Saturday, July 21, 2012

Book Review - A Sinister Sense


A Sinister Sense: A Raven's Nest Bookstore Mystery

By: Allison Kingsley
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: July 2012
ISBN: 978-0425251416
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: July 21, 2012

Finn’s Harbor was a quiet little town on the coast of Maine. Well, quiet if you didn’t count Roberta Prince, the owner of the stationer’s store, who had a fit when she thought Tatters was going to jump on her. She was a prissy Prada type who dressed to the nines to impress Rick Sanders, the owner of the hardware store and that disgusting dog. Tatters, who had absolutely no fashion sense, plowed into the cookbook display at the Raven’s Nest bookstore trying to get her attention. “You need to control that monster.” Yes, and Roberta, the biggest gossip in Finn’s Harbor, needed to control her mouth.

Since the economy tanked, Finn’s Harbor wasn’t exactly a happening town. The only thing remotely exciting was when Clara Quinn and her cousin, Steffie, the owner of Raven’s, joined forces to help solve Ana Jordan’s murder the year before. Common sense should have told Clara to stay out of police business, but she had another sense that told her otherwise. Clara had the Quinn Sense, a paranormal sense that “led her down paths she didn’t want to go” and one of them was figuring out whodunit. The voices that came to her were posed as riddles. Clara’s secret psychic abilities would soon come in handy.

“There’s been a murder,” Molly squawked at Clara and Steffie. A bludgeoned corpse just happened to turn up in the back of Rick’s pickup. Frank Toski was deader than a bag of nails and had been pounded into the great beyond with a hammer from his hardware store. The Quinn sense was never wrong, but when Clara asked Rick if he knew Frank, it claimed, “He’s lying.” Huh? The Sense also told her he didn’t do it. Mayor Carson Dexter wanted an immediate arrest in “the bowling alley murder.” The Quinn cousins began to investigate, but for some reason the Quinn Sense was becoming unpredictable ... just like the guy who was pointing a chain saw at them!

This delightfully charming mystery blended with a touch of paranormal Quinn-sensibility will garner many fans. I became enamored with Tatters, the mischievous dog who was there when Clara needed him and when she didn’t. The humorous realism he brought to Finn’s Harbor, as well as many other incidents, made this mystery a down-to-earth tale that made it into an irresistible page turner. The Quinn Sense, which was an on and off again psychic sense, was one that Clara was finally accepting in her life. Hopefully as the series progresses, it will become a stronger and more prominent part of her life. Clara was a smart, serious, and gusty Maine sleuth that you’ll totally fall in love with!

Quill says: If you want a quintessential cozy mystery with a touch of paranormal and a sleuth with a lot of Maine chutzpah, you're going to love Clara Quinn!