MYSTERY

A Spell for Trouble

Crooked Lane. (Enchanted Bay, Bk. 1). May 2020. 336p. ISBN 9781643853031. $26.99. M
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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.

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