"And why couldn't Tricia ever get a break?"
I have purchased every book in this series--even this new one (I paid full price for this hardcover at a box store). I'm afraid to say, I do not plan on continuing to read this series.
I want to love everything about this series--it's a cozy mystery, Tricia is a book store owner, it's set in New England (where I live), but I had to force myself to finish reading this latest installment.
There may be something to having a character in a cozy series that the reader can dislike--a villain who isn't actually the murderer. I read a lot of cozy series, and just about every one has that one person who you'd just like to smack--and while that character never really comes out on top, they never really quite get what's coming to them.
Unfortunately, characters such as this abound in the Booktown Mystery series. From Tricia, the main character, who lets everyone run roughshod over her and spends quite a bit of time feeling sorry for herself, to Tricia's older sister, Angelica, who (despite occasional moments when she shines) may possibly be the most self-centered, self-absorbed, pushy, bossy person in the world. There's also Bob Kelly, local real estate guru, in whom I have yet to find a redeeming quality. I could go on and on with a list of characters who make Tricia's life a living hell--perhaps they are supposed to be charmingly eccentric, but any person with a backbone would label them as 'toxic' and refuse to associate with them.
Why can't Tricia catch a break? Who knows? My guess is that the author has, perhaps not even intentionally, painted her as a victim--Tricia never gets applauded for solving crimes (she's labelled the town jinx) and we don't even get the satisfaction of seeing her in a fun relationship. It's just drama, drama, drama all of the time, and Tricia has horrible taste in men (and too many bad ones to choose from...could her (non) love-life get any more complicated???).
Anyway, I'm done waiting for this character to evolve into a grown-up. Hopefully my library will want my copy of this book--I certainly won't be reading it again.