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A Crafty Killing (Victoria Square #1)

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  2,207 Ratings  ·  217 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.

Mass Market Paperback, 296 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Berkley (first published December 21st 2010)
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Lorna Barrett
Jun 11, 2010 Lorna Barrett rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 06, 2011 Jeannie and Louis Rigod rated it it was amazing
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
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
Apr 23, 2012 Shelby rated it it was ok
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.
Sep 05, 2015 Shonda rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2015
3.5 Stars
Jan 16, 2016 LORI CASWELL rated it it was amazing

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
Feb 11, 2012 Suzanne rated it really liked it
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
May 20, 2015 Rebecca rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, drama
Recently widowed Katie Bonner knew her husband had invested in Artisan's Alley, but didn't expect, when the owner was found murdered, that she would inherit half his estate and have to take over managing the nearly bankrupt institution. As she struggles to cope with the building, the vendors/artists, the other merchants in Victoria Square, and the detective who seems disinterested in investigating, Katie wonders if she will be able to save Artisan's Alley--and who might want to stop her.

Jan 30, 2011 Fred rated it it was amazing
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
May 07, 2011 Barbara rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-cozy
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
Stormi (Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my!)
When Ezra is killed Katie finds out that she is part owner in Artisan Square a place where artist sell their pieces. Katie finds out that she is part owner in the Artisan Square now and has to try and figure out what to do with it and how it can stay afloat. She also tries to find out who killed Ezra and there are a few likely candidates.

The Crafty Killing has a solid mystery that was really good, but I would say the one thing I didn’t care for much was how Katie thought she knew more than the D
Nov 08, 2014 Scott rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, cozy
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 liked it
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
Jun 28, 2015 Linda rated it it was amazing
After her husband's death, Katie Bonner finds herself the majority owner of the Artisan Attic. And then when her business partner, Ezra Hilton, is found murdered during a robbery attempt, she also learns that she is the executor of his estate. She finds herself trying to cope with the business of running Artisans Alley for a profit, handling the vendors and all their requests, and dealing with the police in their investigation. Will Katie find herself in danger too? This is the first book in a n ...more
Mar 23, 2011 Nancy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
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
Feb 28, 2011 Kelley rated it really liked it
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
Apr 13, 2011 Lindig rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
Feb 25, 2011 Deb rated it it was amazing
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!
Jun 24, 2015 Amy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This mystery will keep you engaged from the start.
Kate Bonner inherits a majority share from her late husband of Artisans Alley. She quits her job and puts her whole self into the arts and crafts emporium. Who killed the former owner and why!? Can Kate make Artisans Alley profitable?
Love the small town village feel.
Mar 19, 2011 Mary-Frances rated it really liked it
This series is promising. Not terribly original, but the characters seem to show promise.
Dec 15, 2016 Kristi rated it really liked it
Shelves: crafts, cozy-mystery
Katie Bonner has been dreaming of opening her own bed and breakfast for years. She is heartbroken when her husband spends all of their savings to purchase 5% ownership of Artisans Alley, a local craft marketplace. While the business has potential, the majority owner and manager, Ezra Hilton, is reluctant to make any changes. After her husband dies unexpectedly, Katie is left in a bit of financial trouble. When she goes to visit Ezra to discuss the business, she is shocked to find him dead at the ...more
Dec 22, 2016 Jeanie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: obs, my-library
I loved it! This is a remarkable first-in-series. The characters drew me in from the first page and didn't let go even after finishing the last page. The characters are excellent, with top-notch crafting of Katie and Rose. It is so cool to read a mystery that also demonstrates character growth! A still grieving widow, Katie begins to see behind the facade of those she meets at Artisans Alley into who they really are, showing how family isn't made simply by blood but also by a community of caring ...more
Jan 07, 2017 Georgette rated it it was amazing
After sitting on my shelf for far too many years, I was instantly immersed in this new series by Lorraine Bartlett (Aka Lorna Barrett). Nothing like an aspiring heroine(not by intent but by necessity), stuck in a dead end job with an abusive boss, but by fate, when Katie Bonner, recently widowed and taken under the wing of a friend, Ezra Hilton who was co partner(and now Katie's) with her late husband, Chad. Understand, Katie is a mere 30 years old when she was widowed. Now through fate, which h ...more
Amanda Mattison
Nov 07, 2016 Amanda Mattison rated it liked it
The story kept me interested till the end.
Oct 15, 2016 Diana rated it it was ok
The set up was good but the denouement was pretty far fetched and detracted from my enjoyment. Won't read more in this series.
Kathy Kirkland
Very well written and very enjoyable cozy mystery! Can't wait to read more in this series!
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
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
Cathy Cole
Aug 04, 2011 Cathy Cole rated it really liked it
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
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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 (4 books)
  • The Walled Flower (Victoria Square, #2)
  • One Hot Murder (Victoria Square, #3)
  • Dead, Bath, and Beyond (Victoria Square, #4)

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