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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Mystic Pieces by Ada Bell is the first book in the Shady Grove Psychic Mystery series. Aly has several responsibilities including helping take care of her nephew, being the emotional support for her brother who recently lost his wife, and preparing for college classes to start. Now on top of all that, she has a job that lands her with even more responsibility than she is prepared for; working at an antique store and helping her eccentric new boss Olive. On the upside, Aly finds herself drawn to her boss's handsome son. As if she doesn't have enough on her plate, Aly discovers she has psychic visions, but she couldn't possibly be actually psychic. Could she? Then one of their customers at the store is found dead and the police think Olive is the one behind it. Aly must use her newly discovered abilities to prove her boss's innocence and catch a killer.
Ada Bell delivers a tangled mystery seen through the complex character of Aly who must find a balance between her roles as an aunt, a sister, a student, an employee, and now a psychic sleuth. The antique shop gives her a new opportunity and her strange boss Olive quickly becomes her mentor as she navigates this new stage in her life. The new job creates a catalyst for her psychic abilities just as the death connected to her boss is what pushes her into solving the murder herself. She's drawn into the role of a sleuth to prove her boss is innocent and it doesn't hurt that her boss's handsome son asks her for help. Olive's son has immediate chemistry with Aly which adds a flirty component to the story and to the lighthearted quality of the tone. The mystery falls into the cozy genre with the amateur sleuth, the light tone, and charm with Bell weaving the genre with a paranormal element. As Aly takes on the role of sleuth, she's also learning how to use her psychic abilities and searching for understanding about where they come from. Mystic Pieces is a charming, humorous, and original mystery that weaves a tale of murder and self-discovery with heart, family, and psychic visions.