Book Review: ONE POTION IN THE GRAVE by Heather Blake

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Series: Magic Potion Mystery, #2
Publisher: Signet
Released: October 7, 2014
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Rating: ★★★★★


Carly Bell Hartwell’s love potions are always in demand in Hitching Post, Alabama, the wedding capital of the South.

When Katie Sue Perrywinkle walks into the Little Shop of Potions, Carly is surprised and delighted to see her old childhood friend. Katie Sue fled her hometown and a troubled family over a decade ago. But she’s not back for a social visit. She’s come to settle a score with Senator Warren Calhoun, who is in town for his son’s high-profile wedding.

But before Katie Sue has a chance to voice any objections, she’s forced to forever hold her peace. After finding her friend dead, Carly vows to find her murderer. Were the corrupt Calhouns willing to go to any lengths to avoid a scandal? Did Katie Sue’s family take the term “bad blood” to a whole new level? And why did the bride-to-be come to Carly for a love potion? As Carly gets closer to the truth, a killer is planning a very chilly reception.


The charming town of Hitching Post, Alabama, may be the wedding capital of the south, but happily-ever-afters are not guaranteed. Local witch Carly Bell Hartwell is thrilled when her old friend Katie Sue stumbles into her potions shop. Unfortunately, there’s a dark cloud over their happy reunion, and Carly senses trouble. When Katie Sue dies under suspicious circumstances, Carly becomes wrapped up in a web of juicy secrets, dirty politics, and nasty family squabbles, trying to solve the case.

ONE POTION IN THE GRAVE is the second book in the Magic Potion Mystery series, and I enjoyed it just as much as the first! The mystery in this book was really good, with many layers and possible suspects. Carly definitely had her amateur sleuthing work cut out for her in this one. I especially loved that her cousin Delia (the hexer, love her!) and best friend Ainsley helped out again. There’s a history of bad blood between Carly and Delia, and I’m glad to see a possible friendship forming.  This book is full of colorful and entertaining characters,  like Carly’s eccentric aunts, also know as the “Odd Ducks.” They are hilarious.

Heather Blake is one of my favorite cozy authors, and if you enjoy your mystery with a touch of romance and the paranormal, I highly recommend picking up one of her books!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: A WITCH BEFORE DYING by Heather Blake

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Series: A Wishcraft Mystery, #2
Publisher: Signet
Release Date: August 7, 2012
Source: Paperback purchase
Rating: ★★★★½


Darcy Merriweather is Salem, Massachusetts’ newest resident Wishcrafter—a witch who can grant wishes for others. While Darcy isn’t able to grant wishes for herself, she does possess a certain knack for solving problems—including the occasional murder…

When Darcy is hired by Elodie Keaton to clean up her missing mother’s disorderly home, the Wishcrafter is certainly up for the task. After all, the motto of her Aunt Ve’s personal concierge service As You Wish is “No Job Impossible.” But beneath the piles of old newspapers and knickknacks Darcy discovers something much more disturbing—Patrice Keaton’s body.

Darcy’s determined to give Elodie peace of mind by investigating her mother’s disappearance and death. Patrice was last seen over a year ago after a fight with her Charmcrafter boyfriend. Was her murder a crime of passion? Or were Patrice’s troubles caused by the Anicula, a wish-granting amulet? Now Darcy has to not only find a killer, she has to find the Anicula— before the power of ultimate wish fulfillment falls into the wrong hands…


A WITCH BEFORE DYING is the second book in Heather Blake’s Wishcraft Mystery series which is set in a magical neighborhood of Salem, Massachusetts. Ms. Blake’s “witchy” cozy mysteries are a delight to read, and this one was no exception.

The mystery in this book was very good. It was complex with interwoven plot lines, and I was kept guessing until the very end. Wishcrafter Darcy Merriweather has her hands full when she’s hired to clean out a missing hoarder’s house, and she finds the dead body of the woman buried under all the junk. It was like an episode of Hoarders gone horribly wrong! Since it’s obvious foul play was involved and the woman’s dangerous magical amulet is missing, the daughter of the victim hires Darcy to find the killer. Though not an official private investigator (yet), Darcy is clever and has a knack for solving mysteries.

No big secrets of the Enchanted Village are revealed in this book, though we do get to know more characters – crafters, half-crafters, and a few who are just passing through. New relationships bloom, and old ones are severed. I especially loved seeing Darcy and Mimi’s bond grow stronger. Mimi is Darcy’s potential boyfriend’s daughter. Sweet! Like in the last book, the familiars Archie the macaw and Pepe the mouse were too funny.

This was an enjoyable read with unique characters, just the right about of woo woo, and a strong mystery that takes center stage.

Book Review: A POTION TO DIE FOR by Heather Blake

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Series: A Magic Potion Mystery, #1
Publisher: Signet
Released: November 5, 2013
Source: Purchased for my Kindle

As the owner of Little Shop of Potions, a magic potion shop specializing in love potions, Carly Bell Hartwell finds her product more in demand than ever. A local soothsayer has predicted that a couple in town will soon divorce—and now it seems every married person in Hitching Post, Alabama, wants a little extra matrimonial magic to make sure they stay hitched.

But when Carly finds a dead man in her shop, clutching one of her potion bottles, she goes from most popular potion person to public enemy number one. In no time the murder investigation becomes a witch hunt—literally! Now Carly is going to need to brew up some serious sleuthing skills to clear her name and find the real killer—before the whole town becomes convinced her potions really are to die for!

———

I’ve been waiting on this book to come out for many months! I bought it early on release day and gobbled it up. A POTION TO DIE FOR had all my favorite elements: a puzzling mystery, surprising plot twists, a cast of colorful characters, a little woo woo, and the beginnings of a second chance romance to boot!

Carly Bell Hartwell is a healing witch and owner of Little Shop of Potions, located in Hitching Post, Alabama. The tourists and townsfolk are always in need of her magical potions, especially when a seer predicts an upcoming divorce. On the same day as the prediction, Carly finds a dead body in her store’s break room. It’s a local lawyer, obviously murdered and clutching one of her potion bottles. Bad news for Carly and her livelihood!

Carly is soon wrapped up in an intriguing, multilayered mystery. Her ex-fiance Dylan is the investigator on the case, which makes for some nice romantic tension. (Yep, there’s still something between them, even if they don’t want to admit it – yet.) Being that Hitching Post is a very small town, Carly is able to see and hear things that may help with the investigation. With a little help from her arch nemesis (also known as her cousin Delia), Carly is able to piece together what really happened to the murder victim and bring the killer to justice. By the way, I loved Delia.  She owns the hex shop across the street from Carly, and she only deals in the dark arts. There’s an interesting family squabble going on there, with lots of history behind it.

A POTION TO DIE FOR is an enchanting start to Heather Blake’s new series. Fans of paranormal cozy mysteries are sure to be delighted. Looking forward to more!

Rating: 5 Stars