Home, Sweet Home by guest blogger Lorraine Bartlett

About a decade ago, I decided that my writing career was never going to take off as long as I watched network TV. I figured if I no longer got sucked into that nightly routine, I’d have up to an additional twenty hours a week to write.

It worked! Hey, Mikey!

But then several years ago, while on vacation, I discovered HGTV. I spent every evening of that trip glued to the hotel room’s tube. I was hooked on reno and house hunting. Every one of these shows is exactly the same, and yet for some reason, I find them endlessly fascinating.

The formula is simple: they show the prospective homeowners inspecting three properties. They make a choice and sometimes they get it and sometimes they don’t. (Usually they do.) And all in thirty minutes.

How do they narrow down the choices? How do people go to other countries, spend two or three days looking at properties, and commit themselves to a home (or home away from home) for hundreds of thousands of dollars (or euros) without thinking it through? (Or rather, lying awake worrying about it?)

When Mr. L and I were house hunting more than 17 years ago, we looked at 84 properties (mostly in one town) before we made an offer on our present home. (Our movers were really annoyed because we had so many HEAVY books. They’d be ten times more annoyed now, because despite owning Kindles and an iPad, we still buy print books!)

In my latest novel, THE WALLED FLOWER, Katie Bonnie has lost her lease and left it rather late to find new living quarters for herself and her pets. Like those TV house hunters (International), she’s got days to find the home of her dreams. Of course, the home of her dreams had recently been sold, so she must find some place else to live–and fast. The best interim abode is right on Victoria Square and though it’s empty, the owner refuses to rent it to Katie.

So Katie keeps looking, and in between gets ready to stand up at a wedding, referees ongoing disputes between her vendors at Artisans Alley, and watches porno flicks. (Okay, it was just one porno flick, and she fast-forwarded through the naughty bits.) And, oh yes, she must also solve a murder that’s more than two decades old. (Let’s see HGTV take on those kinds of problems!)

The clock keeps ticking (and rather loudly) as time runs out on Katie’s home search, and for a second victim (or was that three victims?).

Will Katie find a new home? I hope you’ll give THE WALLED FLOWER a try to find out.

Meet the author:
Lorraine Bartlett must be absolutely crazy. Why else would she write three different mystery series? In addition to the Victoria Square Mysteries, she writes the Jeff Resnick Mysteries as L.L. Bartlett, and the New York Times bestselling, Agatha-nominated Booktown Mysteries under the name Lorna Barrett.

You can find THE WALLED FLOWER at most bookstores and online. Please visit Lorraine’s website (www.LorraineBartlett.com) or her Dazed and Confused blog: www.LLBartlett.typepad.com. (And BTW, Lorraine does NOT have HGTV in her cable package. If she did, she’d never write another word.)

7 responses to “Home, Sweet Home by guest blogger Lorraine Bartlett

  1. I would have read it anyway, but the fast forwarding during the naughty bits of a porn flick has me very, very curious. LOL. It can’t be for the dialogue.


  2. I love this series. I’m waiting for my pre-order to download tomorrow.


  3. I love HGTV also but may give it up for a lower priced cable package. It does suck you in to every episode. There is a magazine. I’m reading A Crafty Killing and will be ready for the next one soon.


  4. Michelle Fidler

    I love Househunters. A cable package without H.G.T.V.? Unthinkable! Mine comes with it, although if you get only the local channels, the cheapest package, it wouldn’t. I think the buyers on H.G.T.V. are too picky, though. And some of the houses are way too expensive. On one show in Boston (maybe My First Place) the woman was looking for a condo and her budget was about $600,000 or $700,000. So she went for a more expensive place because she really liked it and her parents gave her money. The cost — over $900,000. That’s ridiculous! Of couse, I live in Ohio where houses are more affordable and most people don’t pay that much and couldn’t afford to. She must have a very good job. I know that Boston’s expensive, though.

    You looked at 84 houses? I think I would only look at maybe ten houses before deciding on one (but I could never afford to buy a house, even a cheap one — only if I win Publishers Clearing House!) Mr. L is your husband? I guess he’s going incognito. I’ve seen posts before saying Mr. something and didn’t know if it was your husband or cat. I like your books, especially the Booktown series.


  5. I received a postcard about “The Walled Flower” – this book looks very interesting! Thanks so much for the review!!


  6. Back in 1984-1984 I think we looked at maybe 10 houses before buying one where they were getting divorced and the wife wanted to get rid of it really cheap so he wouldn’t get any money–she was asking 90,000 and we got it for 86,000. Worked for us–except for the 13% interest rate on the house. considering that we were in Bergen county NJ…good price. Now when we moved to VA…I looked at many houses…I think we did about 6-8 a weekend and it was about 6 weeks before we (ok me) decided on a house. (I was picky as we had redone the whole house in NJ and I had a dream kitchen and bathroom!)

    I can’t wait to start reading this one.


  7. I love HGTV, houses and mysteries. This sounds like the book for me! Thanks for the great post!