About a decade ago, I decided that my writing career was never going to take off as long as I watched network TV. I figured if I no longer got sucked into that nightly routine, I’d have up to an additional twenty hours a week to write.

It worked! Hey, Mikey!

But then several years ago, while on vacation, I discovered HGTV. I spent every evening of that trip glued to the hotel room’s tube. I was hooked on reno and house hunting. Every one of these shows is exactly the same, and yet for some reason, I find them endlessly fascinating.

The formula is simple: they show the prospective homeowners inspecting three properties. They make a choice and sometimes they get it and sometimes they don’t. (Usually they do.) And all in thirty minutes.

How do they narrow down the choices? How do people go to other countries, spend two or three days looking at properties, and commit themselves to a home (or home away from home) for hundreds of thousands of dollars (or euros) without thinking it through? (Or rather, lying awake worrying about it?)

When Mr. L and I were house hunting more than 17 years ago, we looked at 84 properties (mostly in one town) before we made an offer on our present home. (Our movers were really annoyed because we had so many HEAVY books. They’d be ten times more annoyed now, because despite owning Kindles and an iPad, we still buy print books!)

In my latest novel, THE WALLED FLOWER, Katie Bonnie has lost her lease and left it rather late to find new living quarters for herself and her pets. Like those TV house hunters (International), she’s got days to find the home of her dreams. Of course, the home of her dreams had recently been sold, so she must find some place else to live–and fast. The best interim abode is right on Victoria Square and though it’s empty, the owner refuses to rent it to Katie.

So Katie keeps looking, and in between gets ready to stand up at a wedding, referees ongoing disputes between her vendors at Artisans Alley, and watches porno flicks. (Okay, it was just one porno flick, and she fast-forwarded through the naughty bits.) And, oh yes, she must also solve a murder that’s more than two decades old. (Let’s see HGTV take on those kinds of problems!)

The clock keeps ticking (and rather loudly) as time runs out on Katie’s home search, and for a second victim (or was that three victims?).

Will Katie find a new home? I hope you’ll give THE WALLED FLOWER a try to find out.


Meet the author:
Lorraine Bartlett must be absolutely crazy. Why else would she write three different mystery series? In addition to the Victoria Square Mysteries, she writes the Jeff Resnick Mysteries as L.L. Bartlett, and the New York Times bestselling, Agatha-nominated Booktown Mysteries under the name Lorna Barrett.

You can find THE WALLED FLOWER at most bookstores and online. Please visit Lorraine’s website (www.LorraineBartlett.com) or her Dazed and Confused blog: www.LLBartlett.typepad.com. (And BTW, Lorraine does NOT have HGTV in her cable package. If she did, she’d never write another word.)

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