Title Wave by Lorna BarrettTitle Wave by Lorna Barrett

Title Wave

byLorna Barrett

Mass Market Paperback | June 6, 2017

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Tricia and Angelica leave Booktown behind for a pleasure cruise, but they’re going to need their life jackets because a murderer has also booked passage—in Lorna Barrett’s New York Times bestselling series.

While her bookstore, Haven’t Got a Clue, is rebuilt following a devastating fire, Tricia Miles and her sister, Angelica, decide to book a cruise for some much needed R & R. Naturally they choose a mystery lovers cruise, where they can ponder whodunit in deck chairs while sipping colorful drinks and soaking up some rays.

But the fun is cut short when a fellow passenger is murdered for real. Is the killer a famous mystery author, one of her fans, or a member of the ship’s crew? As Tricia tries to find the killer before they reach port, she may be cruising for a bruising…

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About The Author

LORNA BARRETT is the New York Times bestselling author of the Booktown Mysteries, including A Fatal Chapter and Book Clubbed. She lives in Rochester, New York. Visit her websites: lornabarrett.com, facebook.com/LornaBarrett.Author, twitter.com/LornaBarrett.
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Details & Specs

Title:Title WaveFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 6.8 × 4.2 × 0.87 inPublished:June 6, 2017Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0425282716

ISBN - 13:9780425282717

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ONEIt was almost four in the afternoon, but already it had been a very long day. Too long a day, Tricia Miles decided as she shifted from one foot to the other. The day had started many hours before daylight, when she'd awoken to the sounds of her cat, Miss Marple, having a hairball at the end of her bed. She'd managed to whisk the cat off the snowy white spread in time to save it, but that was the end of her rest. Tricia still had so many things to accomplish before she; her sister, Angelica; and many friends and colleagues from the Stoneham Chamber of Commerce boarded a bus and headed for the Big Apple. No doubt about it, once the holidays were over, the shops along Stoneham's main drag might as well shut down until April, when the tourists came back in full force. What better time for everyone to take a much-needed vacation? At least, that was the pitch Angelica had given the Chamber members the previous fall when Milford Travel, a new member, had proposed the excursion. The Authors at Sea cruise would be filled with two dozen authors and thousands of their readers. Tricia had spent the previous six winters in Stoneham, with very little in the way of downtime. A vacation to the south that was dedicated to her favorite subject—reading—had sounded heavenly, but now she felt she needed a vacation from her vacation. The weather had held, but the bus had encountered a gigantic traffic jam outside of Boston that had put them more than an hour behind schedule, and so they'd had to cancel their planned breakfast stop. Somebody had suggested they sing to pass the time. A number of the group thought it was great fun, joining in with gusto, but after only a few bottles of beer on the wall, Tricia wished she hadn't packed her iPod in her suitcase and could drown out the revelry. Lunch at the 21 Club had been a treat for most of the group, who'd never been there before. But Chamber member Leona Ferguson, who owned Stoneham's Stoneware, looked more than a little green during the bus ride and hadn't had time to admire the restaurant's dishes or have one bite of her salad before she'd made a mad dash to the ladies' room. She'd later admitted that she'd forgotten to wear her motion-sickness patch and made the final leg of the bus journey hyperventilating into a paper bag—threatening to upchuck in her seat, which had sent her seatmate scrambling and made the bus driver in front of her break into a cold sweat. But somehow she'd made it to the pier without being sick, and everyone's spirits rose once more. Until they got inside the cavernous—and very drafty—cruise terminal where most of their group were seated. They were scheduled to board the majestic Celtic Lady at two o'clock, but here it was nearly two hours later and the terminal was still full. "What's going on? What's the holdup?" grumbled a male voice behind her. Tricia wasn't one of the lucky ones who'd managed to grab a seat, but at least she'd worn sensible shoes. Angelica had been standing in three-inch heels for over two hours. Still, the smile on her face hadn't wavered as she traveled around the group, encouraging everyone to be patient. "I don't know how you do it," Tricia muttered as Angelica finished yet another circuit around the group. "It's my business face. You've got one, too. The one you use with difficult customers." "I don't usually have forty of them at once," Tricia admitted. "That's true, but I cope the same way I've always coped. I smile and imagine myself choking the life out of each and every one of them." "Everyone?" Tricia prompted, trying to suppress a grin. Angelica's gaze drifted over to Antonio Barbero, who stood next to his seated wife, Ginny, and their darling angel of a daughter, Sofia, who was almost six months old. "Maybe not." Angelica hadn't told the world at large that Antonio was her stepson. She'd wanted to keep that little piece of information a secret—and still did. As far as everyone but Tricia and Ginny knew, the four of them were just very good friends and not related by a marriage that had long ago gone south. Angelica hadn't even spoken to that particular ex-husband in almost two decades, but she'd kept in touch with the son he couldn't be bothered with, and loved Antonio as if he'd been her own child. And they worked well together on the company they'd formed a few years earlier: Nigela Ricita Associates. A nervous Mindy Weaver bobbed and weaved around the fringe of her charges. The slight woman must have been in her early forties, and while she'd worked for Milford Travel for at least a decade, this was her first time taking charge of a tour—and it showed. "Just a little bit longer," she called nervously over the murmur of grumbling voices. "These things happen," Chauncey Porter called out, and shrugged. He owned the Armchair Tourist, and Mindy had enlisted his help as her de facto mentor and helpmate on the trip. Thanks to Angelica's business advice, Chauncey's once-failing bookshop had done a dramatic turnaround. Where he once sold used travel guides and maps, he'd branched out to stock sundries that anyone taking a trip might need: from suitcase locks to personal GPS devices, and from sunscreen to passport wallets. Chauncey got along well with everyone—with one exception: Tricia. He blamed her for the death of his fiancée some fourteen months before. She'd had no part in the woman's death, but the heart had no concept of logic. Chauncey hadn't spoken to her since that terrible night when he'd slapped her. She could have leveled assault charges, but had simply walked away. She missed his friendship. "We've still got a bag full of peppermints if anybody needs them," Muriel Dexter called out. "Keeps your breath fresh," her twin sister, Midge, called out. Nobody took them up on their offer. The elderly spinster Dexter sisters were well known in Stoneham for their rather quirky personalities and the fact that they'd chat amiably to anyone they came in contact with. Somehow the idea of individuality had never occurred to them, for despite their age they liked to dress alike and often had fun switching identities to fool the villagers, who found that antic anything but fun. Mary Fairchild, owner of By Hook or By Book, Stoneham's craft and book shop, dodged her way across the open concourse, heading for the rest of the group. She stopped in front of Tricia. "Wow, you'd think in a building this huge they'd have better bathroom facilities. I had to wait in line for more than twenty minutes," she said. Still, Tricia could see by the sparkle in Mary's eyes that the ordeal had not deterred her. "You've managed to stay cheerful," she commented. "Nothing could faze me today. This is my very first cruise," Mary gushed, "and I intend to enjoy every second of it. And now that I'm single, I'm kind of hoping I meet someone." Mary's husband, Luke, had gone to prison for murder. The divorce had come through only a month or so before. Mary was embarking on a whole new life. Tricia could sure identify with that. "Are you looking to get married again?" Angelica said, leaning into the conversation. "Oh, no. I want to have fun!" Angelica laughed. "Well, as a four-time loser in the love department, I can't argue with that reasoning." "I'm going to go sit back down. I'm sure glad Leona was saving my seat. I don't know how you girls have stood there for such a long time." You could let one of us sit for a few minutes, Tricia thought, but didn't voice it. Oh, well. At least one other person in the crowd seemed to be having a good time. A thin, gray-haired gentleman of about sixty sat on an electric scooter and zoomed between the various clusters of would-be mariners. A lot of people seemed to know him by name, and he paused to briefly speak with them before he took off for another circuit around the cavernous room. Tricia envied his seat, but not the ailment that had him saddled to the motorized chair. A ripple of excitement seemed to go through the crowd, and Tricia and Angelica turned to see a tall, beefy woman whose hair was an alarming shade of red, stride past them in a flowing black cape, while an older, much shorter blonde-haired woman struggled to keep up with her. "Isn't that—?" someone said. "I'm sure it is," another agreed eagerly. Whispers and nervous giggles broke out all around them. Tricia immediately recognized the woman as thriller author EM Barstow. The woman's reputation for being difficult preceded her. She'd once signed at Tricia's mystery bookstore, Haven't Got a Clue; once being the operative word. The woman had found nothing but fault with the store, the temperature of the coffee, the color of ink in the pens Tricia provided, with her then assistant, Ginny, and her other employee, Mr. Everett, as well. They were clumsy, they were stupid. Didn't they know how to open a book so she could quickly sign it? Tricia looked over her shoulder to where Mr. Everett sat with his wife, Grace, and noted that he, too, was not enthused to see the author, and no doubt remembered the temper tantrum the woman had thrown when told that the cab Tricia had ordered to pick her up would be a few minutes late. Didn't they know she was important? Didn't they know she was used to a limousine, not a common cab? Didn't they know anything? All eyes were upon EM as she barged ahead of a line of fifty or more passengers who'd finally been called to check in. Her shorter companion finally managed to catch up, and EM seemed to be engaged in conversation with the woman behind the check-in desk, who shook her head and pointed to the general waiting area to the right, which was also stuffed to overflowing with weary travelers. "Do you know who I am?" EM bellowed loud enough for half the terminal to hear. All heads turned in her direction. "Someone's not happy," Angelica muttered, raising a perfectly tweezed eyebrow. Tricia couldn't hear the cruise terminal worker's reply, but she guessed at EM's howl of outrage that if the woman did know, she didn't care. Unable to suppress a smile, Tricia turned away. Mindy finished another circuit around the Stoneham Chamber members. "Were you able to find out what the holdup is?" Angelica asked wearily. "When the boat docked this morning, passengers were supposed to check in with customs. It seems that four of them simply didn't. It took the crew hours to track them down. No one could reboard until they found them." "And where were they?" "One was in the spa. Apparently there's a deprivation tank, and she claims she couldn't hear her name repeatedly called over the public-address system." "And the others?" Angelica prompted. "One had her hearing aids turned off. I'm not sure about the others." "Does this mean they're finally going to start letting people board? We're supposed to leave port in an hour," Tricia said. Mindy looked across the way at the several thousand people all waiting their turn to check in. "Looks like we'll be a little late," she said nervously. "Hey, look!" Chauncey called out. "They're letting the first group go through." Sure enough, the gate had opened, and a horde of people lurched forward, dragging their luggage. EM Barstow was not among them. She took a recently vacated seat and, as her expression revealed, fumed. It didn't take long before the Stoneham group was called, and everyone proceeded through the gate in an orderly fashion. As head of the Chamber, Angelica went to the back of the line, clucking reassurances to her charges like a mother hen. Tricia hung back, too. After all, they were sharing a stateroom; they might as well find it together. Once issued their identification keycards, they passed through security, followed the stragglers, and boarded the magnificent ship. Already the sky was black, and a brisk wind whistled around the gangplank. "I hope we won't have rough seas," Angelica muttered. "Do you get seasick?" Tricia asked. "Heavens, no—I just don't want to fall off my heels." "I should think you'd be ready to take them off." "I am. But once we're settled, we're finding a nice, quiet bar. I have earned my martini—or two—for the day." "I'll be happy to join you," Tricia agreed. A uniformed woman stood at the bank of elevators, advising cruisers how to find their staterooms. She glanced at Angelica's paperwork. "You're on Deck 7." She signaled to a woman in a drab black uniform. "Will you please show these ladies to their stateroom?" The young woman nodded and reached for Angelica's large case. "If you'll follow me." "Thank you," Angelica said, and smiled. They piled into the elevator with what seemed like far too many other people and had to jump out for the first several decks until they reached their own. A handy plaque directed them to the left. They halted in front of a door marked 7150. The uniformed woman stepped forward to open the door, but Angelica waved her away. "We can take it from here." "I'd be very happy to help you unpack." "No need. Thank you very much." The young woman nodded and backed away, then turned to leave. "Shouldn't you have tipped her?" Tricia asked. "How long has it been since you were on a cruise?" "Years." "She'll be handsomely tipped—it'll be included on our final, itemized bill. We'll also tip our own butler at the end of the trip." "We get a butler?" "Just one of the perks." Angelica turned for the door and slipped her ID card into the slot, and the door opened. As it did, the lights came on inside. "Oh, my," Tricia cried as she took in the cabin's interior. "I was ready to jump out of my skin thinking someone would spoil my surprise," Angelica cried. "I'm surprised, all right," Tricia said, breathless, taking in the opulent stateroom. No, not a stateroom at all; a suite of elegant rooms. "Ange, how can you afford-" "Honey, I'm rich," she said, and somehow it didn't even seem like she was bragging. "I work hard. We both do. And who are we going to leave our money to, except each other? And Antonio, Ginny, and Sofia," she quickly amended. "I'm paying for their suite, too."

Editorial Reviews

Praise for the New York Times Bestselling Booktown Mysteries   “[A] delightful cozy mystery.”—Fresh Fiction“[A] stunning, unputdownable mystery.”—The Cozy Mystery Journal“Diverting entertainment…an engaging story line, an intrepid heroine…good for lovers of intrigue.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch   “Entertaining, highly enjoyable…Lorna Barrett never fails to offer a suspenseful cozy mystery.” —Cozy Mystery Book Review   “Fans of Carolyn Hart and Denise Swanson, rejoice!...This first-rate cozy artfully blends crime, cuisine, and even bookselling in a cheerful, witty, well-plotted puzzler.” —Julia Spencer-Fleming, New York Times bestselling author of Through the Evil Days   “A mystery bookstore in a sleepy New England town, a cat named Miss Marple, a nasty murder, and a determined heroine...delightful...everything a cozy lover could want and more. Bravo!”—Leann Sweeney, national bestselling author of The Cat, the Vagabond, and the Victim