I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion or the content of my review. Affiliate links within the post provide a small commission to support blog expenses and giveaways. This is in accordance with US FCC regulations.Knock on Wood by Linda O. Johnston
Genres: Mystery & Detective, Women Sleuths
Published by MIDNIGHT INK Source: NetGalley
October 8th 2015 | Pages: 336
Purchase on Amazon | Add to Goodreads
Rory Chasen, manager of the Lucky Dog Boutique in Destiny, California, is delighted when her friend Gemma comes for a visit. But Gemma arrives early and seems upset. It turns out she has broken up with her boyfriend, Frank, who follows her to Destiny the next day. Trying to move on, Gemma decides to stay in Destiny indefinitely and begins spending time with 2 local men, until one of them, Deputy Mayor Bevin Dermot, turns up dead. Bevin is known for knocking on wood for everything, but despite Destiny being all about superstitions that did not save his life. When evidence begins pointing to Gemma, Rory and her lucky black and white dog Pluckie try to help hunky police chief Justin discover the murderer. Could Gemma be guilty of murder—or just having a run of bad luck?
.Destiny, CA, the fictional setting of Knock on Wood, seems like a fun place to visit with beautiful hiking areas, lovely B & Bs and cute shops that enhance the superstitions people come to town to enjoy. With shopkeepers seeding the sidewalks with “heads-up pennies” and lucky buttons, no one will accidentally step on a crack in this village. Unfortunately, a murder means all bets are off when people start trying to discover what superstitions may have led to Bevin Dermot’s death. He was always knocking on wood for good luck, but the night before his death a bird flew into the room, a sign that someone is going to die. And lying in bed that same night Rory heard a wolf howling, another sign of impending death. When Bevin’s body is found in a local park with a “knock on wood” wooden stake through his chest, Rory realizes that his argument at the Clinking Glass wine bar with Gemma may have upsetting repercussions for her friend.
I loved the descriptions of the town of Destiny; it made me want to visit a place where the deli gives a wishbone with every sandwich purchase. I even went to the internet to see if it really exists. Sadly, there are no towns in the U.S. named Destiny, although there is a big development in Florida, and a super-center in Syracuse, NY. I also greatly appreciated that Rory has a dog and she is a mutt. Being black and white makes her lucky, according to superstition, and her name is Pluckie. The cozy mystery world seems to be all about cats, and Knock on Wood is the second I’ve read recently featuring a dog, the first being Unleashed by Eileen Brady.
I found the mystery in Knock on Wood easy to solve. I actually figured out who was going to kill Bevin before he died. I don’t think it would be that easy for everyone, there was one small thing that I noticed, and there weren’t any more blatant clues until much further into the case. I also read a lot of mysteries and watch way too much Law & Order. I also thought Gemma’s fear of being a suspect, and Rory actually wondering if she may have committed the murder were a little far-fetched and dramatic, but again that may be my mystery-jadedness rearing its ugly head.
Overall, Knock on Wood is a cute cozy with a great setting, likable recurring characters and a fun theme. Cozy fans should give the series a try and those who haven’t read many mysteries will enjoy the concept and the mystery of who killed Bevin Dermot.