An upstate New York family’s long-held secret helps solve yet another murder.
Perhaps the single most unusual feature of the Niagara region’s Charming Books, which Violet Waverly and her grandmother Daisy own, is the 200-year-old birch tree growing in a large skylit room in the center of the shop, which must be watered from a magical spring deep in the nearby woods. But there’s much more. A second unusual feature is Faulkner, the shop’s domesticated talking crow. A third is the shop’s ability to create whatever book someone wants and provide literary hints that help solve crimes. Now Violet’s closely guarded secret is playing havoc with her love life. The bookshop has become involved with Morton Vineyards’ promotion for Belinda Perkins’ newest wine book. On the night of the book signing, Violet stumbles over the body of Belinda, a make-or-break wine critic whose many enemies included her two sisters, in the vineyard where a crowd has gathered to pick the frozen grapes for Morton’s famous ice wine. The loud argument Violet’s closest friend, Lacey, had with her sister Belinda at the book signing makes her the leading suspect. Violet, who’s currently dating Police Chief David Rainwater, knows how it feels to be falsely accused. So she sets out to prove her friend innocent with help from Charming Books, where every book she picks up becomes Little Women, forcing her to reread Alcott’s novel, looking for clues that will keep Lacey out of jail and unmask the real killer.
The master of the charming mystical cozy (Pros and Cons, 2016) once again provides plenty of quirky characters and red herrings to keep you guessing.