Magick & Mayhem – Sharon Pape

★★★★

Kailyn Wilde inherited her family’s centuries-old magick shop, Abracadabra after the untimely death of her mother and grandmother (though being on the other side doesn’t prevent them from popping in occasionally, to offer advice and mild bickering). The shop isn’t doing too well: business isn’t what it used to be, and the balms and lotions – and Kailyn’s magick – aren’t working reliably anymore.

Kailyn and her aunt Tilly (a talented psychic) are visiting her attorney to finalize her family’s estate when they literally stumble over his corpse. Someone’s shot him, and in a town as small as New Camel, the rumours about who could have committed the crime start flying thick and fast. Top of the suspect list is Elise: the victim’s wife and Kailyn’s best friend. Since Kailyn’s always wanted to be a sleuth, she decides that the best way to prove her friend’s innocence is to solve the mystery herself.

Of course, the path of amateur detectives never did run smooth. Kailyn tries to strengthen her magick by summoning a familiar, yet somehow summons the great sorcerer Merlin instead, and she has to spend far too much time dealing with the fallout from his magickal misbehaviour. Somehow Kailyn has to run her shop, feed her 6 cats (led by the indomitable Sashkatu), solve the murder, keep Merlin from exposing the existence of magick to everyone, and find time to date that cute reporter.

Populated by a likeable, determined heroine, and an adorable cast of supporting characters, Magick & Mayhem is a solid start to what promises to be an entertaining series. The writing shows a light, deft touch, and even after I’d finished the last page I kept flashing back to New Camel, and the new friends I’d made: it’s the kind of book you can devour in an afternoon but will stay with you much longer. Unquestionably, this is mood-enhancing reading of the best sort.

Provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


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