The second in the Chintz ‘n China Series, Legend of the Jade Dragon, is a fun cozy mystery read with a paranormal twist.
Delicious Blends of Tea aren’t the only draw at the Chintz ‘n China Tea Room–Emerald O’Brien, owner and medium, also offers her customers a tarot reading. But Emerald, a single mother of two, never saw herself as a sleuth–which proves that even seers make mistakes.
Legend of the Jade Dragon
Tarot cards never lie. So when they predict chaos and bad luck for her last client of the day, Emerald gets more than a little worried. For her trouble, he leaves Em a charming jade statue of a dragon–and dies in a hit-and-run accident outside of her shop. When other terrible things begin to plague Em and her family, the only explanation is the jade dragon. To thwart its evil spell, she’ll have to follow a trail of heartache all the way back to China’s Ming dynasty–and its ancient mysteries. . .
My thoughts . . . I liked this second in the series even more than the first! There was less “back story” for us to get to know the characters so the action moved much quicker. Again, though, like the first book, there was little tarot; in fact, the only tarot in this book was in the opening scene. There was also little tea, though that was imperative to the story line this time around. There was some new magic in that Emerald spends much of the story trying to figure out how to break a Chinese curse. The history / research was interesting.
I liked the characters this time around. A character from the first book that I didn’t like much was absent from much of this one. Instead, we got to explore several characters in greater detail (the neighbor Horvald, for instance) and a new character, biker Jimbo who turns out much differently than anticipated. I like the continuing development of the children’s characters, as well–at least Miranda. Now that I think about it, we don’t see Kip develop much, and we see nothing of his magical abilities in this book despite their prominent role in book one.
I do think Emerald is a bit melodramatic, so when she is accused of such by her best friend, I felt for the friend. I think that the criticism was dead on, so I hope that it develops in the next book (some attention to her friend’s needs, maybe). However, who knows how I would react if my family was under a curse, and I was in a race against time to break that curse and save my family from the dire consequences. I’d probably be fairly dramatic myself. No, I definitely would. I am anyway!
Like book one in the series, this book also has nice twists and turns so that the mystery(ies) are not too easily solvable. I don’t spend anytime thinking to myself “Duh! Why hasn’t she figured it out?” And, there is a neat charm at the end to cleanse your spaces.
Again, I got this book at the Sony eReader library. I read it for the Cozy Mystery Challenge, and I will read the next book in the series.