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Crime and Poetry: 02/20/19
Crime and Poetry by Amanda Flower is the first of the Magical Bookshop Mysteries, set in a magical pocket space along the Niagara River. Violet has returned home expecting to find her grandmother near death after an urgent call.
Turns out the grandmother is just fine but Violet's been summoned to take over the bookshop. She then learns that the shop is protected by the ancient tree that grows through the roof. To keep the tree alive and the magic intact, one must water the tree from the local spring.
On her first day there, still trying to wrap her head around the idea of magic springs, special trees, and books that can talk to the caretaker, a local tour guide is found dead in his Hansom cab just outside the bookshop.
Carriage rides as tours in around Niagara Falls is more of a Canadian thing than a U.S. thing. The style of the dead man's uniform is also more in keeping with how they dress in Canada. That said, the author is American and the plot is set in New York, but it reads as Ontario far more than it does New York.
The shtick for this series is that the shop can give clues and advice to the caretaker by dropping books that happen to open to informative passages. This first mystery relies on a few poems of Emily Dickinson as the guideposts.
If you're a fan of the Hallmark show The Good Witch and like cozy mysteries, Crime and Poetry will entertain you.