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The Walled Flower (Victoria Square, #2)

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If Katie Bonner's late husband hadn't invested all their savings in the crafts fair Artisans Alley, the Webster mansion could have been hers to remodel into a bed-and-breakfast. Instead that dream belongs to another young couple. But that dream becomes a nightmare when a skeleton is discovered sealed in the walls of the mansion. The bones belong to Helen Winston, who went If Katie Bonner's late husband hadn't invested all their savings in the crafts fair Artisans Alley, the Webster mansion could have been hers to remodel into a bed-and-breakfast. Instead that dream belongs to another young couple. But that dream becomes a nightmare when a skeleton is discovered sealed in the walls of the mansion. The bones belong to Helen Winston, who went missing twenty-two years ago. Heather's aunt, a jewelry vendor at Artisans Alley, asks Kate for help finding her niece's murderer. The case may be cold, but the killer is very much alive-and ready to go to any lengths to keep past secrets buried...


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If Katie Bonner's late husband hadn't invested all their savings in the crafts fair Artisans Alley, the Webster mansion could have been hers to remodel into a bed-and-breakfast. Instead that dream belongs to another young couple. But that dream becomes a nightmare when a skeleton is discovered sealed in the walls of the mansion. The bones belong to Helen Winston, who went If Katie Bonner's late husband hadn't invested all their savings in the crafts fair Artisans Alley, the Webster mansion could have been hers to remodel into a bed-and-breakfast. Instead that dream belongs to another young couple. But that dream becomes a nightmare when a skeleton is discovered sealed in the walls of the mansion. The bones belong to Helen Winston, who went missing twenty-two years ago. Heather's aunt, a jewelry vendor at Artisans Alley, asks Kate for help finding her niece's murderer. The case may be cold, but the killer is very much alive-and ready to go to any lengths to keep past secrets buried...

30 review for The Walled Flower (Victoria Square, #2)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lindig

    A slog. For a book that should have taken a couple of hours to read, it has dragged on for days now. I kept getting so annoyed at Katie for allowing herself to be so stressed by her "friends" and even more annoyed at her boyfriend's attitude. And I didn't care about the mystery at all; it seemed contrived. I'm always amazed at business owners who have time to run all over town all the time and just chuck the business into someone else's hands; most of the owners I know work 50+ hours a week. Any A slog. For a book that should have taken a couple of hours to read, it has dragged on for days now. I kept getting so annoyed at Katie for allowing herself to be so stressed by her "friends" and even more annoyed at her boyfriend's attitude. And I didn't care about the mystery at all; it seemed contrived. I'm always amazed at business owners who have time to run all over town all the time and just chuck the business into someone else's hands; most of the owners I know work 50+ hours a week. Anyhow, there were too many plots and subplots and sub-subplots to keep track of, and I didn't care.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Marge

    I just can not like Katie at all. She is manipulative, self-centered and not very nice to Andy the person she supposedly loves. I'm sure in the next book she will expect Andy to buy her the B&B prospect, simply because she wants it. With "eyes blazing" ( As an I just can not like Katie at all. She is manipulative, self-centered and not very nice to Andy the person she supposedly loves. I'm sure in the next book she will expect Andy to buy her the B&B prospect, simply because she wants it. With "eyes blazing" (<-direct quote from book) Katie was infuriated because Andy was using his property to further his business instead of giving her the apartment she WANTED. But never fear, Katie is already scheming about moving in furniture and redecorating. As an artist I was looking forwarding to this series, but there is very little about the artists and their work. How about a description of the booths or a glimpse into a few of the artist's work. This could cut down on the pages devoted to Katie's whining and obsessing over the Webster Mansion. Done with this series

  3. 5 out of 5

    TheGeekyBlogger

    Listened for Review (Tantor) Overall Rating: DNF Audio Rating: 3.50 (not part of the overall rating) First Thought when Finished: The Walled Flower by Lorraine Bartlett unfortunatly was a DNF for me because of the leading lady. Quick Thoughts: Katie was immediately (like 2nd chapter) already second guessing the police (cozy mystery pet peeve number 1: when the lead who is neither a police officer OR PI starts thinking they are so much smarter than the cops)! Example: Oh surely they dusted for prints Listened for Review (Tantor) Overall Rating: DNF Audio Rating: 3.50 (not part of the overall rating) First Thought when Finished: The Walled Flower by Lorraine Bartlett unfortunatly was a DNF for me because of the leading lady. Quick Thoughts: Katie was immediately (like 2nd chapter) already second guessing the police (cozy mystery pet peeve number 1: when the lead who is neither a police officer OR PI starts thinking they are so much smarter than the cops)! Example: Oh surely they dusted for prints before handing it over to the detective. Girl, I don't care how much "Real TV" you watch--the cops know how to do their jobs. Also, the inn she wanted was sold to another couple so while she was pleasant to them, her internal dialogue was very me, me, me. Both of those bugged me book 1 but I was told she was better book 2. Not so much or at least not the part I listened too. So this has to be a DNF for me. Audio Thoughts: Narrated By Jorjeana Marie / Length: 8 hrs and 24 mins Jorjeana's narration was really good but again she sounded like she had a cold. It was really "stuffed up" sounding and I listened to examples of her other narration, it wasn't like that at all. So I am just going to assume these were recorded back to back when she had a cold. Final Thoughts: While these things did not work for me that doesn't mean the series is bad. It has a great setting, great side characters, and the mystery (at least in the first book) was solid. DNF Report: It's not you, It's Me!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I kept reading this book thinking it has got to get better. It never did and the ending was just ridiculous. Note to self - don't read this author again.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Janet Robel

    This was cute. Kicks off with the mystery right away. Katie is a good amateur sleuth. I enjoyed it and would like to read more in this series.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Betty

    Published by Berkley Prime Crime, New York Review based on ARC What a stressful life our Katie Bonner is living these days! Aside from her daily routines at the Artisans Alley, which are about to be interrupted in a less than happy way, she is rushing around to find a place to live and down to a very short deadline since her apartment has been rented out already. Then one of her vendors talks her into becoming her Matron of Honour (and must have read and copied every book on a Matron of Honour's d Published by Berkley Prime Crime, New York Review based on ARC What a stressful life our Katie Bonner is living these days! Aside from her daily routines at the Artisans Alley, which are about to be interrupted in a less than happy way, she is rushing around to find a place to live and down to a very short deadline since her apartment has been rented out already. Then one of her vendors talks her into becoming her Matron of Honour (and must have read and copied every book on a Matron of Honour's duty), with a deadline just over a week away. Another vendor is adamantly demanding that her neighbouring vendor be arrested for stealing with no proof whatsoever, and her dream to own and operate the old Webster mansion for a Bed and Breakfast is revived again when the property goes up for sale---and again she can't afford it. It does sell, though, and the new owners are planning on doing exactly what Katie had planned, they are renovating the house to be a Bed and Breakfast, with many of the same ideas Katie had. Lorraine Bartlett knows how to write sharp, witty, intriguing mysteries, often with several smoothly entwined in a single book, a book that is very hard to put down. I think this is the best yet. New characters come and go, and some remain adding to the population of Victoria Square. I love the title of the book and how it fits with the story. There is indeed a "walled flower", not the kind of flower you would expect, but one forever caught in the bloom of its life. Katie is about to uncover this flower when she makes a welcoming visit to the new neighbours, who are busily tearing down a wall. They allow her to try her hand with the mallet which she does with the relish and zeal of a thwarted homeowner, breaking away pieces until she suddenly realizes something is inside the wall. The skeleton of a young woman, obviously in the wall for many years, the walled flower, a death too soon. At this point an over-stressed Katie issues what must be the understatement of the decade, "Well, this could ruin your day." As the insensitive and formidable homicide Detective Ray Davenport arrives and the area is cordoned off, Rose Nash, one of the older vendors at Artisan's Alley and a special friend to Katie, is allowed in when it appears she may have information about the body. She is able to identify the locket the skeleton is wearing and identifies the girl as her niece Heather, who disappeared 22 years before. From the moment of identification, this story takes on a life of its own, involving many people, possible suspects, and more bodies piling up. As usual, the detective does not seem to be moving, or at the very least moving in the right direction, so Rose becomes Katie's sidekick as they investigate together, a partnership I found very satisfying and would enjoy seeing again. Rose proves herself reliable and quick. In the meantime, between the looming wedding, the accusations of thefts, a child left unattended by the accusator, the hunt for a place to live (and wondering why current boyfriend Andy won't let her rent his apartment over the store) and more, Katie is quickly becoming overwhelmed. Searching for an apartment introduces her to some very strange owners! She is aided, and sometimes abetted, by various members of the Alley. Many surprises are in store for the reader. This is an enjoyable romp with action all through. I did not want to put the book down, though I often felt I needed to catch my breath. A wonderful cozy read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jeannie and Louis Rigod

    I was Blessed this week by a surprise gift in my post office box. What was it? An ARC of "The Walled Flower" by Lorraine Bartlett. Ms. Bartlett gave me this splendid gift and was I happy! Not only was I at the ending of my current read, I know that Lorraine Bartlett is one of those Authors unable to disappoint me. Now, "The Walled Flower" may seem an unusual title for a Victoria Square Mystery, however, it reminded me of many titles favored in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is quickly shown to t I was Blessed this week by a surprise gift in my post office box. What was it? An ARC of "The Walled Flower" by Lorraine Bartlett. Ms. Bartlett gave me this splendid gift and was I happy! Not only was I at the ending of my current read, I know that Lorraine Bartlett is one of those Authors unable to disappoint me. Now, "The Walled Flower" may seem an unusual title for a Victoria Square Mystery, however, it reminded me of many titles favored in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is quickly shown to the reader just how very applicable to the story the title is. Twenty two years ago a missing persons case was filed. Who took the report? Why our Detective Davenport... Who was the young woman? Why Rose Nash, the jewelry artist's niece, Heather Winston. If Heather wasn't a missing person...who was or is the killer. When a second body is discovered...the search is on and our Katie Bonner, friend of Rose, and semi-sleuth is on the case. This book held me enthralled. The story reels you in and then you find there are all sorts of mysteries happening and overlapping and you continue to turn the pages unconsciously. Beneath the turmoil is Katie's love-life, apartment woes, and her deep sorrow of a dream unfulfilled. The book comes out on February 7, 2012. I seriously suggest you pre-order one before then as I think this is easily another Best-Seller for Ms. Bartlett. As for my gift...Keep them coming so that I can say "I know you!" Oh, and what does Leann Sweeney, Jennifer Stanley, and Heather Webber/Blake have in common? Why, I won't tell you...you have to get a copy of the book!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Ann

    I read this because it was in my pile.... I will not read the other two by the same author, they are going back into the Library return bag. I really dislike stupid wishy-washy main characters. Are they suppose to be endearing? How do they escape being killed off by the bad-guy? Main character, Katie, her husband died (no great loss) & the $$$ she had set aside to purchase the Victorian mansion across the street to be opened as a B&B (all the antique furniture she bought is in storage), he used to I read this because it was in my pile.... I will not read the other two by the same author, they are going back into the Library return bag. I really dislike stupid wishy-washy main characters. Are they suppose to be endearing? How do they escape being killed off by the bad-guy? Main character, Katie, her husband died (no great loss) & the $$$ she had set aside to purchase the Victorian mansion across the street to be opened as a B&B (all the antique furniture she bought is in storage), he used to buy the money-losing craft mall across the street (without telling her) instead. Katie goes in to visit the new owners of the mansion & they offer her the sledge hammer to remove a wall... inside the wall is the skeleton of a young woman who disappeared 20 years ago. The current sheriff is the same one who took the missing report 20 years ago and blew it off, never following through, because he was (and still is) a lazy chump. The girl's ex-boyfriend, now movie director comes to town & she questions him in front of the press, he is later killed by a sniper. The ex-best friend of the girl, is also killed after meeting w/ Katie, before she tells Katie anything, she gets spooked & runs away. Also: there is problems w/ a nasty seller in the antiques mall; Katie stupidly agrees to be a maid-of-honor for another vendor she barely knows and gets stuck w/ wedding favors & parties two weeks before the wedding; and she has lost her lease w/ 2 days to move and no prospects. Whatever....

  9. 4 out of 5

    OpenBookSociety.com

    http://openbooksociety.com/article/th... The Walled Flower Victoria Square, Book #2 By Lorraine Bartlett ISBN 9780425246160 Author Website: lorrainebartlett(.)com Brought to you by OBS reviewer Jeanie Synopsis: If Katie Bonner’s late husband hadn’t invested all their savings in the crafts fair Artisans Alley, the Webster mansion could have been hers to remodel into a bed-and-breakfast. Instead that dream belongs to another young couple. But that dream becomes a nightmare when a skeleton is discovered se http://openbooksociety.com/article/th... The Walled Flower Victoria Square, Book #2 By Lorraine Bartlett ISBN 9780425246160 Author Website: lorrainebartlett(.)com Brought to you by OBS reviewer Jeanie Synopsis: If Katie Bonner’s late husband hadn’t invested all their savings in the crafts fair Artisans Alley, the Webster mansion could have been hers to remodel into a bed-and-breakfast. Instead that dream belongs to another young couple. But that dream becomes a nightmare when a skeleton is discovered sealed in the walls of the mansion. The bones belong to Helen Winston, who went missing twenty-two years ago. Heather’s aunt, a jewelry vendor at Artisans Alley, asks Kate for help finding her niece’s murderer. The case may be cold, but the killer is very much alive-and ready to go to any lengths to keep past secrets buried… (Goodreads) Review: I really enjoyed this second book in the Victoria Square mystery series! Katie Bonner works hard to breathe new life into Artisan’s Alley within the Square since her husband’s unexpected death. She and Chad had saved every penny for years, hoping to purchase the historic Webster Mansion and turn it into a B&B. For a reason he never explained, Chad took all their savings without talking with Katie and invested in Artisan’s Alley, where local craftspeople rented booths to sell hand-made crafts and antiques. The Webster Mansion is within walking distance of Artisan’s Alley, and Katie can see it most days. The day the For Sale sign came down, Katie’s anger returned for her loss of the home she longed to restore. She brought a pizza to the new owners, Janice and Toby, and visited without revealing her broken dream. Toby offered Katie a turn at taking out a wall with the sledgehammer, and she enjoys the brief respite from her anger. Until behind the wall, a skeleton is revealed. One with long blond hair and a unique locket. The remains of the poor girl have no clothing, only layers of plastic wrap. People throughout Victoria Square come to see why the police are at the mansion. Rose, 75, is a close friend of Katie and one of the vendors at the Alley and wants to know if the skeleton was identified. Only one person had gone missing from McKinlay Mills in over 20 years, Rose’s niece, Heather, missing for 22 years. At the time, police thought she had run away to New York City as it was her dream, but she would never have left without letting her parents or Rose know. When Rose ID’s the locket as one that she had made especially for her, the hope she had of Heather coming back one day was shattered. Back in the day, the mansion had been renovated into apartments, and Heather and best friend Barbie had both lived there. Rose wants Katie to help find who killed her niece, as she doesn’t trust the local law enforcement on the long-cold case. Rose and Katie visit Barbie. She is holding an adorable granddaughter and won’t let the ladies into her tiny old mobile home. Barbie had to work immediately after high school and was unable to keep up any more with Heather. Barbie called, then met, with Katie. She is terrified, saying someone threatened her granddaughter. She told Katie that being caught talking with her could result in her murder, that she had arranged for evidence to be sent to Katie if something happens to her. She spooks and runs out without giving up much more than that Heather was not the sweet girl everyone thought she was. The next day, Barbie is found murdered inside the Webster Mansion, and the new owners put the home up for sale. Katie and Rose discover that the man who had been Heather’s boyfriend in college, Jeremy Richards, was now Rick Jeremy, famous move director, now coming to Rochester to receive a lifetime achievement award. How weird, or fortuitous, was it that the man would be in town so soon after discovering Heather’s murder – as it was determined she was murdered, strangled. Katie has less than two weeks left in her apartment, with no time to look for another place to live. Andy, her boyfriend and owner of Angelo’s Pizzeria, wants her to move in with him but she isn’t ready for that yet. Ideally, she would like to find a small house to rent or for Andy to rent her the small apartment over the pizzeria, but he has other plans for it. One of the shop owners asks Katie to fill in as her matron of honor at the last minute. Not only is the dress she has to wear one of the ugliest Katie has seen, the 50+ year old bride wants the full treatment, from a bridal shower to a list of other responsibilities. One of the vendors inside Artisan’s Alley, a crabby, obnoxious woman, accuses the woman in the neighboring booth of stealing her merchandise and damaging antique dolls she sells. Katie barely has time to turn around, much less learn who killed not only Heather, but Barbie. Katie is very well defined, and we learn more about her and her friends and vendors at Victoria Square. Other characters are defined as well as necessary. I appreciate Katie and Rose, their loyalty to friends, and hard work ethic. Andy’s work ethic is as strong as Katie’s as he continues to build his business. He seems like a perfect match as he helps Katie relax even as she makes an off-the-cuff suggestion for his business that he decides to explore. Rose cares about everyone, and even with her heartache over losing Heather, she is actively involved with helping Katie find the bad guy(s). The author has finely-executed this cozy mystery, including plot twists that change who the bad guy(s) might be and at least a couple red herrings that I followed. Katie juggles many eggs throughout the novel, managing everything with skill and determination. Her kindness to the new owners of Webster Mansion, despite her anger at having her dream snatched away, is exemplary. There are many characters throughout the novel, as there would be in a place such as Victoria Square; a list of characters at the beginning of the book might be helpful to both new readers and as a refresher to the returning readers. I wouldn’t trade a one of them, though – I enjoy it exactly as it is! This reader was unable to discover who the real bad guy was and was completely surprised to see how many people had been involved in the knotty mysteries, including one I had only briefly considered. All loose ends were tied up, and the ending was satisfactory. I highly recommend this exciting, fast-paced cozy mystery to those who enjoy confounding mysteries and cold cases.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    I'm usually a huge fan of Bartlett and use her books as a kind of palette cleanser between other large (900+ page) books that I read. I enjoy her characters, character interactions and growth and a low key mystery to keep the story interesting. This one however I found a tad aggravating and the ending reminded me of a Scooby Doo ending where everyone confesses because why not? Just too unbelievable for me to truly enjoy. But I'll round up to 3 stars because I love the way she writes characters.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shelby

    Even slower than the first book in the series, although the characters and relationships in this episode were somewhat more natural and believable. I'm not sure I'll read another in the series.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jeanie

    In light of the next Victoria Square novel being release being only days away, I wanted to read one of the backstories I've missed so far. And it this one good! The mystery is intriguing and the characters are well-rounded as fitting their roles. Katie Bonner, widow of Chad, is on her way to work at Artisans Alley at Victoria Square. Chad had taken the money they had set aside in hopes of purchasing the old Webster mansion to turn it into a B & B. Instead, he used the money to buy into Artisan's In light of the next Victoria Square novel being release being only days away, I wanted to read one of the backstories I've missed so far. And it this one good! The mystery is intriguing and the characters are well-rounded as fitting their roles. Katie Bonner, widow of Chad, is on her way to work at Artisans Alley at Victoria Square. Chad had taken the money they had set aside in hopes of purchasing the old Webster mansion to turn it into a B & B. Instead, he used the money to buy into Artisan's Alley, where people sell crafts and antiques, each volunteering time to run the cash registers or helping to clean the common areas. He never told her why did made the purchase, and they were close to getting back together when Chad was killed in an accident. So why does the old rage return when Katie is going to work and sees that the For Sale sign was taken down from the mansion? The new owners a planning a B&B, also. As they knock down some walls added over the years, they make a terrible discovery - the plastic-wrapped skeleton of a woman with long blond hair and an unusual pendant. It doesn't take long until the skeleton is ID'd as Heather, the niece of Rose, one of Katie's friends and an elderly lady who has a sales stall at the Alley. Rose is heartbroken, as she and Heather's parents had always held onto the hope that she had run away and would return. She asks Katie's help to find out what happened to Heather, as it is clear that she did not wrap herself up in plastic and wall herself into a room. It is hard enough to solve a current murder case, but a 22-year-old cold case? That will take much time, many questions, and possibly even more lives before it is over. One potential witness is terrified of what will happen if she tells what she knows as she has already been threatened. Katie wants to find peace and justice for her friend Rose, so she soldiers on. The plot twists make for challenging sleuthing as situations from more than 20 years ago come to light. I was not able to determine for sure who the real bad guy was, so I was quite surprised by finding out the resolution. I highly recommend The Walled Flower, and this series, as each unique mystery is challenging. The characters are worth following; returning to Artisans Alley is like going back to visit old friends.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This is a great series! Katie's character continues to develop. She still has resentment that her late husband invested all of their savings into Victoria Square, especially when she sees the "Sold" sign on the Webster house next door. This was supposed to be her dream, a B&B. But the new owners' dream then becomes a nightmare when a skeleton is found in the walls during renovations. It is her friend Rose's niece, Heather, who was presumed to be a young runaway 20 years ago, with big dreams to b This is a great series! Katie's character continues to develop. She still has resentment that her late husband invested all of their savings into Victoria Square, especially when she sees the "Sold" sign on the Webster house next door. This was supposed to be her dream, a B&B. But the new owners' dream then becomes a nightmare when a skeleton is found in the walls during renovations. It is her friend Rose's niece, Heather, who was presumed to be a young runaway 20 years ago, with big dreams to be a model in NYC. Who could have wanted her dead? Her former boyfriend, who has now become a Hollywood big-wig? The timing of his visit to his alma mater in Rochester doesn't seem coincidental. But will investigating cost Katie her life? Her romance with Andy, the pizza shop owner, also continues to progress. However, as in true life, that is not without bumps in the road--which become apparent during the course of the book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joy Gerbode

    I enjoy this series ... this one was a bit far-fetched, and a little more gory than I like my cozies ... but still a good story with characters I've come to enjoy.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Robbins

    For complete review check out my blog at https://booksaplentybookreviews.blogs... For complete review check out my blog at https://booksaplentybookreviews.blogs...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    Katie Bonner is still settling into taking over the Artisans Alley, a crafting cooperative, after the murder of its owner in the series' first novel. Unfortunately, life is still staying interesting as more bodies turn up. Katie is helping the new owners of the Webster mansion nearby with demo as they prepare to turn it into a bed and breakfast when she opens up a wall to find a desiccated body. The body turns out to be that of the niece of Katie's good friend Rose. Katie Winston, the niece, dis Katie Bonner is still settling into taking over the Artisans Alley, a crafting cooperative, after the murder of its owner in the series' first novel. Unfortunately, life is still staying interesting as more bodies turn up. Katie is helping the new owners of the Webster mansion nearby with demo as they prepare to turn it into a bed and breakfast when she opens up a wall to find a desiccated body. The body turns out to be that of the niece of Katie's good friend Rose. Katie Winston, the niece, disappeared some 20 years ago, but everyone had assumed she had run off to try and make it big in Hollywood. Sadly, that has proven to not be the case. As a favor for her friend, Katie once again finds herself being pulled into a murder investigation because the local detective seems less than interested in getting involved in the case. The fact that it is a 20-year cold case is not helping. The problem is that the closer to figuring out the details Katie gets, the more people start ending up being murdered. As if that wasn't enough, poor Katie is having to also juggle a burgeoning relationship with the local pizza shop owner, stepping in as a maiden of honor one of the craft vendors, searching for a new apartment, and simply managing the Artisans Gallery. She is definitely not bored. I thought this was a nice second book in the series. It has gotten the reader past all of the introduction of setting and core characters for the series, and Katie is proving to be quite interesting and independent. I am definitely already enjoying this series.

  17. 5 out of 5

    FangirlNation

    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 ever 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. Read the rest of this review, more reviews, and other wonderful, geeky articles on FangirlNation

  18. 4 out of 5

    Liz Parissenti

    Katie has wanted to own the Webster Mansion for years - but due to her deceased husband's machinations, she instead finds herself the owner of the adjacent Artisans Alley. She has to manage a huge warehouse of artist studios while her dream of converting the Webster Mansion into a B&B turns to dust. When the mansion is purchased and renovations reveal a dead body in one of the walls, Katie sticks her nose where it absolutely doesn't belong. She is determined to reveal the secrets behind a death Katie has wanted to own the Webster Mansion for years - but due to her deceased husband's machinations, she instead finds herself the owner of the adjacent Artisans Alley. She has to manage a huge warehouse of artist studios while her dream of converting the Webster Mansion into a B&B turns to dust. When the mansion is purchased and renovations reveal a dead body in one of the walls, Katie sticks her nose where it absolutely doesn't belong. She is determined to reveal the secrets behind a death that occurred 20 years ago. When more bodies start showing up, largely because Katie has all the subtlety of a rhino in a pottery shop, she doubles down on "asking questions, but definitely not investigating, but maybe also definitely investigating." In the process, we learn about her spineless boyfriend Andy who works 100% of the time at his pizza shop, thinks that renting his empty apartment to her would be too much commitment, but also believes that her moving in with him seems a like great idea. Hmm. Add in a horrible "friend" who demands that Katie act as a maid of honor/servant, several insufferable tenants at her artist warehouse, and a boring obstructionist detective, and you have a cast of forgettable characters and an annoying storyline.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This is the second book in the Victoria Square series by Lorraine Bartlett. Katie finds one morning a young couple renovating the Mansion that she feels should be hers and she still wants. While knocking out walls they find human bones wrapped in plastic sheeting between the studs. The bones are those of Rose's niece who had been missing for 22 years. This gets Katie started on the puzzle of finding out how, who and why was this girl murdered. A great fast paced story and a plot to keep you guessi This is the second book in the Victoria Square series by Lorraine Bartlett. Katie finds one morning a young couple renovating the Mansion that she feels should be hers and she still wants. While knocking out walls they find human bones wrapped in plastic sheeting between the studs. The bones are those of Rose's niece who had been missing for 22 years. This gets Katie started on the puzzle of finding out how, who and why was this girl murdered. A great fast paced story and a plot to keep you guessing.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Christine Jensen

    Another great Cozy series. I really enjoy the blend of characters. They mix well to create a dynamic cast of suspects and sleuths.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    This was a wonderful book, I hated to put it down. I loved every minute of it. I really am enjoying this series and can not wait to read the next one! I highly recommend this series!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    Good mystery. Enjoyable characters.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Phyllis Zeringue

    Really more 2 1/2 stars. It was ok. There was a lot of useless info and a lot of things left unexplained.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    This was an okay book. It was a clean read and the story was interesting. I found Katie to be a bit annoying at times but overall enjoyed the mystery.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ferne

    Couldn't wait to read the 2nd novel in the Victoria Square series by Lorraine Bartlett (one of the pen names of Lorna Barnett who also writes as L.L. Bartlett). As delightful as anticipated.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sara Gallien

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is the third book I have read in this series. While the books have been entertaining and feature a nice variety of characters, the main character, Katie Bonner, is horrible and I can't stand to read another. I don't know how Katie has any friends at all. She is selfish and rude. Her friend asks Katie to be her maid of honour, and Katie whines and bitches about it the whole book, horrified that she is expected to emotionally support her friend and make dinky little wedding favours. If I had This is the third book I have read in this series. While the books have been entertaining and feature a nice variety of characters, the main character, Katie Bonner, is horrible and I can't stand to read another. I don't know how Katie has any friends at all. She is selfish and rude. Her friend asks Katie to be her maid of honour, and Katie whines and bitches about it the whole book, horrified that she is expected to emotionally support her friend and make dinky little wedding favours. If I had a "friend" like Katie, you can bet she would not even be invited to my wedding. When one of the vendors at Artisan's Alley is accused of selling fake goods, Katie doesn't even investigate. She just goes to the lady and starts telling her she sells fakes and has to change her advertising. The doll that the lady produces is in fact legit, but Katie still soldiers on, telling the woman she's in the wrong. If this is how Katie supports her vendors, it's amazing that she still has any. The same lady is in a constant state of feud with vendor #2, who happens to be Katie's buddy. When she feels they need to be separated, Katie gives her buddy the new and better booth location even though the non-friend has been on the waiting list longer. Seriously how does she have anyone still working at that place?? She's a horrible boss. Can we talk about how awful she is to every one else around her? How her snooping and prodding basically caused the next two murders in the book? ugh. In book #1 of the series, Katie spent a lot of her time mourning the loss of her husband, and describing the gross details of grief and "waxy corpses" of the people you love. It was gross and disgusting. Not the kind of thing you want to read about in a lighthearted mystery. In book #5 she went of on this totally bizarre side plot about a kid who has anorexia (and she does a shitty job trying to "help" the girl). There is just so much random side plot and silliness ruining these books.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    This is the 2nd book in the Victoria Square cozy mystery series and I loved it as much as the 1st book! Honestly, I was a bit hesitant with some of the other reviews but I am very glad I continued with this series! Katie is a bit self involved at the beginning but her character improves. This book has everything I love about cozy mysteries-interesting characters, an intriguing cozy mystery, friendship, and a little romance. Katie Bonner owns and manages Artisans Alley. The nearby Webster Mansion This is the 2nd book in the Victoria Square cozy mystery series and I loved it as much as the 1st book! Honestly, I was a bit hesitant with some of the other reviews but I am very glad I continued with this series! Katie is a bit self involved at the beginning but her character improves. This book has everything I love about cozy mysteries-interesting characters, an intriguing cozy mystery, friendship, and a little romance. Katie Bonner owns and manages Artisans Alley. The nearby Webster Mansion is sold and Katie at one time wanted to turn it into a B&B. She visits the new owners and during renovations they find a skeleton. The bones belong to Katie’s friend Rose’s niece who disappeared 22 years ago. On top of all that, Katie has a couple of vendors at Artisans Alley fighting. She needs to find a new place to live. It is all keeping her very busy! The mystery kept me guessing until the end! Very enjoyable! The audiobook is well done.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Katie Bonner, a young widow with an empty savings account and a struggling craft mall to manage, has been trying to keep her dream of owning a bed and breakfast alive. But when another couple buys the abandoned mansion Katie had hoped to own, she can't resist going over to help with the demo. Katie sledgehammers her way into a mystery when she finds a dead body in the mansion wall. Now she's involved in the decades-old murder case of her friend and vendor Rose's niece Heather. Can Katie find Hea Katie Bonner, a young widow with an empty savings account and a struggling craft mall to manage, has been trying to keep her dream of owning a bed and breakfast alive. But when another couple buys the abandoned mansion Katie had hoped to own, she can't resist going over to help with the demo. Katie sledgehammers her way into a mystery when she finds a dead body in the mansion wall. Now she's involved in the decades-old murder case of her friend and vendor Rose's niece Heather. Can Katie find Heather's killer and provide some closure for Rose? This was my introduction to the world of Victoria Square, and I look forward to reading the first book in the series as well! I found myself drawn right into Katie's world, and Artisan's Alley reminds me of a craft mall I used to visit back home in Texas.

  29. 5 out of 5

    April

    Kate Bonner needs a new apartment, but she is so caught up in events around her that she is about to be homeless. The Victorian mansion that Kate wanted to buy and make into a B&B is purchased and being renovated. During the renovations a skeleton is found between the walls. Rose is sure it is her missing niece, Heather, but what really happened 22 years ago? Polly, one of the Artisans at Artisans Alley, is causing trouble. Gilda is getting married and asks Kate to be her matron of honor. The sto Kate Bonner needs a new apartment, but she is so caught up in events around her that she is about to be homeless. The Victorian mansion that Kate wanted to buy and make into a B&B is purchased and being renovated. During the renovations a skeleton is found between the walls. Rose is sure it is her missing niece, Heather, but what really happened 22 years ago? Polly, one of the Artisans at Artisans Alley, is causing trouble. Gilda is getting married and asks Kate to be her matron of honor. The story is a bit of a busy ride. Kate tends to obsess about things, which I think could get old after a bit. Guess we will have to see show the series progresses.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Almada

    Katie still has her hands full, things are looking up at Artisans Alley, her relationship with Andy is looking up but she is about to be homeless, there are vendors fighting and someone bought the mansion she had wanted to convert to a B&B. When a dead body shows up in the mansion and it turns out to be Rose's long lost niece you know Katie's life is going to get even more interesting!!!!! Katie still has her hands full, things are looking up at Artisans Alley, her relationship with Andy is looking up but she is about to be homeless, there are vendors fighting and someone bought the mansion she had wanted to convert to a B&B. When a dead body shows up in the mansion and it turns out to be Rose's long lost niece you know Katie's life is going to get even more interesting!!!!!

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