Saturday, June 23, 2012

Review: Corpse in the Crystal Ball by Kari Lee Townsend

by Kari Lee Townsend
Release Date: June 5, 2012
2012 Berkley Prime Crime
Paperback Copy; 294 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-425-25133-1
Genre: Fiction / Cozy Mystery
Source: Review Copy from Penguin

3.5 / 5 Stars

After clearing her name as the prime suspect in a murder, Sunny Meadows hopes she can finally enjoy some serenity in the idyllic town of Divinity in upstate New York. She’d also like a second chance with Detective Mitch Stone. But when Mitch’s gorgeous ex-girlfriend Isabel Gonzales shows up, Sunny’s not sure she can compete. Then Isabel mysteriously disappears.

When the police turn to Sunny for help, her visions lead to the discovery of Isabel’s corpse in the woods. Before she died, Isabel scrawled in the dirt a message implicating Mitch in her murder. Now Sunny must help the man she’s falling in love with as she sets out to find the real killer. But this time Sunny’s clairvoyant abilities might not save her–as what she doesn’t see can hurt her…

My Thoughts 
Corpse in the Crystal Ball was a fun and delightful cozy mystery.  The second in the series, it features a very entertaining fortune teller named Sunny who seems to get herself in all sorts of predicaments and a serious, moody police detective who doesn't think highly of Sunny's 'special' talents and abilities.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't sure what to expect before I started reading this one as Sunny kind of drive me nuts in the first novel.  I found her to be somewhat immature and the way she spoke was irritating at times.  Luckily, a lot of that had been muted in this second installment and I found her to be a lot easier to take.  Her overly (and you'll have to forgive the pun) 'sunny' disposition was downplayed and she tended to be a bit moodier as she dealt with her messed up love life as well as the complications from the murder investigation, something that I enjoyed a bit more.  And I didn't cringe this time when her parents showed up as I did in the first novel, as those scenes weren't as painful this time.  In fact, with Granny Gert along to help, Sunny seemed to have developed a bit of a backbone which made things a bit easier.  I definitely enjoyed her a lot more and found her scrapes to be more amusing rather than irritating.  Don't get me wrong as there is nothing negative about having a spunky personality, but I think you will have to read the novels in order to understand.

Granny Gert I just loved.  What a character!  And the scenes with her and Morty were priceless.  There is one scene with Granny I just adored (but I can't share as it's a spoiler alert), and I just laughed hysterically as I figured out what was going on before the 'evidence' was revealed in the novel.  To be honest, the rest of the characters and personalities in Divinity are a lot of fun as there are so many quirky people surrounding Sunny and Mitch.  It definitely makes things fun and interesting and it makes me curious as to what will happen next.

The mystery itself I didn't find to be too complicated.  The author tried to wind Sunny's personal life around a variety of twists and turns, but I think anyone who is familiar with this style of novel or who has read a lot of suspense and mystery will probably catch on to the who-dun-it fairly quickly.  It didn't take away from the enjoyment of the novel or from getting to know the characters as I just spent my time trying to visualize how the confrontation will take place.  

Corpse in the Crystal Ball was full of interesting and quirky characters.  While I didn't find the mystery to be a challenge, I fully enjoyed the story and seeing relationships and personalities develop.  I would have liked to delve a bit more into the paranormal aspect of the series and discover a bit more about Sunny's house and Morty, but I guess that will have to wait until future books.   I, for one, will definitely be reading Trouble in the Tarot when it releases in 2013.


  1. Good review. From what you're saying, it seems the author's found more of a footing with the character than the previous book.