One Hot Murder is the third book in the charming Victoria Square mystery series by Lorraine Bartlett, but in the interest of full disclosure, despite the adorable cover, this is not a cat-themed book. The protagonist, Katie Bonner, shares her apartment with two cats, and they’re mentioned briefly here and there in the book. I will admit that the cute cover reeled me in at the bookstore, and despite the lack of cats in this book, I loved it, and wanted to share it with you. Additionally, I’m a big fan of Lorraine Bartlett, who, writing under the name Lorna Barrett, is also the author of the Booktown Mystery series, featuring Miss Marple the bookstore cat.
From the publisher:
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…
Lorraine Bartlett always delivers. A likeable heroine, an interesting setting with a wondeful sense of place, and a fast moving plot that keeps you guessing makes this book a highly entertaining read. And while I wished the two cats would make more than just cameo appearances, they still added to my enjoyment of this delightful mystery. Fans of cozy mysteries will enjoy this book, and if you’ve never read any of Lorraine Bartlett/Lorna Barrett’s mysteries, this one will definitely get you hooked on this prolific author’s unique voice.
I received a review copy from the author. Receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.