson, and her on and off boyfriend Police Chief Grant Baker) pursue Tricia.
The latest Booktown mystery (see Murder on the Half-Shelf and Not the Killing Type) is an engaging tale due to the entertaining small New England town blather that includes series-running questions re the bookstore owning siblings. The amateur sleuthing is fun with plenty of family and professional suspects though the whodunit takes a backseat to the disclosures of top personal secrets; while the two males chasing after Tricia needs to be shelf under stale.