Reviewer: Connie Payne
Title: Mind Over Murder - 1st in the Raven's Nest Bookstore Mystery series
Author: Allison Kingsley
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Release Date: September 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: Romantic/Paranormal/Cozy Mystery
Year/Setting: Present day, Finn's Harbor, Maine
Overall Rating: 3.75
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: Minimal
Allison's Website/Blog: None found
Ana Jordan was very good at alienating people, making tempers boil, and even ruining lives with malicious rumors. Perhaps that’s why someone killed her in the storeroom of the Raven’s Nest, a bookstore located next to her own store, Jordon’s Stationer’s.
Clara Quinn had only been working for her cousin, Stephanie, at the bookstore for a day and already she’s wondering if it was a good idea to work for her cousin or even move back home. Finding a dead body can cause a person to second-guess their decisions. Even more so when Stephanie urges her to help in solving the crime by using her inherited "Quinn’s Sense."
Clara refuses, but as the only suspect is Stephanie’s assistant, Molly, and with business falling off, she gives in. Reluctantly. She’s not even sure she can count on the Quinn Sense. It’s let her down in the past. Big time.
For some reason Clara finds herself doing the leg work. Stephanie claims it’s because she’s the idea person and Clara’s better at carrying the ideas out. She doesn’t know if she buys that or not, but hesitantly, and sometimes a bit clumsily, finds herself questioning suspects. All have reason to have wanted Ana dead.
Poor Clara. She has trust issues with men and unfortunately, one of the suspects is a man she’s attracted to, albeit reluctantly, and vocally denies the fact that she is attracted to Rick.
Apparently she’s getting close to clearing Molly’s name because someone sent Clara a message to back off, which causes a giant headache but makes her more determined to close this case. She secretly and fervently hopes that Rick isn’t behind the murder or the "message" she received, but she can't rule anyone out until the actual murderer is found.
Coming home is hard for Clara and it makes her an empathetic character to the reader. She goes about investigating her first "case" as many of us would; with trepidation. Yet she perseveres. The relationship between her and Stephanie is not as it was growing up. Another thing readers can relate to.
Fast-paced and a quick read. This is puzzling cozy that will appeal to a wide audience.
I look forward to seeing how Clara settles in to Finn’s Harbor once more, and if she can get past some of her trust issues enough to begin dating again. It will also be interesting to see how she is able to hone the Quinn Sense in future investigations. It should all make for enjoyable and intriguing adventures in the future.
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