Saturday, January 16, 2016

Ghostly Paws (Mystic Notch #1), by Leighann Dobbs

Audible Studios, December 2015 (original publication March 2014)

Wilhelmina Chance, former crime journalist, after a painful divorce and an even more painful car accident, has returned home to Mystic Notch, New Hampshire. Willa has inherited her grandmother's beautiful Victorian house, as well as her bookstore, specializing in used and antique books.

But one side effect of her near-fatal accident is that she sees ghosts. And when she finds Lavinia, the town librarian, lying dead at the foot of a flight of stairs, Lavinia insists that Willa has to find her killer.

Along with the house and the bookstore, Willa inherited her grandmother's cat, Pandora. Initially, she's taking care of Pandora out of duty, but the cat keeps growing on her. Sometimes Pandora's meowing almost sounds like words...

This book was a lot of fun. I like Willa, her friends and neighbors, and Pandora. But for an experienced crime reporter whom we're told legitimately cracked some cases "down south" (i.e., in Massachusetts), and as smart and observant as she is, she does get focused on one particular suspect, based largely on personal dislike, to the point of being resistant to evidence pointed another way.

On the other hand, I did like that the small town cops, Willa's sister Augusta, who is the local sheriff, and Striker, who is the sheriff in the next town over, are smart, capable, and pragmatic. They're not improbable geniuses putting city slickers to shame, but they're not having the wool pulled over their eyes, either, even with fewer resources than a big city police department would have.

There are some weaknesses, here, but it's a fun, light read. Recommended.