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Bewitched, Bothered, and Biscotti: 09/13/17
Bewitched, Bothered, and Biscotti by Bailey Cates is the second of the Magical Bakery Mystery series. The cover is mostly blue with a cute ginger cat. The cover bears no relation to the book except for the scene depicting a place that could be a coffee shop. While cats are often portrayed as a witch's familiar, Katie Lightfoot has a dog named Mungo. I want to see Mungo on the cover.
Katie and Declan are picnicking at a historic and reputedly haunted estate when something catches her attention. She wanders in the direction of the bushes and finds the body of a man with a memorable tattoo. It turns out he was one of a exclusive and long standing group of New Orleans druids — a powerful and potentially dangerous set.
Of course the Druid thing puts Katie right back into a love triangle with Declan and Steve. I can't even begin to explain how much I hate this particular triangle. Steve is so manipulative and arrogant. He's abusive. He will gaslight her. He's such a "good ol' boy" I want to punch him in the face until he loses all his teeth.
Katie is told to be careful because the druids will be after her. She's given charms by nearly everyone to protect her. Thankfully all of them seem to because weird things are after her. Probably the best scene involving Katie's life being threatened involves cascading pumpkins. They are also a reminder that it's nearly Halloween.
The masculine magic vs feminine magic was played so strongly (and not as effectively as in Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett that it was abundantly clear early on that the Druids couldn't possibly be responsible for the deaths among their own. Nor would Katie be interesting or important enough to go after her. The solution instead was right under Katie's nose with a plot twist similar to that in Bookmarked for Death by Lorna Barrett [LINK].
Sometimes figuring out how a mystery is going to play out is fun. Sometimes it's just painful. This one was on the painful side. I'm hoping that it's just a rough start to a series as it's only the second book. I am planning to read the third book, Charms and Chocolate Chips. Then I'll decide if I'll continue with the series. There are currently seven books in the series, with Potions and Pastries being the most recent one.