Sunday, January 23, 2011
Five Fangs for Home for a Spell by Madelyn Alt
As the newest witch in Indiana, Maggie O'Neill already has plenty to deal with. So being hobbled by a broken leg doesn't help. Neither does the fact that her best friend and upstairs neighbor is getting ready to tie the knot with her own boyfriend and move away. This leads Maggie to wonder if it isn't time to find herself a new pad.
But when she finds a place, Maggie's dream of new digs turns into a nightmare: the apartment manager is found dead before she can even sign the lease. And Maggie finds herself not only searching for a new home- but for a frightfully clever killer.
I love Alt's clever combo of sweet charm, paranormal mishaps, and magical mystery.
While there are always a few magical elements in the Bewitching Mysteries the murder and mayhem are almsot always human in origin. There's no mystery caused by crazy monsters or magic spells-even if the people solving the crimes have something extra magical guiding their way.
In this Bewitching installment Maggie is still hobbling around in her cast and staying with her sexy boyfriend Marcus but she's afraid she's cramping his style, especially once she finds out he was planning to go back to school but is putting it off so he can care for her.
So she goes in search of a new place to live after learning her BFF is getting married and moving away. Maggie's BFF Steph has lived above Maggie in the same old house turned in apartments for years. Now with her BFF gone Maggie thinks it is time to look for someplace new.
Her search leads her to a local apartment complex and the deal she's offered is something she can't refuse. Too bad when she shows up to sign the lease she finds the creepy pervy apartment manager dead.
Which puts her right in the middle of a murder investigation once again and dealing with ex boyfriend Tom Fielding.
But this time Maggie and Marcus actually get to officially be involved in the investigation since the police need Marcus's tech expertise.
Another mystery gets solved and this time I didn't see the who or comlete why coming. I had an inkling as to why the manager got killed but the twist Alt adds to it...you'll never see it coming. It seriously surprised me.
The one thing I missed in this book was the usual cast of characters - Liss was on the sidelines as were Evie and Tara- they all had very minor bit parts. Maggie's mom made one phone call appearance into a scene and nada for Maggie's sister.
I did however love the focus on Maggie and Marcus and their relationship development.
I also like the idea that Maggie might finally have some closure with the whole Tom situtation and that he may also have closure and that everyone can get past the discomfort and learn to work together. Hmmm...maybe I'm reaching too far on that one. :-)
I do wonder how all the intricate weavings of subplots will work their way into future books- like what exactly is up with Stony Mill?
When and why did it happen before (there is a small reference to a book being found that Maggie wants to look into further, I can see this being the focus of a later book)? Why is it happening now? Exactly what is "it"?
Then there are other subplots- the conpsiracy and connections going on with the guys in "the lodge" and Liss's ex brother in law- I'm pretty sure he was more aware of what was going on in his apartment complex that we learn in Home for a Spell.
All in all Home for a Spell was a delightful face paced read that kept me turning pages all night until I finally, very sleepily, finished the book. I just couldn't put it down. I had to find out what was going on. It was well worth a little loss of sleep. Alt's books are always a joy to read.