Savannah Georgia is the setting for this new series. I had not read the first book in the Magical Bakery Mystery series, so I am jumping in on the second book. I could not wait until October to read some of these. This series is noted for being true-to-life in its portrayal of the Wiccan tradition. See if this is to your taste.
Copyright: December 2012 (Signet) 336 pgs
Series: 2nd in Magical Bakery Mystery series
Sensuality: Some passionate kissing
Mystery Sub-genre: Cozy paranormal
Main Characters: Katie Lightfoot, owner of the Honeybee Bakery
Setting: Modern day, Savannah GA
Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review
Katie Lightfoot recently found that she is a witch like her aunt Lucy. She is learning from the Spellbook Club, the name of the all women coven. Each member is lending their knowledge to her witchy education. She receives instruction from Jaida on the tarot, Bianca on moon magick, Cookie on Voodoo topics, Mimsey on crystal ball plus color & flower magic, and from aunt Lucy on hedgewitchery (plants). She is still a beginner in harnessing her power, but she is a quick study.
One morning after a breakfast picnic in the park with Declan, a local fireman, she discovers a dead body showing from under the bushes. The man has a distinctive tattoo that means he is a member of the secret druid society. Apparently the victim had an object of supernatural importance that has gone missing and the group desperately needs it back. Membership to this secret druid group is hereditary and there are some surprises for Katie as to who are members. One of the members approaches the Spellbook Club and enlists their aid in finding the killer.
Katie is still discovering her powers, settling into her life in Savannah, and torn between two men. She is an good main character who has a passion for baking and a cool head in dangerous situations. One of the potential boyfriends is Declan, a firefighter. Declan doesn't get but a few short scenes so I can't gather much about him, but the fact that he isn't interested in magic makes me wonder about his compatibility with Katie. Alternately, there is magic oriented Steve Dawes, the journalist. Steve gets more page-time in this entry. He is self-assured and a little cocky. He has some tough decisions and they will impact his potential future with Katie. Steve's dad, Heinrich Dawes, is introduced in this book as a dark and powerful man who easily intimidates others. The Spellbook Club members (Jaida, Bianca, Cookie, Mimsey, and aunt Lucy) are great cozy characters that give good variety to the town. uncle Ben, the retired Fire Chief, is interesting along with Margie Coopersmith, Katie's neighbor. The new Detective Franklin Taite from New York is a surprise character that can really add to future stories.
The setting is Savannah GA. I am still going through a spell of burn-out with small southern town settings and I must say that this book did not utilize the colorful or diverse Savannah much. It was pretty much an "any small southern town" setting until the cemetery, and even then it wasn't very distinctive as Savannah.
It was a little slow in getting going, but that didn't last long. The pacing was kept up with the sub-plots, particularly the love-triangle. The full plot is hidden as the questioning and investigating occurs, which worked well for generating some suspense.
The climax and killer confrontation take place in a cemetery and was atmospheric. During the killer confrontation a hint of Katie's magical power is manifested that tells of her witchy destiny, which entices the reader to see how she progresses in the next book.
This is a fun cozy featuring strong witchcraft elements, good mix of interesting characters, nice plotting and pacing for a entertaining cozy mystery.
Ratings: Good - A fun read, put this author on your watch list if you enjoy paranormal mysteries.
There is a wonderful Coke Cola Cake recipe in the book, but here is a diet version just for a change.
Diet Coke Cake Recipe from Healthy Recipe Ideas
1 box instant chocolate or devil's food cake mix
12 oz diet coke or coke zero
Pour 1 box chocolate instant cake mix into a bowl. Stir in 12 oz of Diet Coke of Coke Zero. Batter can be put into one pan for rectangular cake, round cake, or can be poured into muffin pan for cup cakes. Bake at approx 350 degrees for approx 35 - 40 mins. Nuts can be added as desired, will affect nutritional value.
Calories 170 per serving