Saturday, June 11, 2016

Crime and Poetry

Author:  Amanda Flower (also writes as Isabella Alan)
Series:  A Magical Bookshop Mystery #1
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Berkley/Obisian Mystery
Published:  April 2016

Description:  Rushing home to sit by her ailing grandmother's bedside, Violet Waverly is shocked to find Grandma Daisy the picture of perfect health. Violet doesn't need to read between the lines: her grandma wants Violet back home and working in her magical store, Charming Books. It's where the perfect book tends to fly off the shelf and pick you...

Violet has every intention to hightail it back to Chicago, but then a dead man is discovered clutching a volume of Emily Dickinson's poems from Grandma Daisy's shop. The victim is Benedict Raisin, who recently put Grandma Daisy in his will, making her a prime suspect. Now, with the help of a tuxedo cat named Emerson, Violet will have to find a killer to keep Grandma from getting booked for good.

My Review

I will start by saying that I am a big fan of Amanda Flower after having discovered her through her Appleseed Creek Amish Mystery Series.  This is the first in a new paranormal cozy mystery series by this author.  For me, not only was the cover exceptionally attractive, but the premise of the story sounded fresh and unique.  I will say that I was not disappointed.

Right from the beginning of the book I was drawn right into the story and it continued to keep me engaged all the way through until the end.  There isn't once specific thing I can pinpoint as to why I was so drawn to this story.  I think that it is a testament to this author that she has such a way with her craft that her stories just resonate with the readers and you want to continue to see what happens in the lives of these characters.  And they are great characters.  I think maybe some of the best characters for first in a series that I have read.  I immediately felt comfortable with them.  Like these people were old friends and I was just taking a glimpse to see what was happening in their lives.  Violet is a terrific protagonist. She is reluctant to claim her heritage due to the paranormal aspect.  She is also a reluctant sleuth.  She understands how an innocent person can be made to seem guilty by circumstance and a rush to judgment so she feels she must do whatever she can to make sure her grandmother is not accused of a murder she didn't commit.  Violet is also smart in her sleuthing.  She is not out to prove she is smarter or better than the police so she doesn't do anything rash and she does keep the police informed.  There may be a budding romance for Violet and I hope the author doesn't decide to write in a love triangle. 

The mystery in the story was also excellently woven throughout the story.  I really enjoyed how the paranormal aspect of the bookshop played a part in the clues that Violet received and how she put pieces of the puzzle together.  To me that was a fresh and unique spin on the paranormal element.  There are many viable suspects in the story and they each have a very plausible reason to be part of the suspect pool.  The author also does a wonderful just of throwing in twists and turns throughout the story to throw the reader off track or divert their attention.  I was beginning to suspect the person who turned out to be the killer, but it was very close to the end and the reason for this person committing the crime was a surprise to me.  

I thoroughly loved this book.  If you read my review on Goodreads, you will notice I gave this a five star rating which is not something I commonly give out or do so lightly.  But this book was just so fresh and entertaining with a story and characters that just drew me in and wouldn't let me go until I finished.  I will definitely be back to see what Ms. Flower has in store for Violet and the rest of the cast in the next installment.  If you haven't tried anything by this author I would encourage you to pick up this book.  You will fall in love.  If you are already a fan, don't miss this book.  You will not be disappointed (at least in my humble opinion.).


  1. Peggy, thanks for this excellent review! I'm heading up to B&N sometime this coming week, and will add it to my "buy" list.

  2. I truly did enjoy this boko too.

  3. Great review, thanks for sharing.