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Buried in the Stacks by Allison Brook
A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron Dark Waters by Katherine Arden
A Deadly Deletion by Lorna Barrett and Cassandra Campbell (Narrator) Death Gets a Time-Out by Ayelet Waldman
Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley
Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh
Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett
Funky Chickens by Benjamin Zephaniah
The Ghost and the Dead Man's Library by Alice Kimberly
Lucy in the Sky by Kiara Brinkman and Sean Chiki (Illustrations)
March: Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Illustrator)
Marmalade's Nap by Cindy Wheeler
One Hot Murder by Lorraine Bartlett
1, 2, 3 Salish Sea: a Pacific Northwest Counting Book by Nikki McClure
Poison Ivy: Thorns by Kody Keplinger and Sara Kipin (Illustrations)
Purrder She Wrote by Cate Conte
Red Velvet Revenge by Jenn McKinlay
Samantha Spinner and the Spectacular Specs by Russell Ginns
A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison and Emily Durante (Narrator)
The Tea Dragon Festival by Kay O'Neill
This Is Venice by Miroslav Sasek
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Turning Point by Paula Chase

Miscellaneous
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4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

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A Spell for Trouble: 09/21/21

A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison

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).

Four stars

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