I received this book for free from Berkley Prime Crime in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Twice Told Tail (Black Cat Bookshop Mystery #6) by Ali Brandon
Series: Black Cat Bookshop Mystery #6
Published by Berkley on November 1st 2016
Number of Pages: 304
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Source: Berkley Prime Crime
Purchase: At Amazon
As Thanksgiving approaches, Darla Pettistone is preparing for the busiest shopping season of the year. They’ve recently launched their online store, where one anonymous bidder is offering a suspiciously high price for an antique book—and Darla doesn’t need Hamlet’s special senses to know that something isn’t quite right.
However, there’s no time to think about that after Darla’s roped into helping bridezilla Connie Capello get ready for her big day. After looking at wedding dresses, Darla and Connie head to an antique store to find her “something old”—but they find someone dead instead. When Darla learns that the shop carried a copy of the book that her mysterious bidder is after, she suspects she’ll need Hamlet’s help to discover who penned the poor soul’s final chapter, before someone else is read their last rites…
From the synopsis, I was thinking this would be some kind of Magical Cats cozy. It’s not though. The closest it comes to that is the fact Hamlet pulls books off the shelves to tell Darla what’s going on. And she doesn’t twig on to the meaning until after things have already happened.
I didn’t really like Connie much, there were a few moments where she ends up almost likable, but by the end of the book my first impression held. Way too high maintenance, and it was pretty surprising she was willing to marry a cop. Considering how often he would have to cancel plans or shorten them because of the nature of his job and all. She also says “Gawd” a lot.
I liked Darla and Mary Ann the best, especially Mary Ann. But none of the characters really clicked with me enough that I want to read the rest of the series.
My guess for the killer was wrong, and I realized that around half-way through the book when the actual killer gives themself away. Not that Darla caught on until the very end when her life was in danger. I won’t go into why she was in danger, beyond saying it wasn’t the usual ‘wrong place, wrong time’, or ‘kidnapping’ scenarios.
There were a number of side-plots, and while I usually find that to be a good thing, making the book feel more real and all… This time it just made the book drag in spots. I did like the hidden papers, and that subplot. But I was more than ready for the book to finally be done.