This is a very unique and very adorable paranormal cozy mystery. I loved reading all the stories. I have read so many paranormal cozy mysteries but never came across the concept of rehabilitation with love for the murderers/ criminals. I admire the idea of giving those individuals a second chance to reform. Crimes are sometimes committed in a fit of rage. The perpetrators may regret their momentarily taken poor decision.
Right from the first book till the fifth one, I never found a dull moment. Grace Littleton and her pet dog or familiar, Lucky, are adorable characters.
Post-op and potions.
The book begins with Grace Littleton, a traveling Registered Nurse, celebrating her 50th birthday with her pet dog, Lucky. She receives a phone call from Cynthia, who gives her jobs every now and then, saying that currently there are no jobs available for her. Grace is bitter about her current situation ; a break up with her boyfriend Ross after catching him red-handed with another woman, her only son Olliver now living in France and about her future employment. She packs up her bag and leaves with Lucky as her lease on the condo has expired.
When she hands over the keys to the condo and returns to start her new journey, she discovers a pamphlet containing an advertisement for a vacancy as a nurse in Comfort Cares Cottage in Covenstead, a small town in Vermont. She’s surprised because of the timing of the vacancy. She decides to take a chance and follows the direction given in the pamphlet.
She stops at a grocery store and asks for the directions to the clinic from a young woman at the counter who introduces herself as Jamie. She meets Dr. Bill Hamilton at The Comfort Cares Cottage, ( a magical clinic) and gets the job .
She is shocked to learn that apart from her job as a nurse, she is also supposed to a town sleuth, acting for The Peacekeeping Council, the twin jobs, previously handled by Maude Crickback who died at the ripe old age of 91. She gets a rent free accommodation in addition to the modest pay. She is put up at a beautiful cabin owned by Minnie near Crystal Lake.
Her first case happens to be of Earl Jones, a High Priest of Riverbend Coven. Someone had launched a vicious attack on him by setting a bunch of hypnotized squirrels causing him to fall down and break his right hip. She not only has to assist Doctor Hamilton to take care of him but also find out who was responsible for the attack.
She helps Earl with dressing his wound, take a shower, taking his vitals etc. She meets Dorris, his wife, and learns about Jake, his only son, who doesn’t get along with him. Earl confides in her that he suspected Liza Moss of Moonhill Coven to be the culprit.
Meanwhile, her neighbor, Belinda introduces herself and takes her along to VonKemp’s tag sale where they meet Ben Swanson, the owner of Black Crow Books, Shelby VonKemp, Jackie Strauss and Liza Moss.
Even though she is reluctant to proceed with the investigation, her curiosity gets the better of her. Her own dog Lucky gets hypnotized at midnight leaving Grace stumped. She takes her to Belinda who cures her with a magic potion. Grace has to brace herself for more surprise because she is able to hear Lucky, her familiar, speaking to her.
Her investigation lands herself into a life threatening situation. Do read this book because there are plenty of awesome twists.
Surgery and spells
Doctor Hamilton asks Grace to come up to the cemetery where they find Clancey Owens’ dead body. He was the groundskeeper for the cemetery but his corpse was discovered locked in a vault.
She picks up a clue in the form of a broken bracelet. When they are at the clinic, a woman and her daughter with a sprained ankle walk in. The woman introduces herself as Heather Blossoms and the young girl is Maddie. Heather tells Grace about Maddie’s sudden behavioral change. When Heather notices the broken bracelet that Grace had found at the cemetery, she identifies it as Maddie’s. Grace becomes suspicious. She feels that Maddie might have visited the cemetery.
Her investigation brings out hidden skeletons tumbling out of the closets. Wow. Plenty of twists and an unexpected ending.
Broken Bones and Botany
Grace is reading Maude’s detective novels in which Maude has scribbled:
Suspects: Chet, Steve, Buzz, Danny. She is quite intrigued and asks Doctor Hamilton aka Doc Ham. He tells her that it was a cold case that remained unsolved and it was the only one in which Maude met with failure. She accused an innocent person, Buzz, of murdering Brody Brockman because of his Bootprints near the corpse and he was badly affected by the rehabilitation.
Maude could never forgive herself until her death. Chet and Steve Goodrich are the brothers owning Covenstead’s only convenience store, Goodrich Brothers.
Chet was a compulsive gambler who would often encourage betting at poker games involving higher stakes.
Grace discovers some dirty secrets and the cold case may not be so cold anymore. She also comes to know that Maude’s death was no accident. She didn’t fall off her pony. Somebody killed her for she was close to rectifying her error.
Plenty of suspects plus threatened by Chet Goodrich, will Grace succeed in her mission? Awesome thriller.
Clinics and Curses
Grace’s neighbor, Willow, calls her after her return from the canoeing trip with her familiar, Lucky. She complains that someone has stolen her magical herb, Silverseal, that could be used both as a medicine or act as a poison. It could also be used to perform dark magic curses. She tells her that she smelt the contraband item bacon as the entire town prohibits consumption of meat. Grace promises to look into the matter. Her friend and co- member of The Peacekeeping Council summons her for an emergency meeting where they are discussing their current drought situation.
Judy also briefs them about the curse on the town mechanic, Barry. Barry has the record of selling substandard items and charge a hefty sum. Grace pays a visit to his house and meets his wife, Betty. They tell her about Shane being responsible for Barry’s curse. Barry had sold him an excavator that malfunctioned. Shane came to confront him and demand repayment of his cash. When Barry refused, a green light flashed and Barry kept on getting hurt in freak accidents. Grace assures them that she will meet Shane and investigate. However, she is shocked to discover his dead body. He seems to have eaten a slice of banana bread that is Barry’s wife, Betty’s speciality. This makes both Barry and Betty prime suspects. She calls Doc Ham and conveys her fear that the banana bread might contain the missing magical herb, Silverseal. The autopsy proves her right. She also suspects of his death being due to allergic reaction caused by the ingestion of the bread. She is right again.
Shane’s neighbor, Rose, claims to have seen Barry’s truck. Are Betty and Barry being framed? Who has performed a curse on Barry? It’s absolutely thrilling to the end.
Forensics and Families.
Grace meets Tenley, her new neighbor, as she seeks help after her station wagon broke down. They instantly hit it off. Lucky seems to like her. Grace offers her tea and allows her to make phone calls. Tenley tells her that she decided to move to Covenstead after receiving a pamphlet that impressed her into adopting Mercury, a thirteen-year-old dog. She calls one of the numbers and learns from Gordo, the nice man who’s taking care of Mercury, that her owner, Sloan Murphy had recently died. He suspects a foul play in her death.
Grace, Lucky, and Tenley visit Middlefalls to formally adopt Mercury. Gordo tells them about the so-called accidental death of Sloan and why he suspects foul play.
Grace decides to investigate the case which has conveniently been closed as an accident. Sloan’s wealth is to be inherited by her two relatives Marissa, her sister-in-law from her first marriage and Ned, her second husband John’s nephew.
Who killed the old lady to make it look like an accident? There are several suspects including Gordo and his live in partner Erica, Ned, Marissa, and Morgan Riley who handled the heating system and also discovered a secret room containing alcohol. Enjoy reading Grace’s sleuthing abilities and how she gets into tricky situations.
Highly recommended for reading.
Happy reading and Happy