A Spell of Murder

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 20 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

This was a fun, cute cozy mystery! I love the theme throughout, and I will definitely be continuing with the series.
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Becca has adopted three cats, and joined a local coven of witches - and when magic happens around Becca, she thinks she’s discovered her latent powers. However, the powers belong to the cats, and Becca is their unwitting sidekick. When a murder occurs, Becca decides to investigate, and the cats follow along to keep Becca out of trouble, as danger lurks around every turn.

I had expected to really like this book, as it’s a cozy mystery, however, I really struggled to get into it. I tried a few times to even start reading it, and in the end had to force myself to finish. Something that I wasn’t aware of when I received the book was that it was told from the perspective of Becca’s cats, which was simultaneously creative and also boring. I would’ve thought I’d like it a bit more, but instead I had trouble relating to the narration since I didn’t like two of the cats.

I felt like the writing could’ve used more editing, and the plot itself could’ve been tighter. There was unnecessary exposition in places what would’ve benefited from showing rather than telling, and the plethora of characters made it hard to keep everyone straight. I wish I had liked this more, but I’m glad I read it as it introduced me to Clea Simon; although this particular series isn’t to my taste, I would definitely look into her other works.
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Thank you very much for allowing me the opportunity to read this book!  I appreciate the kindness. 
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This is the first book of what I discovered to be an exciting new series. In it, we are introduced to 3 very young, cute but different sibling cats and their human Becca. Becca has recently become unemployed, single, and has joined a coven in her search for herself. Having found a witch in her ancestry, Becca believes she has successfully performed a spell when it was actually one of her cats being careless. In this world, the cats have the magic. Excitement races through the coven as hope for successful, tangible spell casting seems to become a real possibility. One dead coven member later and Becca and cats are deep in a mystery to clear Becca from suspicion. 

I loved how we are able to see the perspective of the delightfully unaware Becca as well as her cats. Clara is the intrepid adventurer that moves our story forward for the most part as well as the youngest of the cats. Clara isn't listened to by her older siblings until Laurel starts to come around toward the end. The way that their character development is given the same  attention as the humans was brilliantly done. The continuing struggle of trying to network, find a job, and basically adult made Becca a realistic and sympathetic character easy to relate to Layering a murder withing adultery, open relationships, skepticism and mockery of witchcraft and those associated with it, theft, jealousy, and multiple aspects of mundane life lent a sense of the believable to a story that brought a fresh spin to paranormal cozies. 

I really enjoyed this book and recommend it especially if you're looking for something a little different. 

Thank you to Polis Books, NetGalley, and Clean Simon for giving me the chance to read this book and share my honest thoughts and opinions with others.
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Another wonderful addition to this series. I always enjoy reading this series during Halloween.  I can't wait to own a physical copy to reread in October!
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I am always looking for a new cozy mystery series to read and share and one about witches and talking cats is just up my alley. This a lot of promises but I did not like it as much as I thought I would. I love that the cats talk it sets it apart but you find your self disliking 2 of the cats and not wanting to read more about them, that and slow pacing were the main problems I had with the story but I would love to read more from this author
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This is the first in the Witches of Cambridge cat mystery.  The story is told from the cat’s perspective which I found to be an interesting perspective.  Becca, an unemployed human thinks she has physic powers although the truth it is that her cats are the ones with the real powers.  The three cats are Clara, Harriet and Laurel with Clara being the one who really watches over Becca.  Of course Becca finds a body and becomes embroiled a murder investigation.  I give this 3.5 stars as the first book has all the set up for the series etc.. Will read the next installment in this series.
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This is book book 1 in the “ Witch Cat Of Cambridge “ , Mystery  series . The story combines a love of cats with the paranormal and a good bit of tongue in cheek humor . 
The main character of the story is Becca , she has had some bad luck in the romance department but believes her life is on the up when she thinks she may now have magic at her fingertips , little does she know but her cats are the ones with all the magical skills in her house and they are ruling the roost . A lot of the story is from the cats point of view , it’s funny,  and a great twist on a normal mystery . Enjoy ! 

I received this from the lovely people over at Netgalley. 
This book has now been published and is available from all good bookstores now . 
Below please find the link :
Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Spell-Murder-Witch-Cats-Cambridge/dp/1947993321
Goodreads :
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40732893-a-spell-of-murder
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I am always thrilled to read a  new book by beloved author Clea Simon and this did not disappoint. I loved the premise that 3 cats have powers and solve crimes with their owner. It is utterly fascinating and fun to read.  Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the ARC. My opinions are my own. 
The first in Clea Simon`s Witch Cats of Cambridge series  is a cozy mystery where the main sleuth is a cat and her litter mates. Clara, the youngest of the three cats narrates. 
The  human protagonist is a new witch and has joined a funny coven of new friends . The only problem is that the coven has no idea what they are really supposed to do to practice and much humor ensues through her pursuit of learning about witchcraft.  When a murder occurs the cats human (Becca) is on the case with the help of her furry friends. 
The cats are Harriett, the eldest, Laurel, the exotic and the smallest Clara. Together they watch over their human (Becca) while she attempts to solve the murder and discovers clues with their input.  They each are savvy , smart and good at solving crime. 
I loved being swept into this world where the cats solve crime and the human is secondary. Its a fun read and enjoyable for all cat lovers as we all know truly how smart our cats are ! . The author has a great knowledge of cats and brings them to life with all their personalities and quirks . Its a fun afternoon read and I look forward to the next in series. A winning first in series and what I hope is the start of a long series.
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This is the first in the Witches of Cambridge cat mystery.  The story is told from the cat’s perspective which I found to be an interesting perspective.  Becca, an unemployed human thinks she has physic powers although the truth it is that her cats are the ones with the real powers.  The three cats are Clara, Harriet and Laurel with Clara being the one who really watches over Becca.  Of course Becca finds a body and becomes embroiled a murder investigation.  I give this 3.5 stars as the first book has all the set up for the series etc.. Will read the next installment in this series.
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I can see why this could be tricky to follow - so many characters, including three anthropomorphic cats, none of which are particularly fully fleshed out, making it a bit 'grey' on that level. All the characters were sounding more or less the same as each other.

Once I figured out that the cats speak in italics, it got a little easier, but it still felt a little jarring when moving from one POV to another, and I felt the murderer could have been slightly less obvious. The character felt too obviously different, even in a group of 'different' people, if that makes sense.

Nonetheless, it was an easy enjoyable read and I passed the time quite happily with it. I would like to read the second book to see if it finds its feet a bit more.
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Enjoyable, funny and written from a cats point of view. I liked the interaction between the cats anthe mystery was complex enough to keep me hooked to the end.
A good first book.
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The first in Clea Simon`s Witch Cats of Cambridge series is perhaps unlike anything you have ever read. It is a cozy mystery in the sense that the sleuth is not a police official. In fact, one could say the main sleuth is a cat and her litter mates. Clara, the youngest, by minutes, of three cats narrates this tale for us. It is an introduction of things to come, with an interesting ending with some exciting news.
The main human protagonist is struggling and unsure of where her future will take her. She is making new friends and seeking new talents for herself. Being only human, she is somewhat oblivious to the world around her. That slack is picked up by her three feline companions. Harriett, the eldest and largest, is mainly concerned with creature comforts and from where and when her next meal will be served. Laurel, the sleek and showy exotic one, is a bit more self absorbed. Smallest and most colorful Clara, nicknamed the Clown, is the nurturing and observant cat. She takes it upon herself to watch out for their human, Becca.

Becca becomes interested in witchcraft, upon her natural curiosity and research into history. She joins a small coven of Wiccans, who have no clue what they are doing. When one is murdered, and Becca happens to be the person to find the crime scene and body, life becomes more complicated. The cats must save their human from being caged.

The way this story is told and the observations made by Clara kept me turning pages.
I am looking forward to seeing the direction this series takes us.
I always love the covers on Clea Simon`s books and enjoy saving the paperback versions.
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This is the start of a new series for Clea Simon, Witch Cats of Cambridge.  Becca truly believes she is a spell making witch and wants to use her powers to help solve crime.  Her three cats are really the source of magic in their house and it leads to some funny moments in this cozy mystery. Harriet, Laurel and Clara are happy with their servant Becca.  She is handy with a can opener and keeps the house at the proper temperature.  The cats are the narrators of the story and each has their own special talent.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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A Spell of Murder follows coven member Becca in the days surrounding the murder of her sister witch Suzanne. Sheer bad luck leads her to find the body, so now, in addition to her own feelings, she must deal with police suspicion. What sets this book apart is that it's told from the point of view of Becca's cat - the only one one in the book with REAL magic powers.

The setup here is perfect for a funny, charming, supernatural cozy mystery, but the characters didn't draw me in. There were a lot of characters to keep track of, and they weren't all fully developed. Also, the pacing lacks urgency - I found it easy to put this down in favor of other pursuits.
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Clea Simon has started a Witch Cats of Cambridge series with a Spell of Murder.  Becca, having been dumped by her boyfriend Jeff has joined a coven and believes she has witch powers.  It is her trio of cat sisters who have witchly powers and they are lazy and self absorbed with the desire that their human concentrate on them.  One of the coven is murder and Becca and her former love Jeff fall under suspicion.  Mildly interesting cozy.
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A Spell of Murder is a cozy mystery featuring three magical cats and their person, Becca. Becca has been looking into her genealogy and discovers her ancestor was a witch.  She ends up joining a coven and trying out spell crafting. What she doesn't know is it's her three sister cats that actually have magical powers!  After she finds a member of her coven dead she decides to use her skills as a researcher and her "natural magical ability" (really her cat's help) to solve the mystery.  The story is told from Becca's and her cat Clara's points of view which can make it a bit confusing/distracting to read. A bonus of this and the large amount of secondary characters introduced in the book did help keep the the whodunnit a mystery until almost the very end of the book.  I couldn't decide if the frustration of all the characters, storylines and voices annoyed me too much in the end to want to continue with the series.  I think if you love cat based mysteries you will enjoy this series.
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This book is the first book in a new series. I enjoyed the unique way this author used the cats in this book as main characters.  The story is mostly told by Clara one if the three cats who are owned by Becca. All three cats have magical powers and help Becca to come into her own with magic and solve a mystery. I did have a few times where I was confused as to who was who and if a character was a cat or a witch in the Coven. If you love animals, especially cats in mysteries then this book is for you.
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This is a cozy mystery book that’s seemingly told from the cats point of view. Need I say more? Well, apparently I must for this to be a full length review that’s more than a hundred words, so here goes.I loved the cats. I loved how accurate they were described in their behavior, I loved the humor and feel-goodness of it all. It was a perfect read, and I hope to be able to continue the series soon. I really liked the whole mystery set up too, and I can honestly say that there are very few books that I’ve read where the cats are the ones to go on the case to solve a mystery. I think this will be one of my favorites. Especially with the magical elements, the witches, and the dark atmosphere throughout the book itself.
If you like cozy mysteries featuring cats, then this book will definitely be to your liking. It’s fun, it’s clever, and it’s thoroughly magical. 5/5 stars for a an excellent first read from a new author, and I definitely look forward to getting to the rest of the series!
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I really wanted to like this book, but it had a few too many flaws for me.

At the beginning of the story, you are introduced to not only our main character Becca but her three cats and all the other members of the coven of witches. It's very confusing as to who is who. 

Also, the story is told from the perspective of the cats, which I thought was a lot of fun in theory but just didn't work for me. Also, there is a scene in where Becca discovers the murder victim and one of the cat's states how exciting that is because of its 'fresh meat'. I love cats (I am a card-carrying member of the Crazy Cat Lady Club), and I know they are animals but I found that to be very grizzly and a line that was not needed.

The murder and mystery almost felt like a secondary story and not fully developed. I'm sorry to say I just didn't love this one.
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