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A Crafty Killing (Victoria Square #1)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  1,626 ratings  ·  162 reviews
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 Katie can find the answer.

Paperback, 296 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Berkley (first published December 21st 2010)
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One for the Money by Janet EvanovichChocolate 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 Christie
Best Cozy Mystery Series
173rd out of 1,051 books — 1,211 voters
One for the Money by Janet EvanovichChocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeA is for Alibi by Sue GraftonPleating for Mercy by Melissa BourbonFatal Fixer-Upper by Jennie Bentley
First books of some good cozy series
50th out of 316 books — 414 voters

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Community Reviews

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Lorna Barrett
Well, I might be a bit prejudiced as I wrote the book. It's the first in the new Victoria Square Mystery series that's coming out under the name Lorraine Bartlett. It'll be available Feb. 3, 2011.

The last thing Katie Bonner wanted was to become the manager of Artisans Alley. But when her business partner, Ezra Hilton, is found lying at the bottom of a staircase, bludgeoned to death, she has no other choice. A collection of booths for artisans and craft sellers in a renovated applesauce factory b
Listened for Review (Tantor)
Overall Rating: DNF
Story Rating: 3.50
Character Rating: 1.00

Audio Rating: 3.50 (not part of the overall rating)

First Thought when Finished: A Crafty Killing by Lorraine Bartlett had one of my worst Pet Peeves ever: leading character thinks she is smarter than the cops and thinks they can't do their job.

Might have changed my mind if: I listened to 70% of the story and just had to shut it down. However I had to know what happened so I fast-forwarded to the last 5%. If Ka
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
First off, in my humble opinion this book earns at the minimum six stars! I truly mean this as a dedicated and addicted mystery reader.

"A Crafty Killing" by Lorraine Bartlett, sounds like it would be a cute light mystery with a touch of romance. The title is solid but the book is just so much more. Now, I can't figure out what I'd title it but let's consider some of it's elements.

The book has a competent business manager who inherits an on-going business concern in the red, which just happens to
This book was a worth-while read, but that may be because I'm in the middle of a reading-intensive semester of business school, and I needed something mindless. I'm not sure I really like the main character (or even any of the secondary characters) very much. The book was slow, and the relationships seemed forced and unnatural.
This is the first book in the Victoria Square series. Lorraine Bartlett also writes as Lorna Barrett.

Victoria Square is a group of small shops and is anchored by Artisans Alley. Artisans Alley is made up of booths for artists. Katie Bonner has inherited a 10% ownership in Artisan Alley when her husband had died in an automobile accident. As she is on her way to work she notices police cars in front of Artisan Alley and stop be and learns that the owner, Ezra Hilton, has been found dead, evidentl

A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
A Division of Penguin Publishing
Release Date: February 1, 2011
ISBN-10: 0425239853
ISBN-13: 978-0425239858

Artisans Alley is the cornerstone of Victoria Square. It is an old applesauce warehouse renovated into a collection of booths for artists and craft dealers to sell their wares. Because her husband emptied their savings account to become a partner in this business Kate Bonner's dream of buying a huge Victorian Hou
As a new friend has said, another A,B,C mystery. Fairly formulaic, but I still enjoyed this book.

Find myself reading a lot of these A,B,C mysteries lately. Is this what the industry coming too? This bothers me a bit. While I find I like a lot of these books - I don't get excited about them or love them. They are all so similar.

They are easy reads for sure and I think that is one reason I keep reading them. They are great stress reducers - you can get into them and get away for awhile but not h
Kate Bonner is still grieving for her late husband Chad, when his business partner, Ezra Hilton, the owner of Artisan's Alley, an art boutique in upstate New York is suddenly killed. Up until that time, Kate had a 10% financial interest in the business, but virtually no personal interest in its success or failure. While her husband was still alive, Kate had hopes of purchasing an old Victorian Home, just steps from Artisan's Alley, and turning it into a Bed & Breakfast. Those hopes were dash ...more
Usually after reading something long, epic, involved etc. I grab a cozy mystery to cleanse the palette. They're enjoyable, short and usually have great characters and almost nobody does a cozy better than Lorraine Bartlett.

This is the first of a series and I really enjoyed it. Characters were interesting and they were put in situations that made them grow and develop. Growing up in Hilton and spending a fair amount of time at the co-op there (along with their Dickens festival) Ih could relate to
Aug 12, 2011 Erin rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: cozy mystery fans
I picked this book up off a reshelving cart because I needed something to read on my break and was in the mood for something light. This was a perfect choice: a cozy mystery, the first in a series, interesting enough to keep my attention and yet not requiring more brain power than my overtaxed noggin could handle at the time! (And now I'm curious to find out what happens in the next book in the series.)

Recent widow Katie Bonner becomes the main suspect in a murder investigation when the owner of
I've had this book for awhile now, just sitting on my TBR pile so I decided to read it, finally. Overall not a bad book, but not highly memorable, either.

I loved most of the characters. Katie came off as arrogant in some parts of the book, but by the end she was likeable, and I especially loved Rose, I thought she was really funny, and she reminded me of my grandmother.

The setting itself gave this book an extra star, I love stores like this and I loved how Katie became manager of a place like th
This delightful mystery will engage your interest right away and you’ll cheer for the survival of Artisans Alley, which intrepid heroine Kate Bonner inherits a majority share in from her late husband. She quits her job and dedicates herself to the revival of this arts and crafts emporium. Can she find who killed the former owner, her husband’s business partner, before someone else dies? Can she improve the profitability of this historic site before hotel developers move in? Kate invites us into ...more
What a wonderful debut of a new series by a favorite author. No matter what name Lorraine Bartlett writes under, she always manages to write solid and entertaining mysteries. Bartlett's new series starts with A Crafty Killing and as the new heroine, Katie Bonnner, makes her way through the book meeting new people, the reader also meets the characters as well. It's a refreshing and entertaining way to get the reader involved with the people of the book; by introducing them to the reader and Katie ...more
Nothing startling in this cozy, but it's well done. The premise is interesting (we all love those huge rambling arts/crafts bazaars), the politics of the merchants association quite believable, and the people are well-drawn. Witty enough, too. I'll look forward to the next one.

Found out this author (under Lorna Bartlett) writes the Booktown Mystery series. As a former bookstore owner myself, I had a hard time suspending disbelief at the way the heroine ran her business. This crafty series is muc
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!
This series is promising. Not terribly original, but the characters seem to show promise.
Katie Bonner's plans to open a bed and breakfast were dashed when her husband Chad took their money and invested it in Artisan's Alley. His actions put a rift in their marriage, a rift that was never healed before Chad died in a car accident, leaving Katie a business partner in Artisan's Alley. Now her business partner Ezra Hilton has been murdered and not only has Katie inherited part of Ezra's estate, the police consider her a major suspect in his murder. Katie must figure out how to make Arti ...more
Michelle Randall
A Crafty Killing is the first in the Victoria Square Mystery series, and if the first book is as good as the rest, this is going to be one wonderful series.

Katie Bonner is young, and had big dreams, dreams of a bed and breakfast for her and husband Chad, and he was on board, then he got into Artisan's Alley, which was an antique and craft market, although some vendors wanted no crafts and others did, it wasn't doing too well, but Chad saw visions for it. It created some in fighting between Chad
A great first in the series, as we join Katie in the next phase of her life. Which I really liked, because some first in a series (especially in cozies) it feels like we're arriving mid-story. But the reader learns along with Katie about the going on's at Victorian Square and just what it'll take for her to take over Artisans Alley. The setting is as cute and cozy as could be, with great side characters. I did suspect who the killer was, but I wasn't positive until the end. And that's a good thi ...more
A Crafty Killing: a Victoria Square Mystery by Lorraine Bartlett
Review based on ARC

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 mai
Some readers may know Lorraine Bartlett under the name of Lorna Barrett. She has written the highly successful Booktown Mystery series, and now she has a new series out. A cozy mystery series full of small town gossip, and arts and crafts.

In A CRAFTY KILLING Katie is left reeling after discovering the body of Ezra, the owner of Artisan's Alley. When Ezra names her in his will, she has no choice but to try and keep it running, even if just for the sake of her husband, who passed away some six mon
I was walking through Barnes & Noble and the title caught my eye and I decided to give the series a try. I really enjoyed this book and thought that it was well developed.

Katie Bonner has had a difficult year when she becomes the owner/manager of Artisans Alley. This was not a job that she wanted, in fact, Artisans Alley contributed to the end of her marriage. Katie has dreamed of opening her own bed and breakfast in Victoria Square. As she gets to know the artisans who rent space in Artisa
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 hi
Judy Iliff
Lorraine Barlett aka Lorna Barrett has done it again! Her new Victoria Square mysteries series is a winner in my book! A Crafty Killing is the first in the new series.

On her way to work one day, Kati Bonner notices police cars outside Artisans Alley, an artists' cooperative of sorts where they can sell their works. While Kati doesn't care about the place, she does have an interest as her husband had bought a share of the enterprise; and upon his death, she had inherited that share. She soon disc
Recently widowed Katie Bonner is just getting used to the idea of her husband being gone. So when his former business partner Ezra Hilton dies unexpectedly, and she learns that she is the main beneficiary, she's flabbergasted. She works full-time, and knows next-to-nothing about the operations of Artisans Alley.

But when she takes time off work to deal with funeral arrangements and familiarize herself with how the Alley is run, her employer is extremely difficult and unsupportive. In frustration,
A Crafty Killing: a Victoria Square Mystery by Lorraine Bartlett
Review based on ARC.

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
Cathy Cole
First Line: Ezra Hilton lay sprawled at the bottom step of the staircase, facedown in a puddle of his own congealed blood.

Recently widowed, Katie Bonner has a job she loathes and a small interest in Artisans Alley, a collection of booths for artisans in a renovated apple warehouse. Becoming the manager of Artisans Alley was one of the last items on her wishlist-- if it even made the cut at all. But that's just what happens when Ezra Hilton is found dead on the premises. Although the linchpin of
This is a great first in a series book. I've read several other books by this author under her "Lorna Barrett" name so knew it would be good but didn't expect it to be this good. In fact, I read it in a day and a half, a rarity for me.

Katie finds out that her business partner is killed, murdered, and then discovers that she is now major partner in a venture called Artisans Alley. Ezra Hilton was running the operation and Katie's former husband had invested in the business, much to Katie's dismay
It's always nice to discover a new cozy mystery as the first one is released. When Katie Bonner comes across her late husband's business partner dead in a stairwell on the first page, you know you're going to be in for a great mystery. Ezra owned the economically flailing Artisans Alley, in which Katie's late husband Chad sank much of their precious bed and breakfast savings into as a partner shortly before his car accident. After Ezra's death, Katie, who is woefully underutilized in an insuranc ...more
This is the first book in a new series featuring Katie Bonner. It opens with the murder of Ezra Hilton, owner of Artisans Alley. Thanks to her late husband’s interest in Artisans Alley (he was also an artist), he invested their savings in it to become partners with Ezra. This leaves Katie with controlling interest in Artisan’s Alley upon Ezra’s death.

Sadly, it’s a struggling venture, but it appears that it is also what Katie needs to really begin moving on after her husbands unexpected death. It
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The immensely popular Booktown Mystery series is what put Lorraine Bartlett’s pen name Lorna Barrett 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 ...more
More about Lorraine Bartlett...

Other Books in the Series

Victoria Square (3 books)
  • The Walled Flower (Victoria Square, #2)
  • One Hot Murder (Victoria Square, #3)
The Walled Flower (Victoria Square, #2) One Hot Murder (Victoria Square, #3) With Baited Breath We're So Sorry, Uncle Albert Panty Raid: A Tori Cannon-Kathy Grant Mini Mystery

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