Book Cover for As The Crow Flies by Karen F. WilliamsRomance with an intriguing paranormal twist.

There are two romances for the price of one in this fascinating book, and the paranormal elements are skillfully woven through the entire story. Don’t worry if you’re not a fan of ghost stories—I didn’t think I was but this book convinced me otherwise.

Sam is a writer of paranormal mysteries, having given up her career as a forensic scientist when she experienced a life-changing incident during a hurricane. She and her pet crow, Bertha, live a quiet life until Sam buys a ceramic bookend that features a crow much like Bertha. When Sam takes the item to an antiquary, Liz, to have it valued, she discovers it could be worth something—and that somewhere its matching mate might be available to buy too.

Gwen owns the other half of the pair. She’s an avid collector of many things and lives in a huge house with her niece Isabel. Sam and Gwen have an instant attraction, although Gwen shies away due to their age difference. Liz, meanwhile, is completely smitten with Isabel, but Isabel hasn’t dated in years and is scared witless by her feelings for Liz.

The lives of the four women become inextricably entwined, but it’s the appearance of a ghost from Gwen’s past that threatens to upset everything…

This is so much more than a romance! The author, through the incidences with the ghost and also Gwen’s previous career as a professor of philosophy, takes us on an interesting and thought-provoking path that covers a series of interconnected themes. Immortality, art, quantum physics, mythology, and religion are all discussed and dissected by the four women as their stories unfold. It definitely had me thinking about the bigger questions in life.

The two romances, however, are also beautifully explored. They basically fall into two tropes—one the age-gap romance, the other the player vs shy girl. However, they’re much more than that, and the author does an exceptional job of making both stories believable and keeping all four characters unique. As the reader, we completely understand why Gwen is reluctant, but at the same time totally get why Sam can’t walk away. Then there’s Liz, the girl-about-town, who, sometimes, is pushy to the point of annoyance, and Isabel, her complete opposite and who is so confused you want to just pull her into a hug and tell her everything really will be okay.

I loved how the author wove all the stories together—the pacing was excellent, with only a couple of slow moments in some of the deeper philosophical passages. Bertha is a delightful secondary character, and all the scenes involving the ghost were conveyed in a way that even a sceptic like me was drawn into them. The settings were described using wonderful language and imagery, and the quality of the writing overall was very high.

I definitely recommend this book if you want something intellectual and a little bit different to sink your teeth into.

Get it on Apple Books