A New Hampshire bookstore owner who specializes in mysteries finds yet another one outside the pages.
Tricia Miles is considered the town jinx because she’s always finding dead bodies. This time the victim is Betsy Dittmeyer, the nasty receptionist for the Stoneham Chamber of Commerce. Betsy seems to have been crushed by a bookcase, but she was actually strangled in the storeroom of the cookery bookstore owned by Tricia’s sister, Angelica. Alas, Betsy was loved by no one, not even her sister, Joelle, or her ex-husband, Jerry, and Tricia’s snooping turns up a lot of nasty secrets. Betsy, who was surprisingly wealthy, planned to cut her sister out of her will. The source of her wealth is a puzzle until Tricia finds a list of Chamber of Commerce members hidden on Betsy’s computer, along with appended information that could be a rich source for blackmail. She also learns that Betsy and Jerry had a child who died and that she was a hoarder whose house is packed to the rafters with junk. Angelica, who’s recently become president of the Chamber of Commerce, is desperately seeking a new office because the outgoing president, her former lover Bob Kelly, owns most of the real estate in town. When she does find a house, it turns out to have been another of Betsy’s rentals. Naturally, it’s also full of junk; not so naturally, it contains more than $40,000 in cash. Through it all, Tricia must deal with her former husband, who wants her back, and the chief of police, with whom she has a rocky relationship. And at long last, she also learns the real reason her mother never loved her.
Not as good as Tricia’s last (Not the Killing Type, 2013), perhaps because the mystery seems to be an afterthought. But the gossipy personal revelations about the locals will delight fans.