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Unlucky Charms

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Rory Chasen, manager of the Lucky Dog Boutique in Destiny, California, hopes her new line of good-luck doggy toys will be a hit, especially the stuffed rabbits with extra-large feet. The timing of the line’s debut proves ill-fated, though, as several local shops—including Rory’s—are ransacked and vandalized with spilled salt and other unlucky charms.
The most likely culprit is disgruntled real estate agent Flora Curtival, whose issues with the town give her a motive. But after Flora is murdered and one of Rory’s toy rabbits is found with the body, Rory needs all the luck she can get while trying to determine just who killed the superstitious vandal.
"This is one author who has a great gift for telling a great tale that both humans and animals can enjoy."—Suspense Magazine

From Publishers Weekly

Aug 29, 2016 – In Johnston's so-so third Superstition mystery (after 2015's Knock on Wood), the town of Destiny, Calif., where superstition generally keeps the residents safe, is hit by a rash of very bad luck, including vandalism, theft, and the murder of real estate agent Flora Curtival, whose death is foretold by a dog howling in the middle of the night. Rory Chasen, the manager of Lucky Dog Boutique, and her fellow business people decide that they have to help find a solution before the tourists leave for a more fortunate venue. Police chief Justin Halbertson, Rory's sometime boyfriend, moves fast to keep ahead of his amateur helpers, including Rory's spaniel-terrier mix, Pluckie, but it takes all of them to identify the killer. Johnston's loyal readers will probably enjoy this installment, but this book reads more like an overview than a complete story, with insufficient attention devoted to motivation and character development.

Customer Reviews

Third book in series!

Unlucky Charms by Linda O. Johnston is the third book in A Superstition Mystery series. Rory Chasen is doing a presentation before the town in Destiny, California. Rory is telling the town about her new line of good luck pet toys (she is going to need some good luck). One of the new toys is Richy the Rabbit. It has an extra-large back foot (for good luck). The next morning, Rory heads to work at the Lucky Dog Boutique and finds it has been ransacked. The robber stole all of her new toys and left behind some bad luck in the form of spilled salt and broken mirrors. It turns out that this is not the first robbery in Destiny. Mayor Bevin Dermot (who dresses like a leprechaun) comes by to visit Rory and Martha. He issues an edict that they cannot talk about the robberies (not among themselves, employees, friends or other shop owners). Mayor Dermot wants to make sure that Destiny’s luck keeps flowing in a positive direction. Rory is unsettled by these thefts and is determined to catch the culprit. She does not like that someone is harming her friends and fellow shop owners. After some investigating, Rory believes she knows who is responsible. Before the person can confronted, she is found dead with Richy the Rabbit shoved in her mouth. It is pushy real estate agent, Flora Curtival, who moved to town about a month ago. Rory ends up being the number one suspect and it puts her boyfriend, Justin Halberton (Chief of Police) in a bit of a bind. Rory sets out to find the real killer to clear her name and restore good luck to the town.

I had a hard time finishing Unlucky Charms. The mystery was okay, but the rest of the book was ridiculous. I can understand a town using superstitions to lure in tourists (clever scheme). But I do not see every citizen buying into the superstitions (they knocked wood frequently, avoid black cats, etc.). Rory is a hard character to like. She is very focused on herself. The book is written in the first person and every other sentence started with “I”. The mystery was not the dominant part of the book. Superstitions took precedence and the information was repeated over and over (it is crammed down the reader’s throat). Some of the superstitions are interesting (writer did good research), but there were too many. The romance portion of the book is rushed as is the ending (it was anti-climactic). Then we have Rory trying to decide to stay at the Rainbow B&B or buy a house, apartment, or condo. Rory knows she cannot live there forever, but she has no clue what she wants (as she states frequently). I thought the killer was obvious. I was hoping it was not this person, but I was disappointed again (I wanted to be surprised or shocked). I give Unlucky Charms 2.5 out of 5 stars. This series had potential. It is a unique idea, but I did not like the finished product. I will not be able to continue with this series. Thanks to Midnight Ink and NetGalley for a copy of the book.

Unlucky Charms
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Women Sleuths
  • Published: Oct 08, 2016
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
  • Seller: Llewellyn Publications
  • Print Length: 288 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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