Author: Wendy Corsi Staub
Published: October 2015, Crooked Lane Books
Format: ARC Paperback, 288 pages
After the death of her husband, Bella Jordan and her son need a fresh start. But on their way to stay with family in Chicago, they stop in Lily Dale, New York and a storm forces them to spend the night.
Brimming with psychics and mediums, Lily Dale is just the kind of quirky little town Bella's late husband always talked about settling down in. So when the local hotel's owner, Leona, passes away, Bella agrees to step in and help temporarily. The longer she and Max stay there, the more Lily Dale starts to feel like home.
But for Bella, finding a home means finding danger, too. Leona was murdered, and it's up to Bella to track down the killer before her sanctuary comes crashing down in bestseller Wendy Corsi Staub’s warm and witty series debut.
My thoughts: I was fortunate to pick this gem up at BEA this past Spring and to meet Wendy Corsi Staub during a book signing. I haven't hadn't heard of her before BEA, but ended up with two of her books and after reading this one, will certainly be checking out her other books.
I really enjoyed this book and while it does have that little bit of paranormal, it was still a fun cozy mystery and I think I'm going to stick with this new series, at least enough to give the next book a try. Lily Dale is certainly an interesting town - what town wouldn't that's filled with psychics and mediums? But what I loved is that when things happen, the answer as to why they happen is just vague enough that there could be a logical explanation for it or it could be more of a paranormal/supernatural explanation for it happening - and that totally won me over.
Things always happen for a reason and while Bella might not always believe that, something has brought her and her son to Lily Dale. She keeps saying that she's only staying for a day or two, but something keeps preventing her from leaving. Does she really want to live with her mother-in-law? It seems like Lily Dale might be a good place to put down roots, even though there's a murder to be solved.
This was a great introduction into what I think will be a fun cozy series. It's faced-paced and kept me guessing all the way until the end. I loved all the characters that we got to meet in this first book and even the town itself is like a character - it has so much charm and personality. I can't wait to see what happens next for Bella and Max and the residents of Lily Dale.