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That Old Black Magic (Wedding Cake Mystery, #4)
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That Old Black Magic (Wedding Cake Mystery #4)

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  1,104 Ratings  ·  166 Reviews
That Old Black Magic is New York Times bestselling author Mary Jane Clark’s savory and suspenseful confection filled with murder, mystery, history and voodoo, in which Piper Donovan must unmask a devious killer striking in New Orleans’s legendary French Quarter.

Aspiring actress and wedding-cake decorator Piper Donovan has barely arrived in New Orleans to perfect her pastry
ebook, 384 pages
Published January 21st 2014 by William Morrow (first published January 1st 2014)
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This was an okay cozy mystery. There were aspects I liked and others I didn't, but overall, I enjoyed it.

Some of the things that drew me to the book were:

1) it's set in New Orleans, which is one of my favourite locations, and this book did a very good job of making the reader feel like they were in the city, by talking about the music, the people, the food and the culture. This really added to my enjoyment of the book.

2) There's a good sized cast of characters and they are unique, quirky and in
Feb 03, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really didn't care for this. I'm aware of the author's name and thought I'd give her a try with her latest on the library's Sizzler rack. It was just not intelligent. Very, very shallow. I'm not a fan of the James Patterson School of the Pop Novel with 2-page chapters and soap-opera cliffhanger sentences ending each chapter. Blech.

I don't even understand this "series" -- this girl is a wedding cake decorator when she's not shooting commercials and bit parts as an aspiring actress and wherever
Jan 17, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: galleys-arcs

For someone like me who has never read this author, you may find her style of writing confusing, the large amounts of characters and red herrings annoying and the main character Piper, silly and naïve. For those of you who like this very sweet form of cozy mystery, you will most likely love this novel AND if you follow this author you will love this book!

I will say that the author did do a very good job of deflecting the reader from figuring out who done it. I don’t think there was even the bare
Feb 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery/Suspense readers
"That Old Black Magic" is the fourth installment in the Piper Donovan Mystery Series. Prior to reading this book, I would have said most of the prior books did not need to be read in any particular order. "That Old Black Magic" should be read after "Footprints in the Sand" because there are quite a few references from the prior Piper Donovan book. It is definitely a page turner and a quick read. As with prior books, the chapters are super short. I have read and enjoyed all of Ms. Clark's books. ...more
May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If the mystery writer's last name is Clark, I will most likely like the story. Piper Donovan is in New Orleans for a week to study with a master baker. Soon one of the merchants, a sandwich maker, on the street has been murdered. Several nights later, her master baker meets his death. The only commonality, besides being a merchant on Royal Street, comes from the nursery rhyme, "Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub." And then, yes, the candlestick maker also dies. Dubbed the "Hoodoo Murderer" becaus ...more
Debby Long
Feb 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Was a really GREAT read. I didn't know "who done it" til it was revealed.
Christine Keleny
I like mysteries, so I thought I'd try this one and I have never read any Mary Jane Clark novels.

Stats: Audio is narrated by Therese Plummer, 6 discs for 7.5', pubished in 2014, print is 368 pages.

Blurb: New York Times bestselling author Mary Jane Clark whips up a savory and suspenseful confection in her newest mystery featuring Piper DonovanAspiring actress and wedding-cake decorator Piper Donovan has barely arrived in New Orleans to perfect her pastry skills at the renowned French Quarter bake
Sharon Redfern
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed all of the books in this series and this one is no different. Piper finds herself in New Orleans working at a famous patisserie in the French Quarter. She soon finds herself in the middle of a voodoo linked series of murders. Piper is recuperating from a previous near death experience and contending for a possible movie role . The fact that the patisserie owner is a bit of a lech doesn't help reduce her stress. She is also missing her FBI agent boyfriend Jack, who is worried about ...more
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Disappointed that the New Orleans setting for this light murder mystery couldn't save me from the struggle I experienced to finish. I just wasn't able to get into the characters or the story line. It's like skimming the surface with no dive sequence to plunge this reader into the depths of the journey. The story centers around a bakery in New Orleans. Thank you to the author for including a scrumptious recipe for beignets a New Orleans favorite. Yum.
Judy King
Nice setting, characterization was a little light. The plot line built nicely (it's a who done it -- I'm not going to leak spoilers) but it felt like that last 25% was a little light and slid too fast out of view....We got to the point of recognizing who might be the killer and then almost immediately the book was over. Part of my characterization problem is probably be that this is the 4th of four and I've not read the other three.
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was pretty good. I read the first book in the series quite awhile ago, didn't even know it was a series & happened to just pick this one up because it sounded intriguing. I liked that the chapters were short, it makes you want to keep reading to find out who the killer is. Each chapter is from a different characters POV so it took me awhile to get used to it. Nothing spectacular, but a quick & easy read.
RATING: 3.5 - 4 stars
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Piper Donovan
This is the final book in this series (as far as I can tell), and it was just as good as the previous ones were. I like the idea of New Orleans, although I can't recall having ever been there myself. The murders were unfortunate, of course, but the story throughout this book was fun, and the shortened chapters were nice.
Tena Valentine
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book. The ending is not what I expected.
I really like this author, her books are really great, not the usual kind that you have it figured out about the 1/4th way through.
Lyn Soulia smith
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Light cozy with a few chuckles, friend ship and of course surprises. Enjoy many things by this wonderful author.
Terry Ann
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the history of New Orleans intertwined in the story, but I was able to guess the murderer early on!
Just ok
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I chose to listen to this book on CD which I am not sure if that influenced my rating. The reader was faced with a fairly large character list and she tried to be sure they had a fairly distinctive voice with the New Orleans accent. I didn't enjoy the accent which I wouldn't have had had I read it instead.

The setting is on one street in New Orleans. The author introduced you to a cast of characters from that street, their businesses and our main character was a guest to a bakery on Royal street
Becky Hutchison
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Mary Jane Clark's THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC is set around St. Patrick's Day in New Orleans. Wedding cake baker Piper Donovan wins a contest to apprentice with the renowned Bertrand Olivier, a philandering baker with an amazing creative flair. She's starstruck and vows to learn as much as she can from the baker while she's there. Most of the action takes place on Royal Street in the French Quarter, where during her short stay Piper meets colorful local residents and shopkeepers pivotal to the story. ...more
I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads.

This is my first Mary Jane Clark book. I will say first of all that most of her long list of books have fairly high ratings. I'm assuming if you are a loyal reader, or fan of other books in the Piper Donovan series, you will enjoy this book. There were a lot of references to Piper's previous brush with death (I'm assuming in the last book in the series), but there were almost too many. I got that she was for some reason almost poi
Teena in Toronto
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Piper is a baker and an actress. She has won a contest to spend some time with Bertrand, a famous baker, in New Orleans. As soon as she arrives, there is a murder and people suspect it has something to do with voodoo. A couple days later, there is another murder of a merchant on the same street. While dealing with this happening around her, she lands a small part in a movie opposite Channing Tatum plus has to bake a couple cakes for an upcoming wedding.

This is the first book I've read by this au
Mark Flowers
Sep 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
SLJ review:

CLARK, Mary Jane. That Old Black Magic. 320p. (Piper Donovan Series). Morrow. Jan. 2014. Tr $25.99. ISBN 9780062135476.

That Old Black Magic 222x300 That Old Black MagicAdult/High School–After her traumatic near-death experience in Footprints in the Sand (Morrow, 2013), Piper Donovan wants nothing more to do with amateur detective work. Instead, she’s in New Orleans, focusing on her more traditional careers of cake decorating and acting, landing
Mar 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, 2014
Cake decorator/ aspiring actress Piper Donavan is back in That Old Black Magic. This time around, she has traveled to New Orleans to work with a world famous baker and bake a cake for a wedding. Of course, someone is murdered and Piper can't help but stumble into the mystery. I did like this mystery and the killer took me by surprise. I liked how Piper put it together this time. As in her other books, the list of suspects is long and filled with many who could definitely have done it!

I have to
Karen Davis Engelbert
For as much as I anticipated the release of the newest in the Piper Donovan series, I was disappointed, primarily with the ending. While several characters had motives to become potential suspects in the murder spree, the reader is robbed of the satisfaction of unraveling the clues to determine "who done it". Just as the plot is reaching the point that the reader should be expecting the final piece to the puzzle, the author reveals the murderer's name, summing it up with a tidy little motive tha ...more
Bill Mackela
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
I normally stay away from the mysteries that have a kind of cutesy premise, you know what I mean, Seaside Knitters, Tea Shop, Chocoholic, Cookie Cutter Shop, or Wedding Cake Mysteries. But then, I'm always drawn to stories that take place in New Orleans, so when I saw that the author seemed to have some chops, and the book description sounded more like dinner than dessert, I figured I'd place my order. I'm glad that I did.

Ms. Clark has written a very mysterious mystery. What I mean is that there
Dec 16, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I did enjoy this book quite a bit. The story was intricately woven and I found myself caring about what happened to each of the characters. It also provided a vibrate description of New Orleans, which makes me want to go back and visit immediately. I think the beighets recipe at the end of the book was a really nice touch since there is so much discussion of the bakery and the delicious treats that are made. My biggest issue with the book was that it was part of a series. I did not know that whe ...more
Cynthia Flores
I've avoided reading adult mystery fiction for many years and decided to finally try it out. I'm hoping there is something a bit more substantial out there than what I read here. I'm not talking Sherlock Holmes. That's a given. I'm speaking of the general mystery fiction. This book idea was a great one. New Orleans, food, interesting characters, etc. The problem with this story is that there was not one character in this book that actually had any true character. It had me thinking that maybe my ...more
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simple and very fast read. Lots of potentially shady characters to try and guess" who done it." Very similar to reading a mystery by Evanovich-Stephanie Plum mystery-albeit not as funny.
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book.Aspiring actress and wedding cake decorator Piper Donovan has barely arrived in New Orleans to perfect her pastry skills at the renowned French Quarter bakery Boulangerie Betrand when a ghastly murder rocks this magical city. Intrigued by the case, Piper can't help but look for the Hoodoo killer among the faces around her. Could it be the handsome guide eager to give her special private tours? Or the inscrutable jazz musician who plays on historic Royal Street? What abou ...more
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved Mary Jane Clark's Key News mysteries and kept thinking why is she stopping writing these books I enjoy so much. And then I decided to try the second in her Piper Donovan series and thought it was okay but not as good as the Key News stories. But now after reading the fourth in the series I'm really starting to appreciate them.

Mostly because in this book Piper's in New Orleans and of course where Piper is dead bodies soon appear - and I didn't know who did it! And along with that surprise
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Mary Jane Clark is the author of thirteen novels, including 12 in the KEY News media thriller series, and one in her new Wedding Cake mystery series. A veteran writer and producer for CBS News, Clark worked for almost three decades at the network’s New York City headquarters. Her books are published in twenty-three languages. She lives in New Jersey and Florida.

Clark's former mother-in-law and sis
More about Mary Jane Clark...

Other Books in the Series

Wedding Cake Mystery (4 books)
  • To Have and to Kill (Wedding Cake Mystery, #1)
  • The Look of Love (Wedding Cake Mystery, #2)
  • Footprints in the Sand (Wedding Cake Mystery, #3)
“Sometimes the best love is tough love.” 0 likes
“The jazz funeral celebrates the fact that the person who died is free now to dance on the other side.” 0 likes
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