Charli Rae Warren doesn’t plan on striking it rich as the owner of an independent bookstore in Hazel Rock, Texas—especially one with a pink armadillo as its mascot. But when an ingenious advertising campaign puts her business on the map, it ropes in some deadly publicity . . .
Charli can’t believe writer Lucy Barton has agreed to promote her latest Midnight Poet Society novel at The Book Barn Princess—or that there’s only a week-and-a-half to prepare for the signing. It’s all because of The Book Seekers, a smartphone app created by her cousin Jamal exclusively for Charli’s bookstore, which sends fans on a virtual scavenger hunt around town for a chance to meet the bestselling author. But as soon as it goes live, people turn up dead . . .
Someone’s using The Book Seekers to track victims and copycat the fictional Midnight Poet Society homicides, and horrified locals suspect Jamal could be the mastermind behind the crimes. While Charli readies the Barn for a stampede of new customers, it’ll take true grit to shelve the culprit before her brainy cousin gets locked behind bars, Ms. Barton backs out of the visit, and she finds herself up a creek—with a serial killer holding the paddle!
Charli Rae Warren just can’t seem to stay out of trouble. More accurately stated, she can’t seem to keep from attracting trouble to her, much to the despair of her family and friends. In fairness, Charli Rae doesn’t go looking for trouble, it just has a nasty habit of showing up on her front porch. This time, the trouble comes in the form of her beloved cousin, Jamal.
Jamal is a serious computer geek and in his geekdom, he has created an app designed to encourage readers and reading and lead them straight to the Book Barn Princess. What’s more, in conjunction with the launching of the app, Jamal has managed to secure an exclusive in-store appearance by one of America’s hottest mystery writers, Lucy Barton. With nothing but excitement in the air, Charlie Rae agrees to sign on with Jamal and immediately launches into the preparations for a visit from one her favorite authors. With any luck, business will be booming in no time.
Everyone, literally everyone knows Charli Rae’s luck just doesn’t run that way, and within 24 hours of the app launch, a dead body turns up. As if the dead body weren’t enough, the method of murder matches one concocted by Lucy Baton. With a direct connection to her livelihood and family, Charli Rae can’t help but get involved which means asking a lot of questions and poking around where she certainly shouldn’t be poking. For her troubles, Charli Rae gets her bookstore vandalized, her pink armadillo grazed by a bullet, her cousin run off the road, and she, her dad, and her pink armadillo dumped in the river. Oh, and a date with Mateo!! Her efforts earn her a date with Mateo!!
Even with her date with Mateo high, Charlie Rae can’t help herself from staying involved in the investigation which leads to even more trouble and at least two more bodies. Seriously, Charlie Rae is just one big trouble magnet 😊 As the bodies pile up, so do the questions, and the cry for Jamal’s app to be taken down. It’s clear the culprit has it in for Jamal and/or his app and if Charlie Rae, ahem, the police can’t figure out who’s behind the mess, Jamal stands to lose everything, including his freedom.
The Bottom Line: Each installment of the Book Barn Mystery series sucks me in a little deeper. Charlie Rae seems to get more likeable with each book and I found her especially likeable this time around since she seems to have settled on a guy . . . . finally!! With appearances from the entire Hazel Rock cast of characters (you know I LOVE this!), Perilous Poetry delivered on nearly every level and I’m certainly hoping there’s more to come in this series.