January means ice wine season in the Niagara Falls region, but the festivities leave Charming Books owner Violet Waverly cold, still reeling from a past heartbreak. A past heartbreak who will be present at the annual midnight grape-harvest festival, and no magic in the world or incantation powerful enough could get Violet to attend. But Grandma Daisy, an omniscient force all on her own, informs Violet that she’s already arranged for the mystical Charming Books to host celebrity sommelier Belinda Perkins’s book signing at the party. Little do either Waverly women know, the ice wine festival will turn colder still when Violet finds Belinda in the middle of the frozen vineyard—with a grape harvest knife protruding from her chest.
Belinda grew up in Cascade Springs, but she left town years ago after a huge falling-out with her three sisters. One of those sisters, Violet’s high school friend Lacey Dupont, attends the book signing in the hope of making amends with her sister, but Belinda and Lacey end up disrupting the signing with a very public shouting match and Lacey quickly become the prime suspect in the sommelier’s murder.
Violet is sure Lacey is innocent, and to keep her friend out of prison, Violet asks for guidance from her magical bookshop. The shop’s ethereal essence points her to Louisa May Alcott’sLittle Women, but what have the four March sisters to do with the four Perkins sisters? If she can’t figure it out, Violet, herself, may turn as cold as ice. Violet, Grandma Daisy, Emerson the tuxedo cat, and resident crow Faulkner are back on the case in Murders and Metaphors, USA Today bestselling author Amanda Flower’s enchanting third Magical Bookshop mystery.
A book about a bookstore and books! What more can a book lover ask for? This was such a charming and wonderful story. The characters, especially Grandma Daisy, Faulkner, and Emerson were cuter than cute!
Grandma Daisy ( isn’t her name cute???) and Violet Waverly own a magical bookshop called Charming Books. Cascade Springs is a famous spring known for its magical and healing properties. There is a two-hundred-year-old birch tree in the middle of the bookstore and every alternate day, it is Violet’s job to draw water from the Cascade Springs and water the tree.
The Morton Vineyard is hosting a book signing club – the guest is none other than the famous sommelier Belinda Perkins, a former resident of Cascade Springs. But things go wrong when Belinda is found murdered in the vineyard. Violet decides to poke her nose into the murder investigation and she unearths some dark secrets about the Perkins and Mortons.
What else does a cozy mystery need when there is a cafe that makes delicious baked goodies, a cute tuxedo cat, a pet crow, ice wine, snow, a tinge of romance and a murder? The bookstore is magical – it always gives clues in the form of unexpectedly dropping books out of nowhere- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott in this case, sometimes flips pages too so that Violet gets the clue that she’s searching for.
I loved the tux-cat Emerson. Partly due to the fact that I have a tux-cat at home and partly because tuxedo cats are so adorable!! Grandma Daisy was adorable too, and so was Faulkner, the pet crow. Somehow, the four of them – Emerson, Faulkner, Grandma Daisy, and Violet form a strong bond and always seem to understand each other.
There was even a local critique group called Red Inkers that held meetings at the bookstore every now and then. The other characters in the story included the Mortons (nasty ones, these!), Chief David Rainwater (Violet and he have a thing going on), Sadie (Violet’s best buddy), Lacey and Adrien (owners of Le Crepe Jolie), Lacey’s sisters – Belinda, Adele and Michelle, and Joel Redding, the nosy P.I.
The language is clear and simple. The story was interesting and entertaining. The ending was good and the identity of the murderer was a surprise. Overall, the book was a delightful read.
Some people seemed to get all sunshine, and some all shadow…
Character development: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Title: Murders and Metaphors
Author: Amanda Flower
Publication Date: 22 Feb 2019
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Featured Image Credits: NetGalley
Thank you Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for the ARC. This is my honest and unbiased review.