No Charm Intended (A Cora Crafts Mystery)
2nd in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Kensington (April 25, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Kindle ASIN: B01JEJC8W0
Settling into her new life and career in small-town Indigo Gap, North Carolina, Cora Chevalier is preparing to host a “wildcrafting” retreat at her Victorian home. But a specter hangs over the venture when beloved local nanny Gracie Wyke goes missing. Amidst leading their guests in nature hikes, rock painting and making clay charms, Cora and her business partner, Jane, team up with Gracie’s boyfriend, Paul, to launch their own investigation into her disappearance when the local police prove unhelpful.
Cora and her crafters take Paul in, believing he is in danger and not the suspect police have made him out to be. However as they uncover new clues and a body turns up at a local abandoned amusement park, Cora and Jane begin to question their decision. With more questions than answers arising, is Cora crafty enough to untangle a knot that could put an innocent in jail—and permanently destroy her reputation?
I could have sworn I read the first book in this series but as I started the book I realized I had not. Events from the first book are mentioned throughout this story so I did feel like I missed certain things but it did not hinder my enjoyment of this book.
Cora and Jane are hosting their second retreat in Indigo Gap featuring “wildcrafting” where the participants go on nature walks for leaves, flowers, rocks and even clay to use to make their projects. Cora receives a strange text message on her phone and soon after we learn that a nanny, Gracie Wyke, that takes care of Jane’s daughter has gone missing. Both Cora and Jane feel connected to the case and when Gracie’s boyfriend becomes a house guest they team up together in their own effort to locate the young woman. When another body is found other retreat members start to help in the investigation. They all need to be pretty crafty to stay safe and find Gracie if in fact she is still alive.
Cora and Jane have recently moved to Indigo Gap, North Carolina. Cora Chevalier, a former counselor in a woman’s shelter, has left that life behind and sunk most of her saving into a Victorian home to start a craft retreat business with her friend Jane. While Cora is the main character Jane is featured almost as much. They make a great team. Jane has a young daughter. Ruby also helps with the retreats. Each retreat brings a new set of characters. This time there was a character cross over from Mollie Cox Bryan’s Cumberland Creek Mysteries. I really enjoyed getting to know them all.
This story bring two generations together as the younger crowd introduces their elders to the world of cyber games. You know the one they are playing on their phones all the time. The police do not believe a game has anything to do with the disappearance or the murder and Cora dismisses it too until one of her younger retreat members changes her mind. Terms like the DarkNet and hacking scare the daylights out of me. With what happened in our recent election shows us that while all this new technology is great but it can also be very dangerous. This story had me really thinking about this new extension (cell phones) to so many people’s hands. It was a fantastic element of the mystery the author created. One we would not typically see in a cozy mystery.
The author blends together the crafting and the sleuthing in a balanced way. It was fun following the clues and learning about making charms and painting rocks. As the clues started to come together the mystery was the main focus especially as Cora and Jane ignore the police and get right in the middle of apprehending a murderer. Let me tell you there should have been steam rising from my kindle as fast as the pages were flying.
The characters and crafty them fit the standard of a cozy but for me this subject matter and the ending walked a very close line to more of a suspense thriller than cozy. I enjoy both genres very much but just want to warn those that like to stick to the strict definition of a cozy mystery.
I hope to read the first book, Death Among the Doilies before the third book is released. I recommend reading them in order. I am looking forward to joining Cora and Jane on many more retreats.
To find out more about Mollie Cox Bryan and her books and crafts visit her webpage here.
At time of posting
Death Among the Doilies is just $1.99 at Amazon and Barnes and Noble for e-copies.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”