Copyright: Jan 2011 (Berkley Hardcover) 290 pgs
Series: 7th in Bewitching Mysteries
Mystery Sub-genre: Romantic cozy
Main Character: Maggie O'Neill
Setting: Modern day small town Stony Mill Indiana
Obtained Through: Publisher for an honest review
I have classified this as a romantic cozy rather than a paranormal mystery because there is a minuscule amount of anything related to the paranormal or witches. Maggie is sporting a cast on her foot and her boyfriend Marcus is caring for her. But when Marcus puts off his regular pursuits for Maggie and even postpones taking college classes, Maggie decides to find an apartment she can manage even with her cast. She finds a newly renovated apartment complex and the manager makes her a deal she can't turn down. But the morning she shows up to sign the lease, she finds the manager floating in the pool. Maggie's ex-boyfriend Tom is not happy to find her in the middle of yet another murder investigation. The manager had a prior record and disciphering what got him killed may take uncovering what illegal activity he was involved in.
Maggie gets to investigate more in this book, even with her cast. Even Tom and Marcus both are involved in Maggie's sleuthing which lends some jealous tension to the story. The mystery doesn't have any immediacy and is just a puzzle to solve. Maggie is a charming main character and of course Marcus's character is continually developed. Like many cozies, visiting with your favorite characters is a main attraction and that is true in this installment of the Bewitching Mysteries. The killer is a surprise with an interesting twist.
There is a change in the cold war between Tom and Marcus, Stephanie is getting married and her fiance will be taking a job in another state so Maggie is loosing her BFF. There was far too little of Felicity in the book (again). It seems there has been a definite shift from the first book till this one and it is away from the paranormal and more toward light romance. Unfortunately, I like when there is actual paranormal or witchy things so this is disappointing.
Also in keeping with a cozy, the mystery stays light and not too dark, but sadly I must say that combined with moving away from the paranormal/witchy and the stories becoming even "lighter" I don't know that I will read the next in the series. I say this with a heavy heart since I eagerly devoured the first in the series and anxiously awaited each new release. But they just aren't for me any longer. That isn't to say that you won't still enjoy them. Especially if you are looking for a lite and romantic mystery.
* 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
* 1 egg
* 1 teaspoon Vanilla
* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or hazelnuts
* 1/2 cup ghiradelli dark chocolate pieces
* 1 (13 ounce) jar chocolate hazelnut spread (nutella)
* 1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust (alternatives: chocolate crust or regular frozen pie crust baked first)
1. Sprinkle chopped nuts and ghiradelli dark chocolate pieces in a thin, single layer on the bottom of the crust. Then bake at 350 for 7-8 mins to melt.
2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and egg until smooth. Blend in Nutella and vanilla until no streaks remain. pour into crust. Bake for an additional 30 mins. Chill it overnight (about 8-9 hours).
3. Before serving top it off with whipped cream.