CRIME AND POETRY by Amanda Flower

Series: Magical Bookshop, #1
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: NAL
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Rating: ★★★★★

From Amanda Flower — who writes the national bestselling Amish Quilt Shop Mysteries as Isabella Alan — comes the first in the new Magical Bookshop Mystery series.

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…

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book, the first in a new magical mystery series. CRIME AND POETRY was absolutely delightful, and one of the best cozy mysteries I’ve read.

The book begins with Violet Waverly frantically running back to her hometown of Cascade Springs, New York, after a twelve-year absence. Her sly Grandma Daisy claimed to be at death’s door, but it was all a ruse to get Violet to come home and take over the family’s bookstore. Well, before Violet can go storming back to Chicago, a dead body ends up in front of her grandmother’s house, and the initial evidence makes Daisy look guilty.

Violet is a wonderful character – smart, witty, bookish, a bit goofy, and totally relatable. She has a darn good reason for avoiding Cascade Springs, and what happened to her twelve years ago adds a second intriguing puzzle to this story. I love how this book jumped into the murder mystery right away, and Violet’s amateur sleuthing skills kicked in, with a little help from the charmed books in her grandmother’s magical bookshop.

The main mystery in this book was very interesting, combining a bit of history from Cascade Springs with some sneaky stuff going on in the town today. Violet’s research skills came in handy with her investigation. Along with a touch of the paranormal, there’s also an intriguing family secret, a little romance times two, and two cheeky animals to help (and pester) Violet. CRIME AND POETRY is sure to please cozy mystery fans, and I’m eagerly awaiting the next book!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.