Katie Bonner is devastated when the Webster mansion she has long wanted to turn into a bed and breakfast has been sold in The Walled Flower by Lorraine Bartlett, but the new owners get more than they bargained for when they find a skeleton walled up inside the building. Katie, who was present at the discovery, soon learns that the body belonged to Heather, the niece of Artisan Alley’s stalwart Rose. This lady reported the 20-year-old Heather missing 22 years earlier, only to be dismissed by everyone, including the police, who assumed Heather ran away to New York.
Despite Katie’s busy schedule as manager of Artisan Alley, an emporium for artists to sell their work, and her pressing need to find a new place in which to live, she agrees to help Rose learn more about Heather and try to figure out how Heather died and was stuck in the wall. It doesn’t take them long to discover that Heather’s then-boyfriend has changed his name in becoming a famous movie director who is currently in town till receive a major award while donating a lot of money to his alma mater. But meanwhile, the police detective seems not to care about this cold case until Barbie, Heather’s best friend, turns up dead in the Webster mansion.
The case just keeps adding to Katie’s busy schedule, which is made crazier by the rantings of one artist who bitterly resents the presence of crafters and the one with the booth next to hers in particular. The woman keeps claiming that her crafter neighbor has been stealing from her, culminating in the theft of all the clothes of her antique dolls, which she claims to have found being hung by their necks from the ceiling.
I did find myself getting annoyed with Katie’s attitude that she knows ever so much better than the police and the total disregard the detective in charge of the case shows for decorum or really even solving the murders. The ending also came abruptly and did not satisfy as much as I would have preferred.
The audio version is narrated by Jorjeana Marie, who is expressive and a good reader. But she does sound like she has a cold in her tones.
Despite my reservations about the character of Katie, I really enjoyed listening to The Walled Flower. It kept moving, with plenty of intrigue and excitement, plus strong development of characters introduced in the first book in this series. I fully intend to listen to more in the series. I give this book four stars.
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