What’s in a murderer’s bag of tricks?
Twenty-something Kailyn Wilde has learned to embrace her unpredictable life as a descendant of small-town New Camel’s most magickal family. She just didn’t expect to inherit her mother and grandmother’s centuries-old shop, Abracadabra, so suddenly. The surprises keep coming when Kailyn goes to finalize the estate at the local attorney’s office—and stumbles over the body of her best friend Elise’s husband . . .
As a brash detective casts the blame on Elise, Kailyn summons her deepest powers to find answers and start an investigation of her own. What with running a business, perfecting ancient spells, and keeping up with an uninvited guest of fabled origins, Kailyn has her hands full. But with the help of her uncanny black cat Sashkatu and her muumuu-clad Aunt Tilly, she’s closing in on a killer—who will do anything to make sure she never tests her supernatural skills again!
While the cover is gorgeous and I seriously want a poster of it, it’s a tad misleading if you take it literally. There’s no flying broomsticks as that’s a real thing in this setting, apparently.
- I love how the magic is understated and simplistic, that intent and belief play such a large role.
- Drawn in quickly.
- Easy to read.
- Ow: The Treatment of Aunt Tilly.
- She’s a stereotype of fat women, even includes her running and causing a scene over seeing a mouse. She’s comic relief. She’s a burden and a godsend depending on what Kailyn and the scene needs.
- She puts on the typical fortune teller show, including g*psy garb, because “that’s what people want and pay for”. Why does every fucking book insist on using this reason to be lazy about their characters and perpetuate harmful crap?! Ugh.
- Love the herd of kitties!
- But the familiar magic and purpose isn’t explained. Do familiars live longer than normal pets? What’s so special about them? Do they really get to pick their kind of familiar?
- Why the detective doesn’t like Kailyn isn’t explained or explored. It just is.
- During the showdown I lost track of a major player. Went back to check and couldn’t figure it out. Did they disappear into a plot hole?
- Did not expect the last revelation about the town. I think that’s very clever, ties things together and makes me wonder about the sequel.
There’s a lot going on in Magic & Mayhem, so it’s aptly named, but I don’t think it was all executed well. I want to read the sequel to find out more and enjoy Kailyn, but Aunt Tilly is an annoying cardboard cutout which makes me hesitant to go further. Considering this was just published on the 2nd, I’ll see what the next blurb is about and make my decision from there.
I hope that was helpful! I know this book would be perfect for some, but it’s only mildly worthwhile for me.
Stayed tuned for my review of Danced Close, a M/M Contemp Rom, coming up on Monday and a post featuring book covers I’d love to have as posters inspired by Magic & Mayhem.
I started writing stories as soon as I learned how to put letters together to form words. From that day forward, writing has been a part of my life whether it was my first attempt at a novel in seventh grade or the little plays I wrote for my friends to perform for neighbors and family. After college, when I was busy teaching French and Spanish to high school students, I was also writing poetry — some of it in French.
After several years, I left teaching to be a full time mom, and when my two children started school, I went back to writing. To my delight I found that the muse was still there, still waiting patiently for me to come around. My first novel, Ghostfire, was published at that time. It went on to be condensed in Redbook magazine (the first paperback original the magazine had ever condensed.) Then came The God Children and The Portal. Redbook also published my first short story, which was subsequently sold to several foreign magazines. With two great kids, a golden retriever and a loving, supportive husband (whom I’d met at the beach when I was fourteen — but that’s a story for another day), I felt like I was exactly where I was meant to be in my life. But fate had another plan for me, and it went by the name of “breast cancer.”
Looking back, I realize how fortunate I was that the cancer was discovered at such an early stage, but at the time it was all very overwhelming. Once I was back on my feet, I wanted to help other women who were newly diagnosed, worried and afraid. I became a Reach to Recovery volunteer for the American Cancer Society and went on to run the program for Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. A number of years later, with the help of my surgical oncologist and two other volunteers, I started Lean On Me, a nonprofit organization that provides peer support and information to breast cancer patients. When Lean On Me celebrated its tenth anniversary it no longer required as much of my time, and I once again found myself free to pursue my first love — writing