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Authors: Lorraine Bartlett

Tags: #Cozy Mystery

One Hot Murder

BOOK: One Hot Murder
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PRAISE FOR

A Crafty Killing

(Best of 2011 by
Suspense Magazine
)

“Fun plot, fanciful characters, really fabulous crafts…Bartlett put her art and soul into this mystery!”

—Laura Childs,
New York Times
bestselling author of
Stake & Eggs

“Bartlett combines murder, a touch of romance, and a lot of intrigue in this charming story. With a cast of personable characters and a lively, fast-paced story line, readers will be enthralled and delighted with this fresh new series.”


Fresh Fiction

“A fun new mystery with a cast of charming characters…Readers will look forward to more with Katie and the artisans from Artisans Alley.”


The Mystery Reader

“A sweet new mystery series by a top-notch author who writes under a few pen names. Katie is a likable heroine, fallible yet strong, tough but tender. A great book for readers looking for something light—and who also look for happy endings. I expect this series to go on for a long time.”


Cozy Library

“[A] fantastic start to a new cozy series…
A Crafty Killing
kept my attention from the very first word until I turned the last page. The red herrings were aplenty, and the killer a complete surprise. Ms. Bartlett has created a crafty tale that must be read.”


The Best Reviews

“This opening tale in a small-town amateur-sleuth series is a terrific first act.”


Genre Go Round Reviews

Berkley Prime Crime titles by Lorraine Bartlett

A CRAFTY KILLING

THE WALLED FLOWER

ONE HOT MURDER

One Hot Murder

LORRAINE BARTLETT

BERKLEY PRIME CRIME, NEW YORK

THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) • Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England • Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.) • Penguin Group (Australia), 707 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3008, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.) • Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India * Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.) • Penguin Books (South Africa), Rosebank Office Park, 181 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parktown North 2193, South Africa • Penguin China, B7 Jiaming Center, 27 East Third Ring Road North, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100020, China

Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: The recipes contained in this book are to be followed exactly as written. The publisher is not responsible for your specific health or allergy needs that may require medical supervision. The publisher is not responsible for any adverse reactions to the recipes contained in this book.

ONE HOT MURDER

A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author

PUBLISHING HISTORY

Berkley Prime Crime mass-market edition / February 2013

Copyright © 2013 by Lorraine Bartlett.

Cover illustration by Chris Beatrice.

Interior text design by Laura K. Corless.

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

ISBN: 978-1-101-61909-4

BERKLEY
®
PRIME CRIME

Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

BERKLEY
®
PRIME CRIME and the PRIME CRIME logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

ALWAYS LEARNING
PEARSON

For my “niece” Sophie Stanley

Acknowledgments

Whenever I come to a snag in my writing, I always seem to know someone with the appropriate expertise. My thanks go to my favorite landlady, Liz Eng, for sharing her knowledge of rental properties. I consulted author Kathryn Shay for information on firefighters. Krista Davis and Wendy Lyn Watson gave me legal advice, and Pamela James came up with the title. Steve Betlem of John Betlem Heating and Cooling shared his knowledge of HVAC systems and let me know what I could and could not do with them.

Thanks also go to my wonderful editor, Tom Colgan, and the world’s best agent, Jessica Faust.

Most of all, I’d like to thank my husband, Frank, who supports me in everything I do.

To learn more about the Victoria Square Mysteries, and find more of Katie’s recipes, I hope you’ll visit my website, www.LorraineBartlett.com, and consider signing up for my periodically e-mailed newsletter.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Eleven

Twelve

Thirteen

Fourteen

Fifteen

Sixteen

Seventeen

Eighteen

Nineteen

Twenty

Twenty-one

Twenty-two

Twenty-three

Twenty-four

Twenty-five

Twenty-six

Twenty-seven

Katie’s No-Bake Recipes

One

When the idea came to Katie Bonner to live over her boyfriend’s pizza parlor, it seemed like a great one. And it was. In April and May—and even early June. The heat radiating from the pizza ovens kept her tiny apartment warm and cozy.

And then came July and things got sticky. Literally.

I’ll get a window air conditioner
, Katie thought to herself, and then discovered that while the pizzeria could handle the electrical load from a large AC unit out back, the circuit panel in her apartment could not.

Did her landlord/boyfriend, Andy Rust, want to upgrade it?

Um…no.

Had that caused friction between them?

Definitely.

It was a sultry Saturday evening and twilight was about to fall as Katie gazed out the apartment’s front window overlooking Victoria Square. The air was stifling in her tiny apartment. So much so that she’d only picked at the cold salad
she’d bought at the local grocery store, since she hadn’t felt like cooking. The oscillating fan on a stand circulated the air around her, but did nothing to actually lower the room’s oppressive temperature. Her two cats, Della and Mason, didn’t seem to mind the heat at all, or at least they didn’t show it—except for the inordinate amount of hair they seemed to shed on the rugs and every piece of upholstered furniture. Katie was glad she had a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment. The cats would sack out on the cool ceramic tile in the bathroom and purr contentedly when she went in to check on them.

She sighed as she stared at the old Webster mansion on the opposite end of Victoria Square, the quaint shopping district within the village of McKinlay Mill, New York. For years she’d had her eye on buying the old house in hopes of turning it into The English Ivy Inn. Instead, her late husband had taken everything they had saved to buy the building and invested it in Artisans Alley, a going concern that was quickly going downhill. Chad had died in a car accident less than a year later. Ezra Hilton, the Alley’s manager, had followed him in death some seven months after that. Katie had inherited a majority interest in the artisans arcade and became its rather reluctant manager.

BOOK: One Hot Murder
13.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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