Series: Raven’s Nest Bookstore mysteries
Book Source: purchased
In Mind Over Murder, the first in Allison Kingsley’s Raven’s Nest Bookstore mystery series, Clara Quinn has recently returned from New York City to her small hometown of Finn’s Harbor, Maine. While helping out in her cousin and best friend Stephanie’s new bookstore, Clara overhears an argument between Molly, a bookstore employee, and neighboring shop owner and busybody Ana Jordan over the occult books carried by the Raven’s Nest. When Ana is found bludgeoned to death in the bookstore’s storage room, Molly becomes a prime suspect. Stephanie begs Clara to use “the Quinn Sense” — a psychic ability which Clara has spent years suppressing — to find the real murderer and clear Molly’s name. Clara reluctantly agrees, but someone doesn’t want her asking questions. Could it be the handsome hardware store owner, Rick, who seems interested in Clara? Or perhaps the new owner of Ana Jordan’s stationery store, who may have used underhanded tactics to buy Ana’s store, and who definitely has designs on Rick? And what is Molly hiding?
Kingsley has written a competent and enjoyable mystery, if not one that stands out from the crowd. The paranormal elements are subdued and perhaps therefore more believable than spells and ghosts (if slightly less fun!), and Clara and Stephanie are both likable characters. I picked my copy up at a used bookstore, and enjoyed it enough that I will keep my eyes out for subsequent installments. The second book, A Sinister Sense, is in fact due out on July 3, 2012.
By the way, Allison Kingsley is a pseudonym of Doreen Roberts Hight, who as Kate Kingsbury writes the Pennyfoot Hotel and Manor House mystery series. She also writes under the names Doreen Roberts (romance) and Rebecca West (mystery).