A Crafty Killing (Victoria Square Series #1)

A Crafty Killing (Victoria Square Series #1)

4.3 53
by Lorraine Bartlett

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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.  See more details below


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.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Victoria Square Series, #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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A Crafty Killing (Victoria Square Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The town of McKinlay Mill has not had a murder in over four decades. What it does have is Artisans Alley in which artists rent space to show their works. Ezra Hilton owns the majority of stock with Chad Bonner possessing the remaining ten percent. When Chad died in a car accident, his shares went to his widow Katie who wants nothing to do with the place that siphoned away her savings. Six months later when Katie visits Artisan's Alley she finds Ezra at the bottom of the staircase. The police inform her he was murdered and since she inherited half his shares and his nephew Gerald the remainder, Katie is the majority stockholder. Katie quits her job to manage Artisan Alley hoping to get out of debt so she can sell the place at a profit. A few days later, Peter Ashby, an artist who sells life sized copies of resin statuary Victorian cemetery art is found murdered. The police look at Katie as the prime suspect in both homicides, which spurs her to investigate to clear her name. This opening tale in a small-town amateur sleuth series is a terrific first act. McKinlay Mill is a place where neighbors know each other on a first name basis so that a homicide in the relatively crime free town becomes personalized by all the residents. The cast especially the artisans enhance Katie's investigation with their eccentricities. However, this is Katie's story line as she is the complete protagonist. Katie takes a risk on running something that not too long ago she loathed, but has problems with vendors, bankers, and a killer while the building needs desperate renovation and guilt lingers for just before Chad died she had left him. Harriet Klausner
Hannah_Reed More than 1 year ago
It shouldn't come as a surprise that Lorraine Barrett has perfected the 'craft' of the cozy mystery. She has a lot of fine work behind her, including the Booktown series under her pen name, Lorna Barrett. Protagonist, Katie Bonner, is strong and a smart business woman who isn't afraid to tackle whatever comes her way. And the atmosphere of Artisans Alley made me want to hang out there. Can't wait for the next one!
ElleryAdams More than 1 year ago
Ms. Bartlett has established a plucky, intelligent heroine in Kate Bonner and has surrounded her with a cast of fascinating multi-dimensional characters. Victoria Square is memorable right from the first--a place in which charming shops, vintage treasures, and hidden secrets coexist. I cannot wait for the next installment in the Victoria Square series!
SEA44 More than 1 year ago
Wow she has done it again, I didn't think anything could be better than her Jeff resnick stories, but Lorna has, I read this book in about 4 hours, I just couldn't put it down, if you purchase this book you will not be disappointed.
IngridKing More than 1 year ago
I'm a fan of the Booktown Mystery Series, written by Lorraine Bartlett's alter ego, Lorna Barrett, so I was looking forward to reading this first in her new series. The book features Katie Bonner, a young widow whose husband's business partner is found murdered. The victim was Katie's deceased husband's business partner, Ezra, and much to Katie's surprise, his will designates her as executor of his estate, and she takes on managing Artisan Alley, a collection of booths for artisans and crafters located in a renovated apple warehouse in Western New York. As she digs into the business records, she finds that Artisan Alley is in dire financial straits. As Katie attempts to revive the failing business, she also becomes involved in investigating Ezra's death - and begins to wonder whether perhaps her husband's death was not an accident, as it was ruled. A fast moving plot, an immensely likeable heroine, well-developed secondary characters, a wonderful sense of place, and a fascinating look into some really unique crafts make this a thoroughly enjoyable read. I'm already looking forward to the next one in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I throughly enjoyed this 1st in the series. The characters are delightful and such a mix of personalities. Just started on the 2nd in the series and can't wait for more. Wonderful!
VisionaryMaverick More than 1 year ago
My attention never diverted from the story line. Lots of action from different sources all leading up to an excellent resolution.
NursejujuJH More than 1 year ago
Easy read
wendyf46 More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book and an easy read. Keeps you guessing to the very end. I hope there are many more to come.
readerbynight More than 1 year ago
Review based on pre-release copy: Lorraine Bartlett also writes as Lorna Barrett, accomplished creator of the very popular Booktown series. As Lorraine Bartlett she now has another great cozy series on its way with the new Victorian Square series. "A Crafty Killing" is the 1st in series. There are lots of quirky characters, many equally dedicated characters, and dead bodies are dropping fast. How could so much death suddenly become the main feature of the lowly Artisans Alley? Katie Bonner is the heroine in this new series, thrust suddenly into the fray when she finds herself both the executor and the largest shareholder in the Alley. Her husband who had taken all their savings and bought a partnership in the Alley had left Katie high and dry in their plans to buy a large home at the edge of Victoria Square and run it as a Bed and Breakfast. Every cent was gone, and Katie had not yet forgiven him as he moved out of the apartment and into Artisans Alley, and subsequently was killed in a car accident, leaving her his share in the partnership. She is not impressed with the police involved in solving the murder. Several possibilities for the murderer, but how to sort them out? There are well-fleshed characters and many of them in this first book. Also a few possibilities for romance, but who to trust, that is the biggest question. Too many people are asking questions, not least of which is Gerald, Ezra's nephew and co-heir with Katie. But even he is lied to. As always, Lorraine has dished up a great read and very busy plot, busy in that there are many switches in trust, more murders, lots of action aimed toward Katie, and many different personalities, not all of whom are pleased with Katie's ideas. Wonderfully descriptive, I can picture Victoria Square easily and with the Square on the verge of new awakening, a lot is on the line. There is much more than meets the eye (or ear) as rumors are flying, not to mention all the lies and deflections. What is it with that police officer? Katie would really like to know, but soon she is in jeopardy as more complications arise, and Katie herself has become a suspect and possibly the next victim. I loved this book, a great start for the new year. Lots of guessing as we read along as to who is going to still be around in the next book; just how many murders are there? Are they all murders? Who makes the best villain? When we find out, it is a shock and complete surprise, at least to this reader. Of all the suitors or men appearing to be suitors, will any of them be around in the next book? What games are they all playing? Are any of them really who they seem? Well, we'll have to wait for the next book for some of these answers, but altogether a very exciting and enthusiastic start to this new series. I look forward to seeing these characters grow and new characters arrive. Contains recipes. I forecast another winner for Lorraine and her alter ego Lorna.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
debbieaheaton More than 1 year ago
In Bartlett’s mystery novel, Katie Bonner finds herself the unwilling manager of Artisans Alley after her business partner, Ezra Hilton, is found murdered. Artisans Alley promotes artists efforts and is the main attraction in Victoria Square. But business had been faltering under Ezra’s care and evidently it just might have provoked someone into murdering him. As Katie begins looking into Ezra’s death, she begins to suspect that her husband Chad’s death just might be connected. While the local cops divide their attention among all of their cases, Katie investigates booth by booth at Artisans Alley hoping to find an answer everyone can live with. Interesting plot, great characters—what a great new series A Victoria Square Mystery is!
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Saragypdil More than 1 year ago
Kept my attention and I never figured out who done it until the end. I am going for the next in line Thanks
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nice cozy
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