October in Cascade Springs means tourists are pouring in for the annual Food and Wine Festival, and Daisy hopes to draw those crowds to the store. She asks Violet and the local writing group, the Red Inkers, to give a reading of the works of Edgar Allan Poe on the shop’s front porch to entertain the revelers. Everyone eagerly agrees.
Yet their enthusiasm is soon extinguished when Violet discovers one of the writers dead in the shop moments before the event. After the shop magically tells Violet she’ll need to rely on Poe’s works to solve the murder, she enlists the help of her trusty tuxedo cat, Emerson, and the shop’s crow, Faulkner. But they must act fast before someone else’s heart beats nevermore…
“I wished Grandma Daisy were with me. My grandmother should be with me committing a felony. That’s what family was all about, wasn’t it?”
In a town the size and temperament of Cascade Springs there really shouldn’t be as much menace and mayhem as there is, but as you can see above, there are at least a few felonies still occurring and Violet Waverly would really appreciate some help! In this instance, Daisy sure could use some help figuring out who killed the least liked person in all of Cascade Springs.
Indeed, Violet has got to figure out who whacked Cascade Springs most disliked human if only to prove her friend, and the sweetest human on earth, Sadie, didn’t do the deed. Unfortunately, literally every piece of evidence both physical and circumstantial point right at sweet Sadie. To make matters far, far worse the bookstore isn’t being very forthcoming with the clues to help Violet put the pieces together and the true killer behind bars. The only thing the bookstore will tell her is that the answer can be found in the grim works of Edgar Allan Poe. Oh, and Faulkner keeps yelling “Nevermore!” just to drive the point home.
As Violet begins digging and diving into the life of the victim, she finds evidence to completely support her status as the most reviled human in the village and evidence of a secret life that blows the whole case wide open and causes everyone to see her in an entirely different light. For some, that light is a whole new shade of hatred and for others, a level of love and adoration that is generally reserved for super heroes. To say Violet (and everyone else) is confused doesn’t even come close. The only bright side, the whole secret life business has given Violet a whole host of people with motive to kill.
As before, Violet must balance her sleuthing with a plethora of other activities including serving as the new Caretaker to the bookstore, finishing her dissertation, corralling her naughty little cat, Emerson, and juggling the attention of two clearly interested men. Thankfully, Emerson and his inexplicable tendency to lead Violet to exactly where she needs to be, when she needs to be there and the prodding magic of the bookstore keeps Violet on track, keeps her priorities in order, and keeps her just a step ahead of the law. That last bit is especially helpful when she is committing a felony or two.
The Bottom Line: What a fun and crazy ride this one turned out to be! First and foremost, Violet has committed herself to life in Cascade Springs and she has committed herself to be the Caretaker. Next up is the commitment of Faulkner and Emerson to Violet and her sleuthing ways. These two beasties have to be my favorite characters and they bring so much to this series and certainly always help Violet and Grandma Daisy. Finally, I am always glad to have an author surprise me and this time through, I was surprised by the identity of the big bad and I am thrilled to know that can still happen 😊 In truth, I am quite smitten with this series, it’s ridiculously awesome characters, clever plots, inclusion of animals, and the tie in to truly excellent literature. I look forward to a long and continuously fresh and exciting run of this series.