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Reviewed by C.L. Ogilvie for Readers' Favorite
Anything But Extraordinary by Mary Frame is the perfect blend of comedy and mystery. Charlotte is determined to give her younger sister, Paige, the normal childhood she never had, and the coastal village of Castle Cove seems like the perfect place for a new beginning, away from their scheming parents. A fresh start isn’t cheap, though. Soon a desperate Charlotte finds herself slipping back into old habits, posing as the town’s new psychic, Ruby, when her funds run low. After her fake predictions actually come true, the already suspicious Deputy Jared shows up on her doorstep, looking for help in solving a recent rash of thefts. Against her better judgment, Charlotte soon finds herself growing closer to both the handsome cop and the truth.
This book was so entertaining, I was hooked from the very first chapter. With a former con artist trying to go legit, Anything But Extraordinary promised to be a lot of fun, which Frame delivers in spades. There are so few strong and supportive female relationships in fiction that I loved how Charlotte was willing to leave everything behind to give her sister a shot at a stable childhood. The mystery and romance are both relatively subdued—most of the tension/stakes are tied to the possibility of Charlotte being exposed as a fraud—but by keeping the focus on the siblings and their budding relationships with the residents of Castle Cove, the emotional stakes were far more compelling. The relationship between Charlotte and Paige is the true heart of the novel.