With Baited Breath by Lorraine Bartlett
The reason for the murder in the book is anything but soft and cozy it is all too real, sad, and frightening.
Tori Cannon and her grandfather, Herb, return from her grandmother’s funeral, and it’s with sadness that she learns the bait shop and small motel they ran has fallen on hard times. Jammed into one of the motel’s units is the body of one of Herb’s customers, his mouth filled with spikes.
The victim had no enemies, except for the rich woman who wanted to level his eyesore of a home. But he’s also got a daughter who’s resentful her father wasn’t a major force in her life, and friends who were anything but.
Tori’s friend, Kathy, arrives to help spruce up the property, and the two of them find themselves mixed up in the petty jealousies and deadly consequences that murder entails. Can they save the bait shop and find a murderer or will they, too, sleep with the fishes?
About Lorraine Bartlett:
The immensely popular Booktown Mystery series is what put Lorraine Bartlett’s pen name Lorna Barrett on the New York Times Bestseller list, but it’s her talent — whether writing as Lorna, or L.L. Bartlett, or Lorraine Bartlett — that keeps her there.
This multi-published, Agatha-nominated author pens the exciting Jeff Resnick Mysteries as well as the acclaimed Victoria Square Mystery series and has many short stories and novellas to her name(s).
Check out the links to all her works here: http://www.lorrainebartlett.com
Review by Drebbles:
Tori Cannon has returned to Lotus Bay for her grandmother’s funeral and, because she is at a crossroads in her life, she decides to stay with her grandfather for a while. She is saddened to see how run down her grandfather’s bait shop, motel, and house have become and, with the help of her friend Kathy Grant, tries to spruce up the place with the idea of opening the hotel up again.
Much to her dismay her grandfather has other ideas but Tori doesn’t have much time to dwell on her problems – a murder victim has been found in one of the hotel units. Tori and Kathy get caught up in solving not only that mystery but the mystery surrounding an abandoned house Kathy is hoping to buy. The two of them need to be careful or they too will be bait for a killer.
With Baited Breath is the nicely done first novel in the Lorraine Bartlett’s Lotus Bay cozy mystery series. Since this is the first book in the series, in some ways it acts just to set up the characters – Tori, her grandfather, Kathy, Annisa, and Noreen – and this is perfectly done. By the end of the book I felt like I knew all the characters, especially Tori and Kathy, and Lotus Bay itself.
I love the Lotus Bay setting and wish I could visit there myself. I also love the characters especially Tory and Kathy but I really like Anissa. She has a bit of an edge to her and takes some getting used to as a character but she adds a nice bit of sharpness to the book.
Again, because this is the first book in the series and sets up the background for future books, some things in the book are resolved a bit too neatly (although what happens to Tori’s grandfather towards the end of the book did make me smile- if only I could be that lucky in real life!) however the reason for the murder in the book is anything but soft and cozy it is all too real, sad, and frightening.
This plot-line was particulary well done by Lorraine Bartlett.