There are cozy mysteries that have the standard formula of interesting newcomer solving mysteries, and then there are those with actual magic woven (or in some cases thrown) in. I have not been a fan of many with the magic angle and not had much luck with them, but every once in a while when I see the start of a new series I give in to an impulse and decide to pick it up.
This time around (as you might have guessed from the elaborate introduction), I liked the magical addition. We have Josie Way, who has taken up a job as a Librarian in a small town in order to hide from people who mean her harm. She loves books and thinks this will be a comfortable hiding place, but things immediately start to get more complicated. First, there is the fact that the library is being contested and up to be converted to a retreat centre (my only doubt throughout was why could the retreat centre not have a library?) then there is the fact that a woman was found dead behind the library the very next day after her arrival. To top it all Josie is ‘communicating’ with books like she never has before, in an almost unbelievable way – until the most apparent explanation makes sense. You have to be okay with magical realism in your books for this part to be digested. It is introduced slowly and made into a substantial backbone for the narrative, so I personally had no complaints.
The investigation and the mingling of the different characters in town were entertaining and set a pretty good foundation for the series as a whole. I did not see the twist coming because it was placed in a completely different position in the book that I am used to. I liked the way things tied up and the narrative voice(s).
I look forward to revisiting their town soon.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.