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Crimes and Covers: 05/11/22
Crimes and Covers by Amanda Flower is the fifth book in the Magical Bookshop mystery series. It opens in the final run up to Violet and David's wedding. The upcoming nuptials are marred by a woman desperate to sell a vintage, mint condition, signed first edition of Walden. Then between the wedding and the reception, she's found drowned in the icy river and the book is missing.
The bulk of the book's mystery is based around finding the book. The woman's death is ruled an accident but the book if genuine would be quite valuable. More importantly there's a woman who claims ownership of it and her story is backed up by a number of other people.
There are clues midway through the novel about the state of the book after the woman's death that make its location obvious if you stop and think about it for a moment. Keeping that in mind, the later crimes (there are two more in escalating violence) take on a different context.
Put a different way, the Walden is a bit of a Mac Duffin. It is the inciting object for a lot of horrendous behavior. If you can mentally play who's got the potato you'll figure out who has done what to whom.
As this mystery is taking place after a wedding, this is the first time the two sleuths are working together as a married couple. In this regard I was reminded of another mystery I read this year, The Mystery of Albert E. Finch by Callie Hutton (2022). The big difference, though, is that Violet and David remained focused on the task at hand and were much more mature about having to reschedule their honeymoon.