Title- Mystical Murder (Whiskers and Witches Book 1)
Author- Patti Benning
Genre- Cozy Mystery
Tess Quinn is a normal woman with a normal job in the rural town of Elk Hill, Wisconsin. Her life is turned upside down on her thirtieth birthday with the arrival of her estranged aunt, Loretta. When unusual occurrences begin happening it doesn’t take Tess long to realize that she is the cause. Her family’s unusual history has caught up with her at last; Tess discovers that she is part of a long line of witches.
Magic isn’t the only mysterious thing happening in the snowy streets of Elk Hill. When a man is found murdered late one night, the new witch feels driven to solve the crime using her newfound powers, despite warnings from her aunt. By the time Tess realizes that magic creates more problems than it solves, she’s in a tight spot between a rock and a hard place. She’ll need luck on her side to charm her way out of this one.
Tess Quinn is living a simply and unexciting life in the small town of Elk Hill and is perfectly happy with the way things are. That is until her aunt Loretta whom she hasn’t seen in almost 16 years decides its time for a visit and on her birthday no less. Some what taken a back Tess agrees and opens her home to a woman who is now practically a stranger to her.
Strange things start to occur and Tess begins to suspect her aunt Loretta has ulterior motives for her random visit and is soon proven right. You see her aunt has come to town to see if her powers have come in. You heard right normal ordinary Tess Quinn is a witch or at least that is what Loretta keep telling her.
How does one go back to their perfectly normal life after finding out that they now have magical powers? How does one know what is magic and what is not? To top it all off Tess finds one of her meals on wheels clients dead and it smells like murder to her. Can her new found magic find the killer before its too late?
Tess Quinn seems like your typical 30-something woman and in I found her to be extremely relatable and grew to enjoy her character. I was intrigued by her new found magic and found reading about her magical missteps highly entertaining and comical! She had spunk and I love a good character with spunk especially female characters as I grow tired of the damsel in distress and the “oh woe is me” set up we often find in books with females as the main characters.
Though I did enjoy the book for the most parr there are somethings that did not really click with me. I understand that the first book in the series is used as a segway for the rest of the books in the series however I found it unbelievable how Tess went from being suspicious and super down to earth to simply believing that she was a witch. There was no turmoil for her and for me realistically one does not simply say “oh yeah if you say so I must be a witch!’
Also at times the story dragged but then sped up unexpectedly and not in a good way. I felt like the author was throwing things at the reader in an effort to make the story more exciting when honestly it was needed.
My last issue with this story was the ending and the actual whodunnit reveal which completely came out of no where! Yes when reading cozy mysteries I love being surprised by the reveal of the criminal but in this case it was only hinted literally paragraphs before it was revealed and come out of no where. The story then wraps itself in a nice little bow leaving the reader with so many questions.
All in all it was a cute quick read and I wouldn’t mind reading the next book in the series but I am not in a hurry to read it. The series has a lot of potential and once my TBR is lessoned a little I will be revisiting Elk Hill again.
Rating- 3 out of 5 cupcakes.