Ezra Hilton, owner of a Artisans Alley, is found dead. Katie Bonner,
widow of Ezra's former 10% partner, becomes executor and majority owner
in the business upon his death. She'd had little to do with the business
up to that point, but hated her job with an overbearing boss. She quits
and decides to run the shop which is about to go under. She also
doesn't think the detective is doing all he can to resolve the crime so
she sets out to investigate on her own, gathering as much information as
she can about the artisans. With Katie's background in marketing, we
can begin to see hope for survival of the struggling business as she
takes over operations. I found myself liking most of the cast of
characters that will likely be repeats (although I must confess that
there might be one or two that I wouldn't mind seeing charged with a
future crime). I had the feeling that this book is mostly a set-up and
introduction for the rest of the series. There's really very little
action, and I feel we didn't get to know the detective quite as well as
we should, although there were some revelations near the end about him.
She did manage to keep me guessing who the perpetrator was throughout
the novel although I had already guessed some aspects of the solution.
Not a bad start for this series! I look forward to reading more about
Katie and seeing how the gallery and her relationships with some of the
men progress during the course of the next installment.