Saturday, May 6, 2017

No Charm Intended

Author:  Mollie Cox Bryan
Series:  A Cora Crafts Mystery #2
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Kensington
Publication Date:  April 25, 2017

Description:  Settling into her new life and career in small-town Indigo Gap, North Carolina, Cora Chevalier is preparing to host a “wildcrafting” retreat at her Victorian home. But a specter hangs over the venture when beloved local nanny Gracie Wyke goes missing. Amidst leading their guests in nature hikes, rock painting and making clay charms, Cora and her business partner, Jane, team up with Gracie’s boyfriend, Paul, to launch their own investigation into her disappearance when the local police prove unhelpful.

Cora and her crafters take Paul in, believing he is in danger and not the suspect police have made him out to be. However as they uncover new clues and a body turns up at a local abandoned amusement park, Cora and Jane begin to question their decision. With more questions than answers arising, is Cora crafty enough to untangle a knot that could put an innocent in jail—and permanently destroy her reputation?

My Review

This is the second installment in this new Cora Crafts Mystery series by Mollie Cox Bryan and I enjoyed it just as much as the first.  As someone who fancies themselves as a crafter, I enjoy reading about the retreat and the crafts that are made there.  This series is a bit different from some other cozy mysteries in that it is told in third person and from the alternating point of view of both Jane and Cora.  I didn't find that this detracted from my enjoyment but I know that it might distract some readers, so I thought I would point it out.

The story is set in the quaint town of Indigo Gap North Carolina.  The author does an excellent job of not only describing the town but also the retreat and classes going on there as well.  Cora and Jane are still finding their footing as the owners of this crafting retreat business.  It also doesn't help that there tends to be a murder/mystery occur in the town each time there is a retreat.  Both Cora and Jane are real, likable characters.  They continue to grow and develop in this story and wit this mystery.  I like that with each story we get a new cast of secondary characters in the students and teachers attending the retreats.  The secondary characters that are residents of the town are developing nicely as well.

The mystery is this story is solid.  I thought it was interesting that it involved a video game.  This, I think, added a bit more to they mystery because it wasn't something that Cora and Jane knew much about.  I think the author did a nice job weaving the mystery with the classes at the retreat providing a nice balance.  I also liked how some of the students/teachers tried to help Cora and Jane solve the mystery.  There are a lot of twists and turns in the mystery but ironically not a lot of suspects.  That made it a bit harder for me to try and guess the culprit.  The identity of the killer was revealed in a climatic ending.  

I found this to be an enjoyable read with characters that are starting to grow and find their own in their business and new life.  The story itself was well written, with a steady pace and what I thought was a good mystery.  I will be back to see what Cora and Jane are up to in the next book.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced reader copy provided by the publisher through Netgalley.  This did not influence my opinion and the thoughts expressed are my own.


  1. I"m really enjoying this new series by Mollie as well. She did a good job of keeping us guessing up until the very end. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of shenanigans Cora and Jane get themselves into next time.

  2. Thanks for sharing your great review, Peggy.