Book Review: A Witches Guide to Murder

A Witch’s Guide to Murder

by Aubrey Harper

2015.

246 pages.

Series:  Book & Candle Mystery, Book 1

Genre: Supernatural, Mystery, Paranormal


Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


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 Summary: 

When Rory Wiltz inherits her grandmother’s house and shop, she sees it as a sign to move back to her hometown of Hazelville, Ohio. She convinces her best friend Scott to come with her, not knowing what awaits for them there.

It seemed that her grandmother was a witch of sorts, because the shop she left her, Book & Candle, definitely caters to the occult community. Things get even weirder when her grandmother’s ghost appears and demands that her murder be solved.

Rory is in over her head, but with the help of her mystery-loving friend Scott and her witchy cousin Rhi, she’s determined to track down her grandmother’s killer. Jack, the sexy new detective in town, and Hunter, the mysterious new arrival only complicate matters more. Will Rory uncover the killer before the killer comes for her?


First Sentence:
“C’mon, it’ll be fun!” I said to my best friend Scott, trying to convince him to come with me to my grandmother’s funeral.


My Thoughts:

This one was a relatively quick and fun read.  The mystery elements and plot twists are nicely executed.  I will admit that I figured out who was behind the murders mid-book and was half right.  The other half was a bit of a surprise to me, but it made sense.

A Witch’s Guide to Murder is the first book in the Book & Candle Mystery series.  Many first books that you read in a new series serve the purpose of setting up the world and introducing the characters, and as a result can often fall a bit short in some areas. I am satisfied that this one did not leave us with a complete cliffhanger as far as facing the main conflict in the book. The world itself had a nice introduction and was left room to grow in the future books. However, I feel that the characters were a bit flat.  They didn’t seem as fleshed out as they could have been, and though I know that a lot of the character development will be saved for future books in the series, I felt I needed just a bit more in this one before I could get attached to any of them.

Rory seems a little too quick to trust Hunter, who hails from a family that has a nasty feud mentality with Rory’s grandmother and has plenty of motive to want her dead.  I liked Scott’s character a lot, but I would have liked to have seen a glimpse into his backstory. In all honesty, there is not one character, save from Rory, that has a three-dimensional feel at all.  I’m hoping that this changes in the next book.  And the poor detective in the story got shortchanged in my opinion.  He didn’t get much scene time at all!  The most we learn about him is that he is from Chicago and, in Rory’s words, “Hot.”

I believe I read that this was the author’s first novel, so I did not expect it to be bestseller material, but I feel that a better editor was needed here.  There were plenty of mistakes that I found slightly distracting. The part that annoyed me the most, however, was the constant use of the ‘eye roll.’  It seems everyone in this damn story is constantly rolling their eyes. She rolled her eyes.  He rolled his eyes.  I rolled my eyes.  Everyone rolled their eyes!  And so will you when you see what I’m talking about!

I think Aubrey Harper has the potential to become a great author once these few kinks are worked out.  For a first novel, it’s great in that it managed to keep me interested and convinced me to put book two on my reading list.  I look forward to reading the rest of this series!


Favorite Quotes:

“C’mon, it’ll be fun!” I said to my best friend Scott, trying to convince him to come with me to my grandmother’s funeral.


Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


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