Thursday, June 17, 2021

Book Review: Murders and Metaphors by Amanda Flower (Magical Bookshop Mysteries #3)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Good characters, engaging mystery, fun premise
Cons: All cons magically vanished
The Bottom Line:
Deadly book signing
Violet tries to clear friend
Glad to revisit

Local Author Returns to Murder

While I enjoyed the first two books in the Magical Bookshop Mysteries, I didn’t make the jump when the series moved to a new publisher.  It was simply a matter of too many books calling my name.  But I finally made the time to read Murders and Metaphors, and I’m wishing I’d read it sooner.

Violet Waverly is mostly thrilled that Charming Books has been asked to provide the books for Belinda Perkins’s book signing taking place at Morton Winery, just outside of Cascade Springs, New York.  Violet’s past with the Mortons is her only hesitation, but she is determined to do her part to make the event great.

Belinda grew up in the village, and has gained great success as a sommelier.  However, not everyone is happy to see her.  Violet finds Belinda’s body in the vineyard, stabbed with a grape harvesting knife.  Belinda was estranged from her sisters, including Violet’s friend Lacey.  Unfortunately, Lacey’s attempts to reconcile had led to a huge scene during the signing.  Violet knows that Lacey is going to be the prime suspect.  Can she figure out what really happened?  And why does the bookstore keep putting copies of Little Women in her path?

It’s been quite a few years since I last visited Violet, and I remembered who she and a few of the characters were, but I didn’t remember many of the particulars.  There was enough background that I was able to jump back in pretty quickly with some teasers about the events of the first two books.  I really wish I remembered more about them, but that’s on me for letting so many years go between books.

And yes, this is one of the few series I read with some supernatural elements to it.  Honestly, I love the idea of a bookstore that tries to communicate with the owner and where the store helps the reader select the perfect book.  I want to visit in real life.  If only it were real.  It’s a charming set up that really appeals to this reader.

Of course, we do have to have a murder in these cozy mysteries, and Belinda makes a wonderful victim.  I say that because, as Violet investigates, she begins to find plenty of suspects.  I was kept guessing until Violet pieced it together at the end, but once she did, everything fell into place.  The suspects were great at their job of confusing me.

Which brings us to the series regulars.  I really felt like only a few had enough page time to become fully developed here, but I loved them.  I especially appreciated the growth we got in Violet.  And the ones that didn’t spend much time on the page felt real, just not as rich as the others.

I’m glad I dipped my toe back into the Magical Bookshop Mysteries.  I already have the next in the series, and, now that I’ve met everyone again in Murders and Metaphors, I’m anxious to find out what happens next to Violet and her friends.

Let the rest of the Magical Bookshop Mysteries choose you.

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