March 7, 2012

Casting Spells

Sugar Maple looks like any Vermont town, but it’s inhabited by warlocks, sprites, vampires, witches – and an ancient secret. Chloe Hobbs, owner of the popular knitting shop Sticks and String, has a big secret too. She’s a sorcerer’s daughter in search of Mr. Right, and she’s found him in Luke MacKenzie, a cop investigating Sugar Maple’s very first murder. The bad news is he’s 100% human – which could spell disaster for a normal future with a paranormal woman like her.

Casting Spells by Barbara Bretton is a wonderfully easy read. The main cast of characters don’t change, and you know that the killer is amongst them – and it’s not like they’re being deceptive either. In a town of magic, Chloe struggles to come to terms with her normalness. Her ancestor cast a protective spell on the town three centuries ago and it will only work if there is a Hobb’s sorceress to keep their bloodline going. With Chloe being the last of her line and human, the residents are actively trying to fix her up so the magic that protects the town continues. However, the spell is weakening, as their first murder in centuries shows. Unfortunately for them, the woman was the mistress of a state politician, and law and order is descending on Sugar Maple.

It’s funny to read about Chloe and her life. An average, normal human living amongst magical beings takes a little getting used to. As Luke moves into town, everyone is telling her that she can’t be with him, a human, but Chloe’s heart doesn’t care. When her friend Gunnar’s fae mother turns up looking for the Hobb’s Book of Spells, the shit hits the fan as a family squabble turns into a race against the clock in search for the book.

I loved Chloe’s homey attitude. As the daughter of a fantastic knitter, I grew up with a mountain of wool that seemed to multiply by magic during the winter (kinda like dust bunnies... one day there’s none, two days later there’s a whole mob of them!). Luke is a cop who knows there’s something else going on around town, but just can’t quite seem to put his finger on it. It’s fun to watch him trying to explain away Chloe’s burgeoning magic, and poor Chloe – having to deal with her powers emerging at 30 (she’s always been a late bloomer) – is enchanting. I giggled when she had to take shelter from her kitchen utensils.

This book is a sweet read, and I did not find too much wrong with it. It is uncomplicated and easy to read. A nice change of pace from the twists and turns of my recent purchases like Twisted. If you like cosy mysteries then this should still interest you although it’s not a cosy by any means. Think of it as paranormal romance lite. I don’t know if there are any other books from the author in this series, but I some of the other characters deserve their own stories. Read on a bus or train ride, or perhaps during your lunch hour. Or just grab some chocolate, a hot cup of tea, and curl up on the couch and lose yourself in Sugar Maple.

No comments:

Post a Comment