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A Familiar Tail by Delia James {4 Stars}

A Familiar Tail by Delia James is a paranormal cozy mystery where Anna visits her friend in a small east coast town and stumbles upon a murder scene and a strangely smart cat that seems to appear and disappear at will. The problem is that she knows its a murder scene because her psychic Vibe tells her so, which isn’t much evidence to go on. I’ve just started getting in to the para-cozy genre and feel like they are the perfect books to read during autumn!

Note: I received an advanced copy of A Familiar Tail from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

A Familiar Tail by Delia James {4 Stars}

A Familiar Tail by Delia James (Witch's Cat Mystery #1)
Published by NAL on Feb. 2nd, 2016
Genres: Paranormal Cozy
Page Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Magic and meows meet in the first enchanting Witch’s Cat mystery!
 
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.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson eARC {2 Stars}

The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson is the first in a new paranormal romance series focused on a coven of witches living out in California. Amber Benson is of course Tara from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so I had high hopes for a story about witches, but things in The Witches of Echo Park just never really came together for me. It was fortunately a fast read, and had potential, but I ended up feeling that a lot would need to change for me to enjoy this story.

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Witches of Echo Park from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

This book has adult content.
The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson eARC {2 Stars}

The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson (The Witches of Echo Park #1)
Published by Ace on Jan. 6th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance
Page Length: 304 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Unbeknownst to most of humankind, a powerful network of witches thrives within the shadows of society, using their magic to keep the world in balance. But they are being eliminated—and we will all pay if their power falls…

When Elyse MacAllister’s great-aunt Eleanora, the woman who raised her, becomes deathly ill, Lyse puts her comfortable life in Georgia on hold to rush back to Los Angeles. And once she returns to Echo Park, Lyse discovers her great-aunt has been keeping secrets—extraordinary secrets—from her.

Not only is Lyse heir to Eleanora’s Victorian estate; she is also expected to take her great-aunt’s place in the Echo Park coven of witches. But to accept her destiny means to place herself in deadly peril—for the world of magic is under siege, and the battle the witches now fight may be their last…

2 Stars

Strengths:
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Four Stars: Mark of the Witch by Maggie Shayne

Read and Review HopA witch and a priest must team up to defeat a demon, at least that’s what some crazy prophecy claims. But Indy decided she wasn’t into that whole Wicca thing anymore, and Tomas isn’t sure that the priesthood is for him… but other than that the prophecy is totally, 100% accurate… right?? Mark of the Witch brings the urban back to urban fantasy with a world that is nearly our own, but nothing is what it seems, and you won’t believe where they end up.

Thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin MIRA for providing me with a review copy of Mark of the Witch :D. I have to say that the beginning of this book was not what I expected, and I didn’t much like it, but then the end was even more not what I expected and I totally loved it! So my major advice is even if you aren’t thrilled with where things start, keep going because they get freaking awesome!
Mark of the Witch by Maggie Shayne Goodreads Amazon
Title:
Mark of the Witch
Author: Maggie Shayne
Pages: 394 paperback
Genre-ish: Urban fantasy, emphasis on the urban
Rating★★★★ – shaky start, strong finish

A lapsed Wiccan, Indira Simon doesn’t believe in magic anymore. But when strange dreams of being sacrificed to an ancient Babylonian god have her waking up with real rope burns on her wrists, she’s forced to acknowledge that she may have been too hasty in her rejection of the unknown. Then she meets mysterious and handsome Father Tomas. Emerging from the secrecy of an obscure Gnostic sect, he arrives with stories of a demon, a trio of warrior witches-and Indira’s sacred calling. Yet there’s something even Tomas doesn’t know, an inescapable truth that will force him to choose between saving the life of the woman he’s come to love-and saving the world. — Goodreads

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Bell, Book, and Murder by Rosemary Edghill

This collection is proof that I do like mysteries sometimes! It was recommended to me by a teacher from high school, so it must be good right? It is, don’t worry.

Title: Bell, Book, and Murder
Author: Rosemary Edghill
Length: 448 pages (paperback)
Setting: Modern day, New York, our universe as far as I can tell
Premise: Bast is a normal person, but in suspicious about the death of a friend in the first book, then people start relying on her to solve mysteries for them. She’s also Wiccan, which isn’t really relevant, but is done quite accurately and therefore deserves praise.

Strengths:

  • Very interesting plot twists, you’ll never see them coming
  • Accurate portrayal of Wicca
  • Well rounded characters, including the main character, who definitely was also duped at one point

Weaknesses:

  • It’s a little grisly a few times
  • It does have the classic problem that books involving normal people solving mysteries do, in that it seems highly improbable that this would ever happen :-)
  • There are no more books past these three :-(
  • The second one might have taken some liberties with history, but I am no expert
  • Apparently according to mystery readers these books aren’t that hard to figure out (proves how many mysteries I read… I was stumped :-) )

Summary: These stories are a little hard for me to classify, since they aren’t fantasy, but they aren’t really that strong of mysteries, but there is the Wicca element. I guess it’s a fiction that is a bit mysterious? Oh well, they are good stories with a delightful character and I recommend them. They can also be instructional about the Wicca religion if you’ve ever been curious, since they are quite accurate.

Til next time!
-A