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A Crafty Killing (Victoria Square Series #1)

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Overview

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.
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A Crafty Killing (Victoria Square Series #1)

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Overview

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.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425239858
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/1/2011
  • Series: Victoria Square Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 293,752
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 53 )
Rating Distribution

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(31)

4 Star

(14)

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(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 53 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This opening tale in a small-town amateur sleuth series is a terrific first act

    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

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2011

    The Queen of Cozy Mysteries

    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!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2010

    This is the start of something wonderful

    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!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2011

    Highly recommend

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A wonderful new series

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I loved this book, a great start for the new year.

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 2, 2012

    In Bartlett¿s mystery novel, Katie Bonner finds herself the unwi

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    love this author

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2013

    Chapter One ~ Part One ~ Twili's POV

    My life changed forever on September 15, 2009. I was eleven years old. It was deep night, and everyone was asleep. At least Kenzie, Mom, and Dad. I was staring up at the ceiling, waiting for the time to wake up. All I could hear was my breath going in and out. Starlight bathed my room. A door creaked open, not too far from my loft bed. I thought it was just Kenzie getting some water or something. But I was wrong. Footsteps tiptoed throughout my room, and a tall figure looked at me. I closed my eyes quickly, feigning sleep. It was obviously Stella. I heard a scribbling on a peice of paper, then a creaking. Stella looked at me one more time, and creaked out of the room. She swept down the stairs. I sat up as soon as I knew she was gone. Staring out the window, I saw a figure running through the night outside. Moonlight shone on my desk, and I could see a sticky note stuck to the screen of my computer. I crept down the ladder, careful not to wake anybody. I grabbed my flashlight from the drawers filled with stuff, and went over to my desk. The note read, in Stella's scrawled writing, TWILI, I AM LEAVING TO FIND SOMETHING I HAD LOST. I WILL WRITE. WRITE BACK SOON. SEND A LETTER BY ZEL. ILL SEND ONE BY SKYE. -STELLA. That was just the start of my adventure.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2012

    Great read

    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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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2012

    I throughly enjoyed this 1st in the series. The characters are d

    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!

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  • Posted April 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    more crafts!

    Having lost her husband Chad, several months earlier, Kellie Bonner is horrified when her new partner, Ezra Hilton, (Chad had been in business with him) is found dead and she is thrown into the position of keeping the Artisans Alley open not just for sentimental reasons but for financial ones as well. Not happy that the detective in charge of the investigation seems slow, Kellie sets out to supply him with information so that the killer can be found and the crafters as well as customers will feel safe.

    The characters are interesting and make you want to get to know that better, the descriptions of the crafts make me want to drive up and look around. Definitely a series to continue.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 30, 2012

    Great Beginning

    My attention never diverted from the story line. Lots of action from different sources all leading up to an excellent resolution.

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  • Posted March 17, 2012

    Great book!! Can't wait for 2nd book

    Easy read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    nice cozy

    nice cozy

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2011

    Wonderful new series!

    I enjoy the Booktown Mystery series by this author (under the name Lorna Barrett) so I had high hopes for this debut of her new series. It did not disappoint! Katie Bonner has MORE than a lapful of problems dumped into her life when her husband dies in a car crash. He'd taken their savings to invest into the local artists' co-op (Artisans Alley) which isn't thriving, and that drove a wedge into their marriage so they separated. Then she discovers the body of Ezra Hilton who ran Artisans Alley only to then learn that with Ezra's will and Chad's investment, she's now the controlling partner. Now it's up to Katie to try to keep AA afloat AND snoop around trying to find the murderer (before it's pinned on her). The characters in this book are well-written and you can almost hear them speaking their lines. With Ms. Bartlett's help you're able to "see" Victoria Square and the shops. A wonderful start for this series and I look forward to reading more!

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  • Posted March 10, 2011

    A Great New Series

    I love Lorraine Bartlett's Booktown series that she writes under the name of Lorna Barrett. Having enjoyed many an afternoon spent reading about the adventures of the citizens of Booktown I was eagerly anticipating this new series. I was not disappointed.

    A Crafty Killing introduces us to Katie Bonner, a recent widow who suddenly finds herself the proprietor of Artisan's Alley after the death of Ezra Hilton, whom at first glance appears to be the victim of a robbery gone bad.

    Prior to his death, Katie's husband Chad, had sunk all their savings (money that was supposed to be their investment in a bed and breakfast) into a small percentage of Artisan's Alley. After Ezra's death, Katie is surprised to learn that she is not only the executor of Ezra's estate, but the largest shareholder in Artisan's Alley. The business, which many believe to be the cornerstone to making Victoria Square a success, is in dire financial straights. At first Katie's plan is to turn the white elephant into a profitable business so she can sell it and buy her dream business - the bed and breakfast.

    But before she can do that she must find out who killed Ezra, convince the artists at Artisan's Alley to operate in a more profitable manner, as well as figure out if it is too soon after Chad's death to consider romance.

    I loved this book. Even if I had not read Lorraine's other books, I would have picked this up because of the crafty setting. I enjoy books with a crafty theme. I'll keep reading this series because it's a beautifully written and engaging mystery. The plot moves at just the right pace with plenty of action without overwhelming the reader. The characters are well developed and full of quirky attributes that make want to know more about them.)

    A Crafty Killing was an engaging read that I did not want to put down. I can't wait to read more about Katie and her efforts (which I just know will be a success) to turn Artisan's Alley into a thriving business.

    I received an Advance Reader's copy for review. I did not receive any compensation for my review. Look for this wonderful new series in February of 2011.

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  • Posted March 9, 2011

    Great First in a series!

    I've been reading Lorraine for a few years now and she doesn't disappoint. The characters are great and so is the story. One I picked this up I couldn't put it down....

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  • Posted February 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    My Review of A Crafty Killing. You must add this to your TBR List

    A Crafty Killing
    Lorraine Bartlett
    Copyright February 2011

    Katie Bonner is a recent widow who inherited her husband's 10% interest in Artisan's Alley. Artisan's Alley was the former home of an apple sauce factory which was converted into a mall for Artisan's to showcase their wares. It is also the anchoring business for Victoria Square which is filled with small shops. She has been putting off the meeting with her partner Ezra Hilton for as long as she could but finally decided to go and talk to him.

    Imagine her shock and surprise when she finds Ezra dead at the bottom of a staircase bludgeoned to death. While she has no real interest in running Artisan's Alley she now has no choice but to step up and take over the day to day operations of the place to safeguard her future and also the continuing success of Victoria Square. .

    Katie is not happy with the pace at which the local police are working to solve Ezra's murder. With all this happening she has to deal with her Neanderthal boss and any other interested heir to the estate. Finding that she has to trust someone, she makes friends and works at solving the murder, keeping Artisan's Alley open and profitable, and do all this while still dealing with the grief of her own loss.

    This is the first book in Lorraine Bartlett's new Victoria Square Mystery series and it is intriguing and attention holding. I read this book in one sitting.


    IRS info - I was allowed access to a pre-release ARC of the book for the purpose of reviewing it.

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  • Posted February 12, 2011

    Great Start to a New Series

    I started this one and loved it. I really didn't want it to end and can't wait to find out what happens next to all the characters in Artisans Alley.!

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 53 Customer Reviews

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