Book Review: CHARMS AND CHOCOLATE CHIPS by Bailey Cates

Series: A Magical Bakery Mystery, #3
Publisher: Signet
Released: November 5, 2013
Source: Borrowed from the Library

Between brewing magically spiced treats at Honeybee Bakery and volunteering with a local conservation group, Katie Lightfoot barely has time to see her firefighter boyfriend, Declan McCarthy, much less delve further into her destiny as a witch. But avoiding her fate won’t be as easy as whipping up a new recipe—especially when Katie finds herself once again mixed up in murder.

When a fellow volunteer for the conservation group is found dead, Katie’s mystical senses tell her that there’s more to the death than meets the eye. Her suspicions are confirmed when members of her coven are targeted next. Katie will have to embrace her powers quickly…or she may find herself chewed up and spit out by some serious black magic.


CHARMS AND CHOCOLATE CHIPS is a delightful continuation of the Magical Bakery Mystery series. This time around, Katie is faced with murky, woo woo filled swamps, endangered bats, and the mysterious murder of a local environmentalist.

First, I’ll get my complaint out of the way. In the first two books, Katie was being wooed by firefighter Declan and Druid/reporter Steve. She’s finally made her choice, and she picked the wrong guy! That’s strictly my opinion, of course. ;-) I’m still holding onto a glimmer of hope for my man.

Katie is a recent transplant to Savannah, and a lot has happened in her life since her arrival. She’s running an enchanted bakery with her aunt and uncle, practicing her craft as a hedge-witch, and becoming a skilled amateur sleuth. Katie also discovered that she is a light-witch and magical catalyst, which she’s having a hard time with. Basically, she must fight evil, and wrong situations seem to find her so she can right them.

The murder mystery in this book grabbed my attention. I really enjoyed the environmental angle, and the subtle magical elements too. When a volunteer at a the conservation group Georgia Wild is murdered, Katie is compelled to help track down her killer. The group is trying to stop a land development deal of a swamp from going through which threatens the habitat of an endangered, possibly extinct, bat. There were plenty of viable suspects, and though I picked out the killer early on, I wasn’t clear on the “why” until the end.

Katie is a down-to-earth, sensible character who’s doing a fine job as a newbie in the world of magic. She’s still very confused over the light-witch revelation (me too), and I’m hoping that gets explained better in the next book. Sweet Aunt Lucy and the rest of the Spellbook Club (a.k.a. Katie’s coven) play a big role in this story. I don’t know why, but I still have a hard time keeping track of who’s who, even after three books! I was a little annoyed with coven member Cookie this time. She was cold and distant to Katie the whole book, and her reason was kind of silly.

Overall, I enjoyed CHARMS AND CHOCOLATE CHIPS. Exciting mystery, enchanting setting, and bewitched baked goods. Looking forward to Katie’s next adventure.

Rating: 4 Stars