Thursday, November 5, 2015

Look Both Ways by Carol J. Perry - #review #giveaway

In Salem, Massachusetts, there are secrets everywhere–even in the furniture. . .

When Lee Barrett spots the same style oak bureau she once had as a child on the WICH-TV show, Shopping Salem, she rushes to the antiques shop and buys the piece. Just like the beloved bureau she lost in a fire, this one has secret compartments. It also comes with an intriguing history–it was purchased in an estate sale from a home where a famous local murder took place.

The day after the bureau is delivered, Lee returns to the antiques shop and finds the owner dead. The police suspect the shop owner’s unscrupulous business partner, but Lee wonders if the murder is connected to her new furniture. At least part of the answer may be revealed through a mirror in the bureau, tarnished and blackened, allowing Lee to tap into her psychic visions. Using this bureau of investigation, Lee may be able to furnish her policeman beau with the evidence needed to catch the killer–before the next one to be shut up is her. . .



I got a different feeling from Look Both Ways by Carol J. Perry than I have from other cozy mysteries, and view that as a good thing!  It's probably something akin to what Maralee (aka Lee) felt when she passed by a shiny object.

Lee's a scryer, you see, which means she can see things in shiny surfaces other than her reflection.  Nostradamus had his bowl of water.  Lee has her tarnished desk mirror, clear desk mirror, patent leather shoe decoration, candlestick, full-length mirror.  In the course of this book (#3 in the Witch City Mystery series), Lee sees multiple visions of messages from two murder victims (one years old, one quite recent) that enable her to solve the crimes.

Of course, when the guilty party doesn't like you poking around and decides to *ahem* intervene ... well, that kind of seals her suspicions.

I liked the descriptions of the difficulty Lee had of revealing her gift to Pete, her lawman boyfriend.  Unless someone is already a believer in the paranormal, claims to certain 'abilities' can draw at best skepticism from people and at worst persecution.  Lee's worry with Pete was that his being grounded in the real world of crime would not leave him any room to 'accept' her gift ... and that this could cause them to break up.

Sometimes you read paranormal fiction and it has a "Bewitched" or "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" kind of feel - kind of light-hearted and with little real 'evil'.  (Not that there's anything wrong with that - as I loved both shows!)  But there was a real-world gritty feel to Look Both Ways that I found very appealing.   

Also loved the nod to live theatre, where Lee works during the school year at a theatrical school in town, and she's doing a volunteer gig as propmistress for the summer season.  Before my kids came along, and after that nasty business where a professor told me I should find something else to do, other than theatre, because I had no future - I spent 5-6 years doing 5-6 plays a year, mostly acting, but also various behind-the-scenes and front-of-house duties.

So here I am, sitting in front of my living room window with the light on in the room behind me and looking more at the reflections i/o the darkened yard.  And I'm seeing more Carol J. Perry books in my future!

Oh, and be nice to your cats.

Seriously. (Cue the spooky movie music.) ;) *meow* 



Carol J. Perry knew as a child that she wanted to be a writer. A voracious reader, whose list for Santa consisted mostly of  book titles, she never lost sight of that goal. While living in Florida, Carol was on assignment for Southern Travel Magazine, preparing an article on the world’s tallest sand castle which was being built near her home. That combination  of events inspired her first young adult novel, Sand Castle Summer. That book was soon followed by half a dozen more. Always an avid reader of mysteries, Carol Perry’s debut mystery novel is set in Salem and involves a mysterious cat, several witches and some strange Halloween happenings. Appropriately enough, this Salem-born author celebrates her birthday on Halloween eve!



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


  1. Ooh, some paranormal hi-jinx. I like it already. And just look at that fun cover too. Another cozy author for my reading list!

    1. I hear you, Laura. Every time I start to think I know something about the cozy mystery genre, up pops 10 more writers who are new to me!

  2. I really liked the first book in the series.

  3. Oh, this is right up my alley: antiques, secret compartments, a little paranormal intrigue, and a dead body or two!!

  4. I think books about scryer's are pretty interesting! Must make a nice spin on a cozy mystery for sure ;)