Middle age can be murder.... At least that's how it seems to former crime journalist Wilhelmina Chance, whose near-fatal accident has given her a strange side effect: She sees ghosts. After a messy divorce sends her fleeing back to her hometown of Mystic Notch, nestled in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Willa finds herself haunted by the tenacious ghost of the town librarian, who insists Willa solve her murder. Luckily she has lots of help, including a quirky cast of small-town characters, the cat she's inherited from her grandmother, and her best friend, Pepper, who claims her herbal teas can work magic.
But just when Willa thinks she's discovered who the killer is, she finds out that things are not what they seem in Mystic Notch, and the case takes a strange turn that has Willa adding even some of her longtime friends to her suspect list. Can Willa find the real killer in time to keep the magical balance in Mystic Notch on the side of good, or will evil prevail?
©2014 Leighann Dobbs (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
This is the first in a series of books by Leighann Dobbs. I hadn't read any of her books before this one. I spent a delightful time listening to this book read very well by Elisabeth Rodgers. If you enjoy the Haunted Guesthouse series by E J Copperman, you will enjoy this book. I will be buying the rest of the series.
"A fun cozy with ghosts and cats"
Wilhelmina Chance, former crime journalist, after a painful divorce and an even more painful car accident, has returned home to Mystic Notch, New Hampshire. Willa has inherited her grandmother's beautiful Victorian house, as well as her bookstore, specializing in used and antique books.
But one side effect of her near-fatal accident is that she sees ghosts. And when she finds Lavinia, the town librarian, lying dead at the foot of a flight of stairs, Lavinia insists that Willa has to find her killer.
Along with the house and the bookstore, Willa inherited her grandmother's cat, Pandora. Initially, she's taking care of Pandora out of duty, but the cat keeps growing on her. Sometimes Pandora's meowing almost sounds like words...
This book was a lot of fun. I like Willa, her friends and neighbors, and Pandora. But for an experienced crime reporter whom we're told legitimately cracked some cases "down south" (i.e., in Massachusetts), and as smart and observant as she is, she does get focused on one particular suspect, based largely on personal dislike, to the point of being resistant to evidence pointed another way.
On the other hand, I did like that the small town cops, Willa's sister Augusta, who is the local sheriff, and Striker, who is the sheriff in the next town over, are smart, capable, and pragmatic. They're not improbable geniuses putting city slickers to shame, but they're not having the wool pulled over their eyes, either, even with fewer resources than a big city police department would have.
There are some weaknesses, here, but it's a fun, light read. Recommended.
fun, light story. I loved that the author didn't include swearing and sex. I'm not a fan of paranormal or witch stories but this one wasn't dark like so many are.
I would recommend it to a friend.
"Not my favorite heroine, but like cozies with cats"
I don't usually go for the ghostly or magical in my cat cozies but I figured I would give it a try. I didn't mind the paranormal and I enjoyed the cats and the mystery. I thought I knew who did it early on but was wrong. I liked the (very typical) hunky male law enforcement love interest. Mostly the only thing I didn't really like was the heroine. Not only did we not seem to get to know her very well, but she did get on my nerves several times. I prefer the heroine not gather a ton of people together to show off having solved a mystery (especially when she's wrong and makes a fool of herself) but my least favorite part is when the magical aspects start to come out and she behaves very stupidly - with a lot of "Huh?" and "I don't understand". I mean the woman talks to ghosts but she can't imagine something even slightly magical, being spelled out to her? A smarter heroine would have been more enjoyable. Still I would try the next to see where this goes.
"Ghosts and Knowing Cats"
This was a new author for me. The story revolves around a mid-40s lady who was away for many years from her hometown. She inherits her grandmother's Victorian home, her cat, and a bookstore so she returns to her hometown. There are many cats in the town who watch out for their humans and help solve the murder of the librarian.
It's a cute story and enjoyable to listen to. However, I hope the series becomes a bit more complex in plots.
"Funny and Entertaining"
Story was good. Characters well defined. Loved the role of the cats. Will definitely purchase others by this author.
"good bedtime reading"
This book was an easy read. I enjoyed the narration, I will continue the series.
Excellent narration with feeling. Both ghostly and human characters are defined with voice changes and the cats realistically as well. Compelling storyline and emersible fun throughout. Thank you.
"I like light hearted, not predictable."
If you don't read books often or like how they turn out just as you feared -er- imagined, then you'll probably enjoy this book. The clues were as blatant as the love line. The characters are all two dimensional, even the main character. Very disappointing since I heard such good reviews. Frustrated by the protagonist's obtuseness, I ended up skipping half the book and missed absolutely nothing. She was still clueless though clues were smacking her in the face and still had the same romantic maturity of an angsty teenager. "Oh, what a jerk! He's so dreamy when he accuses me of murder. I don't like him. I don't understand why my face is so red?" Seriously? At least make her own it. "Oh, God, I'm attracted to a jerk. This sucks." That I would buy, not the innocent maiden act from a grown woman. I will not be buying the next book but I will say the narrator is awesome. Pace, tone, accent, she was right on point so I listened to a lot more than I would've otherwise.
"Nice little story"
This story was all over the place, too many suspects, and in chaos. It was a nice little listen but I will not listen to any of her other books.
"Fine as Audible"
sort of wonder if it was the main character who has had a prior head injury, or the author. I like paranormal cozies with twists and a hint of romance as much as the next reader, but this one seemed like it was a personal contest to see how many unlikely aspects the author could cram in. Liked the cast of talking cats, enjoyed the three prominent ghosts, not too sure about the odd collection of conjurers, though. The writing was good, and the audio performer was excellent. Never hammy, and delineated the characters well, with just the right touch to portray emotions.
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