Title: Crimes and Covers (A Magical Bookshop Mystery #5)
Author: Amanda Flower
Published on: 11 January 2022
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Christmas is around the corner and so is the much-awaited wedding of Violet Waverly and David Rainwater. Violet owns Charming Books, a magical bookstore in Cascade Springs, New York, while David is the Chief Detective of Cascade Springs. Grandma Daisy and Violet’s best friend Sadie go all out to make sure the event is memorable.
After the wedding, Violet and David are going to their reception when David finds a dead body floating in the frigid Niagara river. What’s more shocking is, the victim is a woman who visited Violet’s bookstore two days ago with the first edition of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden.
The coroner rules the death as accidental so there is no case to solve. But Violet wants to know what happened to the first edition Walden the woman claimed to have. Charming Books provides Violet with clues – can Violet find the missing book before going on her honeymoon?
Crimes and Covers is the fifth book in Amanda Flower’s A Magical Bookshop Mystery series. Set in Cascade Springs, New York, the series revolves around a Violet Waverly who inherited a magical bookstore named Charming Books. The magical element of the bookstore is a two-hundred-year-old Birch tree which stands at the center of the store and needs to be watered every alternate day with spring water (from the Niagara river). The bookstore also houses a talking crow named Faulkner and a Houdini-cat named Emerson. Well, Houdini because Emerson is known for his disappearing/magically appearing at places.
The story begins with Sadie and Grandma Daisy prepping for Violet’s wedding. Violet wanted a quiet event with close friends and family only but with Grandma Daisy being a mayor, this is not possible. A woman arrives at the bookstore and rudely asks Violet if she’s interested in buying something from her. She refuses to give her name or any details about where she found the item in question – a first edition of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. The mysterious woman wants Violet to make a decision right away but Violet refuses to make a deal until she gets it appraised. The woman walks out of the store and on Violet’s wedding day, she’s found floating in the frigid river.
On the dead woman’s hands are the words ‘They stole my book.’ Violet is curious to know if this mysterious woman was killed or if her death was an accident. Grandma Daisy knows the victim and so does someone else… Soon, the woman’s past comes into picture and Violet is drawn to learning more about the missing first edition of Walden.
The shop has its ‘essence’ as Violet and David call it – in the past, it has given Violet clues to solve crimes. This time is no different. But, Violet and David are to go on their honeymoon. Is the shop’s essence of more importance than spending a quiet time with her new husband?
When I mentioned that someone else too knew the victim, I deliberately kept their identity a secret – giving away their details would make this review a spoiler. This particular person okays a major role in the story.
The mystery behind the missing book and the dead body (the death was ruled accidental by the coroner) kept me guessing till the end. We also have a few side stories from the recurring characters – some good while some, not-so-good.
Amanda Flower is a master storyteller. I have read a few of her books and I really love her storytelling and character portrayals. The other stars of this series (apart from Violet and the magical bookshop, that is) are Faulkner and Emerson. These two cutie pies make the story unique and enjoyable.
Crimes and Covers is an engrossing, enjoyable and completely entertaining cozy mystery by Amanda Flower.
If you love cozy mysteries and/or mysteries set in a bookstore, you might want to give Amanda Flower’s Crimes and Covers a read.
I received an ARC from Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.