Blackmoore Sisters Mystery #1
Leighann Dobbs, May 2013
252 pages, Kindle, paperback
Paranormal Cozy Mystery with romance(s) or Romantic Cozy Mystery with Magic
The cover is an attractive stylized piece of art that sets the look for the series that follows. It has elements of the story in it, Fiona with her red hair and Belladonna, the cat, s well as the old house the sisters live in on the cliff. The flowers aren’t just pretty, they are a reference to the garden that Morgan tends around the house.
The author tells her story in a fun and interesting way even though it’s a murder mystery with two murders and the prime suspect according to the sheriff is one of the four sisters, who are the heroines of this series. There’s a bit of tongue-in-cheek throughout that you sense in the telling of the story. Sort of like the author through the sisters is inviting you to share a joke as she invites you into what is normally a happy, loving world.
The characters Ms. Dobbs has created are simply wonderful. Not all of the sisters are fully developed in this first instalment of the series, but you get the feeling for what they are like together very quickly. They are a caring family, looking out for each other, and yet each has their own distinct interest and has been allowed to find their own niche in life, to develop as an individual. Morgan has a fascination for herbs and runs her half of the business as an herbal pharmacologist with her sister. Fiona’s specialty is gems and crystals, thus the name of the business, Sticks and Stones. Celeste runs a yoga studio and is into all things healthy, especially green things in the blender, but she doesn’t force her sisters to do things her way. The youngest is Jolette, the one they all helped to raise, since their mother’s death. She has a particular knack for research on the computer and an interest in police procedures. She just hasn’t figured out what to do with it, yet. And then there’s Belladonna. She’s the cat that keeps guiding the girls towards mysterious finds in the old house and somehow shows up whenever they need her. The new cop in town, Jake Cooper, has his eye on Fiona. She seems to be looking back at him, too. Even the bad guys are well written, enough so that you really dislike them. For instance, the sleazy real estate guy, Eli Stark is so oily and nasty that you really have to dislike him on first meeting. But you’re supposed to! And the sheriff, Sheriff Overton. Who could possibly like him? You can tell he’s dirty from the beginning and you can hardly wait until someone uncovers his dirty deeds. You dislike him almost as much as Delphine Jones, the sisters’ feminist lawyer!
The pace and tension of this first book of the series really set things up well for the series. Things are comfortably brisk and comfortably tense throughout the whole book. This is a series I definitely want to read more of and I’ve made sure that I have several more of it to read.