Wilhelmina Chance, former crime journalist, after a painful divorce and an even more painful car accident, has returned home to Mystic Notch, New Hamp..Show More »shire. Willa has inherited her grandmother's beautiful Victorian house, as well as her bookstore, specializing in used and antique books.
But one side effect of her near-fatal accident is that she sees ghosts. And when she finds Lavinia, the town librarian, lying dead at the foot of a flight of stairs, Lavinia insists that Willa has to find her killer.
Along with the house and the bookstore, Willa inherited her grandmother's cat, Pandora. Initially, she's taking care of Pandora out of duty, but the cat keeps growing on her. Sometimes Pandora's meowing almost sounds like words...
This book was a lot of fun. I like Willa, her friends and neighbors, and Pandora. But for an experienced crime reporter whom we're told legitimately cracked some cases "down south" (i.e., in Massachusetts), and as smart and observant as she is, she does get focused on one particular suspect, based largely on personal dislike, to the point of being resistant to evidence pointed another way.
On the other hand, I did like that the small town cops, Willa's sister Augusta, who is the local sheriff, and Striker, who is the sheriff in the next town over, are smart, capable, and pragmatic. They're not improbable geniuses putting city slickers to shame, but they're not having the wool pulled over their eyes, either, even with fewer resources than a big city police department would have.
There are some weaknesses, here, but it's a fun, light read. Recommended.
The good things; this series has so much potential. I love the concept of the little town in the New Hampshire mountains. I love the addition of the m..Show More »agical aspect, and all the questions that are apparently going to be gradually revealed about the underlying magic in the town and it's inhabitants. I love the book store, the tea shop, all the old Victorian houses. I love the cats that talk and have a magical mission of their own (though I could do without Otis. Why do authors of cozies seem to believe we always need a jerk in the mix?). I love Pepper, the vintage queen and magical tea shop owner. I like the romantic aspect, which is an important component of a cozy to me, and I also like the fact that it wasn't continually pushing it's way into the main story like it did in book one. The reader is also very good and easy to listen to. The irritating things; The main character Willa. She seemed better than she was in the first book when book two started, but once we really get into the mystery she becomes almost as annoying as she was in book one. She is so stupid. She claims to have been a top notch crime reporter earlier in her life, but this is impossible for me to believe. She forms a theory about who the murderer is because reasons (pointlessly stupid reasons, I might add). She doesn't check any facts or look at things rationally, she just decides who the murderer "must" be and then ignores everything else. Once it turns out that person isn't the murderer, she learns nothing, randomly fixes on someone else, and does the same thing with that person. It is stunningly clear to the reader who the murderer must be as there are plenty of clues, but Willa ignores them all. The only real mystery here is who Ranger (the homeless dog) is going to end up living with by the end of the book. Willa is also rigid, closed minded, and judgmental. She does no research on anything, and at age 48 seems to know very little about the world. She's not quite as bad as she was in book one, but she's still by far the most pointless and irritating character in the book. I wish Pepper was the heroine. This series would be a lot better that way. In summary, this a quick light read that's easy to listen to while you are doing other things as it's pretty repetitive and if you missed something it will probably come up again. You just have to be willing to put up with an incompetent main character.
I enjoyed the first two books, but, I think this will be the last one for me. The main problem I have with this book is Willa. For a sleuth, she is ..Show More »incredibly close minded. Willa makes fun of Pepper's teas, even though, she has seen them work on a couple of people. She is supposed to investigate for Paisley's ghost. However, when Willa questions her for leads in the case, she ignores Paisley because the information doesn't fit with her own beliefs. Willa also removes and withholds evidence that the police could use to solve the murder. On top of that, she's not very smart! Willa misses obvious clues that the reader is sure to pick up on early in the book. I saw holes in the second book, but, the premise was pretty good so I gave it another chance. No more. This is my last book in the series.
I am a fan of almost any cozy mystery but this one missed the mark. Willa Chance as portrayed in this one could be described as the definition of a co..Show More »nfused, rambling ditzy female. Hardly the character one expects in a seasoned, 50 something former crime reporter.