Dead billionaires are not good for business!
That’s what Aunt Pearl complains to Cen when the dead body is found in the cozy family inn at Westwick Corners.
Still, it’s not Cen’s problem. She lives an ordinary life away from her witch-ful family for a reason. She got her ordinary fiancé and her ordinary job as a journalist using no magic whatsoever, and no inconvenient local murder is going to change her comfortable existence.
Even if the entire town is now accusing Aunt Pearl of murdering her guest. Even if her fiancé is acting weird and talking about seeing ghosts. Even if the town’s sexy new sheriff, Tyler Gates, treats her like the most hexing of all the witches…
If you love funny cozy mysteries infused with a dose of humor and the supernatural, you’ll love this paranormal witch cozy!
I very much wanted to love this story. It’s a cozy mystery with witches. Which makes it a Cozy Fantasy Mystery. There aren’t many books that cross over between Fantasy and Mystery. (If you know of any, please let me know as I am very interested.) Instead what I read, was something trying real hard to be something it’s not.
Our main character who goes by Cen, works in the newspaper for the small town of Westwick. Her fiancé, Brayden, is the Mayor. Maybe she should call off the wedding because he couldn’t be bothered to show up for the pre-rehearsal. Nor could he come to comfort her after she found a dead body at the family Inn they just renovated and were about to open for business. But she also didn’t try calling him to get that comfort. I also would not have prioritized a pre-rehearsal, when there was going to be an actual rehearsal. In this, I am on the “bad” Brayden’s side.
Cen is also fantasizing about the sheriff who has been in town for a very short while, and all of this action is taking place on his first day. He has done nothing remotely romantic, or said much other than typical conversation in the course of his investigation. She’s working her way all weak at the knees and fantasizing about this guy, while also thinking about calling off the marriage.
A marriage where she is all mad soon to be hubby won’t talk to her and tell her where he was and what was so important for him to stay away. She’s the reporter, he’s the Mayor. There will be things he can’t tell her. For all we know this is one of those situations. But he’s not telling her what meeting was so important for him to continue to be in, he couldn’t leave to check on her. If this were a court case, he’d be off scott-free. There is a reasonable expectation he was in a meeting he can’t or isn’t ready to share yet with any press.
Cen’s Aunt Pearl is a crazy witch trying to stop tourism from coming to the town. Getting information from her is like pulling teeth. She is for some reason, acting alone, to save the town because this millionaire who happened to be murdered on their property was going to do something to destroy the town. It only took about half the book to get from the murder to the many steps of what supposedly happened that night and what Aunt Pearl was up to, for us to find out she knew what the dead guy was supposedly up to.
To supposedly get back at this dead guy, Aunt Pearl teams up with an enemy. They call a truce for a few hours just to confront the guy. The way Aunt Pearl has been acting I can only hope there is a very large, Earth shattering kind of reveal at the end. But I really can’t bring myself to care about these characters. The only one we really seem to know is Cen, and I really can’t relate to her. Getting all upset with her Brayden not being there for her, always canceling because he has an important job and has big ambitions.
She knew him from the start. They grew up together. They are the only ones of their friends who stayed in town. Now she is just having second thoughts, because their goals clash against each other. Yes, she should call off the wedding and do it quickly instead of continue to drag Brayden along. She is also putting their relationship in second or third place after her family and their Inn. Cen doesn’t make the time to have a conversation with Brayden about their relationship and where it’s going.
The characters are basically just there to try and fit a stereotypical role, they don’t fill. The sheriff is the love interest, the one we are supposed to root for. Brayden is the one we are supposed to want to hate, but I can’t hate him. I can’t get behind the sheriff as the love interest either when all he’s done is investigate the murder. The billionaire may have been murdered, but he’s very early shown to have wanted to make some big attraction where the Inn is located, and I really don’t care about his murder.
There feels like more family drama in this than crime solving, which doesn’t make for much of a cozy mystery. With the lack of suspense or draw to solve the mystery, and I really don’t care or believe some of these characters with their motivations. So I have put down this book, 133 pages or 56% in, with absolutely no intention of picking it up again anytime soon.