Review of A Charming Crime (Magical Cure Mystery, #1) , by Tonya Kappes

A Charming CrimeI snatched Tonya KappesA Charming Crime from the Amazon free list. At the time of posting it was still free, maybe even perma-free.

Description from Goodreads:
June Heal has nothing to lose when she relocates her homeopathic cure shop, A Dose of Darla, from the flea market booth in her home town, to a quaint shop in the cozy but unusual little town of Whispering Falls, Kentucky. Or so it seems.

Cures and trouble…

Whispering Falls has a lot of secrets. From talking snow globes to whispering animals not to mention a few sprinkles of fairy dust, June realizes Whispering Falls is more magical than she thought. . .literally.

Magic stirs…

June discovers she was born into a family of psychics, and her homeopathic cures truly are magical. Unfortunately, they are not magical enough to save her from being the number one murder suspect when a member of the community that she had just had a disagreement with shows up face down in the lake with June’s lucky charm in the victim’s grasp.

And troubles double…

Add to that an attraction to her high school best friend, Sheriff Oscar Park and Mr. Prince Charming, her cat, is stealing charms from Belle’s Baubles, June is forced to clear her name in more ways than murder. After all, they don’t have cauldrons in jail.

This was an all right read. I found it amusing and there were aspects of it I enjoyed—Oscar, for example (though I would have liked him to have had a role comparable to the importance June suggested he had in her life). Plus, the idea of the self-contained village of magical specialists was an interesting one. Unfortunately, as much as I enjoyed some aspects of the book I found myself gnashing my teeth at others.

There were just tons of little things that annoyed me. A mysterious village, 20 minutes away that NO ONE knows about, but isn’t hidden by magic. Why do these people own cars? They apparently don’t actually drive them. The never-ending ding dong supply. The fact that in investigating the murder June repeatedly compromised evidence and didn’t seem to care. The fact that conversations were often clipped and so abbreviated that I wondered why anyone bothered with the visit. The miraculous intuition that provided an endless supply of convenient solutions to plot problems. The onamonapias. The fact that the villagers manipulated June into moving there and then seemed to resent her presence. Why did they bring her then? The fact that the villagers seemed to hide information from her for no apparent reason. The lack of character development. I don’t even know how old June and Oscar are or what they look like. The way fairies were suddenly thrown in toward the end with no previous indication that non-humans lived in this world. The predictable villain who conveniently spills his guts at the least provocation, etc. {Yes, I know those aren’t complete sentences, but you get the point.}

Worst of all though, is that one of my all time biggest literary pet peeve is when characters come into a situation with some glaring social injustice that has withstood the test of time and then says, ‘hey you need to change this’ and everyone cheers and instantly does. Seriously, if it was that simple surely someone living in the village would have done it before now. It’s painfully polly anna and a cheap plot device to make sure a happy ending comes to pass. I really, REALLY hate it when books do this. It’s incredibly arrogant. I mention it because June does just this at the end of the book and I literally groaned.

So, my final call is that while amusing fluff and worth spending a couple hours reading, it could have been better.

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