Thursday, February 6, 2014

What I've Read This Week Part I

What I've Read This Week Part I . . .

Bewitched, Bothered, and Biscotti (A Magical Bakery Mystery, #2)Bewitched, Bothered, and Biscotti by Bailey Cates -- Cozy mystery/contemporary romance/paranormal mystery

It's nearly the end of October and Katie has been in Savannah for six months. The bakery is a huge success and she's been practicing her spell work. She's also been trying to avoid choosing between Declan and Steve. On a friendly picnic brunch with Declan, Katie discovers a dead body in the square. Declan and the police are ready to chalk it up to a homeless man's drunken binge but when Katie sees the tattoo on the man's arm, she feels strangely drawn to it somehow. Her friends in the book club are more concerned than the police for Mimsey recognizes the symbol as an ancient druid sign. Only members of a certain select men's club sport the tattoo. Katie finds herself pulled deeper into the mystery when she consults Steve. Steve's father is a member of this club and Steve worries what will happen to Katie when she starts asking questions. The killer is still out there and dangerous. Katie knows that it's her destiny to help find the killer. Plus there's Detective Quinn's new partner, Detective Taite, a witch hunter, to contend with. In her spare time, Katie has to find someone else to help out at the bakery and deal with her relationship issues. Will she ever have a normal life?

This book is not as charming as the first in the series. It's darker and scarier; more like the later Harry Potter book in tone and magical content. There's more paranormal stuff going on in this book that I'm willing to accept. There are different kinds of magic in this book and not all of it is hedgewitchery and not all of it is nice. In the last quarter of the novel my heart was pounding as I turned the pages to find out what would happen next. The mystery kept me guessing. I began to suspect after a key moment in the plot when Katie realizes she's missing something but I wasn't sure. The ending was a bit unexpected and kind of hokey. It needed a little more at the end. It was a bit too tidy in spots and really strange.

There is a lot of character development in this novel including a bunch of new characters. I didn't like the Dragoh Society for the same reasons Katie didn't. It seemed strange in this country in the 21st century that there would be such a chauvinistic group. I liked the character development of the regular cast of characters. Katie is still figuring out what she wants and where her life is headed. She's a bit more mature than she was 6 months ago when we first met her. It was nice getting to know Cookie but I didn't find her a very appealing character. I especially liked the development of the men. At first I thought Steve was slimy and arrogant. I loathed him, but then I got to know him better and he revealed his true self so I changed my mind. I really liked him in the middle of the novel but not at the end. He has a ways to go before he's fully normal but he does have a good heart and I think I'm on Team Steve. I left Team Declan in this book because of his immature behavior. I honestly don't see the romance in this series though. I don't know how either of them could have fallen in love with Katie so fast. I can see Declan falling in love with her from Ben's description and Steve feeling a connection to her but is it happily ever after love? I don't really think so. At least not on Declan's part. Mungo is even more awesome than ever. I love him even if his description doesn't really fit that of a Cairn. He should talk with his eyes more and tilt his head from side to side when she talks to him. I especially love his gourmet pallet and his eccentric hobby.

The Honeybee is my idea of heaven and I think I gained weight reading this novel. There are two recipes included in the back: one sweet and one savory. I want more recipes!

I will probably pick up the third book in the series if the library gets it in soon. I feel involved in the characters' lives now even if I don't like the witchcraft aspect.

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