Thursday, May 2, 2019

Book Review: Yule Be Dead by Lorraine Bartlett & Gayle Leeson

It's Christmastime, but not everyone is jolly--especially not Vonne Barnett. Her dead body has been found in Victoria Square. Katie Bonner, the manager of Artisan's Alley, happens to be at the tea shop Vonne's mother, Francine, owns when the news is delivered.
Vonne left a trail of men behind her so the suspects are many--but the clues are few. A broken teacup leads Katie to one of the suspects, but before she can investigate, she's attacked. Katie may be closing in on a murderer, but time is ticking because the murderer is definitely closing in on her.[summary via Amazon]

Yule Be Dead  is the fifth book in the Victoria Square mysteries, and sees Katie Bonner, the manager of Artisan's Alley, enjoying the Christmas season with the residents at Victoria Square. Not everything is jolly though, especially when local resident, Vonne Barnett, is found dead. What initially looks like a car accident could be something much more sinister... especially when it looks like someone is out to get Katie too.

I adore Lorraine's other series (the Booktown Mysteries, written as Lorna Bartlett) and the Victoria Square mysteries has always come a close second. However, after finishing Yule Be Dead, I believe this series is now my new favourite!!

I've been following Katie's adventures from the first book, A Crafty Killing, and I have to say that I absolutely love Lorraine's character development. Katie Bonner is a strong woman, and stronger than she ever thought she would be. She's turned the Artisan Alley into a success, which wasn't an easy feat - especially given that she didn't want to own it to begin with. On top of that she's made a life for herself in Victoria Square. That is... until her former mother-in-law shows up. I really liked the inclusion of her former mother-in-law, Margo. It showed the reader how far Katie has come, and by the end of the book I felt like I knew Katie even better.

Lorraine Bartlett writes strong, relatable female characters. Yes, they stick their nose into murder mysteries, but they're also someone that I wish I had next to me on the adventure that we call life. It's her ability to write such memorable amateur sleuths that has me coming back again and again.

I really liked the mystery. Francine and Vonne have a "interesting" mother-daughter relationship. It was a very compelling read, watching all the detail unravel, as Katie learns a lot of secrets - and maybe some she wished she didn't know.

Yule Be Dead is quite possibly my favourite book in this series. The riveting mystery coupled with the brilliant character development has me wanting more books in this series! I'm excited to see what new adventures are going to be coming Katie's way in the next book!!


  1. Thank you for the lovely review. Gayle and I had a wonderful time writing this book--and an even more fun with the upcoming adventure, Murder Ink, which will be available on New Year's Eve (a fun way to ring in the new year). We're set to start the 7th adventure this summer, so stay tuned!

  2. P.S. I hope you've checked out the companion series, Life On Victoria Square.

    1. Thank you!!! I'm going to pick those up on my ereader right away! They will tide me over until New Years Eve! What a fabulous way to ring in the new year :)