Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I'm absolutely ecstatic to officially announce the sale of my new series THE VICTORIA SQUARE MYSTERIES, to Berkley Prime Crime. Like my Booktown series, they, too, will be cozy mysteries. Only this time, they'll be written under the name (MY REAL NAME) Lorraine

Wow! What a feeling. No more hiding behind initials or a pseudonym.

realize this will probably confuse a bunch of my readers. She writes this series as L.L. Bartlett, and that series as Lorna Barrett, and yet another as Lorraine Bartlett?

Yes, it is confusing, but they're all different characters, with different voices and backgrounds. Hopefully the unifying factor is that my audience will enjoy them all--and celebrate their differences.

Here's a teaser for the first book the in the series, A MATTER OF MURDER.

Young widow Katie Bonner discovers the body of Ezra Hilton, Artisans Alley.smwho ran the local artisan cooperative like his own fiefdom. Katie has little reason to mourn Ezra, who convinced her late husband to invest in the Artisans’ Alley before he was killed. Ezra's will makes Katie the controlling partner in the enterprise--much to the chagrin of his nephew, who comes to town hell-bent on collecting money as quickly as possible...and barely arrives before one of the vendors also ends up dead. The entire co-op is in a disgruntled uproar, and it seems like the detective in charge of the investigation does everything except investigate the murder. Everyone from the village’s lawyer to the quilt shop owner had motive to want Ezra dead, and it’s up to Katie to find out who before more of her vendors die.

BTW, the above drawing was done by my husband, Frank, as a birthday present -- well before we knew for sure if the series would sell. I like to think it brought me luck. And yes, it does look a lot like the late, lamented Craft Antique Co-Op in its original incarnation in Hilton, NY. (Yes, my character Ezra was named after that little town in Western, NY.)

I can't tell you how absolutely thrilled I am for this opportunity. And as Katie is a very "girlie" character, I'm going to get to indulge myself with all things "girlie." (Think roses and teacups and antiques and shabby chic -- not to forget cats! -- and, oh, a few murders and a little intrigue thrown in for good measure.)

Also, I can't wait for you to meet not only Katie, but the rest of the cast of regulars. As the series won't see publication until at least late 2010 (if not early 2011) -- I don't want to get ahead of myself. (And why does it take so L-O-N-G for these things to happen?)

Suffice to say, I've been smiling so much, my cheeks hurt. Happyface And I'll keep smiling -- until I realize the unGodly deadlines I have trying to juggle the writing of three mystery series. All I can say is, I hope to find a way to increase the hours in the day. Forty-eight sounds good to me right now.