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Charms and Chocolate Chips: 06/19/19
Charms and Chocolate Chips by Bailey Cates is the third of the Magical Bakery mystery series. Kate has been volunteering at a local conservation group, Georgia Wild. When she arrives to work her shift she finds another volunteer frantic because she's just discovered the body of the woman who ran the organization. The only clue is an origami maroon bat.
The maroon bat is made up for the book, but is described as a subspecies of the red bat. It's habits and environment are a bit like Texas's seminole bat (Lasiurus seminoles). The maroon bat is given the scientific name (Lasiurus marona).
This maroon bat species is endangered but has been recently spotted in a nearby swamp that is now up for sale. Georgia Wild had been working on stopping the sale, with the dead woman working directly with a scientist who was renting a cabin at the edge of the swamp.
In almost any other cozy, the reason behind the murder would be a straight up land-grab related motive. Someone had a reason to protect the swamp and was using the bats for an excuse. Or they were so desperate that they went to extreme measures.
But this is a paranormal cozy series. Kate is a witch. In these books there's a magical reason behind the murder. I'm not going to spoil it because it was a fun bunch of scenes to read — in the neighborhood of a Warehouse 13 or Librarians episode.
The fourth book in the series is Some Enchanted Éclair (2014), which I am currently reading.