Series: A Magical Dressmaking Mystery #5
Genres: Paranormal Mystery
Published by Signet on 1 April 2014
Harlow Cassidy, magical dressmaker extraordinaire, finds herself caught up in yet another mystery when Gracie’s boyfriend, Shane, is accused of patricide. Both Gracie and Shane’s mother insist that he is innocent and beg Harlow to investigate. When another man goes missing, Harlow suspects the two events are connected.
Harlow spreads herself fairly thin as she is constantly looking for ways to keep her business afloat and help those in need. It is an effective plot device as it allows Harlow to get involved in a variety of different activities. In this novel she was teaching teens how to create mums for a dance and helping out a couple of kids who have had a rough time. I felt like Bourbon was setting up Harlow for some big personal changes in the next couple of books as her relationship with her boyfriend Will and his daughter Gracie is now really strong.
I particularly like the unusual way Bourbon has set up magic in this series. All the Cassidy women have special powers and Harlow’s is the ability to make people’s deepest desires come true when they wear her clothes. It might not seem as practical as her mother’s ability to make plants grow, but it often gives Harlow an insight into the people who wear her clothes and help her solve mysteries.
A few more red herrings wouldn’t have gone astray as the suspect pool was fairly small. There was one clever twist that was implemented about three quarters through but the tension fizzled a little after that as I waited for the characters to catch up. Bourbon’s strength is her characterisation – Harlow and her crew are warm, engaging and full of life.
This can be read as a standalone but I don’t advise it as the series is so enjoyable. Heartedly recommended.