THE SECRET ON RUM RUNNER’S LANE
SERIES: A Book Magic Mini Mystery #1
GENRE: Cozy Mystery / Magical Realism
PUBLISHER: Lake House Press
RELEASE DATE: November 10, 2020
The Lane women are bibliomancers, but Cassie sees her divination not as a gift, but as a curse–one from which she desperately wants to escape. It turns out, though, that running from her fate isn’t as easy as she thought it would be.
When a woman goes missing, and a neighbor is found dead, Cassie turns to the books she’s always avoided to help her find the truth.
Other Books In Related Series
I very much enjoyed Murder in Devil’s Cove earlier this year – after all, it combines two of my fave things to read about – books and magical realism. So when I learned about The Secret on Rum Runner’s Lane, a prequel mini mystery, I jumped at the chance to read it.
This novella is a quick read, but it doesn’t sacrifice depth or quality in using fewer words. While not absolutely necessary to have read Murder in Devil’s Cove yet, you will definitely want to go back and read it later. That said, I do think that having read it first will make The Secret on Rum Runner’s Lane all the more intriguing. Because in this prequel novella, readers become acquainted with Pippin’s mom and see both how Cassie Lane came to be in Devil’s Cove and how she fell in love. Characters we first met, several years older, in Murder in Devil’s Cove show up as their younger selves alongside Cassie – and some things that were hinted at in the first book come together in its prequel.
And of course, I can’t forget the magical realism in this story. Books that don’t just tell a story to the everyday reader but also give supernatural insight to this family of bibliomancers. It’s an intriguing concept, and I like how the author depicts the characters wrestling with this ability – is it a gift? is it a curse? If you ignore it, will it go away along with the omens it foretells? Not to mention the family dynamics it sets into motion as well.
Bottom Line: If you like magical realism (think Sarah Addison Allen or James Rubart or David Rawlings), you’ll really enjoy this Book Magic cozy mystery series too! Whether it’s the full-length novel or the mini mystery novella, readers will be quickly swept up into the Lane family’s intriguing and bittersweet lives. The Secret on Rum Runner’s Lane is a layered story with a well-developed backstory for a character whose decisions in that time period set the path for generations to come. This quick read has me eager for the next full-length novel as well as looking forward to time spent getting to know the Pacific coast side of the Lane family tree too.
Reviewer’s Note: Readers may want to be aware that there is some infrequent and mild cursing scattered throughout this book.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / love it!
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Melissa Bourbon is the national bestselling author of nineteen mystery books, including the brand new collaborative Book Magic mysteries, the Lola Cruz Mysteries, A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series, and the Bread Shop Mysteries, written as Winnie Archer. She is a former middle school English teacher who gave up the classroom in order to live in her imagination full time. Melissa, a California native who has lived in Texas and Colorado, now calls the southeast home. She hikes, practices yoga, cooks, and is slowly but surely discovering all the great restaurants in the Carolinas. Since four of her five amazing kids are living their lives, scattered throughout the country, her dogs, Bean, the pug, Dobby, the chug, and Jasper, a cattle dog/lab keep her company while she writes. Melissa lives in North Carolina with her educator husband, Carlos, and their youngest son. She is beyond fortunate to be living the life of her dreams.
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