Description (from cover):
‘Where there’s smoke…
Katie Bonner, the reluctant manager of Artisans Alley in the quaint shopping district of Victoria Square, is no stranger to ambivalence. Things have been going hot and heavy with pizza maker Andy Rust–so much so, that Katie has moved in over his pizza parlor. But now that summer’s ushered in a heat wave, an apartment above pizza ovens without an air conditioner is making Katie hot and bothered.
At the height of the heat wave, a tragic fire strikes Victoria Square, Wood U, a small store selling wooden gifts and small furniture, is destroyed. But the fire may just be a smoke screen–for murder. A body is found among the charred wreckage, and the victim didn’t die from smoke inhalation. He was shot. Now–despite making Detective Ray Davenport hot under the collar–Katie is determined to smoke out a coldhearted killer…’
This was a cute little cozy. Nothing out of the ordinary and what you would expect to read when reading a cozy mystery. It is July in upstate New York and the heat is making everyone miserable. Just spend a summer in North Carolina is what I was thinking the whole time reading this. You think humidity is bad in New York, try the South in July. Ugh. I am majorly dreading that. Anyways, besides the whining about the heat and humidity, it was a good mystery. Not a whole lot of suspects and clues, but enough to keep me interested. The ending was no big surprise, but not a easily figured out solution either.
There was one thing that really drove me nuts with this one. In here one of the main character’s friends is a lawyer and she presses him for attorney-client information to help solve her case. Thankfully, the attorney in this book remains mum on his client’s secrets, but I was seriously freaking out the whole time that conversation was going on. I work for an attorney and in the ‘real world’ an attorney would be disbarred for divulging his client’s information. That bothered me a little because it was a little unrealistic, but nevertheless something that caught my attention.
I like the characters and the small town setting in this series. Lorraine Bartlett and her aliases are always a treat to read and I can’t wait for the next one in this series to be released as well as her Booktown Mystery series, which happens to be one of my favorites. If you enjoy your cozies cute, sweet and with a little romance in between, I think you would enjoy this series. This one doesn’t necessarily have to be read in order, but if you’re anything like me, you will start with book one.
Overall Rating: 3.5
Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.