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Murder is Binding

(Booktown Mystery #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  10,829 ratings  ·  1,106 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, 281 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Berkley Prime Crime
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Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,829 ratings  ·  1,106 reviews

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Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
4 stars to Lorna Barrett's Murder is Binding debut in the Booktown Mystery series. I had my eyes on this one for awhile as a quaint little village full of bookstores in New Hampshire sounds a bit like heaven. And it didn't disappoint!

Trish Miles uses her divorce settlement to move from NYC to a Stoneham, a lovely little village on the New Hampshire and Massachusetts border, where she opens a mystery-focused book shop nestled amongst several other book shops. Soon after, the older sister
Megs ♥
Nov 04, 2011 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 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: biblo-mystery fans
Excellent bookish mystery and the first book of which I hope becomes a long running series. How you not love a small town in NH that has been revitalized by turning main street into a group of specialty bookshops.
Jobiska (Cindy)
Jul 26, 2011 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
Elle G.
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Actual Rating: 3.5 - 4 stars

Gosh I wish this town truly existed! I would be THRILLED to live in a small town that has the streets lined with book stores!!
Leslye ✴
Jun 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
Every once in awhile, a nice cozy mystery is exactly what I need to fill a rainy afternoon. And what better way to spend that afternoon than in Stoneham, New Hampshire- a town full of specialty bookstores which draws in tourists and book collectors. *sigh* If only Stoneham were a real place!

Tricia Miles and her cat, Miss Marple, run the mystery bookstore, aptly called "Haven't Got a Clue"- cute, right? Newly divorced and new in town, the village welcomes her- that is until she discovers the murd
Sep 23, 2011 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. ...more
Jan 18, 2009 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 01, 2011 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 fiv
Jul 02, 2014 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
Trina Hughes
Jul 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this book, but I have no patience for the casual fat phobia and use of the r word. Not to mention the sexism. Even without those problems, I don’t think it was a strongly written book, many unnecessarily confusing descriptions and use of words to sound smart instead of conveying clear meaning. I read to the end, but I shouldn’t have bothered.
Sep 07, 2019 added it

From the get go, the main protagonist rubbed me the wrong way.

Cagey and full of her own self-importance. Didn’t wear a pinny to distinguish herself from the “help”. Ginny is her employee... not her domestic staff.

Also, it began in such as fashion as though we should already know things about Tricia, the shop and her relationship with her sister.

Angelica and Tricia aren’t sisterly names either. The author is trying too hard to distinguish the supposedly down to earth Tricia from her high-falut
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, cozy
This small town has been revamped as a booksellers’ town. Although locals visit the shops, it is the tourist travel that keeps the town going now. When mystery bookshop Tricia Miles finds the next door store owner of The Cookery dead in her shop, she becomes the sheriff’s number one suspect. It doesn’t help that the sheriff hates her for a reason not readily known to Tricia. But Tricia does know that if she doesn’t get to the bottom of the killing, she will be looking the wrong way through priso ...more
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
I really need to stop raising my expectations when a book has a lot of holds at the library. I think to myself, 'wow, it took me 3 months to get this one. It must be something amazing.'
But then, of course, it isn't and I feel robbed.
Case in point: Murder is Binding. It was a perfectly fine cozy mystery. It follows all the cozy mystery cliches and demonstrates an imaginative love of books that should have won my heart. But mostly...I felt disappointed.

1. The main heroine is an insufferable twat
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
In the Cozy Mystery universe this is probably a 3 star. Maybe even a 4 star.

In the general universe compared to other cheap novels & easy best sellers this is probably a 2 star. I had to settle on 2 stars regardless the plane of existence I might be careening through.

I thought Cozy Mysteries were a fun guilty pleasure for me now and again, and maybe they still are. But they are also dumb and silly and cheesy and usually average.

On the one hand this CM started out better than others, it didn't be
Feb 07, 2009 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
Surprisingly, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I had supposed, initially, that it would be one of those books in which the lady turns out to be more than a little stupid, but still gets to live. Not so, Tricia really does some work. She also has a brassy sister that seems to be an Andrea clone from the Hannah Swenson books. But it doesn't matter. I like both sisters better than I like the main character, and Angelica seems to have a little depth to her. The mystery was alright, I liked ...more
Diane Morasco
Apr 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, cozy, my-library
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" & consists of ma
Erin *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
Jul 26, 2009 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
Roxanne (The Novel Sanctuary)
DNF due to use of 'r' word. Plus the characters are boring. ...more
This one was decent. I really liked the concept of a book town; that was the real plus for me. The mc's store being a mystery bookstore was cool (though cozies weren't really featured). Then there were things that bothered me, such as the mc being singled out as the main suspect when there was no motive. The characters seemed a bit flat. There was repetition, which seems to be a downfall in many cozies. Being that this is the first in the series I'm more than willing to try the next to see how i ...more
Nov 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
An entertaining cozy mystery, and I like the concept, but I admit, the focus on the sibling relationship bugs. Essentially there's friction between the main character and her sister - with good reason or no is hard to say at this point - and I'm just in no mood to be particularly sympathetic to the sister deciding to move to the same small town. I'll likely read the second, but so far I find the sibling dynamics to be the weak point. ...more
Jessica Robbins
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For complete review check out my blog at https://booksaplentybookreviews.blogs... ...more
Lindsey Rose
Feb 27, 2021 rated it liked it
I love a good cozy mystery book! I really liked the idea of the little book town that this book is set in. I wished we got to see more of the other book shops and some more of the people in the town to give it more of the vibes I was searching for when I picked this up.
I am also extremely proud of my detective skills because I figured out “most” of who commuted the murder. There was one little twist that I didn’t quite figure out. I would have liked for the main character to do a little bit mor
S Pearlyan
Sep 24, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book, crime
I love cozy mysteries. I discovered this genre rather recently, but I'm all over it now. Plus a mystery set in book town. How can I ever resist? And that is why I'm now writing this review. Sometimes one just has to share.
So much promise., So much potential. I was so ready to like you. I was ready for us to be friends. But then you kept talking about weight. Kept on it. I get it. People in your world want to be thin, so they keep saying it. But you know what, I was ready to ignore that. And ign
Jan 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: serial-cozy, 2016
In Lorna Barrett's Murder is Binding, the first installment in the Booktown Cozy Mystery series, a brand new series from Lorna Barrett with the theme of books and reading. For Tricia Miles, she was new to Stoneham New Hampshire and just opened her used bookstore, Haven't Got a Clue. It started out for her, when her neighbor Doris Gleason was killed in her store. As a fellow newbie, all eyes were on her as the prime suspect. Then when Winnie was hit by a car, this small town have been rocked by t ...more
Jane C.
Feb 19, 2009 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 13, 2014 rated it did not like it
I made it halfway through the book, not only do I not care who the murderer is, I truly hope the protagonist and her sister are murdered as well. These were the absolute dumbest human beings ever created, sneaking around looking for "ways to help people" when they were initially and specifically given the answer.

I read a review that stated this book had interesting and in-depth characters. To that persom I would say
1. Where; and
2. You should probably read more books.

An absolute waste of good tre
Kyra Moore
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Very fun! A great murder mystery and well written.
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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

Other books in the series

Booktown Mystery (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Bookmarked for Death (Booktown Mystery, #2)
  • Bookplate Special (Booktown Mystery, #3)
  • Chapter & 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)
  • A Just Clause (Booktown Mystery, #11)

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20 likes · 5 comments
“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.” 2 likes
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