The Walled Flower (Victoria Square Series #2)

The Walled Flower (Victoria Square Series #2)

by Lorraine Bartlett

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If Katie Bonner's late husband hadn't invested all their savings in the crafts fair Artisans Alley, the Webster mansion could have been hers to remodel into a bed-and-breakfast. Instead that dream belongs to another young couple. But that dream becomes a nightmare when a skeleton is discovered sealed in the walls of the mansion. The bones belong to Helen Winston, who went missing twenty-two years ago. Heather's aunt, a jewelry vendor at Artisans Alley, asks Kate for help finding her niece's murderer. The case may be cold, but the killer is very much alive-and ready to go to any lengths to keep past secrets buried...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425246160
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/07/2012
Series: Victoria Square Series , #2
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 72,228
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Lorraine Bartlett is the New York Times bestselling author of the Victoria Square Mysteries. Under the pseudonym Lorna Barrett, she is the author of the Booktown Mystery series. She lives and writes in Rochester, New York.

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The Walled Flower 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
Biker_librarian13 More than 1 year ago
Katie Bonner’s dream has always been to own the western New York Webster mansion and convert it into a bed and breakfast. Unfortunately, her late husband chose instead to invest all of their money into the ever-struggling Artisan Alley, where vendors sell their craft-related goods out of booths in a converted warehouse. So when the new owners of the mansion offer Kate a chance to swing a sledgehammer at a wall they’re tearing down, she is more than happy to let loose with a little repressed frustration and resentment. However, she definitely didn’t expect that her demo would reveal a rotting corpse who may be the niece of one of Artisan Alley’s vendors and who disappeared over twenty years earlier. Rose Nash begs Katie’s help in finding out who sealed the young girl in the wall (since Katie was so successful in solving a murder before in a Crafty Killing), and Katie is unable to refuse despite the fact that she has more than enough to keep her busy. Between keeping Artisan Alley in the black, finding a new apartment to rent, figuring out why there has been a sudden upswing in shoplifting, and somehow getting corralled into being a matron of honor for a last-minute wedding, Katie barely has time to question the friends who were once close to the victim and now have every reason to continue killing to keep their secrets. The author of several mystery series under the name L.J. Bartlett and Lorna Barrett, Bartlett continues to show her skills at crafting complex plots and very likeable, realistic characters. Katie has a delightful voice, neither too cynical nor too cute but entirely relatable. Katie is more of a businesswoman than a crafter, and she must negotiate between the disputes of feuding vendors while trying to attract new customers. Katie also finds that her pizza parlor owning boyfriend barely has time to meet her for a shared pizza as he expands his business and renovates an apartment he refuses to rent out Katie, preferring that she instead move in with him. Katie never gives up, though, and she soon discovers that young Heather Winston was anything but a good girl. This is a surprisingly serious cozy mystery with a strong protagonist and an even stronger plot. - Cindy Chow
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Katie Bonner always had her heart set on owning McKinlay Mill’s charming Victorian inn, but when her late husband Chad rashly invested in Artisans “money pit” Alley, it wasn’t going to happen. Katie would just have to settle for being the owner and manager of Artisan’s Alley, a place where excitement happened only when one of her crafters was in a snit or last year when poor Ezra Hilton was bludgeoned to death at the bottom of a staircase. Katie had to admit that murder was good for business when every rubberneck in town showed up to look at the spot Ezra had sprawled on, but it was business she could do without. Now Polly Bremerton was picking on poor Edie Silver, a low-end crafter. Puh-lease, ladies! Katie had enough to contend with without having to be a referee at the latest cat fight at Artisans. She would soon be homeless if she didn’t find an apartment to rent by the end of the month and gawd only knew why she accepted Gilda Ringwald’s offer to be her Matron of Honor. Katie’s little favor was going to turn into a lot of favors. How in tarnation did she manage to get herself in such a mess? Andy Rush, her new beau, wanted her to move in with him, but that certainly wasn’t going to happen any time soon. It was time to take a breather and go visit the new owners of The Grand Victoria Inn. Toby and Janice Ryan were more than willing to extend a welcoming hand and a sledge hammer so Katie could help with a bit of demolition. She wistfully thought of her dream of renovating the mansion and calling it the “English Ivy Inn.” Taking a whack at the walls would provide a bit of exercise and much needed stress relief. A few swings later caught them staring back into the horrifyingly blank eye sockets of a blond, skeletal corpse that had been holed up in the wall. Katie was in a state of shock and didn’t know what to say, but “never-charming” Detective Ray Davenport did. “You seem to attract death, Mrs. Bonner.” No kidding, and this wouldn’t be the only corpse connected with the mansion and one of them just might be Katie’s. Who was that naked blond bombshell behind the wall and how did she get there? Mr. Collier, McKinlay Mill’s funeral director, might not have just one, but three visitors to his parlor before all was said and done! Katie Bonner is the type of no-nonsense, spunky gal that everyone will fall in love with. As soon as Heather Winston’s corpse was found behind that wall I was totally hooked and was anxious to find out just how she got there. Of course with the many twists and turns in this mystery it wasn’t going to be easy to find out whodunit, especially since the murderer was still on the loose after twenty-two years. Bartlett is getting into her stride early in this series, one that will knock the reader’s knitted socks off when they read about Katie Bonner’s latest foray into murder, madness,mystery, and mayhem in Artisans Alley. Murder its not until someone is caught and if anyone can do it, amateur sleuth Bonner is up to the task...again. Quill says: This mystery is over-the-top and (almost literally) off the wall fantastic.
HarbingerDC More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in the Victoria Square series and it starts out fast and never lets up. Katie finds herself in over her head with situations as disparate being pushed into becoming the Matron of Honor of a very demanding bridezilla, personality conflicts and accusations of theft in Artisans Alley, and murders 22 years apart but almost certainly related. Add Detective Davenport, whose people skills still leave a lot to be desired, a looming deadline to find new living quarters, and a boyfriend who refuses to let her move in to the apartment over his pizzeria. Oh, boy! The characters are really coming into their own in this one, particularly Katie who not only knows that she is taking on more than anyone could handle, but sticks to her commitments and sticks by her friends. Also, Rose, one of the Artisans Alley vendors, has center stage in this story and she’s great! Katie and Rose together made a formidable team and I hope to see more of Rose in the future. I have to say that I really didn’t want to put this down to go even to go to sleep. It was fast-paced, well-written, and lots of fun! I look forward to many more stories set in Victoria Square! For the sake of proper disclosure, I received an ARC of this book from the author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read reviews and all I have to say is WOAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
dollycas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This fantastic story that has Katie running in circles and eating way too much pizza but by the time I finished reading the book I was craving cinnamon rolls. The characters in this series are so much fun, even if one or two of them may be murderers. Katie has faced so much already losing her husband, then her business partner is murdered and she finds herself the sole owner of Artisans Alley putting here dreams of owning a B&B firmly out of reach. She has grown into the job wonderfully, handling the vendors with a caring touch but firmly enough so they know who¿s is charge. Her relationship with Andy continues to evolve. They just need to figure out to spend more time together. We also get to know Edie, Rose and Vance better in this installment. I love that Vance¿s son has a part to play in this multifaceted story.Bartlett is an expert at telling a cozy mystery. A true shining star!! She breathes life into every character and pens a mystery full of twists and turns in a beautiful setting that keeps us engrossed from the first word until the last. Definitely another bestseller!!!!
ethel55 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Katie Bonner's life is turned upside down by a skeleton and a decades old cold case in this second Victoria Square mystery. The body belongs to the niece of a crafter in Artisan's Alley and Katie promises Rose to help discover what happened two decades ago. Katie's romance with Andy has stepped up a notch, her soon to be vagabond existence eliciting repeated queries to move in with him. There is more action at Artisan's Alley too. A side story about missing objects and a feud between two crafters eventually comes to an end as does the solution to the murder.
readerbynight on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Review based on ARCWhat a stressful life our Katie Bonner is living these days! Aside from her daily routines at the Artisans Alley, which are about to be interrupted in a less than happy way, she is rushing around to find a place to live and down to a very short deadline since her apartment has been rented out already. Then one of her vendors talks her into becoming her Matron of Honour (and must have read and copied every book on a Matron of Honour's duty), with a deadline just over a week away. Another vendor is adamantly demanding that her neighbouring vendor be arrested for stealing with no proof whatsoever, and her dream to own and operate the old Webster mansion for a Bed and Breakfast is revived again when the property goes up for sale---and again she can't afford it. It does sell, though, and the new owners are planning on doing exactly what Katie had planned, they are renovating the house to be a Bed and Breakfast, with many of the same ideas Katie had.Lorraine Bartlett knows how to write sharp, witty, intriguing mysteries, often with several smoothly entwined in a single book, a book that is very hard to put down. I think this is the best yet. New characters come and go, and some remain adding to the population of Victoria Square. I love the title of the book and how it fits with the story. There is indeed a "walled flower", not the kind of flower you would expect, but one forever caught in the bloom of its life. Katie is about to uncover this flower when she makes a welcoming visit to the new neighbours, who are busily tearing down a wall. They allow her to try her hand with the mallet which she does with the relish and zeal of a thwarted homeowner, breaking away pieces until she suddenly realizes something is inside the wall. The skeleton of a young woman, obviously in the wall for many years, the walled flower, a death too soon. At this point an over-stressed Katie issues what must be the understatement of the decade, "Well, this could ruin your day."As the insensitive and formidable homicide Detective Ray Davenport arrives and the area is cordoned off, Rose Nash, one of the older vendors at Artisan's Alley and a special friend to Katie, is allowed in when it appears she may have information about the body. She is able to identify the locket the skeleton is wearing and identifies the girl as her niece Heather, who disappeared 22 years before. From the moment of identification, this story takes on a life of its own, involving many people, possible suspects, and more bodies piling up. As usual, the detective does not seem to be moving, or at the very least moving in the right direction, so Rose becomes Katie's sidekick as they investigate together, a partnership I found very satisfying and would enjoy seeing again. Rose proves herself reliable and quick.In the meantime, between the looming wedding, the accusations of thefts, a child left unattended by the accuser, the hunt for a place to live (and wondering why current boyfriend Andy won't let her rent his apartment over the store) and more, Katie is quickly becoming overwhelmed. Searching for an apartment introduces her to some very strange owners! She is aided, and sometimes abetted, by various members of the Alley. Many surprises are in store for the reader. This is an enjoyable romp with action all through. I did not want to put the book down, though I often felt I needed to catch my breath. A wonderful cozy read.
debbieaheaton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In Bartlett¿s mystery novel, Katie Bonner had spent years dreaming of opening her own Bed & Breakfast in the Webster mansion. Unfortunately, her late husband blew their savings on the craft fair Artisans Alley and now she was stuck with a business she never wanted while another couple stepped up to renovate the old mansion of her dreams.But when a skeleton is found sealed in a wall of their mansion, their dream becomes a nightmare of police investigations. The bones are identified as belonging to Heather Winston, who went missing twenty-two years ago. Her aunt is Rose Nash, a jewelry vendor at Artisans Alley, and very determined to have this cold case solved with Katie¿s help. The case is old and forgotten, but the killer rises up among the living determined that secrets stay hidden.Great characters, homemade crafts, murder and secrets¿Bartlett masterly spins a great yarn.
NewsieQ on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While tearing down walls for a building rehab, workers find the body of a young woman who went missing more than two decades earlier. But the loss is still fresh for Heather Winston¿s Aunt Rose, who is a vendor at Artisan¿s Alley, a crafters¿ mall owned and operated by amateur detective, the recently widowed Katie Bonner. But Katie has more to worry about than an old murder. There¿s bad blood between two of her vendors and it looks as if the two women are going to come to blows. Plus Katie needs to find a place to live, and soon. Peacemaker, apartment hunter, sleuth ¿ all in a day¿s work for our heroine. The Walled Flower is a light cozy mystery, written by best-selling author Lorraine Bartlett, who can be counted on to deliver a fun read, with engaging characters and a tidy plot. The ¿Victoria Square¿ mysteries are set in western New York state. The Walled Flower is the second in the series, after A Crafty Killing.
crazycatCT More than 1 year ago
Very easy to read. I really liked the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed how the story picks up steam from the first couple of pages. Read it in a day...could not put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is excellent you will have a hard time putting it down. very detailed and keeps you interested throughout the whole book.
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debbieaheaton More than 1 year ago
In Bartlett’s mystery novel, Katie Bonner had spent years dreaming of opening her own Bed & Breakfast in the Webster mansion. Unfortunately, her late husband blew their savings on the craft fair Artisans Alley and now she was stuck with a business she never wanted while another couple stepped up to renovate the old mansion of her dreams. But when a skeleton is found sealed in a wall of their mansion, their dream becomes a nightmare of police investigations. The bones are identified as belonging to Heather Winston, who went missing twenty-two years ago. Her aunt is Rose Nash, a jewelry vendor at Artisans Alley, and very determined to have this cold case solved with Katie’s help. The case is old and forgotten, but the killer rises up among the living determined that secrets stay hidden. Great characters, homemade crafts, murder and secrets—Bartlett masterly spins a great yarn.
VisionaryMaverick More than 1 year ago
Eagerly looking forward to next book in this series.
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DillCT More than 1 year ago
I love this series.. this was better than the first one. Can't wait for #3 to come out.
camelfudge More than 1 year ago
My one issue with this book was the qucik jump into relationship with Andy. Katie is becoming a stronger person. Mystery wasn't that complex figured it out have way through the book but looking foward to book three.
judiOH More than 1 year ago
this is the third in this series about artisan alley. katie dramed of renovating the mansion, but another couple buys it and starts the remake. in one of the walls they find bones. turns out to be a local girl that disappeared many years ago.katie gets involved when they discover the girl is the daughter of one of her friends. a little romance, a little humor, and a lot of mystery. perfect!