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Crime and Poetry by Amanda Flower {4 Stars}

Crime and Poetry by Amanda Flower  {4 Stars}

Crime and Poetry by Amanda Flower (A Magical Bookshop Mystery #1)
Published by NAL on April 5th, 2016
Genres: Paranormal Cozy
Page Length: 345 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
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From Amanda Flower—who writes the national bestselling Amish Quilt Shop Mysteries as Isabella Alan—comes the first in the new Magical Bookshop Mystery series.

Rushing home to sit by her ailing grandmother’s bedside, Violet Waverly is shocked to find Grandma Daisy the picture of perfect health. Violet doesn’t need to read between the lines: her grandma wants Violet back home and working in her magical store, Charming Books. It’s where the perfect book tends to fly off the shelf and pick you...

Violet has every intention to hightail it back to Chicago, but then a dead man is discovered clutching a volume of Emily Dickinson’s poems from Grandma Daisy’s shop. The victim is Benedict Raisin, who recently put Grandma Daisy in his will, making her a prime suspect. Now, with the help of a tuxedo cat named Emerson, Violet will have to find a killer to keep Grandma from getting booked for good...

4 Stars


  • I have found that I’m picky when it comes to the magic used in paranormal cozies and therefore was thrilled to find the Magical Bookshop series! The books are imbued with magic from the spring water that feeds the birch tree growing INSIDE the bookshop :D. Our protagonist, Violet, starts getting very forceful messages from the books to help her solve the murder. I can’t wait to see how this is used in the series as a whole.
  • Violet rushes home to take care of her grandmother only to find her grandmother is actually a-okay and faked being on her deathbed to get Violet to come and learn about taking care of the magical books. I absolutely loved this relationship since it reminded me a lot of my own grandmother, who did not like to act how old ladies are ‘supposed to’ act ;-).
  • I tend to be hit-or-miss with the actual mystery of cozy mysteries since if there don’t seem to be enough clues, I just throw up my hands. I was happy with the number of red herrings and the clues so that I didn’t guess whodunit immediately, but it also made sense at the end.
  • There is a bit of a love triangle, but it’s the kind that makes sense: the old love interest that was a jerk but is now trying to get back in and the new much nicer guy. Obviously I hope that Violet picks correctly eventually, but in the mean time I’m fine squealing at my ship!


  • This book would have gotten five stars except for two major issues. The first is that the police chief is a Native American with ‘exotic eyes’ and his connection to the earth is vital to the story. This is such a stereotype and makes what could be a cool character very much a cardboard cutout.
  • Similarly, a ‘magical negro’ gives a key clue. To those unfamiliar, this is the older African American character that has psychic abilities and shows up just in time to give the (usually white) protagonist magical insight and then disappears never to be seen again. This is again a stereotype often perpetuated in books and ends up just being lazy.

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya


 Crime and Poetry by Amanda Flower

© 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. I heartily agree with both your strengths and weaknesses listed! Though I would have preferred that she not employ a love triangle, I’m happy at the inclusion of some romance so I’ll deal. Flower did a spot-on job imagining the perfect magical bookshop as well as the most charming of small towns – I definitely wanted to visit/move there!

  2. Sounds like a good book …. and I have a tough act to follow, it seems. ;-)
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