In Dead, Bath, and Beyond by Lorraine Bartlett with Laurie Cass, Katie Bonner gets off a boat belonging to her close friend and lawyer Seth Landers and runs into Josh Kimper, her former boss, who was incredibly abrasive, almost verbally abusive, when she worked for Josh, and he has gotten no better in the year since she quit working for him. The next night Katie, owner of Artisans Alley, wakes up to the flashing lights of emergency vehicles and rushes to Sassy Sally’s Inn, the B&B Katie has long dreamed of opening but which two delightful men, Don and Nick, have instead purchased together to undergo as a venture. With two months to go until their grand opening, the partners have found a dead body in their bathtub. It is Josh, and he has drowned. But not in the bathtub. Instead, he has been drowned in Lake Ontario and transported to be left in Sassy Sally’s bathtub. Talk about strange!
Katie continues life managing Artisans’ Alley and trying to keep up her relationship with her boyfriend, Andy, owner of the local pizzeria, who is overworked and understaffed. The book continues bringing the world of Victoria Square to life, as we get to spend more time with Katie, Rose, Vance, Andy, Don, and Nick.
I enjoyed this book as much as the previous three. It builds up a whole community that we get to know as real people as they become so alive to our imagination. The mystery was fascinating while allowing time for attention to all the other details.
Jorjeana Marie reads the narration of the audiobook version of this book. She held my interest and gave me a lot of enjoyment as she performed. For a book that marries detection and local storytelling, Marie seems the perfect fit in doing both.
I recommend this series to people to enjoy the community along with the mystery. Since the community is involved, I strongly recommend that you start with A Crafty Killing. As a stand-alone book, I give this four stars, but I give the series as a whole five stars.
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