Crazy About Maisie, by Janice L. Dick (Tansy & Thistle Press, 2021)
Happenstance… a small town off the beaten path, where second chances are free for all. Many who find their way through the covered bridge from the highway surprise themselves by deciding to stay.
In Maisie McDonald’s case, twelve years after she found a haven in Happenstance her past is trying to catch up with her. Not one but two suspicious strangers seem to be trying to link her to her former life in Seattle. And just when she needs him most, her husband is away for work.
Crazy About Maisie is book 2 in the Happenstance Chronicles series, gentle cozy mysteries without dead bodies. Readers familiar with book 1, The Road to Happenstance, will be happy to see the main cast again: the Misses Emmaline and Grayce at the Happenstance Hotel, Matt Sadler (who rode into town in book 1), Bear the mechanic, and more.
Cranky Morris Craddock is back, too, and it’s a treat to see his interactions with Matt and with newcomer Julia Freemont—ostensibly in town to renovate a disused shop into a new bistro.
Happenstance is a town I’d love to visit, especially once the bistro’s up and running. The tea and baked goods sound amazing.
These are contemporary novels set in a small town that feels a bit out of step with our time… gentler, somehow, and a bit slower paced. There’s a touch of whimsy in the effect it has on visitors, and in the uncanny awareness the hotel’s cook, Johanna, has concerning when different people need a certain type of comfort food.
There’s a delightful hand-drawn map of town in the beginning of the book, and interspersed with the story are brief snippets from various longer-term residents telling how they arrived to stay.
Author Janice L. Dick also writes Russian Mennonite historical fiction. Historical or contemporary, her work includes a thread of faith that gives her characters hope. For more about the author, visit janicedick.com.
[I received a complimentary advance reader copy from the author with no obligation to review, and have also bought an official copy for my personal library.]