Murders and Metaphors By Amanda Flower: Review/Giveaway/Guest Post

Mar 2, 2019 | 2019 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze, Sandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy
& Amanda Flower

This week we have a review of the latest Magical Bookshop Mystery by Amanda Flower, and a fun guest post by Amanda about her series. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Murders and Metaphors. There is also a link to purchase it Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.

Murders and Metaphors: A Magical Bookshop Mystery by Amanda Flower
Review by Sandra Murphy

Violet Waverly got a message that her Grandmother was dying, hurry home. Fortunately, Grandma was faking. Now Violet is involved in running Charming Books with Grandma Daisy. The women of the family have been caretakers of a particular tree for generations. Logic says the tree shouldn’t still be alive, much less thriving, but there it is. Its health and longevity can be attributed to the magical waters from a nearby spring. Violet has inherited the caretaker job.

Inside the bookstore, you’ll find Emerson the cat and Faulkner, a crow. There are books everywhere, but readers don’t have to find the one they want. The book will find them. It’s a hard secret to keep, but it’s worked so far. mystery

Violet has a history with Nathan who is now the town’s mayor. His snooty family caused her no end of grief as a teenager. Now she’s supplying the books for a signing party at the Morton family vineyards. It’s hard enough to be around Nathan but almost impossible to tolerate his parents. Belinda, the author, used to live in town, too. It seems she’s come back to make sure everyone knows just how rich, successful, and famous she is.

Near the end of the signing, there’s a commotion, of course, started by Belinda. Everyone takes a few minutes break to let tempers cool. Emerson, who stowed away, takes the opportunity to escape into the vineyards. Finding Emerson also means Violet is the one to find Belinda’s body.

Face it, Belinda wasn’t a nice person, so there are a number of suspects. Violet’s best friend is one of them. With a sleazy private investigator and a greedy but not grieving fiancé as major pains, Violet’s first problem is how to clear her friend before the killer strikes again.

This is the third book in the series. A bookstore that selects your book for you is a stretch of believability, but it doesn’t detract from the story. Violet and Daisy are fun characters, Faulkner and Emerson add a nice balance of humor, and anybody would risk arrest just to meet Police Chief David Rainwater.

I particularly liked that this isn’t just a murder to solve, but there’s also a threat against the store, the tree, and the magic they create. Readers will be anxious to see how Violet handles the challenge.

Amanda Flower also writes the Magical Garden series set in Scotland (2, reviewed here), Amish Candy Shop mysteries (3, reviewed here), the Living History Museum books (3, The Final Vow reviewed), Andi Boggs children’s mysteries (3), Appleseed Creek series, also Amish (4), and the India Hayes, college librarian, books (2).

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. She writes about eco-friendly topics, pets and wildlife for magazines and reviews mysteries and thrillers for KRL. A collection of her short stories, published by Untreed Reads, From Hay to Eternity: Ten Tales of Crime and Deception can be found at all the usual outlets. Each one is a little weird and all have a twist you won’t see coming.

Why Little Women
By Amanda Flower

Last year marked the 150 anniversary of the classic children’s novel Little Women by Louisa May Allcott. The book has been printed and reprinted millions of times in hundreds of languages with dozens of movie and television adaptations, and it has always been well-received. Some classic novels take time to find an audience, but that wasn’t the case with Alcott’s work. Right out of the gate in 1868, it was popular with readers, especially young women and girls. It still is today.

Some scholars believe that its popularity was due to its realism. It’s a slice of life, realistic book that delves into the everyday lives, triumphs, and heartbreaks of the March sisters during and after the American Civil War. The novel is full of life lessons, many of which come from the mother in the story, Marmee. And it was the inspiration for my magical mystery novel, Murders and Metaphors.

mystery author

Amanda Flower

So how does a work of realistic nineteenth century fiction become the basis to solve a mystery in a magical realism cozy set in the present day? The premise for the Magical Bookshop Mysteries is Violet Waverly and her Grandma Daisy solve murders in their little village of Cascade Springs, New York, with the help of their magical bookshop, Charming Books. The bookshop’s magical essence doesn’t tell them who the killer is, but it gives them clues by revealing pieces of writing to them. When I started writing the first Magical Bookshop Mystery, Crime and Poetry, I decided to use the work of Emily Dickinson to solve the mystery. After that, it made sense to use nineteenth century American authors, so that the theme could continue. As soon as I made that theme choice, Little Women, a book that I loved as a child, came to my mind.

I was so glad that I made the decision to use Little Women for the third book. There are so many great passages in it that make for great clues, and Little Women is a story about women who are making their way in their world. The same could be said for Violet and Grandma Daisy; only their world is just a touch more magical than ours or the world of the March sisters.

So if you like Little Women, I’d love you to give Murders and Metaphors a try, but even if you didn’t enjoy the classic or haven’t read it, you can enjoy this unique take on an American classic.

To enter to win a copy of Murders and Metaphors, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “metaphors,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen March 9, 2019. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address (so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode goes up next week.

Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:

You can also use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:


Amanda Flower, a USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. In addition to being an author, Amanda is former librarian in Northeast Ohio. Visit Amanda Online: Facebook | Instagram |

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. I’m a fan of the series and have a hold on this book at my local library. I’d much rather own a copy to add to my personal home library (2350 and growing)

  2. Thanks for this intriguing giveaway.

  3. I absolutely love the cover! Thanks for the chance. JL_Minter (at) hotmail (dot) com

  4. This sounds very interestings. I love Little Women too. Thank you for this chance.

  5. Literary mysteries are the best. I’d love to have a copy of Murders and Metaphors, thanks for the chance to win it. crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  6. Love this series!

  7. I would love to read this! What a treat, and such great reviews!

  8. Great series! Looking forward to reading “Murder and Metaphors”.

  9. Love the cover. This book sounds good

  10. Exciting, thanks so much! nani_geplcs(at)yahoo(dot)com

  11. Don’t usually read mystical books but
    I would like to try this one. Sounds
    like it would be fun and I might have
    a new series to read. thanks

  12. Love your books would love to win your book

  13. Love this series. Can’t wait to read.

  14. Thank you for the chance to win! One of my favorite series!

  15. I would love a chance to win this new book from Amanda Flowers, Magical Bookshop Mysteries series. Love all her covers!

  16. Love your cover,love to read this book,thank

  17. I am really looking forward to reading your book. It looks so very good. Thanks so very much for the chance to win this giveaway.
    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

  18. I’m a huge Amanda Flower fan. I just finished the last book in this series. I can’t wait to read this one.

  19. This sounds like a great read. I love Amanda’s writing thanks for the chance.

    Tighefan42atgmail dotcom

  20. I love this series! Thanks for the chance.

  21. I adore Amanda Flower’s books, and I was thrilled to see Magical Bookshop series has a new installment! I would love to win Murders and Metaphors. Thank you for the chance to win.
    myrifraf (at) gmail (dot) com

  22. Love cozy mysteries. Saamm7 (at) MSN (dot) com

  23. Beginning to start Murders and Metaphors today!

  24. Cannot wait to read this book!

  25. I remember reading Little Women many years ago and loved it. This sounds like a great way to bring it back.

  26. This looks like a great read sclickner at juno dot com

  27. Love Amanda’s Books! Thanks for the opportunity

  28. Thanks for offering a chance to win this book! lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

  29. I love little women for my birthday when I was 10 I got it, it started me on my way to read. Your book sounds so interesting and fun. Thank you for the chance.

  30. We have a winner!


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