Thursday, January 28, 2016

SPELL BOOKED by Joyce and Jim Lavene

Publisher:     Berkley
Published:     December 4, 2014
ISBN:       978-0425268254
Genre:      Cozy Mystery
Format:    Print
Obtained via:  Publisher  
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


Three witches, Olivia, Molly and Elsie, are about to retire.  Before they can do that though they need to find their replacements.  But there are certain rules that even the meekest of witches must follow.  They certainly cannot tell their family and they can’t just walk up to a witch and ask them to join.  There are procedures and protocols or they may bring down the wrath of the council.  Just when they think they have found an ideal candidate though, Olivia is murdered.  Not only is she murdered, but the council’s messenger has told Molly and Elsie to stay out of it.  And Molly cannot really talk to her husband about it either since he is the lead detective on the case.  With their powers diminishing, their friend dead and being told from both sides to stay away from the murder what are Elsie and Molly to do?

There was nothing wrong with the writing in Joyce and Jim Lavene’s SPELL BOOKED, book 1 of their Retired Witches series, I just didn’t care very much for the characters and the story in general.  I picked it up because the theme – witches retiring and solving mysteries while doing so – intrigued me.  While in their concurrently written series under the name of J.J. Cook smoothly transitioned between the two authors, SPELL BOOKED was clearly two different voices and at times it seemed like one did not know what the other wrote.  The whole introduction of the werewolves into the story read more like they needed to up the word count and went with that thread rather than enhancing the witch side of the book.  I did enjoy the ghost side of the story when Olivia materialized.  And there were some parts that made me chuckle when a number of witches showed up to give Cassandra what for.  For the most part though I really had to keep refocusing to stick with the book.  I don’t see myself continuing the series at this point but if you enjoy a quirky book on witches and werewolves this would be a fun pick for you.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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