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This is the fourth in the Vintage Magic Series and I had forgotten how much I loved these books, Madeira (or Mad) owns a vintage clothing shop and also has a psychic ability to have visions when she touches old clothes, which helps her solve murders.

One morning she is sent a dress she designed for a broadway star and friend, Dom, with a note saying that she is dead and that Mad should use her talents to solve her murder.  Next thing that she knows, she is on her way to New York with her FBI boyfriend Nick and her best friend Eve to help Dom’s son who begged her to help and see if she could pick up on the events leading to her death by reading her clothes.

Annette Blair is brilliant at capturing emotion in her books and soon you are sensing the loss of Dom and the grief that Mad is feeling, but it isn’t all doom and gloom as there are some brilliant comedic moments, usually involving Mad and Werner who is a Detective in Mystic Falls who follows her to New York after Nick has to follow a potential suspect.  In this book Werner is becoming more human, showing flashes of affection for Mad – he even attended a fashion show which Nick declined to go to and ended up being a hero.  I also loved the way that Eve shows such delight in antagonising Nick and her joy when Mad shows interest elsewhere.

The book swings back and forth from Mystic to New York, so there was only the briefest mention of Dante the ghost in her shop, and I really, really missed him.  However we did have some classic Eve vs Nick moments and her Dad and Aunt Fee turned up in New York just when she needed them too.  There are also appearances of characters in her other books (these are romance novels, which I didn’t realise and spent most of the book wondering when someone would hurry up and get murdered!).

I really enjoyed this book, the characters were vibrant and even though the book was set in anther location, the plot didn’t suffer or lose momentum at all.  Also, the murder solving element of the book is double-sided as the characters need to find physical evidence to back up Mad’s visions, which adds extra excitement to the book.

This is the best book yet and I really am looking forward to the next one in the series!

http://www.annetteblair.com/

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When ‘A Glimpse of Evil’ dropped through the letter box I promised myself that I would read it slowly and savour it, especially as I had spent the previous week re-reading all of the Psychic Eye books.  Fast forward to waking up at 2 am and not able to get back to sleep, so I thought that I’d read just one chapter… next thing I knew, birds were singing and the sun was up!  This is what happens with Victoria Laurie books, they are just like praline chocolates – you just can’t stop at one.

This is the 8th book in the Psychic Eye series, Abby and Dutch are moving to Texas where Dutch and Brice, a recent Abby convert as well as boyfriend to Candice, is starting a new FBI office specialising in Cold Cases and Abby is their secret weapon.

‘A Glimpse of Evil’ is much darker than the other books.  Abby is thrown into the deep end and is not only pushing herself to the max sorting through dozens of cases to see whether they are solvable (and being awesome, she managed to solve three in the first day).  She has to deal with pretty horrific crimes, as well as an office full of agents who are all sceptical of what she can do.  This only changes when she is sent out with an agent to find some clues, only for him to produce one of his own cold cases for her to look at and then decides to follow her instincts and do a little investigating on the way back.    Next thing they know, she has found two bodies, discovers the murderer and ends up having to defend herself using a gun.  All culminating with her being suspended and at a loose end.

Also with time on her hands, Candice convinces Abby to looking at a FBI cold case involving a serial child killer – of course this leads to another near death experience for Abby!  Thankfully, things are going well with Dutch and Abby, but Candice and Brice are constantly bickering and misunderstanding each other.  There was a brief cameo of Dave (I missed him) and Milo (who seems to be moving to Texas too), but I really missed Cat.

You could really get a sense of Abby spreading herself too thin, torn between her old style of investigating with Candice and doing readings, as well as helping Dutch and Brice at the FBI.  It feels like this book is the one that breaks the camel’s back for Abby and is a natural turning point – and by the ending you know why!  I imagine that the next book will be even darker, especially with Abby working for the CIA.

It isn’t all darkness,  and there are still the usual Laurie style wise cracks – before going to the FBI, Abby had to go on an anger management course and she is trying not to swear coming up with some brilliant alternatives – and why the Hello Dolly not!

This book didn’t disappoint me and it had one of the most complex murder plot twists that I have read in some time.  With the move to Texas and Abby being accepted by the “establishment”, it does feel like a new era for Abby and the Psychic Eye books, but I do hope that we get to hear about Milo, Candice, Dave, Cat, Eggy and Tuttle even when she is a high flying spy.  Wow, what a book – I can’t wait until the next one.

http://www.victorialaurie.com/ Author’s Website

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