Saturday, September 24, 2016

A Familiar Tale

Author:  Delia James
Series:  A Witch's Cat Mystery #1
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  NAL
Publication Date:  February 2016

Description:  Unlucky-in-love artist Annabelle Britton decides that a visit to the seaside town of  Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is the perfect way to get over her problems. But when she stumbles upon a smoky gray cat named Alastair, and follows him into a charming cottage, Annabelle finds herself in a whole spellbook full of trouble.

Suddenly saddled with a witch's wand and a furry familiar, Annabelle soon meets a friendly group of women who use their spells, charms, and potions to keep the people of Portsmouth safe. But despite their gifts, the witches can’t prevent every wicked deed in town....

Soon, the mystery surrounding Alistair’s former owner, who died under unusual circumstances, grows when another local turns up dead. Armed with magic, friends, and the charmed cat who adopted her more than the other way around, Annabelle sets out to paw through the evidence and uncover a killer.

My Review

This book has been on my TBR pile for most of the year now.  For whatever reason I just haven't had a chance to read it so when I noticed book two was released I bumped this book up to the top of the pile.  I was glad that I did because I found this to be a very enjoyable paranormal cozy mystery.  This author did a wonderful job of creating a charming, magical, paranormal cozy that just seemed to grab me right from the start with its well written characters and intriguing mystery.

For the first book in a new series, Ms. James has done a wonderful job crafting quirky, likable characters that are full rounded and engaged the reader right from the start.  Anna is a great heroine.   She is smart, likable and prone to a bit of sarcasm without being obnoxious.   What starts out as a trip to visit a friend takes Anna out of her comfort zone and into a family history that was unknown to her.  I liked that when she discovered her magical abilities she didn't just jump right in and accept everything.  Rather, she approached each of the magical situations she found herself in with hesitation.  There is a nice, diverse, well rounded cast of secondary characters that make this story interesting.  And Alistair, Anna's inherited familiar is full of surprises as well.

The mystery was well plotted and woven nicely throughout the story.  Ms. James does a nice job of weaving twists and turns in the mystery while balancing that with giving the reader enough back story without detracting from the pace of the book.  There are plenty of suspects to choose from and with everyone seeming having a secret to hide the identity of the killer was not easily discernible, at least from me.  I was pleasantly surprised by the identity of the killer by the motive was realistic.

In sum, I thought that this was a terrific first in a new paranormal cozy mystery for Ms. James.  It is a charming read full of magic, murder, mystery and wonderful characters that are well developed and for the most part likable.  I will definitely be back to see what is next for Anna and her new found coven.

1 comment:

  1. I have to check this series out. I love cozy paranormal. Thanks for sharing your review.