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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Faerie Cake Dead by J.M. Griffin

Faerie Cake Dead by J.M. Griffin
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (149 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Tea, trust and trouble meet at Fairy Cake Junction!

When divorcee, Luna Devere, owner of Faerie Cake Junction, meets general contractor, Devin Radford, chaos reigns. Devin instantly wreaks romantic havoc in Luna’s life after she finds a corpse sitting in her tea shop as though awaiting tea.

The tea shop is surrounded by faerie folk who have befriended Luna. They know who left the dead man, but aren’t sharing. The sheriff is convinced Luna is daft and that she’s the culprit. Devin wonders just how odd Luna is...even though he’s drawn to her. And Luna’s ex-husband tries to incriminate her for reasons and purposes of his own.

Tea, cupcakes, and a corpse?

Ms. Griffin pulls the reader into Luna’s world right on the first page. Luna opens her shop to find a dead body sitting at a table. As with any good mystery, there were questions that needed to be answered. Who was the dead man? How did he get there? Was he murdered? The dead body is only the beginning of Luna’s troubles. It seems that someone has it out for Luna and will stop at nothing to see her business ruined. However, the sheriff seems to think that Luna is playing some sort of prank.

As if that weren’t enough, Luna’s ex-husband, Thomas, turns up insisting that Luna make him her business partner. A weaker woman would have crumbled under Thomas’s pressure coupled with the inept police investigation, but Luna has no intention of giving in to Thomas. In the middle of all the chaos, Devin Radford enters the picture. Initially hired to do some remodeling in Luna’s basement, Devin soon develops strong feelings for Luna. Luna can’t deny her attraction to Devin, but is concerned. He seems to accept her belief in faeries, but is he just humoring her? As the incidents at Luna’s shop increase in intensity, will Luna and Devin be able to stand together?

Ms. Griffin created a unique character when she crafted Luna. Not only is Luna a loyal, hard working, and successful business woman, but she also believes in faeries. Consequently, she has the reputation for being a bit odd. While Luna doesn’t talk openly about the faeries to everyone she meets, she doesn’t back down when asked about her beliefs. Luna could take the easy route and deny what she believes in, but she holds her ground. I found her strong sense of self to be very admirable.

Devin is a wonderful hero and the perfect match for Luna. While Devin is physically appealing, he’s more than just a handsome face. He is unflinchingly loyal to those he cares about. Devin knows from the start that he wants to be a part of Luna’s life. Despite Luna’s reservations about him, Devin accepts who she is without reservations and defends her to anyone who dares to imply that Luna is crazy. As he works to convince Luna of his genuine feelings, his patience is admirable. However, Devin is not a push over. He makes his feelings and intentions clear as he gently tries to get Luna to open up. The balance between the strong and gentle parts of his nature makes him a truly likable character.

One of the things I enjoy most about reading a mystery is being kept guessing about who the culprit might be. Ms. Griffin certainly accomplished this. From the ex-husband to a shady real estate agent, Faerie Cake Dead was filled with shady characters all with different motives for wanting Luna’s business to fail. I eagerly turned each page weighing the evidence against each suspect. I had some of the mystery figured out, but was genuinely surprised when the final piece of the puzzle slid into place.

I truly enjoyed reading Faerie Cake Dead. The characters were likable, and the mystery was engaging. I recommend it to anyone looking for a good romantic suspense with a dash of fantasy.