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on August 13, 2002
The townsfolk of Tinker's Cove, Maine are excited over the upcoming Miss Tilley Day celebrating the retired librarian's ninetieth birthday. Especially feeling pretty good about the bash as well as her resolve to war with the aging process is Pennysaver reporter, amateur sleuth, wife and mother Lucy Stone.

However, the elation is tampered with the news that attorney Sherman Cobb died. State police detective Horowitz concludes suicide, but Sherman's partner Bob Goodman thinks otherwise. He asks Lucy to investigate the death even as she must deal with domestic non-tranquillity, as each member of her family demands her time and effort pulling her in different directions.

BIRTHDAY PARTY MURDERS is a solid ninth Lucy Stone entry as the intrepid juggler precariously balances her work, the big gala, the investigation, and her family woes in a way that only a mother (or a single dad) would fully appreciate. The story line is cleverly designed so that the cops believe suicide while the partner refuses to accept that verdict even though the victim had pancreatic cancer. Though the who-done-it is fun, it's the cast from feisty Miss Tilley to a guilt feeling Bob for not thanking his partner for bringing him into the firm to others that make trips to Tinker's Cove more than just a cozy visit.

Harriet Klausner
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on February 27, 2003
Birthday Party Murder, one of the best in the Lucy Stone series, could serve as a model for anyone who wants to write in this genre. Heroine Lucy Stone deals with her own spreading waistline, a daughter's co-ed slumber party, a son's first-year college woes, a job on the local paper, a husband who's supportive but busy, an old lady whose newly discovered relatives seem a little odd...and oh yes, she's asked to investigate the murder of a lawyer who had just set up a meeting with that same little old lady.
If you've ever tried to write a novel, you will appreciate the author's skill as she gathers these plot lines together in a seamless whole. Most readers will guess at least part of the outcome but that's part of the fun. Meier evokes the seasons and celebrations of a small New England town and life in a family that's doing well as long as mom brings home a paycheck. Lucy and her husband Bill are a long-married couple and it shows.
A great escape for a dreary day or a plane ride. When you close the covers, you wish you could hang around with them a little longer.
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on January 25, 2004
When this series started, it was entertaining because Lucy and her family seemed to normal. Now it's just getting stupid.
Lucy has turned into nothing but a whining, complaining buttinsky. The police have told her to keep her nose out of their investigations and so has her husband. Yet she keeps sticking it into things that don't concern her, putting herself in danger, for absolutely no realistic reason at all.
Ms. Tilley has been a fixture in this series since the start. I found it highly unbelievable that no one in town was real concerned about obvious con artists showing up and moving in with her, other than Lucy and Rachel. And it was even more unbelievable to me that they didn't try harder to get in to see her or find out what was really going on.
This book also seemed too "busy," with too many stupid little things going on. Way too much time was given to Sara's birthday party, which turned out to be nothing. Lucy's new obsession with exercise and her looks became downright annoying. And I can only assume all the little Toby stuff was leading up to the next book.
If the author is starting to run out of ways to believably keep her amateur sleuth involved in cases, perhaps it's time to hang this series up.
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on August 8, 2003
I had been a big fan of Leslie Meier's other Lucy Stone books.
They provided a light, lesurely read for cozy mystery fans.
Unfortunately with The Birthday Party Murder, Meier abandons
her attention to the mystery and takes her audience on a
heinous ride through her heroine's mind. Throughout the book,
the reader is subjected to Lucy's trials and tribulations.
Her plights with overeating, weight, husband, cranky boss,
pre-teen daughter and lazy college son are so countless,
the book starts to feel like a novel adaptation of The
Jerry Springer Show. Meier needs to stick to her plot and
how her character's relate to the murder. In the past,
Lucy was a warm, humorous character because of her
insecurities and knack for getting into trouble. Here,
she comes off more like a complainer who can't stop whining.
I really like Leslie Meier writing style and feel she'll write
more good books, The Birthday Party Murder simply isn't one
of them.
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on October 13, 2002
Lucy and her friends are starting to feel their age. Their children are for the most part grown or more grown than their mothers' wish them to be. Miss Tilley's 90th birthday is approaching and they decide to make it a town wide celebration. Miss Tilley's old friend and attorney Sherman Cobb has recently killed himself(or has he)after calling Miss Tilley with a request for an appointment. Miss Tilley has more excitement to come. Her long lost niece and grandnephew have come for a visit. They seem very concerned for the old lady's welfare (or are they?), and limit her visits with friends. Lucy and Pam are suspicious, but don't know what to do, or even if Miss Tilley will survive to celebrate her special day.
I really enjoyed this visit to Tinker's Cove. The characters and story lines are as fresh as ever and I love Miss Tilley. Great read.
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on August 8, 2002
I was excited to see a new Lucy Stone mystery in our local bookstore. I bought a copy of the hardcover book and am euphoric about it's story. Leslie Meier has outdone herself in the latest Lucy Stone mystery. Meier's writing gets better and better along the way. I wish I could have pretended this book was mine and read it aloud at readings. I couldn't put the book down. I read it in one sitting and enjoyed it as usual. Anyone who hasn't read anything by Leslie Meier, where have you been? Birthday Party Murder is a great place to start. I have read all of Meier's books, but none of them compare to this one. If you've been following Leslie Meier's mysteries, you won't be dissapointed in her most recent Lucy Stone thriller!
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on October 4, 2002
Ms. Meier has returned to writing good cosy mysteries! After the boring and rather flat Wedding Day Murder, this book has been received with open arms. Cute, clever, and keeps you guessing. Miss Tilley is an engaging character, and our wonderful Lucy never fails (with the exception of Wedding Day Murder) to enchant!
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on December 18, 2003
What an absolutely horrible book: ridiculous plotlines; characters you want to smack for being so stupid, mean or selfish; and a sense of "Thank God this book is ended" when you're finished!
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