In Crime and Poetry, the first in the Magical Bookshop Mystery Series by Amanda Flower, Violet Waverly rushes to her hometown after having left in a scandal 12 years earlier to what she thinks is the deathbed of her Grandma Daisy. Except that Grandma Daisy is not only well but thriving! It was a ruse to lure Violet back home from Chicago, where she is a PhD candidate in English literature. Violet is about to turn around to go back to Chicago when she witnesses something strange. Her grandmother’s friend, Benedict Raisin, comes to Charming Books, and a book of Emily Dickinson’s poems flies off a shelf and hits him in the leg!
The next morning as she prepares to leave her grandmother’s house to go back to her life in academia, Violet opens the door to discover a murdered Benedict. Sitting in the carriage that he drove for tourists in their town near Niagara Falls, with horse still attached, he has been strangled with Grandma Daisy’s scarf. Since Grandma Daisy is the prime suspect, Violet must stay to discover the real murderer.
Violet’s time is complicated by her high school boyfriend, Nathan, who had betrayed her in the event that caused Violet to flee their town and who now is the town mayor. He clearly wants to restart their relationship despite the pain he had caused her 12 years earlier. Then there is the gorgeous police chief, who is a member of the Red Inkers, the writers group that meets at Charming Books and is firmly in support of Grandma Daisy. But with pressure mounting, Violet looks into Benedict’s rather seedy part for answers.
This book is a nice cozy mystery, with a touch of fantasy. It was a nice start to the series, and I give it four stars.
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