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Murder is Binding (A Booktown Mystery, #1)
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Murder is Binding (Booktown Mystery #1)

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  5,854 ratings  ·  579 reviews
The streets of Stoneham, New Hampshire, are lined with bookstores...and paved with murder.

When she moved to Stoneham, city slicker Tricia Miles met nothing but friendly faces. And when she opened her mystery bookstore, she met friendly competition. But when she finds Doris Gleason dead in her own cookbook store, killed by a carving knife, the atmosphere seems more cutthro
Mass Market Paperback, 271 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Berkley Prime Crime
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Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeAbby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria LaurieThe No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall SmithMurder at the Vicarage by Agatha ChristieThe Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
Best Cozy Mystery Series
7th out of 1,224 books — 1,367 voters
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall SmithCrocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth PetersThe Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha ChristieChocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeA is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
Cozy Mystery Series
38th out of 624 books — 1,722 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Meg ♥
Murder is Binding is a great cozy mystery book filled with excitement, twists, and interesting adventures. I certainly look forward to continuing the Booktown Mystery series over the winter, because winter just feels like the perfect time to read cozy books like this one.

Trisha moved to a town in New Hampshire that is considered one of the safest, friendliest places in the U.S. She opened her mystery bookstore named "Haven't Got A Clue" in an area where all bookstores are grouped together and ca
Hunger For Knowledge
I wanted to read something light between my heavier readings, and what would have been more suitable for that than a good old fashioned cozy mystery? Lucky me, I had Lorna Barrett's Murder in Three Volumes (contains books 1-3 of A Booktown Mystery series) on my shelf.

Now, what I adore about the cozy mysteries is the innocence and simplicity of them. There usually isn't anything that would require lots of brain usage or anything that would be heavy on the heart. There hardly ever is cruelty, eve
First of a new series, for once! Every now and then I read a book and put it down thinking, "That author put a lot of work into coming up with that gimmick." I'm not knocking these gimmick-based mystery series - some of them are quite good, and anyway, what is Miss Marple if not a gimmick transformed into an icon through sheer venerableness? And her author's talent. Anyway - the "Booktown" series features not one but two winning gimmicks - Tricia MIles is owner of a mystery bookstore (in a small ...more
An Odd1
Despite my dislike of the heroine's artificial Attitude and the unsurprising twist (view spoiler) the choice of possible murderers hooks me to the end. I'll try the authors on the back page (Laura Childs - Charleston Tea Shop, Kate Kingsbury - Pennyfoot Hotel) before more Barrett. Familiarity questions: have I read this before, would then have rated higher, or is all just predictable?

Tricia Miles uses last year's divorce alimony from handsome rich despicable Chris for five
Jobiska (Cindy)
The book was okay. I didn't really connect with the protagonist, especially since she was unpleasantly snooty about her sister (although that seems to change over the course of the book). I get that the author is building up backstory and conflict to spice up the relationship, but the conflict is not really clear, just that the protagonist dislikes and judges her sister (there's a lot about her sister's size, and how the protagonist's robe is "a few sizes too small for her" or something like tha ...more
Very good first book in a series. I love the idea of a town with its major tourist attraction different kinds of bookstores. The main character in this one owns the mystery shop (big surprise).

This is one of those series where the sleuth DOESN'T sets out to get involved in a murder mystery, in fact she has to be dragged into the whole thing when it becomes obvious that someone is trying to frame her for the murder.

The whole family dynamics aspect of this is interesting, as in, there is dysfuncti
Erin (Paperback stash) *is juggle-reading*

Just what I needed to break up reading the serious books I'm in the middle of - a worthy cozy.

Stoneham, New Hampshire sounds like an epic little town - a bookish area that is covered with bookstores given by theme. Loved the names of the stores: The Cookery for cookbooks; Haven't got a clue for the mystery store and protagonist, Trish; History Repeats itself for the history; Have a heart for romance. How fun that little town would be.

The protagonist is a likable enough sort - she loves books, s
Diane  Morasco
Murder Is Binding is a definite must for cozy mystery fans.

Lorna Barrett is the pseudonym of author Lorraine Bartlett aka L.L. Bartlett who pens psychological suspense & the Jeff Resnick mystery series.

Let me say, I'd love to visit the charming town of Stoneham, New Hampshire. I mean after all, I'd be living in Kate Borden's incredible Cobbs's Landing so a day trip by bus or a stay @ The Brookside Inn for a four-day weekend would be sheer paradise.

Stoneham is known as "Booktown" & consis
The first in a series about a woman who owns a mystery bookstore in a small bookstore-filled town in New Hampshire (recursive much?). This got a lot of positive ratings on Amazon, but I was not impressed - very superficial both in terms of character development and plot.
Quit this book 1/3 of the way through. Did not like the main character and did not like the author's writing style at all.
Sherri Hunter
A mystery set in and around a bookstore is intriguing, but when there’s a whole town dedicated to a slew of bookstores, how can any true bibliophile pass that up? Where this story lacks in intensity and real mystery, it makes up for in the whimsy of the village of Stoneham. While reading, I found myself not really caring so much who the murderer was as much as I was intrigued by the town and the bookshops. I kept hoping that our heroine would frequent more of them in an attempt to give the reade ...more
"All those years in Manhattan without a problem, and you move to a small town in New England to find chaos," says Tricia Miles' ex-husband to her when she 'phones to update him on what was happening. Incidentally they made no further contact thereafter.

No wonder he made the comment for Tricia opened a mystery bookstore 'Haven't Got a Clue' in Shoreham, which was the New England equivalent of Hay-on-Wye; bookshops everywhere! Heaven.

And heaven is where a neighbouring bookshop owner went rather my
Cheryl Landmark
This was a fun, light read as these cozy mysteries usually are. I love murders that take place in small town settings. The characters and mysteries are generally pretty interesting and this book was no exception. The fact that the main character, Tricia Miles, owned a bookstore ramped up the entertainment value for me.

Although Tricia was smart and likeable for the most part, she did have her faults as well. There were times when she seemed a little too whiny, sarcastic and snooty. But, I admired
Listened for Fun (Library Book)
Overall Rating: 4.00
Story Rating: 3.75
Character Rating: 4.25

Audio Rating: 4.00 (Not part of the overall rating)

First Thought when Finished: Really strong beginning to a new to me cozy mystery series. :)

Story Thoughts: This was a fun little cozy mystery. Tricia was pretty smart and savvy which made her approach to the case both interesting and fun. I am not a big fan of the plot device used for the "who dun it" but it was still really easy to read. Great for an afte
The book was a slow starter that never really grabbed me. I tried to read the book earlier in the summer and I just never could connect with that mysterious something that draws us into a fictional world. I wasn’t as much left cold by the book as much as having a strong sense of just plodding along until the end but I thought maybe it was my mood and picked it up again this week for a future Group Read. The setting is a great one that I imagine appeals to all readers and though I’d never want to ...more
This was really 2.5 stars, maybe 3 - for a cozy mystery. It was enjoyable but closely followed the cozy mystery formula: recently divorced woman (because who else has time to solve mysteries) who runs her own business (a mystery book store!) in atmospheric location stumbles on a dead body.

While there was some character development, such as a relationship with her sister, some thoughts about her divorce, etc., there are some things you cannot skip in a book. The only mention of her appearance wa
Jane C.
A cozy enough mystery, but the ending was more violent than I'd expect from the genre. I think it would have been more interesting if the author had delved into books more, perhaps the history of the antique cookbook and why it is so special. As a resident of New Hampshire, I didn't read enough sense of place. A minor character remarks during the conclusion that the mystery was so convoluted her head was spinning - mine too! I had trouble following which twin, which beneficiary etc. The sheriff' ...more
A fun cozy mystery by an author who I would bet has some experience working in a bookstore. If you're into cozies that aren't super saccharine while also not too dark, this is one I can recommend.
Lisa Kay
to Pretty entertaining for a start of a cozy series and I was looking to fulfill my owing a small town bookstore fantasy. I couldn’t figure out why the female sheriff was so hostile, but that was answered by the end. I’d be willing to read the next in the series. ...more
1st in the Booktown Mysteries Series. This book introduces us to Tricia Miles, who recently moved to the small town of Stoneham, NH, to open a mystery book store. The town's Chamber of Commerce had the brilliant idea to transform Main Street into a variety of specialty book shops to attract tourists, Stoneham also boasts to be the Safest Town in America, until Tricia discovered her cookbook shop neighbour murdered in her store. Even more aggravating, the town`s Sheriff seems determined to pin th ...more
My actual rating would be 2.5 stars. I originally had 3 stars, but I knocked off half of one because something that irritated me to no end.

Someone needs to inform the author that a character, especially a protagonist, using the term 'retarded' does not endear the character to others. No, I don't believe the character or the author herself meant anything offensive, and given the ages of both they were likely taught that it was the non-offensive term to use. Times have changed, and that is NOT an
Love the idea of a downtown full of bookshops. How fabulous is that? There is a cookbook shop, a mystery shop and a historical shop to name a few. This is the first mystery in the booktown series.

Tricia runs Haven't Got a Clue, the mystery bookstore in the quaint New Hampshire town of Shoreham. Tricia's store is successful but her neighbor at the Cookery claims to be having money issues. After dinner with her sister, Tricia heads back to her store but on the way she sees smoke. Running into the
Michelle Randall
Set in a small New Hampshire, a dying town has been revitalized by the day-tourist trade when a quick thinking real estate business man decides to court and attract unquie and rare booksellers to fill the vacant store fronts.

Housed at number 221 is the bookstore "Haven't Got a Clue", and mystery book store selling recent novels as well as rare and collectiable older books. Next door is "The Cookery", which has cooking demostrations and sells new and collectible cookbooks.

Trish owns "Haven't Got
Book Concierge
A small New Hampshire town has reinvented itself as “booktown” – setting up a variety of used book stores and specialty shops on the formerly decaying Main Street. One of these is “Haven’t Got a Clue,” owned and operated by newcomer Tricia Miles, and specializing in mystery books. When Tricia finds a neighboring shop’s owner murdered, she quickly finds herself the chief suspect. Now she has to find who really committed the murder in order to clear her name.

It’s a promising set up for a cozy mys
If this first book is any indication, this mystery series seems promising. I believe only two books have been published so far, so ufortunately I won't have the fun of reading a whole bunch of them in a row, but will rather have to wait patiently for the books to come out.

I like the setting of a small town in New Hampshire filled with used book stores. I am currently reading two other mystery series: The Needlecraft Mysteries, which feature a single woman who owns a needlework shop in a small to
Apr 01, 2009 Betty rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: cosy mystery lovers
Murder is Binding: a Booktown Mystery by Lorna Barrett
First in a new series, Lorna Barrett has captured the quintessential small town, with wonderful quirky characters, a unique plot and a fascinating cozy murder mystery. I loved this book, related to many cozies, but with a twist. The settings are described beautifully and the characters clearly defined while still being mysterious throughout the book. Oh, yes, and recipes included, too.

The decision of Stoneham, a small dying town, to invite bo
Kat Chan
Tricia is a niche bookseller in Stoneham, MA- a village that collects niche bookstores. As hers is inevitable a mystery store, she becomes the protagonist in a cozy mystery where she must figure out the true killer to clear her good name.

[Spoilers onwards]
This is the first in it's series- and it definitely shows. The book has some blatant mistypes- perhaps the fault of an editor over the actual author. It also repeatedly emphasizes its "type"-iness with the names of the other book stores and re
Basic premise: Stoneham is a small, touristy town in southern NH about an hour or so from the coast. It is well known to tourists and booklovers alike because much of the downtown consists of specialty bookstores. The main character, Tricia, runs a mystery bookshop called "Haven't Got a Clue." In this first book, another bookshop proprietor is found murdered and a rare book is missing from her shop. Tricia inadvertently gets herself involved in the crime and comes under suspicion from local law ...more
Glenda Bixler

"Frannie's handshake was as strong as any man's though not crushing. 'How's the book business? Doin' real well, are ya? I read romances myself. Love that Nora Roberts--but not those J.D. Robb ones she writes.' Frannie leaned closer, lowered her voice confidentially. 'They're set in the future, ya know, and that's just plain weird.

"Can't say as I've ever read any of her work." (p. 32)

I chuckled upon reading the above from Murder is Binding, the first book in a new Booktown Mystery series.

The seco
Pete Guion
I would prefer to give this 2.5 stars if I could. I thought it was an enjoyable story, but as far as truly interesting mysteries go, the book didn't quite grab me.

The good points - I liked most of the characters, it was very entertaining, and there were some nice clues and puzzles to figure out throughout the book (as I feel there always should be in a good mystery; that the reader has a chance of figuring things out on their own). Definitely an enjoyable read.

The not-so-good points - The twist
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The Ultimate ABC ...: Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett 1 8 Mar 14, 2012 05:28AM  
  • A Crafty Killing (Victoria Square, #1)
  • One Bad Apple (Orchard, #1)
  • A Killer Plot (A Books by the Bay Mystery #1)
  • Homicide in Hardcover (A Bibliophile Mystery, #1)
  • Fatal Fixer-Upper (A Do-It-Yourself Mystery, #1)
  • I Scream, You Scream (A Mystery A La Mode, #1)
  • The Ghost and Mrs. McClure (Haunted Bookshop Mystery, #1)
  • The Long Quiche Goodbye (A Cheese Shop Mystery, #1)
  • The Diva Runs Out of Thyme (A Domestic Diva Mystery, #1)
  • Grace Under Pressure (A Manor House Mystery, #1)
  • Double-Booked for Death (Black Cat Bookshop Mystery, #1)
  • Books Can Be Deceiving (Library Lover's Mystery, #1)
  • Murder Past Due (Cat in the Stacks, #1)
  • Cooking Up Murder (A Cooking Class Mystery, #1)
  • Buried in a Book (Novel Idea, #1)
  • Candy Apple Dead (A Candy Shop Mystery, #1)
  • Eggs in Purgatory (Cackleberry Club, #1)
  • The Cat, the Quilt and the Corpse (A Cats In Trouble Mystery, #1)
The immensely popular Booktown Mystery series is what put Lorna Barrett’s name on the New York Times Bestseller list, but it’s her talent -- whether writing as Lorna, or L.L. Bartlett, or Lorraine Bartlett -- that keeps her there. This multi-published, Agatha-nominated author pens the exciting Jeff Resnick Mysteries as well as the acclaimed Victoria Square Mystery series and has many short stories ...more
More about Lorna Barrett...

Other Books in the Series

Booktown Mystery (9 books)
  • Bookmarked For Death (A Booktown Mystery, #2)
  • Bookplate Special (A Booktown Mystery, #3)
  • Chapter and Hearse (A Booktown Mystery, #4)
  • Sentenced to Death (A Booktown Mystery, #5)
  • Murder on the Half Shelf (A Booktown Mystery, #6)
  • Not the Killing Type (A Booktown Mystery, #7)
  • Book Clubbed (A Booktown Mystery, #8)
  • A Fatal Chapter (A Booktown Mystery, #9)

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“Deception wasn’t Tricia’s strongpoint. Not when she’d been seven and blamed Angelica for a vase she’d broken, nor when coming up with excuses to avoid dating high school jocks who couldn’t spell, let alone comprehend, Sherlock Holmes.” 0 likes
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