Book Review: EXTRA SENSORY DECEPTION by Allison Kingsley

Series: A Raven’s Nest Bookstore Mystery, #4
Publisher: Berkley
Released: August 5, 2014
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Rating: ★★★★

As the owners of the Raven’s Nest bookstore, cousins Stephanie and Clara Quinn are the premier booksellers in the quaint town of Finn’s Harbor, Maine. But with Clara’s inherited ability to read minds and see the future, she’s also the premier crime solver…

You don’t have to be a psychic to know: The rodeo is coming to town! Clara’s boyfriend, Rick Sanders, invites her to the show to meet his high school buddy and expert calf roper, Wes Carlton. But when Clara’s Quinn Sense offers her a disturbing vision involving a rodeo clown, she worries that there will be more danger at the rodeo than just the traditional bucking bronco.

Of course, her premonition turns out to be accurate, and a dead body is discovered behind the concert stage, strangled by Wes’s piggin’ string. Rick is sure that there’s no way Wes could have murdered anyone, but he’s going to need Clara’s Quinn Sense to keep the authorities from roping the wrong suspect…

I greatly enjoy the Raven’s Nest Bookstore Mystery series, about two cousins – one with psychic ability – solving murder mysteries in the tiny coastal town of Finn’s Harbor, Maine. The supernatural element, Clara’s visions or “Quinn Sense,” is well done and blends in perfectly with the story.  Though Clara may get a glimpse of the crime in her mind, the killer is never obvious. Her sixth sense gives her fuzzy clues, and then she and cousin Stephanie must use their smarts to solve the mystery.

EXTRA SENSORY DECEPTION is the fourth book in the series, and this time the rodeo has taken over Finn’s Harbor. Clara’s boyfriend, Rick, is an old friend of one of the calf ropers. When the friend ends up the top suspect in a murder investigation, Clara agrees to investigate on her own. Rick has no idea about the Quinn Sense, but he does know that for some reason Clara is an ace at solving mysteries. The mystery in this book was very good, and I was surprised not only by whodunit, but also by why and how the culprit went about it.

It was great being back at the Raven’s Nest Bookstore with the cousins and their assistant, Molly. There’s also a new character hanging out at the shop who will definitely add some fun to the place. I’m looking forward to book five!

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

Book Review: TROUBLE VISION by Allison Kingsley

Series: A Raven’s Nest Bookstore Mystery, #3
Publisher: Berkley
Released: June 4, 2013
Source: Borrowed from the library
Rating: ★★★★¼

In quaint Finn’s Harbor, Maine, cousins and best friends Clara and Stephanie Quinn run The Raven’s Nest bookstore. But thanks to Clara’s ability to read minds and see the future, selling books sometimes gets shelved in favor of saving lives…

When the new mayor calls a press conference about the controversial hotel resort being built on the edge of the city, the residents of Finn’s Harbor have an opportunity to express their concerns about traffic and tourists. But when the debating turns into outright fighting, Clara gets a premonition that’s nothing but trouble.

While Stephanie is enthralled with her cousin’s vision, Clara just wants it to go away. Then a customer comes into The Raven’s Nest talking about a fatal fall at the hotel’s construction site, and Clara knows better than to ignore her Quinn Sense. In a town full of citizens who want the project to fail, Clara and Stephanie have to figure out who made the jump from anger to murder…

TROUBLE VISION is the third book in the Raven’s Nest Bookstore Mystery series, and it’s probably my favorite so far. Clara Quinn helps her cousin Stephanie run the town’s Edgar Allan Poe-ish bookstore that specializes in the paranormal. In addition to bookselling, the cousins have a knack for solving murder mysteries, with a little help from Clara’s “Quinn Sense.”

Before, Clara’s woo-woo gift of clairvoyance has been all over the place, but now it’s getting stronger and more focused. When a construction worker is killed at the site of a controversial new resort project, it’s deemed an accident, but Clara’s visions tell her otherwise. The tricky part is convincing police that it was murder without exposing the family gift, which means it’s up to the cousins to find solid evidence.

This was a quick and enjoyable paranormal cozy mystery. I love that Clara has psychic visions, but they don’t tell her everything. She still has to track down and eliminate suspects, piece together clues, and somehow figure out how it’s all related. The police chief is stubborn and doesn’t want to listen to Clara’s theories, so she has to be persistent and present strong evidence. Of course, sometimes that gets her into trouble…

I absolutely love the Raven’s Nest Bookstore and the quaint coastal Maine town. It was also fun watching Clara’s romance with the hardware store man heat up. (It’s about time!!) I’m ready to go back to Finn’s Harbor.

Book Review: A SINISTER SENSE by Allison Kingsley

Series: A Raven’s Nest Bookstore Mystery, #2
Publisher: Berkley
Released: July 3, 2012
Source: Review copy from publisher

Visions of the future and turning into people’s thoughts come naturally to Clara Quinn thanks to her inherited Quinn Sense. Unfortunately, it offers no insight into her love life–or lack thereof–especially where hardware store owner Rick Sanders is concerned. But even though she’s still nursing a broken heart, Clara offers Rick a home for his troublesome dog, Tatters.

But Tatters is the least of Rick’s problems when a dead body is discovered in the back of his truck. The victim was seen in the hardware store–and bludgeoned to death with a hammer stolen from there. Clara believes Rick is innocent, but she’s not sure whether that belief comes from the Quinn Sense in her head or simply from a desire in her heart…


Cousins Clara and Stephanie Quinn from the Raven’s Nest Bookstore are back with another murder to solve in Allison Kingsley’s latest cozy mystery, A SINISTER SENSE. Things aren’t looking so good for Rick Sanders, the owner of Finn’s Harbor’s only hardware store. A dead body is discovered in the back of his truck, and the murder weapon was taken straight from his own store’s inventory. Even though most of the town thinks he’s guilty, Clara just knows he’s innocent. Rick is Clara’s good friend (and even a potential love interest?), so she’s not going to sit by an let him take the fall for someone else. Armed with her special “Quinn Sense” and her cousin Stephanie’s help, Clara sets out to find the real murderer.

A SINISTER SENSE was a quick and easy read, and overall I liked it – not loved, but liked. The mystery was fairly simple, without a lot of twists and turns or red herrings in the plot. Clara was such a loyal friend to Rick, and when others turned their back on him, she stuck to her guns to find the real murderer, even after receiving threats if she didn’t stop snooping. I enjoyed the dynamic between Clara and Stephanie as cousins, best friends and a fun amateur sleuthing team. My main complaint with this book is the same one I had with the first book in the series (Mind Over Murder) – the way the murderer was caught was just kind of silly. Not very believable in my opinion, and that took away some of my enjoyment.

I’m crazy about bookstore settings, and the Raven’s Nest sounds like an intriguing shop with its Edgar Allen Poe theme. The bookstore specializes in the occult genre, which is fitting given that certain family members, like Clara, have the “Quinn Sense.” It’s similar to having a sixth sense; Clara hears voices in her mind, giving her vague hints about certain things, or she will just develop a strong “feeling” about something without explanation. Clara is not very good at using her special ability, mainly because she’s not happy about having it in the first place, and for years she’s tried to pretend it wasn’t there. I absolutely LOVE cozies with paranormal elements, so I wish this book had delved deeper into the Quinn Sense.

Since I’m curious to see where Clara’s relationship goes with Rick, and I want to know more about Clara’s woo-woo powers, I will be continuing with A Raven’s Nest Bookstore series. I’m just hoping the cousins find a different way to catch the killer next time.

Rating: 3 Stars

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

Book Review: MIND OVER MURDER by Allison Kingsley

Series: A Raven’s Nest Mystery, #1
Publisher: Berkley
Released: September 6, 2011
Source: Review copy from publisher

Cousins and best friends, Clara and Stephanie Quinn run The Raven’s Nest Bookstore, where people go to find their most coveted reads. But they have no idea it’s the psychically-gifted Clara who’s reading them…

The bookstore has made an enemy of the town crier, Ana Jordon, who claims that the store’s occult collection is “poisoning” the town’s youth. Meanwhile, the store’s number-one employee, Molly, has made no secret of her anger over Ana’s antics. So when Ana is found dead, killed by the bust of Edgar Allen Poe sculpted by Molly, the evidence is stacked against her. And Clara must rely on her gift to make sense of this senseless murder…


MIND OVER MURDER is the first book in a new cozy mystery series set in the small coastal town of Finn’s Harbor, Maine. Stephanie Quinn Dowd owns the local bookstore. Her cousin Clara Quinn has just moved back to town after living in New York City for many years. Stephanie convinces Clara to help out in the bookstore while she’s getting reestablished in Finn’s Harbor.

The peace and quiet of small town life that Clara was hoping for is very short lived. Ana Jordon, the shop owner next door, is found murdered in The Raven’s Nest Bookstore’s storeroom. Ana was a spiteful person with many enemies, but the prime suspect in the case is Molly, a longtime employee of the bookstore. Ana hated The Raven’s Nest for selling occult books, and she wanted the store shut down. The day before the murder, there were many witnessess to a heated exchange between Molly and Ana, so the police and townspeople are pointing the finger at Molly.

Stephanie is convinced that Molly is innocent, and she wants Clara to prove it with a little help from her special “gift.” Clara has what the family calls the “Quinn Sense,” which is like a strong sixth sense, complete with voices in her mind. Unfortunately for Clara, her gift has always been very unreliable, and she’s tried for a long time to shut it out. Though Clara doesn’t want to get involved in amateur sleuthing, especially if it means using her gift, she just can’t say no her cousin’s plea for help.

There was much that I liked about this book. Clara and Stephanie work in a quaint Edgar Allen Poe-themed bookstore. The story is set in a picturesque coastal town in Maine. The Quinn Sense! I adore cozy mysteries with a touch of the paranormal, and I really liked the sixth sense approach, though it doesn’t overwhelm the story. Another high point was Clara and Stephanie’s relationship. They are cousins and lifelong best friends. I loved the dynamic between them. There’s even a budding romance between Clara and the town’s most sought after single guy.

MIND OVER MURDER is an enjoyable start to The Raven’s Nest Bookstore series. It was well-written with plenty of possible suspects that kept me guessing. I think my only complaint is the way the Quinn cousins trapped the killer at the very end. It was a bit too simple. Yeah, it worked, but it was just too easy! I was expecting something different. Still, I loved the book and devoured it in a few hours. I’m eagerly awaiting the next book in the series!

Rating: 4 Stars

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