Thursday, October 15, 2015

Review & #Giveaway ~ Knock on Wood (A Superstition Mystery) by Linda O. Johnston

Welcome to the blog tour for Knock on Wood, Book 2 in Linda O. Johnston's Superstition Mystery series.

Knock On Wood
by Linda O. Johnston

Cozy Mystery
Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: Midnight Ink (October 8, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0738745527

Rory Chasen, now the manager of the Lucky Dog Boutique in Destiny, California, is delighted when her closest friend Gemma Grayfield, a librarian, comes for a visit. But Gemma arrives early and seems upset. It turns out she has broken up with her boyfriend, Frank Shorester. Gemma is soon hired to manage the Broken Mirror Bookstore. Frank follows her to Destiny, where Gemma is also wooed by two local men. Rory may be a little jealous—until one of those men, Deputy Mayor Bevin Dermot, turns up dead. Bevin is known for knocking on wood for everything, but despite Destiny being all about superstitions that did not save his life.

Rory tries to help Gemma clear herself of being a murder suspect, even counting on her lucky black and white dog Pluckie to help. But is Gemma guilty of murder—or of just having a run of bad luck?

My Review:

Warning ~~ Potential Book 1 spoilers.  

When Rory's bff, Gemma, abruptly comes to town to visit earlier than expected, she's happy but knows that something is up.  Gemma broke up with her boyfriend, Frank, and just needed to get out of L.A. and away from him.  This would be all fine and dandy except Frank follows Gemma to Destiny.

In the short time that Gemma is in town, she has caught the eye of two local eligible bachelors.  She's also caught the evil eye of Frank who is quasi-stalking Gemma hoping to convince her to come back to L.A. with him.  Frank's plans crash and burn when she's offered a managerial position at the bookstore previously owned by two characters from Book 1.  

The relationship between Gemma and one of her suitors gets heated one evening, at a restaurant, and in front of half of the town.  When he's found dead early the next morning, Gemma becomes one of many suspects in his murder.  Rory knows beyond a shadow of doubt that Gemma isn't to blame and, much to their dismay, takes it upon herself to help local law enforcement figure it out.

I really like both books in the Superstition Mystery series.  I'm not superstitious but I still find the various superstitions plastered throughout the book to be fascinating.  I already knew about some of them (walking under ladders, breaking mirrors, opening umbrellas inside, knocking on wood) but I'd never heard of most of them.  

Rory really develops and grows in Knock on Wood, learning to accept the death of her fiancé,Warren, and moving forward with her life.  She's still cautious but doesn't continually dwell on the events that lead to Warren's untimely death.  She's still curious about the superstition about walking under a ladder but she isn't allowing it to hold her back from what may come with Chief of Police, Justin.

There isn't a lot of additional character development with the supporting cast members, which is unfortunate.  Rory moved to Destiny without knowing anyone yet was able to easily fit it.  We get bits and pieces about those she interacts with the most but it would be interesting to learn more about them and who really believes in the superstitions, that the town relies on for tourism.

If you're looking for an easy read, look no further than Linda O. Johnston's Superstition Mystery series.  The characters are likable and written with emotion and depth.  The mysteries are engaging and the author tosses in a few red herrings to help disguise the true suspect(s).  I had fun reading both books in the series and plan to continue reading the series.

Review copy courtesy of the publishing company, at no cost, in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:


KNOCK ON WOOD is a well written mystery with a great plot that was more than it seemed. Every time I was sure I knew the answers to who and why, something would happen causing me to doubt myself.

I didn’t have a clue as to who the murderer was and it was quite a surprise when he/she was revealed. I never saw that one coming!

Johnston combines her love of animals with an exploration of interesting superstitions in this enjoyable series.

Whether you are so superstitious you surround yourself with bubble wrap every time you have to leave the house on the 3rd Thursday after a full moon (no, that’s not a real superstition) or on the other end of the spectrum and so skeptical you snicker at people who purposely step over the cracks in a sidewalk, you will find a day or a weekend in Destiny to be a welcome respite from your ‘regular’ life.

Of course the writing in this novel was superb with many twists and turns. I liked the relationships in this novel also. This one had me guessing till the end, which is what I like about a cozy mystery.

Full of drama, superstitions, gossip and characters that you like…

About This Author:

Linda O. Johnston’s first published fiction appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and won the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for Best First Mystery Short Story of the year. Since then, Linda, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, has published more short stories, novellas, and 38 romance and mystery novels, including the Pet Rescue Mystery Series, a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, and Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as the Alpha Force paranormal romance miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne. She additionally writes the Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink.

Her latest cozy mystery series, the Barkery and Biscuits Mysteries also from Midnight Ink, started off in May with BITE THE BISCUIT and KNOCK ON WOOD released October 8.

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angela smith said...

sounds like a good book..i love cozy mysteries

Sapphyria said...

Hi Angela,

Thank you for stopping by and participating. I enjoy this series. Hope you have a chance to read it.