Friday, September 30, 2011

Mind Over Murder by Allison Kingsley

Allison Kingsley appears to be capitalizing on popular subjects with Mind Over Murder, the first in the Raven’s Nest Bookstore mystery series. It has a paranormal element, a bookstore as the setting, and a protagonist who returns home to a small town while keeping secrets about her life in New York City.

Stephanie Quinn Dowd owns the Raven’s Nest Bookstore in Finn’s Harbor, Maine. When her cousin, Clara, returns home, she convinces her to manage the bookstore for her. Stephanie hopes to rekindle the excitement and spirit of adventure the two shared when they were kids. She didn’t expect it to be rekindled by a murder in her storeroom.

Anyone could have murdered Ana Jordan. She wasn’t the most popular store owner in town. But, she had accused Stephanie and her staff of poisoning young minds with the occult books that were part of the selection in the store. And, Stephanie’s employee, Molly, had a fight with her on the sidewalk the day Ana was killed. With Ana dead and Molly the primary suspect, Stephanie turns to Clara, asking her to use the “Quinn Sense,” the ability to sense danger, tell if people are lying, and interpret dreams, to find the killer. Clara is reluctant, but Stephanie drags her into her plans.

Clara knew “They were amateurs, messing in business best left for the police.” But Stephanie is an unstoppable force.  And, the two women are caught up in something that could turn deadly.

Unfortunately, there are times this mystery is a little deadly. As much as I wanted to like it, it was slow going at times, with too much conversation, and little action. Clara, supposedly the heroine, is easily manipulated, by Stephanie, by her mother, by almost everyone she runs into. And, as a wife and mother, Stephanie should know better than to push Clara into a dangerous investigation.

I was so hopeful that Mind Over Murder would be the first in an intriguing new series involving a bookstore. It didn’t win me over, but, if you’ve read and enjoyed it, I hope you take the time to comment. I’m sure other readers might enjoy this small town mystery with two cousins that care about each other.

Mind Over Murder by Allison Kingsley. Berkley Prime Crime. ©2011. ISBN 9780425243770 (paperback), 262p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


Anonymous said...

I've got this one on my Kindle and plan to read it soon. I was attracted to the psychic angle. I'll let you know. :-)

Lesa said...

Thanks, Kay. Can't wait to hear what you think.