Monday, 28 January 2013
Brownies and Broomsticks by Bailey Cates
Series: Magical Bakery Mysteries #1
Type: Adult Cozy Mystery
Katie Lightfoot has just left a less than satisfying life in Ohio and moved down to Savannah to open the Honeybee Bakery with her aunt Lucy and uncle Ben. As she and Lucy begin working on recipes for the bakery, Katie notices her aunt's habit of adding herbs to the mixtures and muttering and soon discovers these additions aren't just tasty...they're magical! But when a rude customer is found murdered out front and Ben becomes the prime suspect, Katie will draw on her magical heritage and, with the help of a handsome journalist and charming firefighter, try to solve the case herself!
This is the first book in the new Magical Bakery Mysteries and one that I shamelessly picked up based on the gorgeous cover. I ended up really enjoying the story and it has been a long time since I've read a cozy mystery with this many twists and turns. I couldn't figure out the murderer's identity but when it was revealed it all made perfect sense which is the best kind of cozy, at least in my opinion.
The book is set in Savannah and there are a few descriptions of the town through the eyes of it's newest resident Katie. The pacing is great, balancing revelations and world building with dramatic twists. The writing is gorgeous and this is packed with mouthwatering descriptions of food and various bakery treats. This is a world I'd be happy to live in! I loved how realistic the witchcraft was, as well as the delicate way it was introduced to the storyline. There's also a variety of practices described so it'll be interesting to see how these play out later in the series.
I really liked Katie. At first I thought she seemed a little stereotypical - starting a new business, just out of a messy long-term relationship, but she soon blossoms on the page. The only thing that bothered me about her was how little she slept, although I have the feeling this may be important in future installments.
Katie works hard to build her business and to clear her Uncle's name, while somehow balancing two potential love interests in Steve and Declan. Steve really irritated me by constantly calling her "Katie-girl" and honestly they seem to have very little in common. It's almost as though he has been put there as the 'doesn't care you're a witch' option, although Declan is incredible. The romance doesn't detract from the storyline though - it just enhances it.
At the end recipes for Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies and Cheddar-Sage Scones (both featured in the book) are included. These sound really yummy and I can't wait to try them out!
All in all this was a great read and I'm looking forward to Bewitched, Bothered, and Biscotti.