A Spell for Trouble

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 Apr 2020

Member Reviews

A Spell for Trouble is an entertaining cozy mystery.  Great plot with a cast of quirky characters.  Mystery fans will love this book.  I received an arc from the publisher and Netgalley and this is my unbiased review.
Was this review helpful?
While there is the potential for better editing and further character development, I found this mystery enjoyable and engaging. The setting was charming and the family dynamics, while not always subtle, were relatable.  I can imagine that this series would be particularly appealing to someone questioning their career.choice.  I will definitely read the next in this series.
Was this review helpful?
Mystery was my first love when it comes to book genres.  Over the years I’ve read many different authors and mystery series.  This new series did not disappoint me.  I loved it!  Charming characters, small town life in North Carolina, a dog and witchcraft all come together to form this awesome story.  I look forward to reading more in this series.  I’ve found myself a new author!
At the beginning of the book, the main character, Alex, is at a crossroads in her life.  Her father just died (mom died years ago),  She’s  out of a job and she’s gone from NYC to NC to visit family.  While there, she learns that her family are witches and so is she.  When a man dies and her aunt is arrested, Alex decides to find the real killer.
Along the way, Alex meets a fellow New Yorker who happens to be a detective for the local police.  There is an instant connection between the two but because he’s investigating the murder, all dating is put on hold.  She also meets this hot CFO who happens to be from the rival family.  He seems genuine but Alex is confused because of who his family is.  Both men are there for her when she runs into trouble.  I look forward to seeing these two characters try to get her attention in the books to come.
Overall, this book is just plain awesome.  If you like mysteries then you’ll enjoy this one.
Was this review helpful?
I usually don't read cozies about witches but I really enjoyed this one. Alex as the sleuth was always in Jack the investigaters way especially after they put her aunt in jail and then on house arrest. It was a page turner trying to figure out who done it . I was surprised.  I recommend this book if you like ones about witches.
Was this review helpful?
This was a cute book about a family of witches.  Alex went to visit family that she hadn't seen in years after she was let go from her job.  While there she discovered her family had some unique talents and was very surprised to learn that she had some abilities of her own.  When her aunt is accused of murder, she makes it her mission to find out who the real killer was.  I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone.
Was this review helpful?
A sweet cozy mystery with a paranormal spin.

Aleskabdra visits Bellamy Bay for the first time since being a child. Memories are complicated, her mom died here, there are family secrets - which frankly are a bit kooky.  They're a family of magical healers for generations?  Righhhhhttt - just a small detail for Alex 
for Alex to come to grips with.

Out of work,  Alex goes to work in the family shop where they make special ( code for magical) soaps, teas and remedies for the townspeople. As Alex begins to feel at home,  her aunt is accused of murdering a customer and old enemy.

 Alex sets out to prove her innocence. Along the way Alex joins forces with a childhood friend, a new detective in town. 

More secrets are revealed during the search for the real murderer - she rediscovers a friend she happily played with as a child, Dylan, whom she’s very attracted to, as well as new detective 

More secrets are exposed - she finds out she’s a witch, along with the rest of her family, but her powers are not easily controlled. 

A hard to identify murderer and ,great character development.

I’m  looking forward to the next book
Was this review helpful?
Alexandra Daniels hasn't set foot in the quiet seaside town of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina in over twenty years. Ever since her mother's tragic death, her father has mysteriously forbidden her from visiting her aunt and cousins. But on a whim, Alex accepts an invitation to visit her estranged relatives and to help them in their family business: an herbal apothecary known for its remarkably potent teas, salves, and folk remedies.
Bellamy Bay doesn't look like trouble, but this is a town that harbors dark secrets. Alex discovers that her own family is at the center of salacious town gossip, and that they are rumored to be magical healers descended from mermaids. She brushes this off as nonsense until a local is poisoned and her aunt Lidia is arrested for the crime. Alex is certain Lidia is being framed, and she resolves to find out why.
Alex's investigation unearths stories that some have gone to desperate lengths to conceal: forbidden affairs, family rivalries, and the truth about Alex's own ancestry. And when the case turns deadly, Alex learns that not only are these secrets worth hiding, but they may even be worth killing for.

I had a hard time with this one. There were a few errors that I hope the editor fixes -- they are eating cake & one character breaks a cookie and the quote "Fake as a two dollar bill" (guys these exist).
My biggest plot issue is the harping on an alibi for the time of death. He was poisoned! He could have drunk that tea at any time. The murderer did not have to be there. This really ruined it for me.
Also, Alex comes off as too dumb to live. She's supposed to be a professional risk assessor, but she's running into situations, accusing people of murder. The cop she has a thing for should have locked her up for her own safety if not to get her out of his case.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this read . It’s first time reading this author. 
The story is a clever murder mystery with enough red herrings to keep  the reader guessing. 
It touches on mystical magical world without being completely unbelievable. 
The relationship of the family is very much like any family and relatable. 
The story is clean , no vulgar language or explicit sexual scenes.
It’s a light read with some southern charm and a bit of magic .Very entertaining.
Was this review helpful?
This gave me slight Magical Bakery Series vibes. Magical/Aromatherapy cozies are one of my favorites. A really fun start to a new series.

Thank you to Crooked Lane and NetGalley for providing the ARC.
Was this review helpful?
I was sent the book from Netgalley and my review is my personal review.

Alex is just a normal woman living in New York City, until she loses her job and heads down South where her mother grew up and mother's family is there.

When Alex gets to her aunt's, she finds out a lot about her mother's side of the family.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. I thought I had the mystery figured out in the book, but I was wrong. I enjoyed all the characters, but Alex annoyed me a bit.

Can't wait until book 2. I want to see what happens next with Alex.
Was this review helpful?
A Spell for Trouble is the PERFECT paranormal, cozy mystery to snuggle up with! I haven't read a paranormal cozy in a while but this one would stand well with books by Bailey Cates, Juliet Blackwell, and Heather Blake. I am so excited to see how this series plays out and am hoping it's as MAGICAL as this one!

Actual Rating: 4 stars
Full review will be posted come release day!
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this book so much so that I was sorry when it ended. I want to know what happens next. I enjoyed the characters and the small town setting. It was an interesting mystery in how they figured out who did it and how it was wrapped up.

Thank you to the publisher, author and NetGalley for my eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I received this ARC via Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books, in return for an honest review. This is the first novel in a new series, set in Bellamy Bay, NC.  Aleksandra ‘Alex’ Daniels decides to visit her mother’s sister and her family for the first time in over 20 years, following the recent death of her father.  Alex’s mother died on their last trip to the town and her father wanted nothing to do with Bellamy Bay.  With his death, Alex decides to reconnect with her mother’s family and strange events begin.  First is Alex’s change in career.  She’d been a very successful risk manager and now works for her aunt, Lidia, in the family herbal remedy store, Botanika.  One day, an irate customer berates her aunt and is discovered dead by poisoning the next morning.  This puts Lidia squarely in the police’s crosshairs as the culprit.  As Alex works with her cousin, Minka, to uncover the truth of the murder, Alex learns more than one truth about her family.  It turns out that the women are all water witches.  There’s also an interesting triangle that evolves between Alex, the police detective and a member of a prominent local (and witch) family, the Wesleys.  It’s a good start to the series, with a well-told story,  and I look forward to more from the author.
Was this review helpful?
A Spell for Trouble is the debut of the An Enchanted Bay Mystery series set in Bellamy Bay, North Carolina and featuring risk manager Aleksandra Daniels.  It's been over twenty years since her mother's drowning and her last visit with her aunt and cousins in Bellamy Bay, for some reason her father had not wanted Alex to return to her mother's hometown but now that he too has passed she accepts an invitation to visit her relatives and help them in their herbal apothecary.

Having quit her job as a risk manager after being passed over for a promotion, Alex sets out with her dropout police K9, Athena for the quiet coastal town.  She begins to enjoy learning how her Aunt Lidia and Cousin Minka create the various soaps, teas and herbal remedies they sell in their popular shop, Botanika.  One afternoon a disgruntled Randy Bennett comes into the store and sparks immediately fly between the man and her aunt - Alex is shocked when Lidia seems to pick the man up and throw him against the wall before shoving a packet of her herbal tea at him and shoving him out the door.

When the man turns up dead the next day a victim of suspected poisoning, all fingers point at her aunt.  Knowing deep down that her aunt isn't a killer, Alex sets out with the help of her cousin Minka and against the warnings of Detective Jack Frazier to find the real culprit.  She soon discovers that her family has been keeping a secret - they are all water witches.

A plot full of twists and turns including a rivalry between Alex's family and their arch enemies the Wesleys, adultery and a fight to take over ownership of a real estate empire.  Unfortunately, there seems to be a developing love triangle between Alex, Jack and Dylan Wesley.  I wish that I'd paid a little more attention to the description before picking up this book since witchcraft and sorcery is not my cup of tea.  But, I did enjoy the main characters and the mystery and will look for the second installment to see if the author reveals a little more about Alex's past.

I received an advanced copy of A Spell for Trouble from NetGalley via Crooked Lane Books.  While not required to write a review I am happy to offer my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
For me the characters were just not smart and the journey to the end just silly.  It went in circles and the potential romance with the cop just unbelievable
Was this review helpful?
I’m not sure how I feel about this book.
I found the setting to be quaint, but I was struggling to keep up with the story. I was confused throughout and found myself having to go back to see if I missed something.
This certainly doesn’t mean I didn’t like it, it just means I may need to read it again to get a better idea of what’s going on.
Anything to do with cats and paranormal is definitely worth another read!
Was this review helpful?
A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison
Book #1: Enchanted Bay Mystery Series
Source: NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books
Rating: 4/5 stars

Alex Daniels has spent her life in the dark: in the dark about how her mother really died, in the dark about her mother’s family, and in the dark about her own connection to magic.  Alex’s father was determined to never allow his daughter to succumb to the same fate as her mother and in an effort to protect her, he has inadvertently cut her off from the only people who can truly help her, her mother’s family. 

In the wake of her father’s death, Alex has decided to reconnect with her mother’s family and spend some time in Bellamy Bay.  The quaint little seaside town is just what Alex needs to soothe her soul and her mind and help her decide what her next life steps should be.  Not one to lay about or shirk her responsibilities, Alex agrees to help her aunt and cousin in their small herbal apothecary.  Though Alex doesn’t particularly believe in magic and woowoo, magic and woowoo believe in her and she quickly discovers there is far more to her family than she ever suspected. 

As if her life weren’t already changing at the speed of light, the knowledge of her family’s gifts also comes with a terrifying murder that her aunt is accused of committing.  Though she’s no detective, Alex can’t allow her aunt to be falsely accused of murder, so she begins poking about and asking questions.  Trouble is, Alex is the new kid in town and her poking takes her to places her mother fought hard to keep her from, like magic and woowoo and old and dangerous family rivalries.  Determined to help, Alex not only takes a more active role in the family business, she also begins training to control and wield her magic so that she might clear her aunt’s name. 

Magic, like murder isn’t something to be trifled with and as Alex quickly learns not all wielders of magic have good intentions.  Alex’s investigation brings her into contact with one of Bellamy Bay’s oldest and most powerful family’s, a family she learns has no love for her own family and a grudge that has been passed down through the generations.  Unfortunately, to unveil the actual culprit of the crime, Alex must work with at least one member of the rival family and though trust is at a premium, she has to trust someone in order to get the help she needs.  As she comes ever closer to discovering the truth, Alex also comes closer to true danger and as a new magic wielder, she may not be totally equipped to handle what she’s facing. 

The Bottom Line:  What a fun new series for me!  This one has all the stuff I love about cozy mysteries: a quaint, small town setting, a wonderful little business that isn’t at all what it appears to be, characters with power and secrets, and a plot that took me into the history/backstory of the characters and town.  Everything sort of comes together in this first-in-a-series read and I was delighted with the outcome.  There’s a lot to be had in this book and much of what is thrown at the reader – especially the backstory and history - is in an effort to set up future books and plot lines.  I can see a ton of potential and room for growth in this series and its characters and I sincerely hope that is what will come to pass.
Was this review helpful?
witches, poisons, polish-heritage, cozy-mystery, law-enforcement, amateur-sleuth, family-dynamics, magic, murder, small-town, small-business

Very intriguing start to a new series! Aleks is at loose ends following her father's death and her escape from a stressful job in Manhattan, so she returns to the family of her mother who died when Aleks was a child. She joins in by working in the family herbal shop and is quickly immersed in issues revolving around her aunt's arrest for murder and rumors that the family women are witches (courtesy of the neighborhood smarmy journalist). No spoilers, just enjoy this different but interesting cozy mystery!
I requested and received a free ebook copy from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley. Thank you!
Was this review helpful?
A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison was an intriguing beginning to this cozy series.

I really liked the setting of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina as it seemed to be a warm and friendly small town in spite of the Wesley family. Alex, Lidia, Minka and Kamila form a close bond once Alex moves to town. Alex seemed to be a strong woman but had allowed her former job in risk management to determine how she lived her life until she moved to Bellamy Bay. All of the characters are developing in this story and I felt that I got to know them pretty well. I especially liked how Alex began to push her own self-imposed boundaries to solve the mystery. 

The plot is smoothly paced with murder, secrets, rumors and rivalries between magical families. Several suspects, twists, red herrings and magic kept me turning the pages. I will definitely look for the next book in the series.
Was this review helpful?
Very enjoyable read! Fun, sometimes slightly confusing story (but that's probably just me). Loved the magical angle of the book. Loved the family aspect. Good mystery. Very entertaining!
Was this review helpful?