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A Spell for Trouble

by Esme Addison

Publishers Weekly Alex Daniels, the 28-year-old heroine of Addison’s captivating debut and series launch, returns to her hometown of Bellamy Bay, N.C., more than 20 years after her mother’s death there. Her father, who died three months earlier in Connecticut, had always forbidden her to visit, but Alex is in need of some rest and relaxation after abruptly leaving her high-powered job in New York City. Impulsively, she takes a retail position at her family’s herbal apothecary, Botanika. When Alex’s reticent aunt, Lidia, is arrested for the murder of a Botanika customer, Alex sets out to clear Lidia’s name. Her investigating uncovers more about the circumstances of her mother’s death, and long-standing inter-family strife, leading her to realize her relatives have secrets beyond perfume and organic soap recipes, and to wonder whether she’ll ever feel a part of the family. A crafty plot, distinctive characters, and a quirky small-town setting bode well for future installments. Cozy fans will be more than satisfied. Agent: Nikki Terpilowski, Holloway Literary. (May)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Addisons sparkling debut brings a woman back to her mother's hometown, where she learns a shocking truth about her familyand herself.Aleksandra Daniels was forbidden by her father to return to Bellamy Bay, North Carolina, after her mother drowned there more than 20 years ago. After his death, however, she leaves her New York City job as a risk manager and, with her dog, Athena, goes to visit her Aunt Lidia and cousins Minka and Kamila, who are thrilled to see her after such a long hiatus, and help them out at their herbal remedies store. There she meets Pepper Bellamy, an inquisitive reporter who mentions the hidden secrets of the towns oldest clans, the Wesleys and the Sobieskis, Alexs own family. Lidia has an odd, nasty confrontation with Randy Bennett, one of her customers, who badly needs an elixir but finally departs with some tea. By contrast, Alex and new police officer Jack Frazier hit it off, but their relationship is taxed when he arrests Lidia after Randy is found fatally poisoned by deadly nightshade berries. Furious, Alex decides to look into the case herself. After all, Randys widow, Stephanie, stands to inherit millions; his business partner, Edwin Kenley, was angry with him; and the wealthy and powerful Wesleys want to buy their business. Alex is astonished when Pepper tells her shes working on an article claiming the Sobieskis are water witches descended from mermaids. When Lidia is put under house arrest, Alex learns that her relatives really are witches and that shed be wise to develop some of the powers she inherited from her talented mother. As she begins to investigate the Wesley family, she meets Dylan, a stunningly attractive man who reminds her that they played together as children. The connections still there, but she cant trust him or his steely mother and sister. As she struggles with her powers, Alex cant talk to Jack about her theories because hes a nonmagical Mundane, and she puts herself in great danger when she turns up more dangerous secrets.For those who love cozies, romance with an edge, and magical adventures. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list After her father’s death and the loss of her job, Alex Daniels travels to Bellamy Bay, North Carolina, to visit her aunt and cousins, whom she hasn’t seen in more than 20 years. Alex agrees to help out in the family herbal apothecary, and at the shop her Aunt Lidia has a physical argument with local businessman Randy Bennett. When Bennett is found poisoned, Lidia is arrested for the murder. Determined to clear her aunt of the charges, Alex begins her own investigation. She is stunned to learn that she, like her aunt and cousins, is a "water witch," a magical being thought to be descended from mermaids. Combining her fledgling magical powers and standard investigative techniques, Alex uncovers long-buried secrets and identifies additional suspects, including members of the powerful Wesley family, also with magical powers. This cozy, with its well-developed characters and charming seaside setting, and framed by plant and mermaid lore, will appeal to those who enjoy stories with a touch of magic.

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Kirkus Addison’s sparkling debut brings a woman back to her mother's hometown, where she learns a shocking truth about her family—and herself. Aleksandra Daniels was forbidden by her father to return to Bellamy Bay, North Carolina, after her mother drowned there more than 20 years ago. After his death, however, she leaves her New York City job as a risk manager and, with her dog, Athena, goes to visit her Aunt Lidia and cousins Minka and Kamila, who are thrilled to see her after such a long hiatus, and help them out at their herbal remedies store. There she meets Pepper Bellamy, an inquisitive reporter who mentions the hidden secrets of the town’s oldest clans, the Wesleys and the Sobieskis, Alex’s own family. Lidia has an odd, nasty confrontation with Randy Bennett, one of her customers, who badly needs an elixir but finally departs with some tea. By contrast, Alex and new police officer Jack Frazier hit it off, but their relationship is taxed when he arrests Lidia after Randy is found fatally poisoned by deadly nightshade berries. Furious, Alex decides to look into the case herself. After all, Randy’s widow, Stephanie, stands to inherit millions; his business partner, Edwin Kenley, was angry with him; and the wealthy and powerful Wesleys want to buy their business. Alex is astonished when Pepper tells her she’s working on an article claiming the Sobieskis are water witches descended from mermaids. When Lidia is put under house arrest, Alex learns that her relatives really are witches and that she’d be wise to develop some of the powers she inherited from her talented mother. As she begins to investigate the Wesley family, she meets Dylan, a stunningly attractive man who reminds her that they played together as children. The connection’s still there, but she can’t trust him or his steely mother and sister. As she struggles with her powers, Alex can’t talk to Jack about her theories because he’s a nonmagical Mundane, and she puts herself in great danger when she turns up more dangerous secrets. For those who love cozies, romance with an edge, and magical adventures. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list After her father’s death and the loss of her job, Alex Daniels travels to Bellamy Bay, North Carolina, to visit her aunt and cousins, whom she hasn’t seen in more than 20 years. Alex agrees to help out in the family herbal apothecary, and at the shop her Aunt Lidia has a physical argument with local businessman Randy Bennett. When Bennett is found poisoned, Lidia is arrested for the murder. Determined to clear her aunt of the charges, Alex begins her own investigation. She is stunned to learn that she, like her aunt and cousins, is a "water witch," a magical being thought to be descended from mermaids. Combining her fledgling magical powers and standard investigative techniques, Alex uncovers long-buried secrets and identifies additional suspects, including members of the powerful Wesley family, also with magical powers. This cozy, with its well-developed characters and charming seaside setting, and framed by plant and mermaid lore, will appeal to those who enjoy stories with a touch of magic.

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Aleksandra Daniels's father would never let her visit her mother's hometown of Bellamy Bay, NC. But now that she's alone in the world and unemployed, she accepts an invitation from her Aunt Lidia and cousins. Alex has the time to help with the family business, an herbal apothecary. But when Alex's cousin makes a mistake in the shop, Alex sees her aunt slam a man against the wall in a rage. When he's murdered, Aunt Lidia is arrested, and the local gossip column talks about mysterious powers and witches. Alex had no idea she's descended from Polish water witches, nor did she know her mother was the most powerful of them all. Now, though, she jumps in to save Lidia and find the true killer. However, enemies with their own powerful magic oppose the search, and the endangered Alex is unprepared to use her newfound gifts. VERDICT As an amateur sleuth, Alex is awkward and too pushy for a newcomer in town. However, flaws in her character may be overlooked because of the unique background of Polish history and magic. Fans of Ellery Adams's mysteries will want to try this one.—Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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