Back cover: “In
Cascade Springs, New York, Violet Waverly and her Grandma
Daisy are the proprietors of Charming Books, where the power
of the written word is positively enchanting...”
The annual Food and Wine Festival is in full swing in Cascade
Springs this October. Charming Books is hosting the local
writers group, the Red Inkers, for their reading of the works
of Edgar Allan Poe, calling the event a Poe-try Reading. The
members of the group range from the local police chief, David
Rainwater, to vintage clothing shop owner Sadie Cunningham,
to retired elementary school teacher Trudy Connor, and Dr.
Richard Bunting, department chair at Springside Community
College. Another member of the group is Anatasia Faber, an
aspiring writer with a nasty disposition and an attitude of
entitlement and superiority.
Before the Poe-try reading begins, Anastasia
goes upstairs to Violet’s apartment above the bookshop
to change into her vintage dress, which was provided, along
with the other outfits for the event, by Sadie. When Anastasia
fails to appear in time for her reading, Violet goes in search
of her, only to find her crumpled body at the bottom of the
staircase, having broken her neck in the fall.
What outwardly appears to be a terrible accident
is determined to be murder, and due to some conveniently discovered
evidence, Sadie becomes the prime suspect. Anyone who knows
Sadie knows she wouldn’t hurt anyone, but it is clear
that someone has set her up to take the blame for the murder.
Violet knows that the magical gifts of the bookshop, the help
of her Houdini-like cat, Emerson, and the shop’s resident
crow, Faulkner can all guide her to the truth. She knows she
has to unravel this puzzle quickly before Sadie ends up in
prison or someone else is harmed or killed.
I am so happy that I had the opportunity to
read this book on a dark and dismal fall day. It was the perfect
way to pass the time. Once again, as with the first book in
the series, I fell right into Violet’s world and enjoyed
every minute of it. Cascade Springs sounds like a wonderful
place to live, yet even there, a dark belly of evil exists
and rears its all-too-human head every now and then. What
I wouldn’t give to be able to actually visit Charming
Books and visit with Grandma Daisy, Faulkner, and Emerson
The mystery is well plotted, the characters
are three-dimensional, and the setting is perfection. “Prose
and Cons” is everything a cozy mystery lover who enjoys
a light touch of the paranormal is seeking in a book. I can’t
recommend it highly enough. Everyone from a teen to a mature
adult can find something special about this delightful mystery.
Don’t wait—order your copy today and pick up a
few extras for holiday giving.
Reviewer Note: The author also writes the
Amish Quilt Shop Mysteries under the name Isabella Alan