Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Murder is Binding (Booktown Mystery, #1)” as Want to Read:
Murder is Binding (Booktown Mystery, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Murder is Binding (Booktown Mystery #1)

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,249 Ratings  ·  618 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
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Murder is Binding, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Murder is Binding

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 1,338 books — 1,437 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 644 books — 1,773 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Meg ♥
Jan 12, 2012 Meg ♥ rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books, z-2011-reads
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
Jan 18, 2009 Kristen rated it liked it
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
Oct 27, 2015 An Odd1 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
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)
Jul 26, 2011 Jobiska (Cindy) rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
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
Erin (Paperbackstash) *Proud Book Hoarder*

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
Feb 14, 2009 Patty rated it really liked it
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
Sep 27, 2011 Victoria rated it did not like it
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.
Diane  Morasco
Apr 09, 2011 Diane Morasco rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-library, mystery, cozy
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
Sep 05, 2011 Zoe rated it it was ok
Shelves: mysteries
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.
Mar 03, 2009 Jane C. rated it it was ok
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
Mar 08, 2011 Judy rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
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.
Jul 03, 2014 Lacey rated it it was ok
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
Sherri Hunter
Oct 15, 2010 Sherri Hunter rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
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
Jan 26, 2013 Gerry rated it liked it
"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
Sep 19, 2012 Cheryl Landmark rated it really liked it
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
Jul 11, 2013 TheGeekyBlogger rated it really liked it
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
Aug 23, 2008 Ali rated it it was ok
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
Nov 06, 2015 Kristin rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 25, 2016 Judy rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Books on bibliophiles, bookstores, books are always a favorite. Very fast and entertaining read, the series is well recomended in the Cozy world. Crazy characters, comedic insights, well researched on books, a semblance of a conflict but loved the twist in the end! Since owning and running a bookstore is another dream job for me, will definitely continue with this series soon. (like living my life through the characters)
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
Aug 26, 2015 Wendy rated it really liked it
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
Kaitlyn Dunnett
There was quite a lot to like about this cozy mystery--the rivalry between sisters, the bookstore town setting (it works in Hay-on-Wye, so why not in New Hampshire?), the cat--but there were also a couple of things that took me out of the story and spoiled the reading experience for me. One was the depiction of the law enforcement officer in charge of the murder investigation. In the first place, in New Hampshire, this would not be a sheriff. I understand that the protagonist needed to be a susp ...more
Aug 02, 2015 erinthedreamer rated it did not like it
Wow Tricia Miles, the main character, comes off as a real bitch in the first few chapters. She’s judgmental, blames her sister or her mother for why she feels certain ways, and is about as boring as a stick in the mud. Things just get worse from there.
I didn’t like the way Barrett wrote, she was overly descriptive about the surroundings, and seemed to be forcing things to go a certain way. A lot of her terms and word choices seemed really dated and I was surprised to see the book was published i
Oct 12, 2009 Sara rated it really liked it
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
Nov 12, 2011 Michelle Randall rated it really liked it
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
Jan 07, 2012 Book Concierge rated it it was ok
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
Aug 02, 2009 Tracy rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
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 it was amazing
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
Feb 04, 2012 Kat Chan rated it liked it
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
May 30, 2010 Michelle rated it really liked it
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Ultimate ABC ...: Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett 1 8 Mar 14, 2012 05:28AM  
  • A Crafty Killing (Victoria Square, #1)
  • A Killer Plot (A Books by the Bay Mystery #1)
  • One Bad Apple (Orchard, #1)
  • Fatal Fixer-Upper (A Do-It-Yourself Mystery, #1)
  • Homicide in Hardcover (Bibliophile Mystery #1)
  • I Scream, You Scream (A Mystery A La Mode, #1)
  • The Diva Runs Out of Thyme (A Domestic Diva Mystery, #1)
  • Books Can Be Deceiving (Library Lover's Mystery, #1)
  • The Long Quiche Goodbye (A Cheese Shop Mystery, #1)
  • Buried in a Book (Novel Idea, #1)
  • Mum's the Word (A Flower Shop Mystery, #1)
  • The Ghost and Mrs. McClure (Haunted Bookshop Mystery, #1)
  • Grace Under Pressure (Manor House Mystery #1)
  • Tressed to Kill
  • Murder Past Due (Cat in the Stacks, #1)
  • Dead Air (Talk Radio Mystery #1)
  • Glazed Murder (Donut Shop Mystery, #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 (10 books)
  • Bookmarked For Death (Booktown Mystery, #2)
  • Bookplate Special (Booktown Mystery, #3)
  • Chapter and Hearse (Booktown Mystery, #4)
  • Sentenced to Death (Booktown Mystery, #5)
  • Murder on the Half Shelf (Booktown Mystery, #6)
  • Not the Killing Type (Booktown Mystery, #7)
  • Book Clubbed (Booktown Mystery, #8)
  • A Fatal Chapter (Booktown Mystery, #9)
  • Title Wave (Booktown Mystery #10)

Share This Book

“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
More quotes…