A Hint of Mischief
About A Hint of Mischief
A Hint of Mischief (A Fairy Garden Mystery)
3rd in Series
Setting - California
Kensington Cozies(June 28, 2022)
Paperback : 368 pages
The proprietor of a fairy garden and tea shop in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Courtney Kelly has an occasional side gig as a sleuth—with a sprinkling of magical assistance. . . .
Courtney has thrown a few fairy garden parties—for kids. But if a local socialite is willing to dip into her trust fund for an old sorority sister’s fortieth birthday bash, Courtney will be there with bells on. To make the job even more appealing, a famous actress, Farrah Lawson, is flying in for the occasion, and there’s nothing like a celebrity cameo to raise a business’s profile.
Now Courtney has less than two weeks to paint a mural, hang up tinkling windchimes, plan party games, and conjure up all the details. While she works her magic, the hostess and her girlfriends head off for an indulgent spa day—which leads to a fateful facial for Farrah, followed by her mysterious death. Could the kindhearted eyebrow waxer who Farrah berated in public really be the killer, as the police suspect? Courtney thinks otherwise, and with the help of her imaginative sleuth fairy, sets out to dig up the truth behind this puzzling murder . . .
About Daryl Wood Gerber
Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling Fairy Garden Mysteries, Cookbook Nook Mysteries, and French Bistro Mysteries. As Avery Aames, she penned the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. In addition, Daryl writes the Aspen Adams Novels of Suspense as well as stand-alone suspense. Daryl loves to cook, fairy garden, and read. She has a frisky Goldendoodle who keeps her in line. And she has been known to jump out of a perfectly good airplane and hitch-hike around Ireland alone. You can learn more on her website: httsp://darylwoodgerber.com
A Hint of Mischief by Daryl Wood Gerber is an enchanting cozy mystery. We return to Carmel-by-the Sea where
Courtney Kelly owns Open Your Imagination.
The town is full of quaint shops (I want to visit and check out all the
shops in the various courtyards). It was
nice to catch up with Courtney, Joss, Fiona, Megan, Pixie, and Brady. There is a helpful list of the characters at
the beginning of the book. I thought A
Hint of Mischief was well-written with great characters. I like the author’s engaging writing
style. I found myself drawn into story. I love the fairies in the story and that
Courtney can see them. Fiona adds humor to the story. I like that we get to learn more about the
fairies (the various types) and their capabilities. There is one main mystery
and two side mysteries. Misty Dawn hires
Courtney to organize an adult fairy birthday party for one of her sorority
sisters. When one of the party goers
ends up dead, Courtney with help from her righteous fairy begins
investigating. This was a well-plotted
mystery. I had fun following the
investigation and solving the crime. One
of the clues was cleverly done. Courtney
needs to work on her questioning technique (be less obvious because she does
not want to alienate her neighbors). There
are several suspects, a red herring or two, and helpful clues. The mystery is nicely wrapped up with all of the
questions answered. Someone is stealing
from the shops in town. Courtney intends
to discover who is behind the thefts.
doors are appearing around Carmel-by-the-Sea.
No one knows who is installing the fairy doors. I enjoyed the fairy party planning. Joss and Courtney came up with some clever
ideas. I love the fairy gardens that
were created by Courtney and customers in Open your Imagination. It gave me inspiration. I like how the romance is progressing between
Courtney and Brady. I like that they are
not rushing things. I loved the epilogue
where we learn something special. While
A Hint of Mischief is the third A Fairy Garden Mystery, it can be read as a standalone. The author provides the necessary background
information. There is a preview of A
Flicker of a Doubt which is the next A Fairy Garden Mystery at the end plus
there are recipes for some of the treats featured in the story (Brookies,
Chocolate Crinkles, Fairy Cookies). A Hint of Mischief is a magical mystery with flitting fairies, fabulous fairy
gardens, a slain sorority sister, a playful Pixie, baffling fairy doors, covert
thefts, and a curious Courtney.
“Thief!” a woman cried outside of Open Your
Imagination, my fairy garden and tea shop. I recognized the voice. Yvanna
I hurried from the covered patio through our
main showroom, grabbed an umbrella from the stand by the Dutch door, and headed
outside, quickly opening the umbrella so it protected me from the rain.
“Yvanna, what’s going on?”
Yvanna, a baker at Sweet Treats, a neighboring
shop in the courtyard, was dressed in her pink uniform and standing at the top
of the stairs that led through the courtyard, hands on hips—no umbrella. She
was getting drenched.
“Yvanna!” I shouted again. “Were you robbed?
Are you okay?”
She pivoted. Rain streamed down her pretty
face. She swiped a hair off her cheek that had come loose from her scrunchie.
“I’m fine,” she said with a sigh. “A customer set her bag down on one of the
tables so she could fish in her purse for loose change. Before we knew it,
someone in a brown hoodie slipped in, grabbed the bag, and darted out.”
“Man? Woman? Teen?”
“I’m not sure.” Her chest heaved. “That’s the
second theft in this area in the past twenty-four hours, Courtney.”
“Second?” I gasped. Carmel-by-the-Sea was not
known as a high-crime town. Well, that wasn’t entirely true. We had suffered
two murders in the past year. Flukes, the police had dubbed them. “Where did
the other theft occur?”
“There.” She pointed to the Village Shops, the
courtyard across the street from ours. Carmel-by-the-Sea was known for its
unique courtyards. “At Say Cheese.”
“The thief must be hungry,” I said. Say Cheese
had a vast array of cheeses, crackers, and condiments. “Were you scared?”
“No. I’m miffed.” A striking Latina, Yvanna was
one of the most resilient women I knew. She rarely took a day off because she
had a family of six to feed—two cousins, her grandparents, her sister, and
“Call the police,” I suggested.
“You can bet on it.”
We didn’t have CCTV in Cypress and Ivy’s
courtyard yet. Maybe I should mention it to our landlord. I returned to Open Your Imagination, stopped
outside to flick the water off the umbrella, and then moved inside, slotted the
umbrella into the stand, and weaved through the shop’s display tables while
saying hello to the handful of customers. Before heading to the patio, I
signaled my stalwart assistant Joss Timberlake that all was under control.
“Do not argue with me!” Misty Dawn exclaimed.
“Do you hear me? I want tea. Not coffee. Tea!” Misty, a customer, was
standing by the verdigris baker’s racks on the patio, wiggling two female fairy
figurines. When she spotted me, she uttered a full-throated laugh. “You’re
back, Courtney. Is everything okay outside? Did I hear the word thief?”
“Hopefully nothing too dear was stolen.”
In addition to my business, the courtyard
boasted a high-end jewelry store, a collectibles shop, an art gallery, and a
“Bakery goods,” I said.
“And no one got hurt?”
“Phew.” Misty gazed at the figurines she was
holding. “I swear, I can’t get over how young I feel whenever I visit your
shop. It takes me back to my childhood, when I used to play with dolls. I’d
make up stories and put on plays. At one point, maybe seventh grade, I thought
I was so clever and gifted with dialogue that I’d become a playwright, but that
didn’t come to pass.”
Misty, a trust fund baby who had
never worked a day in her life, even though she had graduated Phi Beta Kappa
and had whizzed through business school, had blazed into the shop twenty
minutes ago, hoping to hire me to throw a fairy garden birthday party for her
sorority sister. In the less than two years that the shop had been open, I’d
only thrown three such parties, each for children.
“Let’s get serious.” Misty returned the
figurines to the verdigris baker’s rack, strode across the covered slate patio
to the wrought-iron table closest to the gnome-adorned fountain, and patted the
tabletop. “Sit with me. Let’s chat. I have lists upon lists of ideas.” She
opened her Prada tote and removed a floral notepad and pen.
Fiona, a fairy-in-training who, when not
staying at my house, resided in the Ficus trees fitted with twinkling lights
that surrounded the patio, flew to my shoulder and whispered in my ear. “She
sure is bossy.”
I bit back a smile and said, “The customer’s
“How true,” Misty said, oblivious to Fiona’s
perhaps I should mention it to our landlord.
Daryl Wood Gerber is giving away your choice (pick one of the first two books in A Fairy Garden Mysteries) of A Sprinkling of Murder or a Glimmer of a Clue plus a fairy door (it is so cute), a fairy figurine, and a $15 Amazon gift card (sorry, but US only). You can click here to enter or use the Rafflecopter form below. Good Luck! I am also hosting a giveaway for one of the first two books in A Fairy Garden Mysteries (paper or ebook--your choice) which are A Sprinkling of Murder and A Glimmer of a Clue. Leave a comment with your email address (so I can contact you if you win) for a chance to win (sorry, but US only). The contest ends on June 28 at 11:59 p.m. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, it gets you an extra entry (let me know when you comment). Good Luck! Thank you for joining me today. On Monday I am featuring Dairy, Dairy Quite Contrary by Amy Lillard. It is the debut of A Sunflower Cafe Mystery series. I hope that you have a delightful weekend. Take care, stay cool (it is so hot outside), and Happy Reading!
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