Series: Victoria Square Mystery (Book 6)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publish Date: December 31, 2019
About the Book:
The charm of Victoria Square may prove to be only skin deep when murder follows the arrival of a tattoo parlor in town in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.
A tattoo parlor on Victoria Square? Some of the merchants get hot under the collar at the proposal, but could they be driven to kill to stop it? That's what the sheriff's office and Katie Bonner want to know when the building's owner is electrocuted with his own saw.
Meanwhile, tensions rise when a hot chef takes over the square's tea shop. Will Katie have three men vying for her affections, or will her rival take the tea cake?
I started reading this series with Yule Be Dead, book 5 in the series, and I was hooked. When I had the opportunity to review Murder Ink, book 6, I jumped on the chance. I was not disappointed.
Katie Bonner, owner of Artisans Alley, new proprietor of Tealicious, and head of the Victoria Square Merchants Association, is one busy person and it doesn't look like her obligations are going to lessen anytime soon. Katie's manager of Tealicious quits, leaving her scrambling to fill the position in the three days her current manager, Janine, gives her. Upon the recommendation by Nick and Don, local B&B owners, Katie hires a very handsome chef to manage Tealicious.
At one of the Association meetings, the members learn that one of the buildings is in the process of being sold and being turned into a tattoo parlor. There is an overwhelming sense of alarm and some members end up insulting Paul, one of the new owners who attended the meeting. The next day, Ken, who is Paul's brother, and Ray get into an altercation. Later, Katie attempts to smooth Ken's ruffled feathers and he's basically unreceptive. When he turns away from Katie and begins using a circular saw sparks fly - literally. Ken and Katie are both electrocuted. Katie, fortunately, survives; Ken does not. As the mysterious death progresses, Ray is implicated in Ken's homicide. Katie knows he didn't do it and makes it her mission to figure out who did. The author does a great job parading several potential suspects in front of Katie. Of course, the idea that Ray could be responsible is laughable but there are several business owners who climb on Detective Schuler's bandwagon. Katie finds herself in precarious situations and the object of personal threats.
During the fiasco with Ray, Katie is having issues with Andy. Her jealousy meter of his assistant manager, Erikka, is pretty high. Andy does or says several things that absolutely do not help the situation. I'm really unsure if I enjoy their characters together. He's pretty obtuse and she has trust issues. Knowing Katie has issues with Erikka, Andy pulls an awful stunt causing Katie to re-evaluate her life and she makes some decisions more inline with independence. Andy, then turns around and has issues with Brad, Katie's new chef/manager. Really, dude? Between the issues with Andy and her inability to acknowledge Ray's crush, the relationships she has with men are getting tiresome. I've only read this book and book 5 in the series but after reading Murder Ink, I'm leaning toward a possible relationship with Ray for Katie. Andy is nice and everything but there is a connection between Katie and Ray that I, for whatever reason, don't see/feel with Andy.
Katie is a likable character. She is very invested in her town, her business adventures, and the people she loves. When her friends are in trouble she is the first to volunteer to help fix the problem. In most cases, Katie is a very strong character. She has proven she can manage businesses, be chair of the Merchant Association, and aid in murder investigations (even though the local police department wishes she would refrain on the aid part). Katie is also insecure when it comes to Andy and Erikka. Her imperfections make her human and relatable. I enjoy all of the secondary characters and the way the author portrays them. Each person is vital to Katie's successes, whether professionally or personally.
I enjoyed Murder Ink and can't wait for the next book.
I was provided a paperback of the book to read.