A Charming Crime by Tonya Kappes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was my first Goodreads win and I’m happy to say that, overall, I enjoyed this book. This is first in the Magical Cures series featuring June Heal, a novice spiritualist.
As the book opens, June is carrying on her mother’s business of selling herbal remedies. Through her best friend, Oscar Park, she learns of Whispering Falls -- a place full of interesting people. She is invited to open a shop there for her cures and learns that she will basically be re-opening her Mother’s shop. Turns out, in her early childhood, June lived with her mother and father in Whispering Falls, a town populated by Spiritualists and with a lengthy and convoluted set of rules on who can run a shop and who can live there.
I will admit that I had gaps in reading this book due to the holidays, but I felt like the characters were introduced at a rapid pace and I had a hard time keeping track of them. Personally, I didn’t get a really good feel for the people in the town or even the main characters. At times, the telling of the story felt rushed. However, as I became more immersed in the book again, I was drawn into the story; the ending was climatic and had a twist. So, a decent little mystery.
My biggest pet peeves with this book had to do with the formatting and the lack of editing. The formatting was double spaced throughout, which was a bit distracting to me. And, while the grammar was fine, the editing left a little to be desired. There are numerous instances of the wrong words being used. The words weren’t mis-spelled, they were simply the wrong words. For the most part, I could figure out the word and move on. The worst offender was "Freight and share agony pierced my soul.” I’m pretty sure it was meant to be “Fright and sheer agony pierced my soul,” but it took me a bit to figure out the sheer part. I will note that this could have been a pre-publication copy and the errors may not be in the final cut.
One other thing that drove me a little nuts was June’s obsession with Ding Dongs. I finally got past that, but there was one scene where she fed some to her cat and chocolate is toxic in cats. As a cat owner, that totally distracted me from the main story, but fortunately it was only the one time.
Other than the pet peeves mentioned above, I thought this was a good mystery with a very interesting premise. I do plan on reading future books in this series and would recommend it to those who enjoy a bit of the mystical in their mysteries.
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