Cover Image: Crimes and Covers

Crimes and Covers

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Member Reviews

Another fabulous book in this series! I’m so impressed with the continuing character development and new twists and turns that are all tied up in this magical bookstore and the books within.
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I am always happy when I have a new book to read by author Amanda Flower.  I am always impressed by the characters and stories that she creates.  Crimes and Covers is the 5th book in the Magical Bookshop series.  This book is the culmination of everything readers have been waiting to happen.  It's Christmastime and time for the wedding of Violet and Rainwater.  What could go wrong?  Well, it's Violet, and of course, on the way to the reception they find the dead body of a woman who had tried to sell a signed first edition of Walden to Violet a day earlier.  Rainwater and Violet have to delay their honeymoon until this case is solved.  

I love that Rainwater doesn't try to change Violet.  He appreciates the perspective she brings and has even taken the fact that there is a mystical tree in the bookshop in stride.  Rainwater and Violet are a terrific couple and complement each other in the best ways.  I love how the author works Emerson and Faulkner into each story as equal participants in solving the mystery.  The secondary character has developed along with the main character into a well-rounded group that adds dimension to each story.

The mystery was woven throughout the entire story.  There are several suspects that take the reader's focus, but for whatever reason, I actually felt like I had figured out the killer's identity early on in the story.  Every once in a while I get lucky and figure out the killer's identity through dumb luck.  This was one of those occasions.  There was nothing obvious that caused me to focus on this person, it was just a gut feeling.  Having said that, it did not detract from my enjoyment of the story, because I am frequently wrong in my conclusions.

I love the way Ms. Flower ended this book.  It wraps up everything nicely and leaves her readers satisfied.

I voluntarily read a digital advanced reader copy provided to me by the publisher, Crooked Lane Books, through NetGalley.  The thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own and were not impacted by the manner in which I received this book.
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Violet and David finally get married. Yippeee!!!!
In true cozy fashion, they find a dead body. I'm glad the writer had it occurring after the ceremony, as a loyal fan, it was a wonderful tribute to us. While short, it was sweet.
The case involves a first edition of 'Walden' in which Violet is an expert. 
Some humor.
Relatable character details with David & Violet learning to "combine their households" as newlyweds.
There are differences in every series, but I like that after the second book, David accepts Violet acting as an amateur detective & he inevitably just rolls with it similar to other cozies.
The negative is that the mystery was obvious, not many surprises for me this time.
In the case of a cozy, the mystery draws the reader in but you stay for the characters.
Flowers does a brilliant job of creating warm/endearing characters whose universe I enjoy returning to.
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What a fun, exciting story! I enjoyed the characters and the story line. The story flowed nicely and it had me reading until the end in a day! I highly recommend this book!

Thank you for letting me review this book
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This is book 5 in the Magical Bookshop Mystery series, but the first I’m reading and it was quite fun. I had no problems jumping right in and they book was good at giving enough of an explanation to things I might not understand, because I didn’t read the previous ones, but without bogging down the story. The characters were fun and the mystery was engaging and fairly quick paced. And really, it’s a magical bookstore; what more do you need to know?
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Birch trees surround me in my own yard. Unlike main character Violet Waverly's birch tree, however, mine do not sit inside. Not do they seem to have any magical powers other than dropping leaves that show off our fall colors in all their glory. Perhaps there is some magic in that. That said, Violet's birch tree. growing in the center of her bookshop, is "the soul of the bookstore and the heart of its magic". The books even talk to her....sorta. "It was complicated," she muses early on.

Ironically, I am not normally a fan of books with a magical/paranormal air to them. As I sit to type this review. I wondered why, given this, I so thoroughly enjoyed not just "Crimes and Covers" but the entire Magical Bookstore Mysteries series. I finally decided it is because, one, the characters are so well rounded and despite the magical tones, seem like real people we could know. Two, despite the obvious emphasis on the magic surrounding the bookstore, these same characters have lives and aspirations apart from it. The magic is just there but it is very human emotions and needs that drive the action for the most part. Even the furry characters, crow Faulkner, and Emerson the cat, tread the borderline between normal crow and cat and, hmm, maybe something more. If nothing else, Violet's running battle with Emerson to get out of the house without him provide a touch of humor.

In addition, that bookstore seems to have a personality of its own. I grinned at one point, and I'm not giving away any plot points here, when Violet's husband picks up on of the magical books that Violet seems to be trying to ignore and it snaps itself shut. Who knew books had an attitude? Husband David Rainwater seems to have no magical powers of his own despite his native ancestry, so his acceptance that "this is just how it is" makes the magic seem almost normal, even quipping that he could have gotten a paper cut from the book's actions. I should also note that I am glad that the author didn't drag out the romance between Violet and David endlessly.

As for the plot, I see others have shared in some detail. As a result, I'll just say it comes down to a stolen book, suspected mental issues, family problems, connections and lack of connection, murder, and the oblique, not easily understood messages that the books send Violet, a respected Thoreau scholar. Finally, I'll note that though this is the fifth book in the series, it easily could stand alone. Author Amanda Flower does an excellent job providing pertinent details as the story goes along, hence first time readers of the series who happen to start here won't feel confused or lost. Bottom line, an excellent read and I highly recommend it.

Thanks to NetGallery and Crooked Lane Books from providing me with an ARC.
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Crimes and Covers is the 5th book in the Magical Bookshop series and all I can say is: wow! I can’t believe I’ve overlooked this series for so long. The series centers around Violet Waverly who is the caretaker Charming Books, a magical bookstore (complete with an indoor tree, a crow, and a cat…all with their own personalities…well the cat and the crow anyway, though I suppose the ‘essence’ of the tree has it’s own personality as well) in the village of Cascade Spring which is in Northern New York not far from Niagara Falls. The village’s mayor is Violet’s grandmother Daisy, and the chief of police, David Rainwater, is Violet’s fiancee.
     It didn’t take me more than a chapter or two to completely connect with the characters and become invested in their lives. Honestly I was totally hooked before the actual mystery of the story really came into play (which I’d say doesn’t really happen until about the 20% mark or so) The early sections deal with Vi tending to the shop and preparing for her upcoming wedding to David. It’s at the wedding (or just after) that a body turns up (talk about a wedding crasher!!), and Vi is shocked to see she recognizes the woman as a customer who came into her shop earlier in the week and had been desperate to sell an extremely rare book. This really kicks the mystery into high gear as Vi and David postpone their honeymoon to investigate the woman’s death and attempt to locate the missing book. 
     Crimes and Covers features fantastic characters and a clever story. If you enjoy cozy mysteries, I can’t recommend it enough. 5 enthusiastic stars! I’ll be going back and starting this series from the beginning.
     I’d like to thank Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review an eARC of Crimes and Covers.
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The breadth of storytelling that Amada Flower is capable of, is outstanding. I think I've enjoyed books from at least 4 different series of hers and after each one I am left thinking, "this is definitely my favorite series of hers." Until i read the next book. Always a cozy read, this one is worth picking up, even though it's 5th in a series, she does a decent enough job catching you up that you don't feel lost if you haven't read the previous installments. 

Thank you netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Sometimes you need a great escape from the day to day. Amanda Flower conjures up a magical cozy titled Crimes and Covers that provides just that. This is the fifth installment of her magical book shop series and though new to me, I found myself engaged with the characters and story from the beginning.

Violet Waverly, the current Caretaker of Charming Books, is days away from her Christmas time wedding. She has finally broken the unlucky-in-love tradition of the Waverly women and is anxious to wed Cascade Springs Police Chief David Rainwater. However, when a mysterious woman appears at the bookshop trying to sell her a first edition copy of On Walden Pond Violet's life is tangled up with death and mayhem.

Ms Flower develops her characters fully and supplies just enough red herrings to challenge the reader for a satisfying read.  The bookshop has an Essence thanks to a special birch tree growing in the center of the building which connects the right book to the right person. And for me, choosing to read and review this book was right as well!

Thanks NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books!
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I  first "met" Amanda Flower when I read the first book in this series.  The idea of a magical bookshop that could pick just the right book for you was an amazing idea.  Although I have had a tough time finding the fourth book of the series, I had no problem picking up what was going on in this one.  I have however, read some of her other work and find that I prefer her Amish Candy Shop and Amish Matchmaker series a little bit more.  I have never read Walden, and after working my way through some of the quotes in this book, I never will.  I do really like the presence of Faulkner and Emerson as book store pets.
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From the handful of cozy mysteries I’ve read this year, usually the story gives our intrepid sleuths some time to breath before—or at least during—their big wedding day. Not so in the case of Crimes and Covers by Amanda Flower. Amidst the wedding joy, an incident that first appeared to be an accident unfolded into a perplexing mystery concerning a signed first edition of Walden by Henry Thoreau.

There was a lot I liked about the story. The sleuthing aspects were good, considering how unusual the case initially appeared to be. I really didn’t know for a while, since the clues supported each scenario. Was it an accident? Or was it something more nefarious? With a book that was worth as much as the copy of Walden was, the list of possibilities was long.

Cascade Springs was yet another small town with a close-knit community. Since the story was set around Christmas, the setting was wintery, though I wouldn’t call this a holiday book. The holiday season was just in the background for much of the story. The focus remained on the mystery and books.

The characters were pretty good here too. I liked Violet’s determination to figure out what happened, as well as her sense of duty toward Charming Books and its tree. The shop was part of her family’s history, and with their care, the place developed an “essence.” I adored the magical aspects of the story, since it deviated a little from what I’ve come across before—with the bookstore being magical rather than Violet. Plus, there was a cat with a habit of escaping the store and a crow that liked to make literary quotes. I have to say that I enjoyed their antics, for the sometimes comedic moments that came from of it.

All-in-all, Crimes and Covers was a great story.

Disclaimer: this copy of the book was provided by the publisher (Crooked Lane Books) via NetGalley for this review, thank you!
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Chapter And Curse is the first book in the Cambridge Bookshop series by Elizabeth Penny. 

Six months after their father and husband’s death, Molly and Nina are packed up and on their way to Cambridge, England.  Nina had received a letter from her Aunt Violet asking if she would be interested in taking over the family’s bookstore, Thomas Marlowe - Manuscripts & Folios.  Shortly after arriving at the bookshop, they learn that the shop has been having financial problems.  This required Aunt Violet to borrow money from a cousin, Clive.  Aunt Violet is behind on repaying the loan, and Clive wants to sell the bookshop to recover his loan. 

With experience as a librarian and her social skills, Molly set to work to bring the bookshop into the 21st century.  Molly has read a newspaper headline that the Cambridge Literary Festival will be next week and asks if they could have something ready in time.  Myrtle, a college classmate of Violet’s, asks if she should contact poet Persephone Brightwell,  another former classmate, about doing a reading from her latest book that has just been published.  The bookshop was able to get Brightwell to provide a reading of her new book, and it was a very successful gathering.  Most everyone has departed the bookshop, and Molly and Kieran, owner of the bike shop next door, head outdoors for some fresh air and conversation.  Molly notices the kitten that she has been trying to catch and takes off after her.  She catches her as the kitten heads for the dead body of Myrtle. Myrtle has been stabbed with a knitting needle.

The police will soon identify the needle as belonging to Aunt Violet.   In addition to getting the bookshop on financially solid ground, Molly will also need to remove Aunt Violet’s name from any connection to Myrtle’s demise.  Fortunately, Molly has several of Violet’s friends and friendships that she has made to help with the investigation.  Molly’s sleuthing will soon point to Myrtle’s blackmailing of several residents, but they will first have to learn the reason for blackmail.

I really enjoyed this first book in the Chapter and Curse series.  For me, the author provided me with enough backstory to understand the premise of the story.   The writing is descriptive enough that I felt I was with Molly as she was conducting her sleuthing.  The book is well-written and plotted.  The book has interesting and believable characters that I would enjoy knowing.

I’m looking forward to my next visit to Cambridge and seeing what Molly and her family and friends are up to next.
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This is such a fun book to read and as I have learned, this is number 5 in the series so I now have to read 1-4.

I love the setting, I love the characters and I love the storyline. A grandmother and granddaughter, a magical book store and of course a murder. The quirks in this book are great, it is so much fun and so easy to read yet it is well written. 

This is satisfying, entertaining and enjoyable book to read and I highly recommend it.
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This is one of the best cozy series & also one I first got into. I love the magic in the bookshop & how Violet deals with it. It’s a very creative notion for the bookstore to aid in solving the crimes  going on around town. I like that Flower didn’t drag Violet & Rainwater’s romance out too long, this is book 5 & they’re getting married. Some series do the, will they won’t they, for far too many books so this is extremely refreshing. The mystery here is very compelling, I like ones that involve history & this one does with someone claiming to be Henry Thoureau’s descendant. The supporting cast is one of the strongest ones in a series I read. And Violet is great protagonist. The series  so far has perfect mysteries that add a dash of the supernatural & this book is no exception. I loved this one & it has a great ending too. Definitely a cozy series you should be reading!
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Violet and Chief Rainwater are getting married and then honeymooning in Vermont. On their way to the reception, they find a body and their plans are derailed. Violet is the Caretaker of the birch tree that her bookstore is built around and it is busy giving her hints about the death and it’s all tied into a possible 1st edition of Walden. The magical bookshop is rather vague in its hints.
I enjoyed the winter/Christmas setting of Crimes and Covers and the quotations from Thoreau. The book has a nice, cozy feeling and the mystery comes together well at the end.
I received an advanced copy of Crimes and Covers from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in exchange for an honest review.
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Usually when mystical aspects are a part of a cozy mystery I don't find it enjoyable.  Amanda Flower's A Magical Bookshop Mystery series is an exception.  The cast of characters, including Faulkner the crow and Emerson the cat are delightful.  A murder takes place during Violet's wedding to David Rainwater and their honeymoon is derailed as both of them investigate, he the murder and she the missing book that was in the possession of the victim at the time of her death.  There are many suspects expertly brought forward and although I briefly entertained the actual culprit I was surprised when it turned out to be that person. Throw in a seldom seen father, a jealous and desperate academic collogue, a delusional rare book owner and a delightful town in Western New York and it combines to make an engaging and satisfying mystery. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.  The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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I love this series so much. They are the perfect cozies, but with interesting themes and characters. I love that the love interest is an indigenous man, the mystery is solved using literature, that the main character also teaches and is super intelligent. Plus the cat and the crow are great and the bookstore sounds like a dream! There's nothing to not like in this series.
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The countdown has started for the wedding of Violet Waverly, Charming Books proprietor, and Police Chief David Rainwater.  Will everything go smoothly,  not likely.  Several days before the wedding an unpleasant woman comes into the bookshop demanding that Violet buy a first edition WALDEN  immediately.  When Violet refuses, the woman leaves but that's not the end of it.  After the wedding, on the way to the reception, Violet and David see a body floating in the river, and David jumps in to retrieve them.  Violet recognizes the victim as the woman who accosted her about the WALDEN book.  Reception and honeymoon are disrupted as well as the lives of many their friends.  What happened and where is the book?

Lve the story, how the wedding and mystery are interwoven.  Great series,  great characters!
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Amana Flower has done it again with another cozy mystery winner. Crimes and Covers keeps you guessing until the very end with a great storyline and very well-crafted characters.

She continues to write great stories that are captivating and leave you asking for more.
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Violet and David finally tie the knot! Of course nothing goes easy for these two. An unexpected occurrence at the wedding, an ultra valuable book, and a Thoreau-obsessed visitor blend this story into an interesting, continuously building mystery. 

If anything, this edition of The Magic Bookshop series is even better than the last!
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