UNLUCKY CHARMS  by Linda O. Johnston


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A murder in a town obsessed with luck leaves residents unsure what they can do to protect themselves while the prime suspect tries to clear her name.

As she concludes her public talk in Destiny, California, about animals and superstitions, Rory Chasen’s excited to share her newest products with her neighbors in her adopted home. The manager at the Lucky Dog Boutique, a store that specializes in the luckiest of accessories and food (yes, lucky food) for pets, Rory’s come up with a line of pet toys infused with luck, like a stuffed rabbit with an oversized foot. Though it may be corny, the town’s residents and visitors have all come to Destiny to share in the luck, and every interaction is sanctified by knocking on wood or crossing fingers. Rory (Knock on Wood, 2015, etc.) feels pretty lucky herself. Having come to Destiny to investigate the death of her fiance, she’s thinking of staying indefinitely, even shopping for an apartment or house to share with her best friend, Gemma, an even more recent transplant. Learning of their plans, pushy real estate agent Flora Curtival forces her services on Rory and Gemma even though the two aren’t sure they’re ready to commit. Nor is Rory the only person Flora is antagonizing. Rumors link her to a series of break-ins evidently intent on bringing storekeepers bad luck. Rory hears about the rumors from her boyfriend, policeman Justin Halbertson, though she’s also informed that it’s bad luck to talk about the crimes. Guilty or innocent, Flora is soon found murdered with one of Rory’s lucky rabbit’s feet stuffed in her mouth. Now Rory will need all the luck she can find to maintain her innocence.

Johnston’s gentle but bland heroine, now making her third appearance, and her lack of subtlety in handling the theme of luck will either amuse or repel readers.

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-7387-4555-8
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Midnight Ink/Llewellyn
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2016


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