Sentenced To Death by Lorna Barrett is the 5th book in the “Booktown” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin), June 2011

As the owner of Stoneham, New Hampshire’s mystery bookstore Haven’t Got a Clue, Tricia Miles can figure out whodunit in the latest bestseller way before she gets to the last page. But these days, Tricia is using her sleuthing skills for much more than the books on her shelves.

It’s Founders’ Day in Stoneham and the whole village has turned out to celebrate in the square, including Tricia’s friend and festivities organizer Deborah Black. As everyone watches Deborah give the opening speech, a small aircraft crashes into the village gazebo, killing both Deborah and the pilot.

While the Sheriff’s Department is convinced that it was an accident, Tricia has a feeling that there’s more to the story. And when she reads between the lines of the case, what she finds is worse than the most sinister whodunit.

A truly great mystery keeps you entranced in the story that all else has to wait and that is how I felt reading “Sentenced to Death”. A woman’s death appears to be an accident, but something just nags at Tricia as she believes a murder was committed. With dogged persistent, Tricia uncovers a plot more sinister than she ever imagined. This story just blew me out of the water. All I can say is wow, what a surprising conclusion that I truly did not see coming. Superbly-written, intriguing plot and crisp dialogue, this series keeps getting better and better.

Lorna Barrett is the pseudonym of Lorraine Bartlett, who also writes the “Victoria Square” mystery series.

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