Bakery owner Katie Lightfoot uses light witchcraft and investigative skills to solve a murder she stumbles across, but the mystery also takes her deeper into a romantic triangle, a secret society and her own power in ways she may not be ready for.
Katie loves her new life: Being the owner of a bakery in Savannah, finding out she’s a hereditary witch and learning what that means for her and the circle of women around her who share her interests and magical potential are all satisfying, and sometimes surprising, elements of the adventure she chose when her life in Ohio fell apart six months ago. Slightly problematic are the two men she can’t choose between and her newfound penchant for becoming involved in murder investigations. When she and firefighter friend-who-wants-more-than-friendship Declan have a picnic and find a dead body in the bushes, Katie discovers that the victim has links to a magical society of powerful men in Savannah, all of whom are suspects. Unfortunately, another man who has links to the group is Steve Dawes, the third side to Katie’s romantic triangle, a fact which throws a number of wrenches into the investigation, her friendships and her love life. But, as the mystery heats up, not even the people who love her best can protect her from a malevolent force, and she’ll discover that she has untapped power that could be life-changing. She’ll also find that when it comes to Steve and Declan, nothing is easy, and the road to love is full of unexpected curves. Cates is a smooth, accomplished writer who combines a compelling plot with a cast of interesting characters that are diverse and engaging without falling into simplistic stereotypes—though at times keeping up with the abundant cast is tricky. Overall, a light, clever and engaging read.
Cates’ second Magical Bakery mystery is a charming addition to the food-based cozy mystery repertoire, while the story’s magical elements bring a fun, intriguing dimension to the genre.