Salutations! Believe Me by J.P. Delaney is out today. Murder on Memory Lake by J.D. Griffo and Midnight Snacks are Murder by Libby Klein will be released on July 31. So many new books coming out in the next few weeks.
The Book of Peril by Melissa McShane is the second book in The Last Oracle series. Helena Davies is the custodian of the oracular bookstore Abernathy’s. She has been busy cleaning the shop after the attack and the shop is brighter and definitely smells better. Helena’s birthday party thrown by her best friend, Viv, is interrupted by her ex-boyfriend, Chet. He has decided he still loves Helena and is determined to win her back despite Helena’s objections (oh dear). On Monday, Helena performs an augury requests and the oracle provides the wrong prophecy. She tries it again and it works perfectly. When it starts happening more frequently, Helena needs to discover what it is transpiring. Helena needs to learn more about Abernathy’s (the manual does not have an index and it puts her to sleep) and so she visits The Athenaeum (the spiritual successor to the Library of Alexandria). When Helena continues to have difficulty with auguries, a magical team sweeps the store. They discover magical origami in Helena’s kitchen. Someone is deliberately sabotaging Abernathy’s. When Judy Rasmussen, Helena’s assistant, is arrested for the crime, Helena works to prove her innocence, find the real culprit and evade Chet.
The Book of Peril is not a standalone novel. You need to read TheBook of Secrets first or you will be lost. I thought the story was well-written, to have a steady pace and engaging. I like that we are learning more about the oracle and the magical community. Melissa McShane has created a special magical world (the neutralities, the various types of magic, the oracle, sanguinis sapiens, etc.) in this series. The handsome Malcolm Campbell is back, and Helena finds herself drawn to him. However, there are those pesky rules called The Accords that might thwart their budding romance (there has to be a way around them). I appreciate the strong female characters in The Last Oracle series. Helena is slowly learning her role as custodian, and I find her smart, curious and spunky. Viv adds humor to the story and is the perfect counterpart to Helena (she is growing on me). It is wonderful to see the changes in Judy since The Book of Secrets. She is helping Helena update Abernathy’s and I like that Helena trusts her. I do want to warn readers that there is a violent scene where a female is badly injured (if these type of scenes upset you, I suggest fast forwarding past it like I did). I was not thrilled with the ending. We are left with unanswered questions and we must wait for the next book to get answers. My rating for The Book of Peril is 4.5 out of 5 stars. The Book of Peril is a fast-paced paranormal novel that will have you reading late into the night to get to the end (and then you will be upset that you finished it so quickly).