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I received this book for free from the author. This review is voluntary. My opinion is not influenced in any way.A Hint of Mischief by Daryl Wood Gerber
Series: A Fairy Garden Mystery #3
Also in this series: A Sprinkling of Murder
Published by Kensington on June 28, 2022
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Paranormal
Format: Paperback ARC
Source: the author
Buy on Amazon • Buy on Barnes & Noble
Also by this author: A Deadly Éclair, A Sprinkling of Murder
The proprietor of a fairy garden and tea shop in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Courtney Kelly has an occasional side gig as a sleuth--with a sprinkling of magical assistance. . . .
Courtney has thrown a few fairy garden parties--for kids. But if a local socialite is willing to dip into her trust fund for an old sorority sister's fortieth birthday bash, Courtney will be there with bells on. To make the job even more appealing, a famous actress, Farrah Lawson, is flying in for the occasion, and there's nothing like a celebrity cameo to raise a business's profile.
Now Courtney has less than two weeks to paint a mural, hang up tinkling windchimes, plan party games, and conjure up all the details. While she works her magic, the hostess and her girlfriends head off for an indulgent spa day--which leads to a fateful facial for Farrah, followed by her mysterious death. Could the kindhearted eyebrow waxer who Farrah berated in public really be the killer, as the police suspect? Courtney thinks otherwise, and with the help of her imaginative sleuth fairy, sets out to dig up the truth behind this puzzling murder . . .
I enjoyed the first two books in this series and was so excited to receive a copy of book 3 to review. A Hint Of Mischief has a lot going on in terms of character development (both with the human characters/relationships and the fairies) as well as a murder and 2 mini-mysteries: one about fairy doors and one about thefts.
One thing I really liked about this one was getting to learn more about the fairies and what they can do. It’s such a fun and whimsical element to the story and really adds a lot to the series. While I really liked this book, it did feel at times like the story wasn’t moving as quickly as it should. The pacing felt slowed down and I think that is because there was too much going on. There was the murder with so many suspects (and Courtney flat-out accusing some people of murder, which I didn’t feel was true to her character), the fairy doors, the thefts, the relationships, the fairy party planning, and more. It just felt like the story was getting in its own way because so much was fit into it.
That being said, after the first third of the book or so, the pacing picked up a bit and the story felt like it was really taking off. There were so many suspects with viable reasons to kill Farrah that I didn’t know for sure who did it, though I had my suspicions. I couldn’t wait to find out more about the fairy doors and to see Fiona grow as a fairy and keep earning her adult wings. This is a solid series and enjoyable if you love a bit of paranormal/magic. I have so much fun when reading these books – I even took pictures of this one when I went to a fairy shop. 🙂 Definitely worth reading and I do recommend reading this series in order to get the most enjoyment out of it.