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Posted July 5, 2012
Recommended for Romantic Readers
A Sinister Sense is the 2nd book in Allison Kingsley's Raven's Nest Bookstore Mystery series. In this book, the protagonist, Clara Quinn, tries to clear the name of her friend Rick Sanders. Rick has been named the main suspect in a murder case where the victim was found in the back of his, Rick's, truck. Aided by her cousin Stephanie and later by employee Molly, Clara finds that almost everyone else in Finn's Harbor believes Rick to be guilty, and that it's only a matter of time before the police obtain enough evidence to lock him up. The plot in this book is sufficiently competent to keep the reader interested in finding "whodunnit." However, I found a couple of elements in the book somewhat distracting from the overall effectiveness of the novel. For one, the "Quinn Sense" that Clara has inherited seems to be more in the line of providing filler, and serves more as a "pick-me-up" when things begin to drag a bit. It's used too sporadically to really give a sense of the irritation and confusion which it must give Clara, and the clues given to her by this "extra-sensory" perception don't seem to aid her any more than her own logic. There's also a couple of places where Kingsley changes the narration focus from Clara to Stephanie, as in Chapter 14. However, Stephanie's narrative voice only lasts for several pages, and does not add any new information about the plot or Clara's character. As for Clara's character, I found it a bit more irritating in this book than in the first one. In particular, Clara's relationship with her mother and her foisting Rick's dog on Jessie, without discussing it with her first made me feel sorry for Jessie rather than identify with Clara. Taking on the responsibility of Rick's large, mostly unmanageable mutt would have been an admiral thing, if Clara had taken more responsibility for the care of Tatters herself. Since she's essentially living as a guest of her mother, her actions make her seem childish rather than sympathetic. Hopefully, Allison Kingsley will resolve these unflattering character traits in the next book by finding Clara her own place to live. The ending of the book seemed a bit contrived as well, since neither Clara nor Stephanie had done much preparatory work for the trap they set to confront the murderer and get him to confess. The actual confrontation is farcical, which I am assuming was the intent of the author, so that it's not much of a surprise when Clara's plan to use the video from her cell phone falls flat. However, the cousins are saved from becoming victims by the intervention of Tatters, and when the police chief arrives, Clara's phone miraculously has recorded the audio elements of the confession. Thus, the two cousins have managed to provide the police with evidence of the real murderer's guilt, and the innocence of Rick. Readers who enjoy romantic suspense may find the hint of a romantic dinner between Rick and Clara a fitting end to this mystery. Recommended.
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Posted July 13, 2012
Clara is such a sad sack and has no idea what she wants and this
Clara is such a sad sack and has no idea what she wants and this book wasn't as good as the first one
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Posted April 11, 2014
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