Monday, October 12, 2015

Knock on Wood by Linda O. Johnston - #review #giveaway

Rory Chasen, now the manager of the Lucky Dog Boutique in Destiny, California, is delighted when her closest friend Gemma Grayfield, a librarian, comes for a visit. But Gemma arrives early and seems upset. It turns out she has broken up with her boyfriend, Frank Shorester. Gemma is soon hired to manage the Broken Mirror Bookstore. Frank follows her to Destiny, where Gemma is also wooed by two local men. Rory may be a little jealous—until one of those men, Deputy Mayor Bevin Dermot, turns up dead. Bevin is known for knocking on wood for everything, but despite Destiny being all about superstitions that did not save his life.

Rory tries to help Gemma clear herself of being a murder suspect, even counting on her lucky black and white dog Pluckie to help. But is Gemma guilty of murder—or of just having a run of bad luck?



Some places you visit you just know you're going to go there again.  Is it fate?  Well, if that location is Destiny, CA, it just might be fate.  For most folks, superstitions are those beliefs that live on the edge of our awareness, in the shadows, and may or may not affect our behaviors.  In Destiny, superstitions are a way of life, and good for business!

This is my second trip to Destiny, the first having been with Johnston's Superstition Mystery #1, Lost Under a Ladder.  In Knock on Wood, Rory is settling into her adopted home of Destiny, just as we readers are becoming more settled into this fine series.

I like seeing more of Rory's pre-Destined (sorry, couldn't resist) life with the arrival of her friend Gemma.  Of course, I might be a little...wistful...that Gemma had one boyfriend follow her to town and have drawn the interest of two locals too, if I didn't have the eye of the local sheriff.  

Justin and Rory's relationship is interesting.  While it is not unknown to have a cozy heroine and the local LEO (law enforcement officer) become an item, I like how in Knock the relationship does not seem to progress step-by-step in a single direction.  By that I mean that while they have met and there is interest, the duo are not proceeding hand-in-hand down the straight and beautifully landscaped garden path towards a happily ever after.   

Whether you are so superstitious you surround yourself with bubble wrap every time you have to leave the house on the 3rd Thursday after a full moon (no, that's not a real superstition) or on the other end of the spectrum and so sceptical you snicker at people who purposely step over the cracks in a sidewalk, you will find a day or a weekend in Destiny to be a welcome respite from your 'regular' life.  Just don't be seen arguing with someone who later winds up dead. *winkwinknudgenudge*



Linda O. Johnston’s first published fiction appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and won the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for Best First Mystery Short Story of the year.   Since then, Linda, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, has published more short stories, novellas, and 38 romance and mystery novels, including the Pet Rescue Mystery Series, a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, and Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as the Alpha Force paranormal romance miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne.  She additionally writes the Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink.

Her latest cozy mystery series, the Barkery and Biscuits Mysteries also from Midnight Ink, started off in May with BITE THE BISCUIT and KNOCK ON WOOD comes out October 8.



Click the logo to go to the tour page, where you will find more reviews as well as several guest posts and an interview!  You can also find out how to apply to be a reviewer for Great Escapes while you are there!

(Disclosure:  I received an ecopy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and NetGalley in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.)


  1. Replies
    1. Oh, it was Gram! That's the thing about cozies, they're almost always fun reads! :O)