Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Spells and Scones

Author:  Bailey Cates
Series:  A Magical Bakery Mystery #6
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  NAL
Published:  July 26, 2016

Description:  When the bookshop next to the Honeybee Bakery hosts a signing for a Savannah radio celebrity's new self-help book, magical baker Katie Lightfoot is happy to provide some delectable desserts. A big crowd has turned out for the event, curious about the book (and maybe to sample some goodies), but the final chapter comes too soon for the author when she is found dead at the event.

The prime suspect is Angie Kissel, a former witch whose familiar was once Katie’s own terrier, Mungo. Katie is at first hesitant to help, afraid of losing the little dog who has become so important to her. But after a little nudge from Mungo himself, Katie decides to try to conjure up the real killer—before Angie gets served.

My Review

I think this is a terrific series and each new installment goes on my automatic buy list.  I find it to be well written with a delightful, whimsical cast of characters and strong mysteries. Ms. Cates has such a wonderful descriptive writing style that you can almost smell whatever is baking at The Honeybee Bakery.

In this installment, Katie Lightfoot is once again at the place of a suspicious death.  Being a light witch is certainly no walk in the park.  I really enjoy Katie as a protagonist.  At this point in the series she is a well developed character who is really coming into her own with her magical powers but the author has written her in such a way that there is still plenty of room for growth in her powers and in her personal relationship.  The coven is also a great cast of secondary characters.  They are there to support Katie and help her grow, but we also get to see their characters grow as well.  The romance with Katie and Declan is progressing well.  I don't feel like it has been rushed and things do take a bit  of a turn in this book.  I love Katie's familiar Mungo and he got his own little plot twist in this book as well.

The mystery was well plotted and the clues nicely woven throughout the story.  As with the other books in this series, there are plenty of viable suspects.  I like that Katie tries to work with the police even if Quinn thinks she is interfering and hasn't yet realized how helpful she really is to solving cases.  Throughout the story I had two characters I suspected of being the killer but I just kept going back and forth and couldn't make up my mind.  In the end, I guessed on of them correctly but that didn't take away from the enjoyment.

As I said in the beginning, I think this is a delightful series that has been well developed with whimsical characters, strong mysteries and well plotted stories that keep readers engaged throughout each book and coming back to see what the author has in story next.  I will definitely be back to check in on Katie and the rest of the gang at the Honeybee Bakery.

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