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Bruja Brouhaha

(A Mind for Murder #2)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  425 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Practical psychologist Liz Cooper and occult professor Nick Garfield are enjoying the sixteenth wedding anniversary celebration for their charming hosts Paco and Lucia Rojas, devout Santeria practitioners who own the historic Botanica Rojas near MacArthur Park. But the small group of friends is left horrified and confused when the evening ends in tragedy.

Devastated by loss
Mass Market Paperback, 296 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Berkley
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3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  425 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Cathy Cole
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
First Line: Nick Garfield, my boyfriend and college professor of mainstream, arcane, and bizarre forms of religion, took four chunks of unshelled coconut from the Santeria altar and set them in my hand.

Practical psychologist Liz Cooper and occult professor Nick Garfield are celebrating the sixtieth wedding anniversary of their hosts, Paco and Lucia Rojas, devout Santeria practitioners who own the historic Botanica Rojas near MacArthur Park in Los Angeles. The evening turns to tragedy for the sma
Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2012
This was pretty good right up until the end and then it just....wasn't. Tied it all up way too abruptly, and though I liked Liz in the first book, in this one she just got on my nerves. Just seemed like this could have been so much better......and why is this woman so stupid about this wonderful man in her life??? Seriously?? I will read the next one and hope it's better.
Mar 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
The first book in this Rochelle Staab series was kind of fun and cutesy, I didn't mind it. The second one, I couldn't finish. It seemed like she was creating situations out of nothing, bringing new characters in that did not exist in the first book, but are the most important thing ever in the second book.

I also always find it a challenge when you have a complete layperson, someone with no training, abilities, or skills, who believes that they should be the one to interfere with a police investi
Oct 23, 2012 rated it liked it
This is book 2 of an o.k. series. It will not be one I will seek out for my order list, but if I find it, I won't ignore it either. The best thing going for these books is the removal of myth and misunderstanding of two religions so far, and the truthful explanation of them over the two books. That is what makes me want to keep reading them, not the characters for whom I still do not have much feeling for, but they may come along as the series does, so I am trying to be fair, but they are a litt ...more
Lisa Hall
Aug 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Liz and Nick are at it again. While attending the anniversary party for a couple of friends, Paco is shot in what appears to be a drive by. But is it? Lucia, Paco's widow, doesn't seem to understand what happened and they fear for her mental wellbeing. Especially later when she places a Santeria curse on the neighborhood to force out the guilty party.

Liz doesn't believe in curses, but unfortunately the neighborhood does. Everything that goes wrong is blamed on Lucia, forcing Nick and Liz to sta
Jul 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Psychologist Liz Cooper and her boyfriend, college professor Nick Garfield, are at a small dinner party in a Los Angeles neighborhood, when one of the hosts is murdered. The widow of the recently deceased soon announces she's put a hex on the entire neighborhood until her husband's killer is brought to justice. Liz and Nick get involved in the investigation, to the point of Liz not only jeopardizing her career, but putting her life in danger, as well. On the personal front, Liz needs to make a d ...more
Maggie Gordon
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-crime
Liz Cooper is back and this time she's embroiled in the murder of an elderly local Santero. Was it a gang shooting gone wrong, or something much more complicated? Once again, Staab treats Santeria respectfully despite Liz's skepticism. The mystery itself is a fun, complex problem with a lot of heart behind it. I really felt for Lucia, though I admit there were a few things I did want to strangle Liz for not figuring out. But that's part of the cozy mystery experience :D
Oct 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
A decent installment in this series
Jennifer Peer
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love this series
Nov 11, 2017 rated it liked it
second in this series about a psychologist a non believer whose friends and mother believe in the accult
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alison (Lady Coffin) S
Cute Paranormal Cozy Mystery set in the greater LA area
Bonnie Drummond
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
With Three dead bodies and a curse that was everyone scared it's up to Liz Copper and her boyfriend to find out the truth before two dear friends and herself a killed out right.
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2012
Paco and Lucia Rojas own the historic Botanica Rojos near MacArthur Park and are devout Santeria practitioners who mix up potions for many rituals like love, success and safety. They have gathered with their friends to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. Lucia is also teaching Liz how to make tamales.

The party comes to an end quickly when tragedy strikes. a devastated Lucia lashes out at the community by casting a vengeful hex on the entire neighborhood. They quickly give her the label of
Sep 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Review from Backchatting Books

Pragmatic psychologist Liz and her Occult Studies Professor boyfriend Nick are back and this time investigating Santeria. A joyous 60th wedding anniversary goes terribly wrong when the husband Paco is shot and killed. His widow Lucia is so overcome with grief and anger she places a hex on the community. The hex seems to work as accidents escalate and soon Lucia’s neighbours turn on her. Liz and Nick decide to solve the crime in order to keep Lucia safe.

Liz is more r
Anna Janelle
Jul 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
A special thanks to Berkley Prime Crime Mystery publishers and author Rochelle Staub for allowing me this GoodReads First Reads win. I sincerely loved reading this second installment in the A Mind fot Murder series.

Without going into too much detail (I don't want to spoil a thing in this eerie page-turner), the plot centers around psychologist Liz Cooper and her occult college professor boyfriend Nick Garfield. Side note: the blooming romantic relationship between these two greases the plot of t
Aug 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Psychologist Liz Cooper believes in science and facts. Occult professor Nick Garfield believes in the supernatural. They couldn’t be more opposite, but the old saying is that opposites attract and that’s certainly the case with these two. However, when tragedy strikes a family friend, their beliefs quickly clash.

Lucia Rojas, a Santeria priestess, is devastated by the loss and in a moment of seeking justice – she puts an evil hex on the entire community. She blames all of them for the tragedy and
Book of Secrets
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
BRUJA BROUHAHA is a clever title that fits this book perfectly. The bruja (witch) in question is Lucia Rojas who puts a hex on her neighborhood to avenge her husband's murder in front of their home. Soon after, the residents begin blaming her hex for every misfortune that befalls them. Lucia refuses to lift the curse, believing it is the only thing that will bring Paco's killer to justice.

Fearing that their elderly friend will become the target of an angry mob, Liz Cooper and Nick Garfield step
Mar 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Book #20 of 2013

I'm so happy that Rochelle won the Watson for this! I had fun grilling her on the nominees' panel at Left Coast Crime, and I think it's interesting that she had originally intended Nick, not Liz, to be the main character. I liked him, and he made a good sidekick (what the Watson award recognizes), but I did find Liz far easier to identify with, so I'm glad she changed it up before publishing the first book. I haven't read the first book (yet), so I guess my only real complaint, t
I won this book through First-Reads!

Someone before me shelved this book under the heading of "cozy-mystery"... I think that pretty much describes this book to a tee. This is the second book in the series (the first being Who Do Voodoo) and although I'm unfamiliar with the first book, that didn't cause me too much difficulty in reading this one.

Basically, a professor of Comparative Religion and a Psychologist are dating one another and get wrapped up in a complex case of murder and desirable real
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, cozy-mysteries
Paco and Lucia Rojos are practice Santeria along with their Catholicism. They hold a big party to celebrate their 60 wedding anniversary. There is a drive by shooting which plunges Lucia into shock and Lucia puts a hex on everyone in the neighborhood. Some unfortunate things happen and people are beginning to hate Lucia for the hex. She is called bruja which is witch in Spanish.

We have the some of the same characters from the first in the series, Liz Cooper, divorced psychologist, her friend Rob
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Everything seems to be going wrong lately for Liz and Nick and their friends. Could it be life or is it the curse that their dear friend, Lucia threw at the community to avenge her husband's death? If you know Liz Cooper and Nick Garfield, you will realize that there might be two answers to that question.

Liz Cooper is a Psychologist and Nick, her boyfriend is a Professor of Occult studies. They live in Studio City and North Hollywood. Liz volunteers for a counseling session at the clinic across
Apr 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
The 2nd in the series was a bit slow for me. It picked up in the last 20 chapters or so. I do adore the developing relationships for the characters but I still have issue with some of their reactions.
Liz cooper - divorcee, psychologist and quickly becoming a sluth in her little area in Cali. She has some a handsom new beau and a pesky mother that seems to like being the main event in everything. After meeting and being charms by Paco & Lucia, a sweet older couple, liz is left reeling by a p
Alice Liu
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I grew to like this book, but I had trouble with the main character, Liz. For a Voodoo based mystery series, it's annoying that Liz is so dismissive of the practice, and that she so easily labels Lucia's grief as delusional after her husband's murder. It was as if Liz has no feel for the emotional or intuitive aspects of life. Further, when someone is reluctant to talk to Liz because she is afraid of gang retaliation, Liz acts completely ignorant about that topic. It was like reading about an en ...more
Nov 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A great follow up to Rochelle's "Who Do, Voodoo?"! I had a feeling though, when I finished her first book that I would get happily stuck on her series of "Mind for Murder Mysteries"! As usual, she kept me turning pages and racing to the end to see if I my guess "who did it" would be right... and just like before she through me for a pleasant loop! I liked everything about the book, the setting, the usual suspects... I mean characters and of course some new friends that were added in this book. I ...more
Alex Kent
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Curses, and murders, and lies - oh my!

Rochelle Staab's "Bruja Brouhaha" is a fast paced romp around LA with Liz Cooper who is trying to solve a mystery while squeezing in some real day-to-day living. Sandwiched between house hunting and buying pastries she has her hands full sorting out the dastardly deeds being heaped on the residents of Westlake. You see, her friend Lucia Rojas is a witch... a practioner of Santeria, and has just hexed the neighbourhood in her grief.

As hellacious as our lives
Debbie Heaton
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
In Staab’s mystery novel, practical psychologist Liz Cooper and occult professor Nick Garfield are enjoying the sixtieth wedding anniversary celebration for friends, Paco and Lucia Rojas, who own the historic Botanica Rojas near MacArthur Park. Regardless of the festivities, the evening ends in tragedy.

Blaming escalating crime in the area, Lucia casts a vengeful hex on the neighborhood, leading strangers and friends both to nickname her bruja—Spanish for witch—and turn on the elderly woman. Now
Feb 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Interesting murder mystery set in California. Liz, a Psychologist, and her boyfriend Nick, a Professor of the Occult, work together to solve this while also dealing with their relationship and taking it to the next level. I found the information about the religion, Santeria, quite interesting. The first story in this series focused on Voodoo as a religion and this one Santeria. I know next to nothing about either of those religions but appreciated the information the author shared in the story a ...more
Jun 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
A GoodReads First Read win!! I really enjoyed the first book in this series and can't wait to start this one! :-)! - This was a great follow-up to the first book in the series. When Liz and Nick are celebrating with friends, a drive-by shooting occurs leaving a neighborhood favorite dead. A hex is placed on all who are near and sets more horrible events awry. Soon Liz and Nick find themselves engrossed in the local gang culture while trying to help Liz's mother and friend, Carmen with a fundrais ...more
Jenn C
Different from the other cozies I've been sampling lately, the second book on the "Mind for Murder Mystery" trilogy (it appears the author isn't publishing anymore) has a city setting (L.A.), mentions of sex, and a paranormal theme that is unusual. There are no generic witches or ghosts, but a living, breathing religious tradition (one that the main character is dismissive of, but her non-believer views are balanced by her religion-professor boyfriend). Like most mysteries, this book was okay fo ...more
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Rochelle Staab, former radio programmer and music industry executive, combined her love for mystery with a strong curiosity about the supernatural in her bestselling Mind for Murder Mystery series featuring psychologist Liz Cooper and occult expert Nick Garfield.

WHO DO, VOODOO? the first novel in the series earned Anthony, Agatha, Eureka! nominations for Best First Mystery along with a Golden Hear

Other books in the series

A Mind for Murder (3 books)
  • Who Do, Voodoo? (A Mind for Murder, #1)
  • Hex on the Ex (A Mind for Murder, #3)