A Spell for Trouble: 09/21/21
A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison and Emily Durante (Narrator) is the start of the Enchanted Bay mystery series. Aleksandra Daniels has returned to Bellamy Bay, North Carolina after two decades of being away. Her mother tragically drowned and her father chose to leave the town. He then forbid her from returning.
But now she's between jobs and frankly burned out. Her aunt Lidia and her cousins offer her something to do and somewhere to stay while she figures out her next stage in the life.
Lidia and her cousins run a herbal apothecary that for me brings to mind the store in The Good Witch. The difference here is that Alex and her family are witches descended from mermaids. When a man is poisoned and Lidia is framed, Alex has to confront her family's history, relearn her powers, and help solve the mystery before it's too late.
The mystery's big question seems to be who has magic and who doesn't? Magic and its use to wield local power is a major motivation. The problem with this early book is that Alex is so naive in how magic works and how to control it that anyone can be a suspect and equally anyone can appear innocent.
On the whole I like how magic works in this book. It's not spells. It's not a grimoire. It's purely intent and being genetically inclined to have magic. I hope later mysteries in this series keep the relatively simple approach to how magic works.
The only hiccup in this first volume is the amount of time spent on setting up the world. Much time is wasted by how stubbornly Alex refuses to believe what she's told.
The second book is A Hex for Danger (2021).