Book Review: “Crime And Poetry” by Amanda Flower

Warning: This review contains spoilers for “Crime And Poetry” by Amanda Flower! If you don’t like spoilers, you may want to avoid reading any further.

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Cover of “Crime And Poetry” by Amanda Flower.

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing “Crime And Poetry” by Amanda Flower! Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:

Rushing home to sit by her ailing grandmother’s bedside, Violet Waverly is shocked to find Grandma Daisy the picture of perfect health. Violet doesn’t need to read between the lines: her grandma wants Violet back home and working in her magical store, Charming Books. It’s where the perfect book tends to fly off the shelf and pick you…

Violet has every intention to hightail it back to Chicago, but then a dead man is discovered clutching a volume of Emily Dickinson’s poems from Grandma Daisy’s shop. The victim is Benedict Raisin, who recently put Grandma Daisy in his will, making her a prime suspect. Now, with the help of a tuxedo cat named Emerson, Violet will have to find a killer to keep Grandma from getting booked for good…”

Worldbuilding Development: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Plot Development: 2.5 out of 5 stars

There are a lot of plot elements of the typical “whodunit” mystery story that are present; the kind old man is murdered, is actually worse than he seemed, and his daughter isn’t much better than him. There’s history between characters in the past that is vaguely addressed, and somehow works its way into the main mystery. However, I do commend the fact that the author does make all of these elements work with each other throughout the story, rather than it feeling forced. Unfortunately, what brought down the story a lot was the incredibly slow pacing of the plot.

Because this is the first book in the series, I understand that a lot of the main plot is slow pacing to give development to how the town works as a whole, as well as give a general idea of who plays what roles within said town. I also enjoy how the Underground Railroad-related history played into a bit of the main plot, as well as all the water-company-related stuff (which played a much more major role in the main mystery than I thought). I’m also interested in reading more about the death of Colleen, which happened over a decade prior to the main story. Though there were more details on her death by the end of the book and who was there and so on, I want to know more about how much it impacted Violet to the point of her leaving town.

Character Development: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Officer Rainwater, one of the secondary characters, was my favourite out of all of them. As much as he acts as an opposing force at times to the main protagonist, Violet, he also makes it clear that he’s opposed to her involvement mainly because 1. he’s just doing his job as an officer to keep her and everyone else alive still safe and 2. he’s one of the few characters that is still overall respectful for Violet and her grandmother after Benedict’s murder, in the midst of said grandmother being accused of murdering Benedict.

All the rest of the characters, unfortunately, fall flat for development. A lot of characters come off as one-sided (like Audrey, Benedict’s daughter), or just didn’t develop much if at all, in general. Sure, Nathan comes forward and confesses that he witnessed Colleen’s death and (somewhat) attempted to save her, but there isn’t much otherwise with him. Same goes for his brother Grant, who does eventually fess up to being involved with the situation leading up to Benedict’s murder in some capacity (though Grant did not murder the man himself), but there isn’t much otherwise to make of him, other than the role he plays as part of a water company.  Then again, this is the first book, so if I do read future books in the series, I hope there will be more development of all the characters as it goes along.

Overall, I’m rating this book 2.5 out of 5 stars!

I think the book would be much more enjoyable if it had an overall tighter plotline. However, if you enjoy reading up on stories where town history gets involved, or maybe you want a mystery involving a magic bookshop, this might be the book for you!

Also, an important announcement/reminder for those who haven’t seen it: There will be some new changes coming to the posting schedule starting this April (tomorrow!) amid all the current events going on in the world. Book Reviews will continue to be posted on Tuesdays and the 1st of every month, but there’s also more—you can read more details about that here! 

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