A Hint of Mischief by Daryl Wood Gerber

Title: A Hint of Mischief (A Fairy Garden Mystery #3)

Author: Daryl Wood Gerber

Published on: 28 June 2022

Genre: Cozy Mystery

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

A Hint of Mischief is the third book in Daryl Wood Gerber’s Fairy Garden Mystery series.

Courtney Kelly is asked to plan a fairy-themed birthday party for adults. The hostess, Misty, wants a fairy-themed birthday party for her sorority sister and friend Odine. The best party about this job is Farrah Lawson, a famous actress attending the party. When Misty is at Open Your Imagination – Courtney’s store, Farrah arrives and so does the local jeweler Nova and birthday girl Odine.

From the beginning, it is quite clear to Courtney that Nova and Farrah have a long-standing feud. Farrah makes remarks about Nova – and later, Courtney learns Farrah had commissioned Nova to make a bracelet for her. But when Farrah received the bracelet, instead of hailing praises about it on Facebook, she criticized saying nobody should ever buy Nova’s creations.

The four friends – Misty, Farrah, Nova and Odina – plan a spa trip the next day. And since Courtney is arranging the party for them, she’s invited too. The spa trip is Farrah’s treat. At Tish’s spa, Farrah accuses Tish’s daughter Twyla of ruining her eyebrow. The next day, Farrah is found dead in her rented house and Twyla is the main suspect.

There is a bit of backstory to Twyla’s return to Carmel-by-the-Sea. Twyla ran away from Carmel when she was a teenager and joined a cult. Decades later, an intuitive fairy named Zephyr helped Fiona (Courtney’s fairy) and Courtney to locate Twyla. She was brought back to Carmel and currently lives with her mother, Tish.

Courtney is sure Twyla is innocent. Though Twyla was found in the vicinity of Farrah’s rented house, Twyla claims she passed the house on her way to the beach – a daily run that Twyla’s been following since her return to Carmel. As Courtney starts to dig deeper in the sorority sisters’ lives, she accidentally stumbles across a closet full of skeletons. Seems like Misty, Odina, Nova and Farrah had their set of secrets. Farrah seemed to be connected to a couple of setbacks that the other sorority sisters faced.

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A Hint of Mischief was an engrossing and completely entertaining cozy mystery. It was so good to see that Fiona and Courtney’s friendship grow. Fiona is working hard to become a fully-fledged fairy. Courtney’s love life has improved a tad since the last book. The only thing that niggles Courtney is her father’s disbelief in fairies. Even in this book, we see him disapprove of Courtney’s belief in fairies and all things magical.

Courtney learns Farrah’s been murdered and Twyla is implicated in the crime, she knows Twyla is innocent and decides to do a bit of sleuthing on her own. There’s another mystery here – more of a side-story but a fantastic addition to the main mystery. A lot of fairy portals have opened up in town. Looks like someone’s been placing fairy doors all around Carmel. Fiona and Merryweather (Fiona’s mentor) are curious to know who’s being so desperate to contact fairies and why.

Speaking of fairies, Courtney and Fiona meet Cedric at Misty’s place. Cedric is a he-fairy. Misty used to see him when she was a child but as she grew up, she started stopped believing in all-things-magical. Cedric still tries his best to help his mistress. After all, once a fairy is assigned to a human, they must remain with them till their owner’s death. Does this mean Fiona will remain with Courtney for long? Courtney also wonders what happened to Aurora, the fairy she knew when she was a child.

I absolutely love the theme on which this series is based. I must do a bit of research on fairy gardens so that I can try one on my own. This can be my next DIY project, what say? 🙂 I am in awe of Daryl’s storytelling. Excellent character portrayal and the mystery (or should I say mysteries?) kept me guessing till the end.

The identity of the perp was shocking and unexpected. Plenty of red herrings scattered throughout the story so it was difficult for me to identify the perp before Courtney could. We also have a surprise at the end – something to do with Courtney. I cannot wait to see how this new development will affect Courtney’s life in the near future.

If you are looking for a magical cozy mystery, I recommend you to read A Hint of Mischief by Daryl Wood Gerber.


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