Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Knock on Wood (A Superstition Mystery, Book 2)

Author:  Linda O. Johnston
Genre:  Mystery

ISBN #: 9780738745527
Midnight Ink
336 Pages
Release Date: October 8, 2015

Four Stars

Rory Chasen, now the manager of the Lucky Dog Boutique in Destiny, California, is delighted when her closest friend Gemma Grayfield, a librarian, comes for a visit.  But Gemma arrives early and seems upset.  It turns out she has broken up with her boyfriend, Frank Shorester.  Gemma is soon hired to manage the Broken Mirror Bookstore.  Frank follows her to Destiny, where Gemma is also wooed by two local men.  Rory may be a little jealous - until one of those men turns up dead.  Lou, the dead man, is known for knocking on wood for everything, but despite Destiny being all about superstitions that did not save his life.

Rory tries to help Gemma clear herself of being a murder suspect, even counting on her lucky black and white dog Pluckie to help.  But is Gemma guilty of murder - or of just having a run of bad luck?


Rory Chasen moved to Destiny, California to find out the reason for superstitions.  All because her former fiance, Warren, died shortly after walking under a ladder (in Book 1, Lost Under a Ladder).  She has decided to stay, at least temporarily, after being offered a job managing the Lucky Dog Boutique, and is pleased when her friend Gemma Grayfield arrives in town.

All is not a happy reunion, though; Gemma has broken up with her boyfriend Frank, because he wanted more from the relationship than she did.  Still, two of the town's residents, Stuart and Lou, have noticed Gemma and begun pursuing her.  Then Frank arrives suddenly, remaining territorial about Gemma and showing up everywhere she happens to be, in effect stalking her.

When Lou is found dead one morning, it appears that Gemma may be the main suspect, but Rory knows better and does her best to turn the investigation to someone else, even though she doesn't know who that someone else might be; but this doesn't stop her from trying to find out who, even as police chief/wannabe boyfriend Justin warns her off the investigation.

In this second book, we still aren't getting to know a lot about the residents of Destiny, but we are getting more insight into the relationship between Rory and Justin, and I did enjoy the fact that Rory is slowly weaning herself from the feeling of disloyalty to Warren while trying to find her way with Justin.  We are privy to her thoughts and changing emotions as she goes through them, which is nice to be part of, and luckily, Justin being Justin has a lot to do with this.

As things are heating up with the above couple, things are also heating up with Gemma, but in a different way.  Frank has become aggressive toward her, and the police are becoming even more convinced that she had the real motive for killing Lou.  To top it off, while Justin and his staff are trying to find the killer, they are being pressured by the mayor, Bevin, to find out the truth behind the death of a tourist, fearing that if the answer doesn't come soon, it will negatively impact the tourism factor of his town.

I enjoyed the book for the most part, and thought Rory's belief in Gemma commendable.  Yet when Rory discovered the true murderer, I was slightly disappointed, because I didn't feel there were any clues leading up to it - so you probably won't be able to figure this one out readily.  I did feel, however, that we're treated to the bathroom habits of Rory's dog far too often.  Still and all, the book is written well and fun to read.  Recommended.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds cute. I have read the first few of Lina O. Johnsons' Pet Sitter Mysteries. They aren't the best cozies, but they are still a lot of fun.


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