By Valia Lind
Published June 2021
It’s witch lit time! More specifically, cozy mystery witch lit. Quite a niche genre but I love it and haven’t read any in a good while so I was happy to dive into Book 2 in the Crooked Windows Inn Cozy Witch Mysteries.
Here’s the blub: Cassie Duke is trying to fit back into her hometown of Monroe Cove. At the start of the book, she’s busy helping her BFF Penny prepare for the town’s annual Bake Off. But things are not kosher at Penny’s bakery. Appliances are malfunctioning, ingredients are going missing, and Cassie’s protection charm isn’t working. Not to mention finding a dead woman behind the bakery.
Cassie’s not sure if the victim was at the wrong place at the wrong time or if Penny was the intended victim, but she’s not going to take any chances. With the help of her irritating cat and too handsome for his own good former frenemy Dean, Cassie sets out to uncover the identity of both the dead woman and the killer before Penny comes to real harm.
My overall impression of this book is that it was cute. If I can further niche it, this was also a new adult witch cozy mystery. I say that mostly because of Cassie’s voice – which was very authentic for an early twenty something. Not irritating, which I’ve run into in new adult, but really quite enjoyable. However, Cassie seemed to be stuck in the trope of the witch who hasn’t learned to use her powers. With her aunt Grace being the only other (known) witch in Monroe Cove, Cassie is depending on her for answers but Grace is keeping that knowledge to herself. Fortunately, Cassie seems to start figuring things out by the end of the book. I assume it’s her series arc.
This book is more novella-length than a full novel. Which makes it a quick read but I think it probably could have been fleshed out more. The author seemed to spend more time on the budding romance between Dean and Cassie than she did on the mystery. I’m still unsure if Cassie did very much to figure it out, since the antagonist was barely mentioned until they (I don’t want to give away the gender) were revealed and Cassie seemed to just run into them. Granted, she crossed a few suspects off her list but she didn’t actually figure anything out.
While the book was enjoyable, with the mystery aspect taking backstage it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. Still, it definitely had appeal.
I rated it three stars. ⭐⭐⭐
Thank you to BookSirens for providing the ARC copy of this novel. I’ve left my review honestly and voluntarily.
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