Publication date: April 5, 2022
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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The ghost of a recently deceased chocolatier believes he was murdered, and it's up to young witch Brynn Warren to use her magical gifts and old-fashioned sleuthing skills to find out how he really met his bitter end in this enchanting new Evenfall Witches B&B Mystery.
After spending months unable to use her powers, Brynn Warren is once again using her gift and working at her family's bed-and-breakfast. Her heart is full, and although one of her aunts wonders if it might be a little more full with a bit of romance in her life, Brynn is certain that finding love again is not in her future. In fact, she can't imagine anyone being more certain of anything...except for maybe, the recently deceased Mortimer Sweete. He's certain he's been murdered, and he wants Brynn's help to bring his killer to justice.
Mort is positive he knows who killed him: his business partner's wife, Cookie, who had been trying to get them to sell the candy shop for months. But Brynn doesn't share his conviction. After all, the coroner ruled his death natural causes, and Mort did have health problems in life. But with Cookie putting up a For Sale sign for the shop already, Brynn knows she can't just let it go.
Trying to solve a might-be murder while attempting to stop her aunt from meddling in her personal life seems like a recipe for disaster. If Brynn wants to bring Mort's spirit peace, she'll have to rely on all her skills--both magical and mundane--to uncover the truth.
I received a free copy of the ebook from Netgalley. All opinions shared are 100% my own.
When the Crow’s Away and the Evenfall Witches B&B series has a very Practical Magic vibe to it with a cozy mystery angle. And I am here for it! This book was definitely a different take on a cozy mystery. The protagonist can talk to ghosts! And she uses this ability to help her solve mysteries. There are some really fun side characters, like Dog the Crow, reclusive Uncle Gideon, and her quirky aunts, Izzy and Nora.
Her aunts are both delightful - Izzy is bright and bubbly and amazing with food and Nora is very chic, a little snooty (it seems at first anyway), and talented with horticulture. And they're all witches, frighteningly powerful witches.
The mystery was a good one and I don't think was obvious from the beginning. It was exceptionally tragic. I loved all of the gardening club plot lines and the poisonous plant discussions. I think the side plot with her friend Nixie and Nixie’s brother, which alludes to bigger things in future books, looks to be really fun and interesting.
I really liked the protagonist Brynn. She has her own tragic backstory, but she seems very content with herself, self-actualized, and pretty stable compared to your typical cozy mystery protagonist. It was a fun read and I definitely plan on reading more in the series.
Author’s site: https://auraleewallace.com/