Series: Vintage Magic mysteries
Book source: purchased
I picked up a copy of Annette Blair’s A Veiled Deception in the used bookstore about a month ago, and finally got around to reading it. It’s the beginning of a new “paranormal cozy” mystery series*, and while I wouldn’t rank it among the greats, it was both entertaining and amusing.
Fashion designer and vintage clothing aficionado Madeira Cutler has come home to help with her youngest sister Sherry’s wedding. Things go awry when the wealthy groom’s ex-girlfriend, in town and desperate to win Justin Vancortland for herself, is found strangled during the couple’s engagement party, shortly after Sherry was heard to express her anger toward the woman. Madeira vows to clear Sherry’s name, a task made more complex by the visions Mad starts receiving whenever she touches her sister’s antique wedding gown, her decision to start a new career, and her on-again, off-again relationship with her very hot high-school boyfriend Nick, now an FBI agent.
The recurring characters are engaging and individual. Besides Madeira and Nick, there are Mad’s father, a professor; her brother and sisters; her honorary aunt Fiona, a practicing witch; the police detective, Werner, whose prickly past with Mad goes back to their elementary school days; and Dante, the charming — and ghostly — ladies’ man who haunts the carriage house Mad is renovating to house her vintage clothing shop.
The solution to this particular mystery did leave me a little unhappy, mainly because there seemed to be much more sympathy on the part of various characters toward the murderer than toward the (admittedly unlikeable) victim. However, I enjoyed the first installment enough to keep an eye out for the rest of the series: Larceny and Lace, Death By Diamonds, and Skirting the Grave. The fifth in the series, Cloaked in Malice, is due out on July 3, 2012.
* Does “paranormal cozy” sound like an oxymoron to you? I like the genre — light mystery with a paranormal/psychic twist — but the name always makes me chuckle.