Murders and Metaphors

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

4.5 Stars Cascade Springs, in the Niagara Falls area, is home to several vineyards and January is ice wine season. When Belinda Perkins, a published sommelier wants to do a book signing during the Grape Harvest Festival. Belinda grew up in Cascade Springs and her sister, Lacey Dupont, is a friend of Violet Waverly, the caretaker/owner of Charming Books. When Belinda ends up dead at the winery, Lacey is the main suspect as they had an argument earlier in the evening. Can Violet find the real killer and get her friend off the hook?

This is a wonderful series full of books and magic. Charming Bookstore is a place where the books pick a reader. When Violet is involved in a mystery, the store presents her with a book and she needs to use the information in the book to solve the puzzle. It is not easy and definitely not straight forward trying to figure out the message from Little Women. The characters in this book, specifically Violet, Grandma Daisy, Faulkner the crow and Emerson the cat, all lend a paw or a beak to help solve the mystery. The setting is wonderful. The small town and the quirky townsfolk are great, but the store, complete with a magical tree growing inside give that whimsical, magical feeling. The mystery is interesting and engaging with plenty of twists and suspense. I was a bit surprised by the solution to the mystery, although it made perfect sense. I just didn't see it coming. All in all, a very entertaining and fun read. I am a huge fan of Amanda Flower and look forward to more books in this series.
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I love a good cozy mystery series, with a little magic, a little romance, and a sweet bookstore setting, this had the chance to be a firm favourite from the outset. AS expected this was an easy book to read and kept me hooked from the first page.
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As the third installment of the Magical Bookshop Mysteries, we find ourselves once again in Cascade Springs, New York, just in time for the holidays. I enjoyed being back with the familiar characters, location, as well as the “romantic” interest that has carried on through the books. Faulkner, the crow and Emerson, the cat are a couple of my most favorite characters. The bookshop is still throwing out clues as once again, Violette finds herself involved with another murder to solve! Suspects are plenty with red herrings to keep you guessing. This book will keep me coming back for more! I received a free copy of this book through #NetlGalley and #Crooked Lane Books in exchange for an honest review. As a fan of this series and the author, I was more than happy to review.
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This was my first book in this series and I really did enjoy it.  I had no problem following who was who or circumstances due to not reading prior books.  It flowed nicely and was a great read.  I should have known who did the deed from the beginning, but I did not and was surprised when it was revealed.  Look forward to others by this author.
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Amanda Flower continues her Magical Bookshop mysteries with Murders and Metaphors.  Violet Waverly, owner of Charming Books, runs into trouble at a book signing at a ice wine festival. She has to maintain the magic tree in Charming Books with help from her grandma Daisy and pet crow and cat.  The bookstore's Little Women copies provide clues for the murder of the visiting author while Violet has to navigate between past love and new romance with the village police chief.  Charming cover and interesting cozy.  Read and enjoy.
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Madness and Meanness

	At the center of this story, a girl and her grandmother run the local bookshop in a charming village near Niagara Falls which boasts a natural spring that, like many, is given the attribute of healing powers.  In the center of the bookshop lies a living tree, watered every other day with spring water and retaining a remarkably youthful appearance.  The shop, originally simply a house, was deliberately built around the tree more than a century back and family legend has it that the tree has sentience--or maybe it's the house itself--allowing the bookstore to select for its patrons exactly the books they want.  Add in a cat and talking crow and cast of friends and villagers and you have a charming, murder-solving team the envy of Sherlock.  Despite some high drama surrounding the murder(s)/attempts, the overall mood is contemplative, somewhat relaxed (or at least I was while enjoying my reading), and fun.  Hints of present romance and past mysteries (this is, after all, book three in the series) add body (bad pun), but fear not if you, like me, are starting with this one.  It does stand alone quite nicely (although it is quite likely not destined to remain so--looking forward to more by this author!).
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This was my first outing into the 'Magical Bookshop Mystery' series and I absolutely loved it!

This was a book about a bookshop and books. At the core of this charming and wonderful story, there was a magical bookshop called 'Charming Books' which helped its owner to solve her small town’s frequent murders. The bookshop itself sounded like a being in paradise. It was enchanted bookshop with an ageless living tree and whatever book you were looking for, it would seek you. 

I loved the setting, the mystery and for the most part, I liked the characters as well. I didn't feel like I was missing out on much by arriving late to the party, which is always a good thing when reading a book from a series. The setting was beautifully described by Amanda Flower and I got a real feel for the place. 

This fabulous cozy mystery offered a café that baked delicious treats, ice wine, a pet crow, a cute cat, a hint of romance and murder. I enjoyed reading "Murders and Metaphors" so much and I didn't guess the perpetrator.  
I will be to going to start at the beginning of this series, as it was delightful reading and perfect weekend escapism.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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I’m thrilled that the Magical Bookshop Mysteries found a new home at Crooked Lane Books, because it’s one of my favorite cozy mystery series. With a little magic, a little romance, and a quaint bookstore setting, I was hooked.

How many bookshops have an enchanted tree growing right in the middle of the store? This ancient tree provides the store’s magic that helps Violet solve mysteries with messages through its books. This time around it’s Little Women that Charming Books wants Violet to focus on. Her good friend Lacey is in hot water after Lacey’s estranged sister is found murdered in a local vineyard. What clues are hidden in the passages of the classic novel that will point Violet to the killer?

I enjoyed this third installment in the series. It was fun to be back among the interesting characters of Cascade Springs. The murder mystery was solid and not easy to figure out. I liked learning more about Lacey and her family, and also learning about ice-wine! Before reading this book, I had no idea frozen grapes could be harvested and turned into a sweet dessert wine. Looking forward to the next in the series!
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I picked this up for review on a whim and I have to say I was so delighted that I did. How could I resist a cozy mystery with a quirky, magical bookshop that helps solve the mysteries? It was definitely a different take on a paranormal cozy, which I found refreshing. 

Here’s what’s going on. When hometown girl and sommelier Belinda Perkins is murdered at her book signing, Violet and Grandma Daisy are determined to prove that Belinda’s sister and Violet’s best friend, Lacey, is innocent. Violet has a feeling she knows who the murderer is but when her bookshop’s essence keeps dropping clues in the lap in the form of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Violet starts wondering if there’s something more going on with the Perkins sisters. Will Violet and Grandma Daisy be able to figure out who the murderer is now that Violet seems to be a target?

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one and I did struggle a bit at the start with the magical tree bit as I was worried this one would feel a bit childish but I finally found my groove with this book and I’m so glad I did. I really ended up enjoying the magic of the shop and the way the shop’s essence helps solve the crime. 

Violet and Grandma Daisy were fun characters to get to know. Both and a bit quirky and completely determined to do what they set out to do and that often leads them into trouble. Violet having recently returned, they’re both still sorting out their relationship and Violet’s trying to come to terms with what it means to be the caretaker of the magical tree. She’s struggling a bit as she figured out how to balance that responsibility with her personal life.

The mystery was brilliant and I liked how the book paralleled things in Little Women with things going on with Belinda’s mystery. I had an inkling who the murderer was and I was right but I still enjoyed watching how it unfolded. 

So, there’s a bit of a love triangle that seems to be happening between Violet, Nathan Morton—the mayor and son of a wealthy family, and David Rainwater—the local police chief. As of now, Violet seems to be giving David a chance but there’s still something—not so much a romance but a lingering connection—to Nathan.
There’s a major chunk of Violet’s story I missed having not read the first two books and, while I wished I had her entire backstory, I had no trouble following along with this one. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this one and look forward reading the previous books in the series.
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I enjoy this series which has the magical tree inside the bookstore and the book chosen to assist in solving this homicide is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.  The powerful family is unlikeable, one brother the prodigal son and the other never measuring up complete with an overbearing and miserable mother figure.  These people end up in the mixed stew of suspects and the protag really pushes her limits getting too close to the killer.
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My first foray into the Magical Bookshop mystery series and overall I enjoyed it. I've read a couple in Ms Flower's newest series - the Magical Garden - set in Scotland, and find I have the same complaints here as I do with that series.

I liked the mystery in this. I liked the setting, and the bookshop, and for the most part I liked the characters. I didn't feel like I was missing too much by coming in so late to the series, either, which is always a good feeling. The settings were well described and I got a real feel for the place - I could see the Niagara River (although it's likely a reversed view, as I've only ever seen it from the Canadian side. Still...) and feel the cold of mid-winter.

I'm giving this a solid 3 stars because I enjoyed the story and didn't guess the murderer. But there are numerous grammatical errors, 'Little Women' becomes 'Little Woman' on more than one occasion, and the dialogue feels very stilted - there's an odd mix of contractions & non-contractions in the sentences, which made me 'stutter' a bit when I was reading. It was disconcerting and I remembered why I stumbled a bit in the Magic Garden series, too.

Overall, however, I would like to go back and start at the beginning with this series, as it's got a good story and I like the characters.
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I absolutely loved this book. This author is quickly becoming one of my favorites. The storyline is well written and the characters are interesting. I will be reading more in this series.
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Murders and Metaphors is another exciting installment in Flower's Magical Bookshop mystery series.  Each book in this series seems to get better and better.  Violet and her grandmother, Daisy, are attending a book signing event at a midnight grape harvesting to promote Charming Books.  Things get off to a bad start when Violet's friend, Lacey, gets into a public argument with the author who happens to be her sister, Belinda.  Violet's evening gets worse when she discovers Belinda dead making Lacey the number one suspect.

Flowers does a great job at setting up a good mystery with high stakes.  Violet is determined to prove her friend innocent, but that might mean that someone else close may be the real killer.  To make things harder for Violet, Nathan and Rainwater are both still vying for her affections.  Torn between the past and present means that Violet faces some tough decisions but thankfully she has her grandmother and the magical shop to guide her.  This book gives Violet some great character development because it forces her to look at what she wants for herself.  I also really love the book's secondary characters because they really add to the story especially Grandma Daisy, Rainwater, and Sadie.  The book's mystery is well done and keeps the reader guessing until the end.  The book also does a great job at capturing the reader's attention from the beginning and never letting go.  Overall Murders and Metaphors proved to be a great read that I would most definitely recommend.  I look forward to reading Violet's next adventure.

Received a copy of Murders and Metaphors through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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Book 3 in a series seemed as good a place to start as any. Violet and her grandmother run a bookshop that's more than slightly unusual and not just because you will always find exactly the book you're in need of there. The shop's essence (the paranormal slant to this series) is a rather interactive secret and has chosen Violet to take over from her grandmother as the shop and it's tree's caretaker. This means watering it with very special water no matter the weather which doesn't seem such a big deal but because Amanda Flower didn't add in a paranormal way to get the water, it adds to the normality of the book which I think is a wonderful foil. 

Violet left her hometown years ago after a scandal left her angry and heartbroken to the point that she swore she would never return. Now that she's back,, she's dealing with those who hurt her the most as she helps her grandmother set up for a huge book signing for another escapee of the town. A little out of touch with what has gone on while she was gone, she's blind-sided by the family feud of a close friend that comes to everyone's attention during the signing. Unsurprising to her, she's blamed for it by those hosting the event. When she stumbles across a dead body and her grandmother calls the police, more blame is piled on her by the host. 

The tree/shop has decided she needs to take an active involvement in this case and had tried to warn her of it through a book it keeps literally placing in front of her. Unfortunately, not everyone is excited by her snooping though one person is thrilled and follows her relentlessly whether she likes it or not. 

I enjoyed the way it was made known that one character will be seen again. It left a bit of tension without a complete cliff hanger. I have to admit that one aspect of the book really grated on me regarding the tree and two characters. It was subtle enough that it would have worked great if it hadn't been a point that the heroine kept worrying about in deliberate obtuseness. It's hard to mix the "wow, she's so smart and observant" sleuth with the completely obtuse "what am I going to do?" persona who worries over her potential love life. Had it not been such a recurring point, it would have played out a lot better for me. Yes, she doesn't catch on quick to what the essence is telling her about the crime but this almost comes across as dumbing down this magical character. 

Still, I did enjoy the book rather immensely. and I look forward to reading more in this series. I definitely recommend this book if you're looking for a paranormal cozy that is a bit different. 

Thank you to Amanda Flower, Crooked Lane Books, and NetGalley for allowing me the chance to read this book and share my honest thoughts and opinions with others.
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Such a great book and I always want to read more about the caracters. Will look for more works of the author.
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I’m so excited to return to Amanda Flower’s Magical Bookshop Mystery series and the Charming Books bookstore where the right book picks you.

Murder and Metaphors finds Violet investigating the murder of Belinda Perkins, the sister of her best friend Lacey, when Lacey is suspected of her murder.  This is a story where everyone has secrets and money controls all.

It has been years since Belinda has been in Cascade Springs, New York and just as long since the sisters have spoken.  The sisters haven't gotten along since their mother died and Lacey was put in charge of raising their younger sisters.  Belinda makes her triumphant return to Cascade Springs as a best-selling author of wine books.  She's in town to promote her latest book and do a book signing at Morton Vineyards, which ties into the Morton's annual ice wine harvesting party.  You would think this would be a time of celebration for the Perkins.  However, it isn't. 

Belinda and Lacey get into a very public argument during the signing.  Later, Violet stumbles upon the dead body of Belinda.  Violet doesn't know Belinda very well or the reason why the four sisters seem to be estranged.  She just knows Lacey would never kill anyone, let alone her older sister.  As Violet works to figure out who killed Belinda and why the bookstore becomes insistent that Violet reads Little Women.  But what does the book have to do with Belinda's death?  This is a mystery Violet intends to solve, even if it almost costs her her life.

Amanda has written a good mystery.  I had no idea who the killer was until the big reveal. I was disappointed in the budding relationship of Violet and Police Chief Rainwater.  It seemed to have stalled just when they were making progress.  In Murders and Metaphors, Violet's life is changed with a definitive revelation.  I'm looking forward to the next book to see how her life progresses.
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5 Stars: ***** 5/5

Do you love murder, mystery, surprises, books, and magic?  Then you will love love love Amanda Flower's Murders and Metaphors. Amanda is one of my favorite authors.   She is the cause of yet another sleepless night as I just had to read to the very end before I could close my eyes!   So, warning, insomnia may accompany this book.   

Readers who love mysteries simply must check this one out!

I received a digital version of this book from netgalley and Crooked Lane Books in exchange for my honest review.   I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.
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This series is a really enjoyable mystery series. A bit of paranormal combined with great characters and good writing make for a read that puts a smile on my face. Violet and Grandma Daisy are such likable characters. You definitely get caught up in the story you are reading. 

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by NetGalley.
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Murders and Metaphors by Amanda Flower
Book #3: Magical Bookshop Mystery Series
Source: NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books
Rating: 4½/5 stars

“I was really going to have to rethink my life, since my own grandmother took it for granted that ‘crime investigation’ was a part of it.”

Lord have mercy!  Cascade Springs is full up on murders, murderers, and people willing to openly and loudly blame Violet Waverly for all the awful.  Thankfully, in this instance one of the blamers isn’t the local sheriff . . . . .

After knowing her Grandma Daisy for her entire life, one would think Violet Waverly would used to her schemes, plots, and plans.  This time, Grandma Daisy has signed the bookstore up to host a book signing at none other than the Morton Winery.  There are few places on earth Violet would rather be than the Morton Winery, but duty and Grandma Daisy are calling.  For much of the night, Violet plays nicely with the Morton’s and just when she begins to relax and consider everything will go off without a hitch, Violet’s normally adorably sweet friend Lacey faces off in a loud and ugly argument with the author.  Mrs. Morton promptly blames the scene on Violet ☹ 

As with everyone else at the signing, Violet has no idea what prompted her normally kind and soft-spoken friend to engage in such an ugly and very public display.  As Violet quickly discovers, the fight was prompted by a deep hurt that has split Lacey’s family completely apart.  The pain of her friend pains Violet, but what hurts even more is accusations being flung at Lacey, most importantly that she has killed her sister!  Yes, once again, thanks to the shenanigans of Emerson the cat, Violet has stumbled upon (literally!) yet another dead body and murder investigation.  

Naturally, everyone, including Lacey, Grandma Daisy, and the bookstore expect Violet to stick her nose right into the middle of the murder and uncover the truth of the matter.  As always, the bookstore has something to say on the subject and this time, the words come in the form of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.  Violet is intimately familiar with Alcott’s writing and fully appreciates the connection to family, but that seems to be all the magic of the bookstore is willing to offer up.  With frustratingly little help, Violet dives in with both feet with the hope she can do more good than harm. 

In betwixt and between her investigating, Violet continues her duties as the Caretaker (she’s getting better!), settles into her new adjunct teaching position, and continues to struggle with her feelings for a certain sexy sheriff who suspects Violet is keeping something BIG from him.  What’s more, the sheriff is absolutely adamant Violet stays out of the investigation before she stumbles into true danger.  Um, with Violet that is always far easier said than done 😊

The Bottom Line: There is no doubt about it, the Magical Bookshop Mystery series is at the top of my favorite cozy mystery series list!  With each book, I am seeing the kind of character development and evolution I expect to see, I am falling head over heels in love with Emerson, Faulkner, and Cascade Springs, I adore the twisty turnings of the plots, and the light romance is just perfect for the genre.  There really is a sort of magic (no pun intended, this time!) to these books and Violet, with her feisty personality, totally awesome Grandma Daisy, two beasts, and a bookstore with an agenda made up entirely of helping, is simply a perfect recipe for an excellent read.  I am ready for more and wish for a long life to this series.
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Sooo good! Very thankful that Crooked Lane publishing picked up this series because it would have been a TRAVESTY to lose it. Hat's off to Miss Flower for another outstanding book! It was worth the wait.

Thanks to Netgalley and Crooked Lane for a copy of this book, which I voluntarily chose to review.
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