by Linda O. Johnston
Unlucky Charms (A Superstition Mystery)
3rd in Series
Midnight Ink (October 8, 2016)
Paperback: 288 pages
E-Book ASIN: B01APSYQ5G
About the Book:
Rory Chasen, manager of the Lucky Dog Boutique in Destiny, California, hopes her new line of good-luck doggy toys will be a hit, especially the stuffed rabbits with extra-large feet. The timing of the line’s debut proves ill-fated, though, as several local shops―including Rory’s―are ransacked and vandalized with spilled salt and other unlucky charms.
The most likely culprit is disgruntled real estate agent Flora Curtival, whose issues with the town give her a motive. But when Flora is murdered and one of Rory’s toy rabbits is found with the body, Rory needs all the luck she can get while trying to determine just who killed the superstitious vandal.
Unlucky Charms is the third book in Linda O. Johnston's Superstition Mystery series. This installment finds many of the businesses in Destiny, CA being broken into and littered with charms that aren't so lucky. Upside-down horseshoes, carelessly spilled salt, and other vandalism that has the town on edge. When the burglar/vandal confesses in an unorthodox manner, all the cops need to do now is find her. Unfortunately, her dead body is found the next day and it is surrounded by some of the items that were stolen from Lucky Dog Boutique - Rory's recently designed pet toys. Now Rory's a main suspect who must clear her name before more bad luck descends on her and Destiny.
As this is the third book in the series, I found all of the "knocking on wood" and other superstitious activities to go overboard in Unlucky Charms. I know that superstitions are the town's claim to fame, as well as the underlying theme of the series, but I just thought there were too many references. It seems almost fanatical to me and I didn't feel that way about the first two books in the series.
I did like the book despite the overuse of superstitious phrases. Rory is continues to be a strong, likable character. She works hard and take pride in running the Lucky Dog Boutique. Her interactions with other townspeople are realistic and believable. Rory's character continues to develop and evolve as she is able to move further away from the death of her fiance, Warren. She doesn't forget about him but she isn't allowing her feelings for him or his death to cloud her ability to move forward.
The mystery was unique in that the person involved in the break-ins identified herself and was then murdered. I like that the story developed a bit first - the book didn't begin with the death right away, other events occurred prior. The murder scene also sets up Rory as the killer and she must work hard and diligently to clear her name and bring the real murder to justice - with or without the help of the police.
If you're looking for an easy read then look no further. Linda O. Johnston's Superstition Mystery series will keep you on your toes. 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 have enjoyed all of the books in the series so far.
I voluntarily reviewed this ARC copy.
I voluntarily reviewed this ARC copy.
Meet the 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.
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