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A Spirited Tail

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Middle-aged bookstore owner Willa Chance is looking forward to the opportunity of appraising a valuable private library that hasn't seen the light of day for fifty years ... until she finds a dead body in the backyard and the ghost of the home's previous owner anxiously waiting for her inside. Hampered by the persistent ghost who insists on keeping secrets from her, Willa Middle-aged bookstore owner Willa Chance is looking forward to the opportunity of appraising a valuable private library that hasn't seen the light of day for fifty years ... until she finds a dead body in the backyard and the ghost of the home's previous owner anxiously waiting for her inside. Hampered by the persistent ghost who insists on keeping secrets from her, Willa navigates a sea of confusing clues as she struggles to uncover the connection between the recent murder and two murders fifty years ago. Is the answer contained in the secret she found in the library? Or the unusual bequest left by the long-dead owner of the house? Or maybe it has something to do with the mysterious journal that everyone seems to be after. Once again, Willa's cat Pandora has to help her figure out the clues, while she and the other cats of Mystic Notch try to keep vital mystical knowledge from getting into the wrong hands. Can Willa discover the identity of the killer in time or will she end up being the fourth victim?


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Middle-aged bookstore owner Willa Chance is looking forward to the opportunity of appraising a valuable private library that hasn't seen the light of day for fifty years ... until she finds a dead body in the backyard and the ghost of the home's previous owner anxiously waiting for her inside. Hampered by the persistent ghost who insists on keeping secrets from her, Willa Middle-aged bookstore owner Willa Chance is looking forward to the opportunity of appraising a valuable private library that hasn't seen the light of day for fifty years ... until she finds a dead body in the backyard and the ghost of the home's previous owner anxiously waiting for her inside. Hampered by the persistent ghost who insists on keeping secrets from her, Willa navigates a sea of confusing clues as she struggles to uncover the connection between the recent murder and two murders fifty years ago. Is the answer contained in the secret she found in the library? Or the unusual bequest left by the long-dead owner of the house? Or maybe it has something to do with the mysterious journal that everyone seems to be after. Once again, Willa's cat Pandora has to help her figure out the clues, while she and the other cats of Mystic Notch try to keep vital mystical knowledge from getting into the wrong hands. Can Willa discover the identity of the killer in time or will she end up being the fourth victim?

30 review for A Spirited Tail

  1. 4 out of 5

    ♛ Garima ♛

    Case of double homicide separated by 50 years and Willa and gang try to solve it. The problem is, there aren't many characters introduced in the story hence suspect list is very thin to begin with. Little bit disappointed...but easy to read cozy murder mystery... Case of double homicide separated by 50 years and Willa and gang try to solve it. The problem is, there aren't many characters introduced in the story hence suspect list is very thin to begin with. Little bit disappointed...but easy to read cozy murder mystery...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mystereity Reviews

    Ugh. Just ugh. Against my better judgement, I gave book 2 of the Mystic Notch series a try. Against my better judgement because the first book wasn't very good. But the characters are cute and the location is charming, so I thought I'd give it another go. It was a mistake. Both books read like a bad YA book, only the MC is a middle-aged woman who gets giddy and weak in the knees every time a good looking guy shows up. Whenever there's a crime bigger than a parking violation, a cop from a neighbo Ugh. Just ugh. Against my better judgement, I gave book 2 of the Mystic Notch series a try. Against my better judgement because the first book wasn't very good. But the characters are cute and the location is charming, so I thought I'd give it another go. It was a mistake. Both books read like a bad YA book, only the MC is a middle-aged woman who gets giddy and weak in the knees every time a good looking guy shows up. Whenever there's a crime bigger than a parking violation, a cop from a neighboring town gets called in to help the police chief of Mystic Notch. What kind of idiot town hires a police chief who can't investigate major crimes? Not that it matters, because apparently the both cops are inept and it's up to the cat to lead everyone by the hand to all the clues. Too much inner dialogue, too many "don't investigate it's dangerous" admonishments, and too many far-fetched plot devices. Oh, the MC is told "not to leave town" but not told to keep her fat mouth shut and not blab important details to the old gossips in town? Again, what idiot town hires such an inept police chief? I have nothing but derision for this series. Too much wrong with it. My recommendation? Just. Don't. Bother.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    For me this was a fun book to read. Mainly because it combined things that I would love to do. Go into an abandoned mansion, legally. Get to check out all the rooms where a 50 year old murder and suicide took place. And get my hands on a room full of books. Be the first one in ages to see what is there, open them, and read them. Fun, Fun, Fun. I lead such a sad life. Oh well. Willa Chance is asked to catalog the library in the old Van Dorn estate. But before she can even get her fist look into th For me this was a fun book to read. Mainly because it combined things that I would love to do. Go into an abandoned mansion, legally. Get to check out all the rooms where a 50 year old murder and suicide took place. And get my hands on a room full of books. Be the first one in ages to see what is there, open them, and read them. Fun, Fun, Fun. I lead such a sad life. Oh well. Willa Chance is asked to catalog the library in the old Van Dorn estate. But before she can even get her fist look into the library she is asked by her friend Bing if he could have any handwritten journals she finds. She is also approached by a woman named Claire who wants the same journals. The house has been closed up for 50 years, ever since Charles Van Dorn committed suicide. The nephew of Charles Van Dorn has decided to sell everything and needs Willa to give an estimate on the value of the books. He' selling things on ebay. And to top it off Charles' ghost turns up in the library and asks Willa to find his killer so he can move on. Did I mention the curse? Well Van Dorn was a noted Magician and Mentalist in his hay day until he was accused of killing a girl and leaving a mystical sign on her forehead. As Willa and the real estate agent get to the house they hear a dog howling, go to the back and find the dead body of Van Dorn's old neighbor. With the same sign on his forehead. And so the story begins. What secrets will be found in those old books and journals, if any, to find the killer. As I have said before I am not a big fan of paranormal books. This series is the exception for me. I can't get enough of them. The basic characters are always strong and the story flows without getting bogged down in useless information. And I love the way Pandora and the other cats are given their own voices but never to the point of being unbelievable. I have to admit I found myself surprised at the killer. Not on my radar. At all. Of course I was enjoying the story so much I have to admit I think I forgot to follow the clues and just had fun reading. I hated to see the book end, but I did like the way it ended.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Allyson Faith

    I like the animals, but the main character is pretty dim.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jillian

    2.5 stars. A Spirited Tail is book 2 in the Mystic Notch series. This is a cozy mystery book with paranormal (ghostly) elements. It looks like there is also a setup for future magical elements to the series. The main character is Willa Chance. A 48 year old fairly recently divorced woman with no children. After her divorce, two years prior, Willa moved back to her home town where she had inherited her grandmother's house, business and cat, Pandora. This book is told primarily from Willa's POV bu 2.5 stars. A Spirited Tail is book 2 in the Mystic Notch series. This is a cozy mystery book with paranormal (ghostly) elements. It looks like there is also a setup for future magical elements to the series. The main character is Willa Chance. A 48 year old fairly recently divorced woman with no children. After her divorce, two years prior, Willa moved back to her home town where she had inherited her grandmother's house, business and cat, Pandora. This book is told primarily from Willa's POV but there are a couple chapters from Pandora's POV. It is set in New Hampshire. In this book, Willa happens upon a newly murdered body in the backyard of an old estate that has been locked up for years. It just so happens that Willa can also see and speak to ghosts and although the ghost of the murdered man isn't there, there are other ghosts. Of course, it is up to Willa to follow the clues to solve the murder. Willa used to have a career as an investigative journalist/crime reporter, yet she is not very good at following the clues. Actually, she is terrible at it. She gets hung up on the wrong things and can't see beyond the conclusions that she has already drawn until after she accuses the wrong people and is proven wrong when they are proven innocent. The cats are the true sleuths and MVPs in the book. They try to guide her toward the answers that she is too dumb to see herself. The only good things in this book are the cats and her budding romance with the cop. I'm going to give this series one more chance before I give it up entirely.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    A good read, but not a favorite of mine. I wanted to like it more than I did, and I'm still not quite sure why I didn't. Maybe it was because none of the characters stood out really. Yes, there was the cute connection between the cat Pandora and a dog named Ranger, but not much else. The story went in too many different directions as to who was the murderer, and after awhile, I didn't care. Cute read, but again, not a favorite of mine, although Leighann Dobbs is one of my new favorite authors. A good read, but not a favorite of mine. I wanted to like it more than I did, and I'm still not quite sure why I didn't. Maybe it was because none of the characters stood out really. Yes, there was the cute connection between the cat Pandora and a dog named Ranger, but not much else. The story went in too many different directions as to who was the murderer, and after awhile, I didn't care. Cute read, but again, not a favorite of mine, although Leighann Dobbs is one of my new favorite authors.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jeanie Jackson

    I have really enjoyed both of the books in this series but there is one thing that bugs me. She create a possible scenario and latches on to it harder that most cozy leads. Then once her primary premise is proven wrong, she won't let go. I know that fits many newspaper reporters, but it doesn't seem to fit investigative reporting. I still enjoy the books and love the animals. I have really enjoyed both of the books in this series but there is one thing that bugs me. She create a possible scenario and latches on to it harder that most cozy leads. Then once her primary premise is proven wrong, she won't let go. I know that fits many newspaper reporters, but it doesn't seem to fit investigative reporting. I still enjoy the books and love the animals.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Linda Andrews

    Another great mystery A solid mystery and more development of life in Mystic Notch. Oddly enough Striker has less of a role in the books then the four regulars at the bookstore. I hope in the next books there is more on the good/bad humans conflict as the heroine learns to embrace her gift.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Anna's Herding Cats

    3.5 stars, 0 heat A Spirited Tail was a fun read. The Gist: Willa's pretty dang tickled to be appraising an old library that's been abandoned for decades. Only problem? A dead body just a laying on the property she's just arrived at. Oy! It might be linked to a murder/suicide from back in the day, too! I enjoy Willa. She's a bookworm. And constantly curious. Loves animals. She's good people and fun to spend time with. The mystery was fun. Willa and crew were SO slow on the uptake but I had fun wat 3.5 stars, 0 heat A Spirited Tail was a fun read. The Gist: Willa's pretty dang tickled to be appraising an old library that's been abandoned for decades. Only problem? A dead body just a laying on the property she's just arrived at. Oy! It might be linked to a murder/suicide from back in the day, too! I enjoy Willa. She's a bookworm. And constantly curious. Loves animals. She's good people and fun to spend time with. The mystery was fun. Willa and crew were SO slow on the uptake but I had fun watching them figure it about. Uncovering clues, having little blunders. Seeing how the present day murder connected to the death of a popular medium decades earlier. And, oh, the pets. Willa's cat is part of an ancient group of kitties that's goal is to deal with good and evil and help their humans when they need it. I love all the kitties and this go around the addition of a sweet heartbroken pup. All in all, while somewhat predictable A Spirited Tail was still a delightful read and has me wanting to read more from Mystic Notch.

  10. 4 out of 5

    C.

    I liked this second book in the series. Lots of twists and turns to the good mystery. The animals are great. It's really different to have some scenes from their POV, but I liked it! :D A fun read. I liked this second book in the series. Lots of twists and turns to the good mystery. The animals are great. It's really different to have some scenes from their POV, but I liked it! :D A fun read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Barrera

    A good second edition to the series. Another mysterious murder in Mystic Notch and Willa is on the case to solve her next ghost's murder along with a new canine and Pandora the cat. This was an entertaining second book in the series and I enjoyed it. A good second edition to the series. Another mysterious murder in Mystic Notch and Willa is on the case to solve her next ghost's murder along with a new canine and Pandora the cat. This was an entertaining second book in the series and I enjoyed it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    This was pretty good. Not my favorite cozy series but they are fun and I love a good cat story.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Crittermom

    If you love the Mrs Murphy mysteries by Rita Mae Brown, you will enjoy the Mystic Notch mysteries by Leighann Dobbs. The books are an enticing blend of cat cozy and paranormal mystery. Like in the Mrs Murphy novels, the animal characters are not only able to communicate with each other, they play a vital role in helping Willa to solve the mystery. Unlike the Rita Mae Brown books, there is a strong paranormal element. Willa's cat, Pandora is one of the feline guardians of Mystic Notch. It is her j If you love the Mrs Murphy mysteries by Rita Mae Brown, you will enjoy the Mystic Notch mysteries by Leighann Dobbs. The books are an enticing blend of cat cozy and paranormal mystery. Like in the Mrs Murphy novels, the animal characters are not only able to communicate with each other, they play a vital role in helping Willa to solve the mystery. Unlike the Rita Mae Brown books, there is a strong paranormal element. Willa's cat, Pandora is one of the feline guardians of Mystic Notch. It is her job to ensure that evil doesn't get the upper hand. Since Willa's brush with death, she has been able to see and communicate with ghosts. While some merely want entertainment, like those residing in her bookstore, others want her help in order to move on. When Willa has the opportunity to appraise the contents of a library that hasn't been viewed for over 50 years, she discovers a dead body and the ghost of the previous owner, once a popular medium. Although reluctant to interfere with the current investigation, Willa agrees to help the ghost of Charles Van Dorn. Fifty years ago Charles was framed for the murder of a young woman. Not long afterwards, he was killed in a murder made to look like suicide. It is up to Willa to bring the killer to justice. Willa finds it difficult to avoid interfering with the current murder investigation as clues indicate that Bruce's death is linked to her cold cases. Fortunately she has the help of her human and animal friends. One of the things I like about the Mystic Notch mystery series is how Dobbs brings issues dear to animal advocates into the novels - topics like spaying and neutering and feral cat care. The residents of Mystic Notch are animal lovers with pets that are both loving and loyal. A Spirited Tail doesn't just end with the successful resolution of the mystery. Two animals find their forever homes. I especially liked the epilogue where Inkspot, the leader of the cats, advised Scooter on how to behave now that he has a human of his own. A Spirited Tail is a wonderful cozy that is sure to delight both fans of cat and paranormal mysteries. The Mystic Notch mystery series is appealing and suitable for all ages of mystery lover. --Crittermom

  14. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    I love cozy mysteries with paranormal plots. The Mystic Notch series is exactly that. There are a lot of quirky characters both human and feline. The mysteries are well plotted and detailed. The heroine is Willa, a former investigative journalist, who has moved back to her small hometown after inheriting her grandmother's house. Willa was injured in an accident before coming home that has not yet been explained. The magical relationship among the cats in the town and several of the humans is an I love cozy mysteries with paranormal plots. The Mystic Notch series is exactly that. There are a lot of quirky characters both human and feline. The mysteries are well plotted and detailed. The heroine is Willa, a former investigative journalist, who has moved back to her small hometown after inheriting her grandmother's house. Willa was injured in an accident before coming home that has not yet been explained. The magical relationship among the cats in the town and several of the humans is an ongoing mystery. Since returning to Mystic Notch, Willa communicates with ghosts and gets involved solving murders. I've enjoyed the first 2 books and look forward to learning more about Willa and Pandora, her cat. I gave it 4 stars because she needs to move the character development along.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dharia Scarab

    The idea is good, but the way the story was continued is annoying. The magical memory loss was irritating, the main character's skepticism was outlandish for someone who talked to ghosts, and the fact that a number of her "friends" appear to be in on the magical goings on yet don't fill her in is frustrating. Not to mention that she always runs off on her own when she figures things out, instead of going to her sister the police chief. The idea is good, but the way the story was continued is annoying. The magical memory loss was irritating, the main character's skepticism was outlandish for someone who talked to ghosts, and the fact that a number of her "friends" appear to be in on the magical goings on yet don't fill her in is frustrating. Not to mention that she always runs off on her own when she figures things out, instead of going to her sister the police chief.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nora-adrienne

    I'm finally getting around to this magical series. I think I'd like to have a home in Mystic Notch just to watch how life unfolds there. I'm going to read as many of the books in the series as my local libraries have on hand.. It's truly worth the time and effort because this series is THAT GOOD! I'm finally getting around to this magical series. I think I'd like to have a home in Mystic Notch just to watch how life unfolds there. I'm going to read as many of the books in the series as my local libraries have on hand.. It's truly worth the time and effort because this series is THAT GOOD!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne Foguth

    Once again, Willa and her cat, Pandora, must find out who killed someone in Mystic Notch as well as try to keep vital mystical knowledge from getting into the wrong hands. Can Willa discover the identity of the killer in time or will she end up being another victim?

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Bradford

    Another great book by Ms. Dobbs

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline Seaman

    This is not my first time reading author Leighann Dobbs books. I read some of the Blackmoore sisters series. I was hoping that this series would give me something different AND IT DID! It gave fabulous cats! I LOVE Pandora! I also read Ghostly Paws. Pandora is a bonafide star! HOWEVER..... I don't know what it is about this author but she likes to write about stupid women. I didn't want to use that word but stupid or dumb was all I had. Whilemina Chance is supposed to be an ex crime journalist? This is not my first time reading author Leighann Dobbs books. I read some of the Blackmoore sisters series. I was hoping that this series would give me something different AND IT DID! It gave fabulous cats! I LOVE Pandora! I also read Ghostly Paws. Pandora is a bonafide star! HOWEVER..... I don't know what it is about this author but she likes to write about stupid women. I didn't want to use that word but stupid or dumb was all I had. Whilemina Chance is supposed to be an ex crime journalist? She has no idea about how to make sense of clues, a matter of fact she does not even know what clues are. She is not analytical, she is not strategic, she is not focused, she is not insightful, she is not astute, or discerning. She is very narrow-minded, petty, and intolerant. once she latches on to one aspect of a crime )one that she likes) she stays with it no matter what other clues are right in front of her face. She asks dumb questions, makes dumb assumptions, makes dumb accusations, makes dumb decisions, and comes to dumb conclusions. She is immature, unintelligent, and very closed-minded especially for someone who can talk to ghosts. She ignores obvious things like a glowing paperweight at night (oh it is just reflecting light), a cat that gives obvious clues(oh she's just acting up), and equally obvious stuff. The author has no clue what character development is, Willa and her sister have NO relationship, they don't even act related. The best character in this book is Pandora. The author did a good job developing Pandora's character, backstory, objective, and everything about Pandora makes sense. The Blackmoore sisters are dumb, Whilemmina Chance is dumber. I got this book free... But I will never get my time or brain cells back that I lost reading this.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    A little disappointing This book is the second in the Mystic notch cozy mystery series by Leighann Dobbs. The premise for the series is very interesting : intellectual cats trying to protect the balance of good and evil and keep their. Owner's safe. The extra paranormal aspect of the ghost added to the story as well. .I like paranormal series and I like cozy mysteries the reason I like cozy mysteries is they're more light hearted and less like a thriller I don't wanna be scared when I'm reading a A little disappointing This book is the second in the Mystic notch cozy mystery series by Leighann Dobbs. The premise for the series is very interesting : intellectual cats trying to protect the balance of good and evil and keep their. Owner's safe. The extra paranormal aspect of the ghost added to the story as well. .I like paranormal series and I like cozy mysteries the reason I like cozy mysteries is they're more light hearted and less like a thriller I don't wanna be scared when I'm reading a book I want to be entertained This book is definitely cozy however there were some issues with This book. Willa Chance the female lead began to understand some of what her cat was saying when it was meowing in book 1 of the series. Yet this is never mentioned in the second book as far as I can remember and you would think that ability would increase over time But to this ability was not really mentioned Much in this book. The other issue I had Was That Willa is supposed to be an experienced investigative reporter. And should be familiar with investigating crimes. Despite this experience Willa jumps to conclusions and assumptions . I don't think a true investigative reporter would have jumped to those conclusions and made those assumptions without more facts I also knew well before the end who the killers were And was disappointed that I figured out and the main character couldn't . I also found it extremely annoying how often the main character put yourself in dangerous situations without telling anyone where she's going Or anything and Willa had to be rescued at the end of both books. She is supposed to be intelligent . Her actions make me think she's impulsive reckless and Foolish

  21. 4 out of 5

    ReneE

    I think this book had a lot of potential; old haunted houses are a real draw. However, it was a real letdown for me. It was so amateurish and silly, I actually winced at some of the sentences. The animals talking to each other was the last straw -- pages and pages of it. I agree with the reviewer who said it was written for an eight year old. Now, the ghosts in the bookstore -- Franklin Pierce and Robert Frost. Why them? Why not the Three Stooges? Such a poor choice for her ghosts. I first assume I think this book had a lot of potential; old haunted houses are a real draw. However, it was a real letdown for me. It was so amateurish and silly, I actually winced at some of the sentences. The animals talking to each other was the last straw -- pages and pages of it. I agree with the reviewer who said it was written for an eight year old. Now, the ghosts in the bookstore -- Franklin Pierce and Robert Frost. Why them? Why not the Three Stooges? Such a poor choice for her ghosts. I first assumed it was because they were born in NH, but Robert Frost was born in San Fran. It was all a bit over the top and made two esteemed men quite silly looking, especially with such dialogue as: "I thought she was going to jump out of her saggy pantyhose" (Pierce), and their delight at knocking books off the shelf. Our 14th President died 100 years before pantyhose was invented, and the odds are he would not have known about pantyhose even in his 'ghostly' form. Would have been more appropriate to use "stockings" or hose (if indeed it has to be expressed at all). I just found so much of this book childish -- but maybe that was the aim of the author. I am definitely not a targeted reader. The series had a lot of potential and I was curious about the deaths, but not curious enough to finish it. I hate giving a one-star review and was going to bump it to two, but that, evidently, equates to "It was okay", which I really think it wasn't, at least for me. If you're looking for great ghost stories, try Ron Ripley. You won't be disappointed. (I think this is actually the longest review I've ever written; Just so much 'off' for me in this one.}

  22. 5 out of 5

    L.A.L.

    The first book was fun. I liked the who Pandora angle and was hoping to learn more about her and the other cats. Willa seemed like a semi-competent slueth. But that all fell apart in this book. The cats id feature a bit and there were more hints as to their purpose, but it's still sketchy on that point. And why have mystical-esque cats and ghosts—it felt like overkill. Too much for one cozy book. But this book really fell flat for me because of Whilemina. Willa, despite being a former crime journ The first book was fun. I liked the who Pandora angle and was hoping to learn more about her and the other cats. Willa seemed like a semi-competent slueth. But that all fell apart in this book. The cats id feature a bit and there were more hints as to their purpose, but it's still sketchy on that point. And why have mystical-esque cats and ghosts—it felt like overkill. Too much for one cozy book. But this book really fell flat for me because of Whilemina. Willa, despite being a former crime journalist, ignored facts and had no idea about how to make sense of clues right in front of her. She asked the wrong questions, came to dumb assumptions, which lead her to make dumb decisions, and then jumped to dumb conclusions. Willa talks about her investigative instincts, but she missed some obvious clues and kept on disproven theories way too long. And I'm not even sure why the author developed the whole "she can talk to ghosts" bit because that part added nothing to the story, and in the few scenes the ghost Charles appears, Willa asks him dumb questions and then continues to jump to the wrong conclusions. So why have the ghosts at all? Then too much of the book is Willa repeating what just happened to Pepper. Wasted filler. And the twists. The twists are painful. First because Willa is not a good investigator. Second, because they felt forced and were overly predictable. Overall, this just wasn't a fun cozy for me. The further I got into the book, the more I skimmed it. I won't be continuing on with this series.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I think this book suffered second book syndrome. You know, where the first book was pretty good but the author lost their way a bit in the second book. I think the main characters are good. I love the coffee klatch that appears in the book store every morning. I love the animal characters. (Who are by far way more intelligent than some of the people characters.) But this particular book suffered from a few editorial issues. If the reason the main character can see ghosts is because she was in a I think this book suffered second book syndrome. You know, where the first book was pretty good but the author lost their way a bit in the second book. I think the main characters are good. I love the coffee klatch that appears in the book store every morning. I love the animal characters. (Who are by far way more intelligent than some of the people characters.) But this particular book suffered from a few editorial issues. If the reason the main character can see ghosts is because she was in a car accident that also affected her leg… Don’t have her running through the forest after her animal. And then not complain once about how her leg hurt. There were so many pain complaints in book one and talking about rubbing it down with icy hot. Also I understand why in the first book they called an out-of-town sheriff because the current sheriff had never had a homicide and she was looking for help. But now she’s had a homicide so why did she call him back in? Doesn’t make sense. If this is the main character’s love interest just let him be the love interest he doesn’t have to be part of the case. He could be a sounding board as she works through it. I think I might give book three a try just because the initial book really set the series up for success. Fingers crossed.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Cairn

    3.5 stars. I enjoyed the overall story very much:this author knows how to write, which isn't always the case in self-publishing. I wasn't bored once, the pace wasn't rushed or too slow, just perfect. The characters were all likeable, in a friends-I've-known-for-years kind of way. The setting was also pleasant and cosy. But what niggled me the most was the over-abundance of cats. At time, they seemed to eclipse the main character! I could probably count on 2 hands the number of pages where the word 3.5 stars. I enjoyed the overall story very much:this author knows how to write, which isn't always the case in self-publishing. I wasn't bored once, the pace wasn't rushed or too slow, just perfect. The characters were all likeable, in a friends-I've-known-for-years kind of way. The setting was also pleasant and cosy. But what niggled me the most was the over-abundance of cats. At time, they seemed to eclipse the main character! I could probably count on 2 hands the number of pages where the word Cat isn't mentioned. And the chapters where the animals talk made me cringe, and to me, felt unnecessary. As for the mystery, I had guessed the murderer (thanks to the dog's behaviour at one point that the MC misinterprets) and the lover (it was the only logical person), but rarely have I been bluffed not to guess or half-guess these things in books, so I won't hold it against the author. If only she had held back on the myriad of clever/fantasy cats... Still, a good read on a cold day when you're burrowed under a warm cover on the sofa, sipping a hot cup of cocoa, and you're looking for escapism.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kim Dennis

    The first book in the series left me with mixed emotions -- there were things in the book that I was unprepared for and wasn't sure whether or not I liked them. At first, I found myself enjoying the 2nd book a lot more than the first one. It could be that I just knew what to expect. I also remember being a little frustrated that Willa had figured out the big secret and then conveniently forgot at the end of the book. However, that did work in my favor this time. I don't have a fantastic memory w The first book in the series left me with mixed emotions -- there were things in the book that I was unprepared for and wasn't sure whether or not I liked them. At first, I found myself enjoying the 2nd book a lot more than the first one. It could be that I just knew what to expect. I also remember being a little frustrated that Willa had figured out the big secret and then conveniently forgot at the end of the book. However, that did work in my favor this time. I don't have a fantastic memory when it comes to details of books, so it didn't matter that I didn't remember for sure what the big secret was, because neither did Willa. Towards the end, though, I started to get a little annoyed and then totally turned off. First of all, Willa talks about her investigative instincts, but she missed some clues that were pretty obvious and held 0n to dis-proven theories way too long. However, I could have gotten past that if it hadn't been for the end. About 1/2 hour before Willa learned the truth, I figured it out. I hoped I was wrong -- I'm tired of reading books that have a hidden agenda -- but I was right. After that, I decided I was done with the series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Holly A. Woodruff

    A spirited series This second book in the Mystic Notch series doesn't disappoint. The story is complete, no cliffhangers, but it does help to read the first book for more details on Willa's bum leg, how she came to reside in Mystic Notch and run the bookstore, and her very early romance with Detective Striker. There are a few references to events from book one, but not enough to spoil book two if you haven't read book one. The mystery isn't complicated but it's interesting enough to hold your int A spirited series This second book in the Mystic Notch series doesn't disappoint. The story is complete, no cliffhangers, but it does help to read the first book for more details on Willa's bum leg, how she came to reside in Mystic Notch and run the bookstore, and her very early romance with Detective Striker. There are a few references to events from book one, but not enough to spoil book two if you haven't read book one. The mystery isn't complicated but it's interesting enough to hold your interest. As in the first book, protagonist Willa Chance makes some weird jumps in logic, jumps to conclusions, and keeps things from the police more than she should, but hey, it's a cozy mystery, not the great American novel. The residents of Mystic Notch are your usual bunch of quirky, mostly likable characters. The writing and editing are good, and the prose flows easily, making for a fast read. From the first two, I would recommend this series to fans of cozy mysteries. Oh, and both Willa and her cat Pandora see and converse with ghosts. You don't find that in every cozy.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Okay cozy about bookstore owner Willa who finds a body near an abandoned home where she is cataloging books for an auction. She also finds a ghost in the home - a former owner who committed suicide after a girl was killed there. But the ghost insists he was framed and murdered and wants Willa to discover his murderer. This is the second of a series, and some references are made to happenings in the first book, where Willa apparently got involved with a sheriff, and her sister is the chief of pol Okay cozy about bookstore owner Willa who finds a body near an abandoned home where she is cataloging books for an auction. She also finds a ghost in the home - a former owner who committed suicide after a girl was killed there. But the ghost insists he was framed and murdered and wants Willa to discover his murderer. This is the second of a series, and some references are made to happenings in the first book, where Willa apparently got involved with a sheriff, and her sister is the chief of police in the town where they live. So of course her sister and boyfriend don't want her getting involved in another murder. She decides that the old murder and the current one are related. The animals make the story a little different, ala Rita Mae Brown - Willa's cat and a dog belonging to the current murdered man. They get together and help point Willa at clues. The dialog of the animals is actually more fun than that of the humans. An easy read, entertaining enough to hold my interest, but not likely to be reread any time soon.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Tullis

    This book was super boring and predictable. I saw the killer coming from a mile away in both the cases she was investigating. It was so painfully obvious just a few chapters into the book. All of the weird "twists" the author keeps coming up with in order to keep the reader guessing seem forced and don't really make sense. The writing leaves a lot to be desired. She uses the same phrases over and over and over again. And the characters? Ugh, just ugh. Especially the main one - Willa. If you are This book was super boring and predictable. I saw the killer coming from a mile away in both the cases she was investigating. It was so painfully obvious just a few chapters into the book. All of the weird "twists" the author keeps coming up with in order to keep the reader guessing seem forced and don't really make sense. The writing leaves a lot to be desired. She uses the same phrases over and over and over again. And the characters? Ugh, just ugh. Especially the main one - Willa. If you are a serious cat/animal lover then maybe you'll like this book. It's not that I hate animals, I'm just not a fan. Who in their right mind thinks having a "cattery" for feral cats is a good idea or a noble cause? Also apparently the author thinks that you have to have a near-death explosion at the end of the book to make it exciting and suspenseful, since I gather she ended her first book in the series that same way. *eyeroll*

  29. 5 out of 5

    SANDYE

    Great cozy mystery with a paranormal twist Willa, owner of an old beloved bookstore, and newly discovered psychic medium, was asked to inventory an extensive book collection for a young man who's inherited the mansion from his estranged uncle. While there, Willa discovers the body of a man in the abandoned house's backyard. The spirit of the previous owner shows up and asks Willa to solve his murder which had been ruled a suicide by the Police. With the help of a ragged bunch of feral cats and he Great cozy mystery with a paranormal twist Willa, owner of an old beloved bookstore, and newly discovered psychic medium, was asked to inventory an extensive book collection for a young man who's inherited the mansion from his estranged uncle. While there, Willa discovers the body of a man in the abandoned house's backyard. The spirit of the previous owner shows up and asks Willa to solve his murder which had been ruled a suicide by the Police. With the help of a ragged bunch of feral cats and her own psychic housecat, she is able to help the new Police rookie solve not one but three separate murders. I read the first book in this series and loved it. This was no disappointment either!! A great, fast read, with twists and turns, action, excitement, and lovable characters who are endearing each in their own way. I highly recommend reading this book! I plan on working my way through the entire series!!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lora Shouse

    A satisfying cozy mystery featuring ghosts and intelligent cats. Willa Chance, the owner of a used bookstore in Mystic Notch New Hampshire, finds a dead body outside a house where she has gone to assess the late owner’s library for the new owner who is planning to sell off all the contents of the house before selling the house itself. She also finds the ghost of the late owner, who wants her to solve his fifty-year-old murder. Willa is assisted by her cat, Pandora, and by the dog, Ranger, who belo A satisfying cozy mystery featuring ghosts and intelligent cats. Willa Chance, the owner of a used bookstore in Mystic Notch New Hampshire, finds a dead body outside a house where she has gone to assess the late owner’s library for the new owner who is planning to sell off all the contents of the house before selling the house itself. She also finds the ghost of the late owner, who wants her to solve his fifty-year-old murder. Willa is assisted by her cat, Pandora, and by the dog, Ranger, who belonged to the latest murder victim. Together they eventually put together all the clues and solve both murders, incidentally finding a new home for Ranger and for one of Pandora’s feral cat friends. An interesting feature is that Pandora tells her part of the adventure herself, rather than just having Willa describe it. Which is a good thing, because Pandora does a lot without Willa knowing anything about it.

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