Title Wave (Booktown Series #10)

Title Wave (Booktown Series #10)

by Lorna Barrett

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Overview

Title Wave (Booktown Series #10) by Lorna Barrett

Tricia and Angelica leave Booktown behind for a pleasure cruise, but they’re going to need their life jackets because a murderer is also on board in this mystery in Lorna Barrett’s New York Times bestselling series.

While her bookstore, Haven’t Got a Clue, is rebuilt following a devastating fire, Tricia Miles and her sister, Angelica, decide to book a cruise for some much needed R & R. Naturally they choose a mystery lovers cruise, where they can ponder whodunit in deck chairs while sipping colorful drinks and soaking up some rays.

But the fun is cut short when a fellow passenger is murdered for real. Is the killer a famous mystery author, one of her fans, or a member of the ship’s crew? As Tricia tries to find the killer before they reach port, she may be cruising for a bruising...

INCLUDES RECIPES 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780698406322
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/14/2016
Series: Booktown Series , #10
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 38,729
File size: 774 KB

About the Author

Lorna Barrett is the New York Times bestselling author of the Booktown Mysteries, including Poisoned Pages, A Just Clause, Title Wave, A Fatal Chapter, and Book Clubbed. She lives in Rochester, New York.

Read an Excerpt

ONE

It was almost four in the afternoon, but already it had been a very long day. Too long a day, Tricia Miles decided as she shifted from one foot to the other.

The day had started many hours before daylight, when she'd awoken to the sounds of her cat, Miss Marple, having a hairball at the end of her bed. She'd managed to whisk the cat off the snowy white spread in time to save it, but that was the end of her rest. Tricia still had so many things to accomplish before she; her sister, Angelica; and many friends and colleagues from the Stoneham Chamber of Commerce boarded a bus and headed for the Big Apple.

No doubt about it, once the holidays were over, the shops along Stoneham's main drag might as well shut down until April, when the tourists came back in full force. What better time for everyone to take a much-needed vacation? At least, that was the pitch Angelica had given the Chamber members the previous fall when Milford Travel, a new member, had proposed the excursion. The Authors at Sea cruise would be filled with two dozen authors and thousands of their readers. Tricia had spent the previous six winters in Stoneham, with very little in the way of downtime. A vacation to the south that was dedicated to her favorite subject—reading—had sounded heavenly, but now she felt she needed a vacation from her vacation.

The weather had held, but the bus had encountered a gigantic traffic jam outside of Boston that had put them more than an hour behind schedule, and so they'd had to cancel their planned breakfast stop. Somebody had suggested they sing to pass the time. A number of the group thought it was great fun, joining in with gusto, but after only a few bottles of beer on the wall, Tricia wished she hadn't packed her iPod in her suitcase and could drown out the revelry.

Lunch at the 21 Club had been a treat for most of the group, who'd never been there before. But Chamber member Leona Ferguson, who owned Stoneham's Stoneware, looked more than a little green during the bus ride and hadn't had time to admire the restaurant's dishes or have one bite of her salad before she'd made a mad dash to the ladies' room. She'd later admitted that she'd forgotten to wear her motion-sickness patch and made the final leg of the bus journey hyperventilating into a paper bag—threatening to upchuck in her seat, which had sent her seatmate scrambling and made the bus driver in front of her break into a cold sweat. But somehow she'd made it to the pier without being sick, and everyone's spirits rose once more. Until they got inside the cavernous—and very drafty—cruise terminal where most of their group were seated. They were scheduled to board the majestic Celtic Lady at two o'clock, but here it was nearly two hours later and the terminal was still full.

"What's going on? What's the holdup?" grumbled a male voice behind her.

Tricia wasn't one of the lucky ones who'd managed to grab a seat, but at least she'd worn sensible shoes. Angelica had been standing in three-inch heels for over two hours. Still, the smile on her face hadn't wavered as she traveled around the group, encouraging everyone to be patient.

"I don't know how you do it," Tricia muttered as Angelica finished yet another circuit around the group.

"It's my business face. You've got one, too. The one you use with difficult customers."

"I don't usually have forty of them at once," Tricia admitted.

"That's true, but I cope the same way I've always coped. I smile and imagine myself choking the life out of each and every one of them."

"Everyone?" Tricia prompted, trying to suppress a grin.

Angelica's gaze drifted over to Antonio Barbero, who stood next to his seated wife, Ginny, and their darling angel of a daughter, Sofia, who was almost six months old. "Maybe not."

Angelica hadn't told the world at large that Antonio was her stepson. She'd wanted to keep that little piece of information a secret—and still did. As far as everyone but Tricia and Ginny knew, the four of them were just very good friends and not related by a marriage that had long ago gone south. Angelica hadn't even spoken to that particular ex-husband in almost two decades, but she'd kept in touch with the son he couldn't be bothered with, and loved Antonio as if he'd been her own child. And they worked well together on the company they'd formed a few years earlier: Nigela Ricita Associates.

A nervous Mindy Weaver bobbed and weaved around the fringe of her charges. The slight woman must have been in her early forties, and while she'd worked for Milford Travel for at least a decade, this was her first time taking charge of a tour—and it showed.

"Just a little bit longer," she called nervously over the murmur of grumbling voices.

"These things happen," Chauncey Porter called out, and shrugged. He owned the Armchair Tourist, and Mindy had enlisted his help as her de facto mentor and helpmate on the trip.

Thanks to Angelica's business advice, Chauncey's once-failing bookshop had done a dramatic turnaround. Where he once sold used travel guides and maps, he'd branched out to stock sundries that anyone taking a trip might need: from suitcase locks to personal GPS devices, and from sunscreen to passport wallets. Chauncey got along well with everyone—with one exception: Tricia. He blamed her for the death of his fiancée some fourteen months before. She'd had no part in the woman's death, but the heart had no concept of logic. Chauncey hadn't spoken to her since that terrible night when he'd slapped her. She could have leveled assault charges, but had simply walked away. She missed his friendship.

"We've still got a bag full of peppermints if anybody needs them," Muriel Dexter called out.

"Keeps your breath fresh," her twin sister, Midge, called out.

Nobody took them up on their offer.

The elderly spinster Dexter sisters were well known in Stoneham for their rather quirky personalities and the fact that they'd chat amiably to anyone they came in contact with. Somehow the idea of individuality had never occurred to them, for despite their age they liked to dress alike and often had fun switching identities to fool the villagers, who found that antic anything but fun.

Mary Fairchild, owner of By Hook or By Book, Stoneham's craft and book shop, dodged her way across the open concourse, heading for the rest of the group. She stopped in front of Tricia. "Wow, you'd think in a building this huge they'd have better bathroom facilities. I had to wait in line for more than twenty minutes," she said. Still, Tricia could see by the sparkle in Mary's eyes that the ordeal had not deterred her.

"You've managed to stay cheerful," she commented.

"Nothing could faze me today. This is my very first cruise," Mary gushed, "and I intend to enjoy every second of it. And now that I'm single, I'm kind of hoping I meet someone."

Mary's husband, Luke, had gone to prison for murder. The divorce had come through only a month or so before. Mary was embarking on a whole new life. Tricia could sure identify with that.

"Are you looking to get married again?" Angelica said, leaning into the conversation.

"Oh, no. I want to have fun!"

Angelica laughed. "Well, as a four-time loser in the love department, I can't argue with that reasoning."

"I'm going to go sit back down. I'm sure glad Leona was saving my seat. I don't know how you girls have stood there for such a long time."

You could let one of us sit for a few minutes, Tricia thought, but didn't voice it. Oh, well.

At least one other person in the crowd seemed to be having a good time. A thin, gray-haired gentleman of about sixty sat on an electric scooter and zoomed between the various clusters of would-be mariners. A lot of people seemed to know him by name, and he paused to briefly speak with them before he took off for another circuit around the cavernous room. Tricia envied his seat, but not the ailment that had him saddled to the motorized chair.

A ripple of excitement seemed to go through the crowd, and Tricia and Angelica turned to see a tall, beefy woman whose hair was an alarming shade of red, stride past them in a flowing black cape, while an older, much shorter blonde-haired woman struggled to keep up with her.

"Isn't that—?" someone said.

"I'm sure it is," another agreed eagerly.

Whispers and nervous giggles broke out all around them.

Tricia immediately recognized the woman as thriller author EM Barstow. The woman's reputation for being difficult preceded her. She'd once signed at Tricia's mystery bookstore, Haven't Got a Clue; once being the operative word. The woman had found nothing but fault with the store, the temperature of the coffee, the color of ink in the pens Tricia provided, with her then assistant, Ginny, and her other employee, Mr. Everett, as well. They were clumsy, they were stupid. Didn't they know how to open a book so she could quickly sign it?

Tricia looked over her shoulder to where Mr. Everett sat with his wife, Grace, and noted that he, too, was not enthused to see the author, and no doubt remembered the temper tantrum the woman had thrown when told that the cab Tricia had ordered to pick her up would be a few minutes late. Didn't they know she was important? Didn't they know she was used to a limousine, not a common cab? Didn't they know anything?

All eyes were upon EM as she barged ahead of a line of fifty or more passengers who'd finally been called to check in.

Her shorter companion finally managed to catch up, and EM seemed to be engaged in conversation with the woman behind the check-in desk, who shook her head and pointed to the general waiting area to the right, which was also stuffed to overflowing with weary travelers.

"Do you know who I am?" EM bellowed loud enough for half the terminal to hear.

All heads turned in her direction.

"Someone's not happy," Angelica muttered, raising a perfectly tweezed eyebrow.

Tricia couldn't hear the cruise terminal worker's reply, but she guessed at EM's howl of outrage that if the woman did know, she didn't care. Unable to suppress a smile, Tricia turned away.

Mindy finished another circuit around the Stoneham Chamber members.

"Were you able to find out what the holdup is?" Angelica asked wearily.

"When the boat docked this morning, passengers were supposed to check in with customs. It seems that four of them simply didn't. It took the crew hours to track them down. No one could reboard until they found them."

"And where were they?"

"One was in the spa. Apparently there's a deprivation tank, and she claims she couldn't hear her name repeatedly called over the public-address system."

"And the others?" Angelica prompted.

"One had her hearing aids turned off. I'm not sure about the others."

"Does this mean they're finally going to start letting people board? We're supposed to leave port in an hour," Tricia said.

Mindy looked across the way at the several thousand people all waiting their turn to check in. "Looks like we'll be a little late," she said nervously.

"Hey, look!" Chauncey called out. "They're letting the first group go through."

Sure enough, the gate had opened, and a horde of people lurched forward, dragging their luggage. EM Barstow was not among them. She took a recently vacated seat and, as her expression revealed, fumed.

It didn't take long before the Stoneham group was called, and everyone proceeded through the gate in an orderly fashion. As head of the Chamber, Angelica went to the back of the line, clucking reassurances to her charges like a mother hen. Tricia hung back, too. After all, they were sharing a stateroom; they might as well find it together.

Once issued their identification keycards, they passed through security, followed the stragglers, and boarded the magnificent ship. Already the sky was black, and a brisk wind whistled around the gangplank. "I hope we won't have rough seas," Angelica muttered.

"Do you get seasick?" Tricia asked.

"Heavens, no—I just don't want to fall off my heels."

"I should think you'd be ready to take them off."

"I am. But once we're settled, we're finding a nice, quiet bar. I have earned my martini—or two—for the day."

"I'll be happy to join you," Tricia agreed.

A uniformed woman stood at the bank of elevators, advising cruisers how to find their staterooms. She glanced at Angelica's paperwork. "You're on Deck 7." She signaled to a woman in a drab black uniform. "Will you please show these ladies to their stateroom?"

The young woman nodded and reached for Angelica's large case. "If you'll follow me."

"Thank you," Angelica said, and smiled.

They piled into the elevator with what seemed like far too many other people and had to jump out for the first several decks until they reached their own. A handy plaque directed them to the left. They halted in front of a door marked 7150. The uniformed woman stepped forward to open the door, but Angelica waved her away. "We can take it from here."

"I'd be very happy to help you unpack."

"No need. Thank you very much."

The young woman nodded and backed away, then turned to leave.

"Shouldn't you have tipped her?" Tricia asked.

"How long has it been since you were on a cruise?"

"Years."

"She'll be handsomely tipped—it'll be included on our final, itemized bill. We'll also tip our own butler at the end of the trip."

"We get a butler?"

"Just one of the perks."

Angelica turned for the door and slipped her ID card into the slot, and the door opened. As it did, the lights came on inside.

"Oh, my," Tricia cried as she took in the cabin's interior.

"I was ready to jump out of my skin thinking someone would spoil my surprise," Angelica cried.

"I'm surprised, all right," Tricia said, breathless, taking in the opulent stateroom. No, not a stateroom at all; a suite of elegant rooms. "Ange, how can you afford-"

"Honey, I'm rich," she said, and somehow it didn't even seem like she was bragging. "I work hard. We both do. And who are we going to leave our money to, except each other? And Antonio, Ginny, and Sofia," she quickly amended. "I'm paying for their suite, too."

Customer Reviews

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Title Wave 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
csrsvivr More than 1 year ago
A relaxing author fans themed cruise was suppose to exhilarate Trisha and Angelica, but something goes wrong. Someone is murdered and the past comes face-to-face towards Trisha. This is the 10th. installment of the “A Booktown Mystery” series and I have to say it was my favorite so far. This installment has most of the main characters but new ones that bring an intriguing twist. Lorna Barrett continues to bring us exciting storylines and characters that feel like family. LOVED IT!
MandaLuvsToRead More than 1 year ago
My favorite thing about this series is that it's focused on one of my favorite things, books! This one did not disappoint. Imagine being on a cruise ship full of some of your favorite mystery authors. What a great opportunity! Now imagine the most famous of those authors has the most abrasive, horrible personality ever. The open sea is a good place to bump off such a horrible character, and there is certainly no shortage of suspects. Mystery authors trying to solve a real life mystery with nowhere to hide? I loved it. Great read for the summer.
Chewie_the_Mouse More than 1 year ago
"Title Wave" by Lorna Barrett is Book 10 in the Booktown Mystery series. However, it is the first book I have read in the series, and I must say that I was able to quickly and easily figure out all the characters and their relationships to one another. I did not feel at any disadvantage for having missed the earlier books, and this is rare in series works, especially when starting so late in the game. I appreciated the effort the author took to provide all the relevant information in an interesting way, without it coming across as a recap of the earlier books. So, if you like everything else you're heard about "Title Wave", dive right in with no worries! This book tells the story of two sisters (Tricia and Angelica) who are enjoying an author-themed cruise along with their friends and fellow Chamber of Commerce members from home. Of course, there is a murder onboard, and Tricia is drawn in to help solve it. The mystery is engaging and particularly enjoyable because both the victim and suspects are all in some way associated with the world of writing. The clues are provided gradually without being too obvious, allowing the reader to try to figure things out along with Tricia. Essential to any good mystery, everything makes logical sense in the end when the crime has been solved. In my opinion, this book really stands out from others in its genre due to its focus on the relationship between the two sisters, as well as their relationships with their extended family (both biological and chosen). Tricia herself is a truly likable character; I especially appreciated the fact that, unlike so many heroines who spend much of their books cooking/eating/enjoying incredibly rich foods while never gaining an ounce, Tricia is focused on healthy eating and exercise. The depictions of others trying to encourage her to break her resolve and indulge are incredibly realistic. Because Tricia is such a great character, I very much enjoyed her interplay with two potential romantic interests. Since she's not likely to see them again after the cruise unless one (or both) men make a special effort, I'm interested to see what happens with these relationships in future books. Of course, I plan to read future installments of Tricia's story, and seek out the first nine as well. Five out of five slices of incredibly sharp cheddar!
john19713 More than 1 year ago
The adventures of Trisha and Angelica take an interesting turn as they go on a weeks cruise to Bermuda, with many of the other Stoneham regulars as well. And of course there is a murder on board the ship, and Trisha finds the body. This installment of the Booktown series was especially interesting to me, having taken a cruise to England in 1996 on the Queen Elizabeth II, and a return cruise after a few weeks on continental Europe. Ms. Barrett's descriptions of the empty corridors as Trisha wanders around the ship are quite accurate. Many times when I was wandering around the QE 2 the corridors below the weather deck were mostly empty except around meal times, when passengers were making their way to and from the dining rooms. In that regard, and other descriptions of life on a cruise ship (looking for a quiet place to read, rough seas, etc.) I felt as if I was on the cruise with Trish and the gang. As for the murder, Trish did her sleuthing of course, but not to the same extent as the murders that occurred in Stoneham. And the revelation and conclusion was a surprise to me, as it will probably be to you as well. One thing that did bother me in this installment of the Booktown series; we find out that Trisha now owns the building that houses her store and apartment. But there was no explanation as to how the purchase came about. It's not really a big deal, and it does not detract from the enjoyment of the novel. But this isn't the first time that Ms. Barrett (or more likely her editors/proof readers) have missed a detail like this. Even so, I have already received the next book in the series and will look forward to reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although I love the little book themed village of Stoneham, it was nice to see Tricia and Angelica finally getting to take a vacation and have some time to relax. If I were to take another cruise this is the type of cruise I would enjoy, a cruise dedicated to books and reading. Although I wouldn’t want a dead body to turn up on my ship. This book is a little slower paced than previous books but most everything takes place on a ship, there are only so many place you can go or people to see on a small ship. I didn’t mind the slower pace because in this book we get a little more insight of why Tricia is the way she is when it comes to food, exercise, and relationships. Author Lorna Barrett doesn’t disappoint with this book she keeps you guessing until the end of the book even with a limited cast of characters. This book is slower paced but still has a well told storyline. Characters are well developed; this book hints that we may see more character development for especially Tricia in future books. True to cozy mystery form no graphic violence, sex, or bad language. I would definitely recommend this book and look forward to the next. This book can be read as a stand alone although some of the references about a few characters would be better understood if you read the earlier books.
BookloverUT More than 1 year ago
While her bookstore, Haven’t Got a Clue, is rebuilt following a devastating fire, Tricia Miles and her sister, Angelica, take a Mystery Lovers cruise. All Tricia wants to do is read whodunits and spend some quality time with her sister. But the fun ends when Tricia finds an author dead. Who is the killer? Can Tricia find out before they reach port? This story was a welcome departure from the usual books in this series. Lorna Barrett took the most endearing characters from the series and placed them on a ship where no one and nothing is as it seems. It reminded me of a locked room mystery where you have a set number of characters that can’t escape, and a detective/sleuth trying to figure out who the culprit is before the door is opened. The best part of this story was when Angelica and Tricia went to meet with their parents. Even though it was a tough encounter, it was a healing moment for Tricia. I learned more about Tricia’s character in that moment than the entire book as a whole. What bothered me about this story was the indifference of the security officer. I hope cruise lines are not that scared to identify a crime correctly. I would recommend this story to anyone who is interested in cozy mysteries.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Linda-D More than 1 year ago
It's winter and Tricia and Angelica are on a cruise sponsored by the town's Chamber of Commerce. It is an important get-away for Tricia, who has had a lot on her mind with her ex-husband murdered and the fire at her store. I really liked how Lorna Barrett still kept enough ties for fans of the Booktown Mysteries. I think the cruise was a nice change of pace for the series. Even though the location was different, you had plenty of the same characters and a few new ones. And of course, someone is murdered! Tricia may be considered the village jinx but she's an excellent sleuth. I felt that this book also gave an interesting angle into Tricia's personality. This book gives us a little more insight to her character. The character murdered was a famous mystery writer. She was a rather unlikable character, with many people that would have reason to kill her. I felt that there were lots of twists that kept me guessing. This book is a great addition to the series and I really enjoyed the read!
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
Another wonderful installment to the bestselling Booktown Mysteries! I was a bit hesitant when I first started reading TITLE WAVE. I don’t normally care for books that take the main character away from their hometown. I needn’t have worried. Author Lorna Barrett transitioned her protagonist and friends perfectly. The cruise ship themed story made for a marvelous whodunit! A tale of murder on the high seas, TITLE WAVE was a fast moving thrill ride. Chapter after chapter this story was filled with enough twists and turns to capsize a ship. With more suspects then a few, I kept second guessing myself on the killer’s identity. When the reveal came, I was taken by surprise, and even more so at how that scene ended! Booktown Mystery fans, and new readers alike are going to be thrilled with TITLE WAVE! Make sure not to miss the tasty recipes at the back of the book!
Kuzlin More than 1 year ago
Tricia and her sister, Angelica, are off on a much needed vacation, courtesy of a Mystery Cruise sponsored through their town's Chamber of Commerce. Several other town members have also joined them on the cruise, including Antonio and his new family, and Mr. Everett and Grace. It has been a tough year for Tricia but she is looking forward to this cruise. Unfortunately, she once again stumbles over the dead body of one of the mystery authors, and while the authorities seem to be leaning toward suicide, Tricia is not so sure. I enjoy this series and the developing relationship between Tricia and her family and friends. In this story, the mystery takes a slight back step to Tricia's own journey of self-discovery as she thinks more about what her sister means to her, how she relates to her friends, her mother and father, and more importantly, takes a good look at her own internal struggles with relationships, food and family. The final resolution for the murder was just icing on the cake in this story. I look forward to the next book in this series. Disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Kuzlin More than 1 year ago
Tricia and her sister, Angelica, are off on a much needed vacation, courtesy of a Mystery Cruise sponsored through their town's Chamber of Commerce. Several other town members have also joined them on the cruise, including Antonio and his new family, and Mr. Everett and Grace. It has been a tough year for Tricia but she is looking forward to this cruise. Unfortunately, she once again stumbles over the dead body of one of the mystery authors, and while the authorities seem to be leaning toward suicide, Tricia is not so sure. I enjoy this series and the developing relationship between Tricia and her family and friends. In this story, the mystery takes a slight back step to Tricia's own journey of self-discovery as she thinks more about what her sister means to her, how she relates to her friends, her mother and father, and more importantly, takes a good look at her own internal struggles with relationships, food and family. The final resolution for the murder was just icing on the cake in this story. I look forward to the next book in this series. Disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
CozyMysteryLover1 More than 1 year ago
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review. All thoughts are my own. I really love this series. I have read all of the books over and over again and always anxiously await the next in the series. Tricia and Angelica are great characters and the author has brought them to life with her incredible style of writing. In this particular story, the sisters are on a Mystery Lovers cruise with their extended family and friends. While Angelica is busy looking for ideas for her next cook book, Tricia is looking forward to catching up on some reading while enjoying the peace and quiet. Anyone who is familiar with this series knows that peace and quiet just won't happen. I cannot wait to read more in this wonderful cozy mystery series! I will be recommending this book to other cozy mystery lovers!