(A Red Hooper Mystery)
March 22, 2022
Red Hooper’s never been what you’d call lucky, but searching for coffee and finding a dead body instead takes things to a whole other level. Even worse, she and her camper van, Bubbles, just rolled into town, and being the new girl makes her suspect number one.
Red never lingers in one place for long—she’s got secrets better left undiscovered—and this time she’s definitely overstayed her welcome. Caught in the crosshairs of a police investigation and creeping to the top of the real murderer’s to-do list, Red will have to plant some roots if she’s going to survive.
Easier said than done. It seems like everyone in town has made up their mind about Red…except the mysterious Noah Adams. The gruff townie might be the key to proving her innocence—if he doesn’t bring even more trouble her way. Together they unravel the mystery surrounding the murder, but Red will be forced to embrace her psychic gifts if she’s going to clear her name before the real murderer snuffs her out.
Red Hooper is the new woman in town for just as long as it takes her to earn enough money to get a new battery and fridge for her van. Unfortunately, as her current luck would have it, she stumbles upon the body of a work colleague in the stockroom of the dollar store where she works. The townspeople and the ever-annoyed town marshal seem to believe she’s the murderer, after all it couldn’t be one of them, could it? As the story unfolds, Red’s older sister, Brandy, who claims to now be sober and clean, reenters her life and helps Red to understand a “talent” the women in the family have passed along to new generations—psychic abilities. Can Red harness her ability before she becomes a convenient victim for the town’s witch-hunt.
I’m not usually a fan of cozy mysteries because they can sometimes be a little on the eye-rolling side if the author is not careful. By adding a paranormal aspect that raises interest, Wendy Roberts has written an engrossing story with plenty of twists and a mystery that keeps the reader guessing.
I quite liked Red. She’s a different kind of character, an introvert who doesn’t want to interact with a lot of people. She prefers the company of the woods. She’s reserved but friendly enough and far too trusting. Perhaps because of her brain surgery, which set her back on many fronts, she comes across as younger than her age.
Some ideas were introduced in the story that were never quite fully imagined but the mystery itself and culprit made sense.
For animal lovers, there’s a bundle-of-fluff kitten, Muffin, who Red adopts and steals the story with her antics.
For romance lovers, there’s a budding romance between Red and hardware store owner, Noah, but he appears in one of her visions as someone she cannot altogether trust. So we’re never quite sure if we should be rooting for them or not.
All in all, Burning Hope is a satisfying cozy paranormal mystery and I look forward to reading more about Red in the future.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.