A Crafty Killing (A Victoria Square Mystery #1)
by Lorraine Bartlett
The last thing Katie Bonner wanted was to become the manager of Artisans Alley. But when her business partner, Ezra Hilton, is found bludgeoned to death, she has no other choice. Business under Ezra has been faltering-but was it enough to provoke someone to murder? Only Kate can find the answer.
My Thoughts: Every time I read a cozy I’m tempting to just put off all other genres for the next year and read cozy after cozy. Several years ago I probably would have done that, now that my shelves are sagging under the weight of all the books I’ve been waiting to read I just can’t do that. I still can’t fathom that there was a time when I didn’t have anything good to read and when I would just re-read all my old favorites over and over and over again.
A Crafty Killing is a great first in the series, as we join Katie in the next phase of her life. Which I really liked, because with some first in a series (especially in cozies) it feels like we’re arriving mid-story, almost as if we aren’t starting with the first book but the third. In this book though, the reader learns along with Katie about the going ons at Victoria Square and just what it’ll take for her to take over Artisans Alley.
The setting is as cute and cozy as could be, with great side characters. I need and require cute and quirky secondary characters, and Bartlett (who also writes under the name Lorna Barnett) is very good at casting her cozy towns. Because it’s the first in the series, there’s still lots of characters that can be saved for future books, because while there are lots of artists at the Artisans Alley, we only meet a handful in A Crafty Killing. Thankfully, because otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to keep all the characters straight in my head!
I did suspect who the killer was, but I wasn’t positive until the end. And that’s a good thing, you don’t ever want to be so surprised by who the killer is that you get mad at the author for completely making up the ending. Katie was a great heroine, but I’m still getting to know her. I found her a little too trusting in some ways, and then completely non-trusting the very next scene. But I think it’s human nature to be contrary, and I’m certainly a contrary Katie myself, so this works for me.
I was lucky enough to purchase a signed copy, and even got to chat with the author, and I will definitely be continuing with this series. If you like cozies, or just want to try one out, then I’d recommend A Crafty Killing!
A Crafty Killing gets a Midnight Book Rating of:
The cover gets a Midnight Book Cover Rating of:
I love cozy covers, and although it took me a bit to understand why the heck the cat was on there, eventually I understood. And I’m a sucker for cats on book covers!