Sunday, March 10, 2013

Brownies and Broomsticks-Bailey Cates

Title: Brownies and Broomsticks
Author: Bailey Cates
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 319
Publication: Obsidian, 2012
Source: Bought
"Katie Lightfoot's tired of loafing around as the assistant manager of an Ohio bakery. So when her aunt Lucy and uncle Ben open a bakery in Savannah's quaint downtown district and ask Katie to join them, she enthusiastically agrees.

While working at the Honeybee Bakery—named after Lucy's cat—Katie notices that her aunt is adding mysterious herbs to her recipes. Turns out these herbal enhancements aren't just tasty—Aunt Lucy is a witch and her recipes are actually spells!

When a curmudgeonly customer is murdered outside the Honeybee Bakery, Uncle Ben becomes the prime suspect. With the help of handsome journalist Steve Dawes, charming firefighter Declan McCarthy, and a few spells, Katie and Aunt Lucy stir up some toil and trouble to clear Ben's name and find the real killer…"

Cates writes an invigorating murder mystery. Throughout reading, events and clues were foreshadowed, but in such a way that I did not make the connection until the event happened or the clue surfaced. The foreshadowing always lingered in the back of my mind though, so I had multiple “AHA” moments that really heightened the reading experience for me. The reader is only privy to the information that Katie is, so you get to play detective at the same time.

But it isn’t all about the murder. Katie’s love life drama and work at the Honeybee Bakery as a nice spice to Cates writing recipe. Let me tell you, not only is there one hunky man in her life but two! The limited romance doesn’t take center stage, though, but rather enhances Katie’s experiences. Cates blends the events from Katie’s personal life perfectly with fact finding and detective work to clear her uncle’s name.

The only downfall that I noticed was that it really does follow the mystery writing formula without straying too far from it. That is not necessarily a bad thing, as the inclusion of magic does give the story a nice spin, but the actual order of events in the mystery are pretty much the same as other mystery novels. It was a nice quick read, so if you are looking for something different and fast, then I highly recommend Brownies and Broomsticks.

I really enjoyed this read. It lived up to all expectations that I had for it and I became invested in the world that Cates had created. Katie’s desire to help her uncle while trying to come to terms with her witch heritage draws the reader evermore into her world. Warning: If you are like me, this will make you crave baked goods like crazy! A nice bonus is some recipes are included in the back to help sate those cravings!

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