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Enchanted Bay Mystery #1

A Spell for Trouble

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Alexandra Daniels hasn't set foot in the quiet seaside town of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina in over twenty years. Ever since her mother's tragic death, her father has mysteriously forbidden her from visiting her aunt and cousins. But on a whim, Alex accepts an invitation to visit her estranged relatives and to help them in their family business: an herbal apothecary known for its remarkably potent teas, salves, and folk remedies.

Bellamy Bay doesn't look like trouble, but this is a town that harbors dark secrets. Alex discovers that her own family is at the center of salacious town gossip, and that they are rumored to be magical healers descended from mermaids. She brushes this off as nonsense until a local is poisoned and her aunt Lidia is arrested for the crime. Alex is certain Lidia is being framed, and she resolves to find out why.

Alex's investigation unearths stories that some have gone to desperate lengths to conceal: forbidden affairs, family rivalries, and the truth about Alex's own ancestry. And when the case turns deadly, Alex learns that not only are these secrets worth hiding, but they may even be worth killing for.

327 pages, Hardcover

First published May 10, 2020

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About the author

Esme Addison

2 books415 followers
Ever since Esme discovered Nancy Drew, she's wanted to solve mysteries. As a mystery author, she's finally found a way to make that dream come true. A former military spouse, Esme lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband and three boys. When she's
not writing, you can find her visiting B&Bs, breweries, wineries, and historical sites.

Esme is a member of Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers.

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5 stars
420 (23%)
4 stars
706 (39%)
3 stars
538 (30%)
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105 (5%)
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18 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 408 reviews
Profile Image for Esme Addison.
Author 2 books415 followers
June 5, 2020
I'm the author, so I'm giving myself five stars, ya'll!

Just wanted to drop in and say, thanks for stopping by and reading my debut cozy and maybe leaving a review? I wanted to create a fun, magical cozy set in my home state of NC that celebrated my in-law's Polish heritage in a fun and interesting way. I'm happy with the final product but there's always room for improvement, right?!

I'm currently at work on book 2 and can't wait to see what happens to Alex and the gang next.

Would love to know from you readers, who would you like to see Alex involved with? Jack or Dylan? Why or why not?

Don't forget to find me on Instagam, Facebook and Twitter @esmeaddison.

-Esme xxooxx
Profile Image for PamG.
885 reviews542 followers
December 15, 2019
A SPELL FOR TROUBLE by Esme Addison is the first book in the An Enchanted Bay paranormal cozy mystery series. The story takes place in Bellamy Bay, North Carolina and the author does a great job of world-building.
Alexandra Daniels lost her mother when she was young and recently lost her father. She hasn’t been to visit her aunt and cousins in North Carolina since she was a child. Instead, she has focused on her career in risk management in New York. However, she decides to accept an invitation and visit her relatives and help them for a few weeks in their family business, an herbal apothecary.

Alex is a compelling character that is engaging and someone you can root for. Her goals were clear and proactive enough to influence the plot with believable motivations. The secondary characters were well-rounded and enhanced the story. I was immediately drawn into the story and the vivid descriptions of the seaside town gave me a great sense of the place.

There are a lot of themes woven into this story including murder, marital affairs, secrets, rumors, family rivalries, making wrong assumptions, the importance of family, and much more. While I guessed who the murderer was, there were several twists and turns along the way and one very large surprise.

Overall, I enjoyed this well-written novel and recommend the series to those that enjoy this genre. It is the first book that I have read by this author and I am already looking forward to the next one. I liked how magic was weaved into the plot of this cozy mystery without overwhelming it. This was a solid start to a new series that was engaging and entertaining.

Thanks to Crooked Lane Books and Esme Addison for a digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley and the opportunity to provide an honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way.
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,333 reviews2,146 followers
April 6, 2020
This was a light, enjoyable read and an excellent opening for a new cosy series.

I always enjoy witchy books and this one had a good little mystery going as well, with a big twist at the end just when you think you have worked it all out. Several story lines were set in place for future books in the series.

The magic system was entertaining if a little troubling at times. I am not sure I could live in a house where everyone was eavesdropping on my thoughts. The characters were all interesting and our main character already has the requisite two men in her life to cause maximum indecision and confusion. Lots to look forward to in the next book!

My thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Profile Image for Juli.
1,899 reviews492 followers
March 1, 2020
I think I have found a new favorite cozy mystery series! A Spell for Trouble is the first book in the new Enchanted Bay Mysteries.

Alex Daniels comes back to Bellamy Bay, NC after years away. Her father didn't like her Aunt Lidia and her cousins. He said they were odd and not like them, and made her promise never to go back. But after his death, she goes back for some family comfort. What else do you do when you quit your job without a plan B? Her Aunt Lidia runs a herbal apothecary shop, Botanika. It sells tea, herbal remedies and a few extra things....luck potions and the like. Alex quickly feels a part of the family again and starts to think about how to put her life back together. But.....

There's always a but, isn't there??

But.....her aunt is suddenly arrested for murder. A troublesome customer is found dead....and Aunt Lidia is blamed. Alex knows she needs to do some serious sleuthing...because while her family exhibits some strange talents....her aunt is not a murderer!

This tale is cute, entertaining and fun to read! It made for a great afternoon of reading!! I like the setting (because I live in NC, I love reading cozies set here!), the characters and the basic plot. I can't wait to find out what happens in the next book!! Luckily Esme Addison is currently working on the second book in this series....plus the first book in another new series! I will definitely be reading both!

**I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
Profile Image for Diana | Book of Secrets.
799 reviews594 followers
March 1, 2020
3.5 Stars → A SPELL FOR TROUBLE kicks off the new Enchanted Bay Mystery series featuring former risk assessor, Alex Daniels. After some trouble at her New York office, Alex accepts an offer to visit her Bellamy Bay relatives whom she hasn't seen in many years. There is much she didn't know about her long lost aunt and cousins and their enchanted apothecary shop, and all the family secrets start bubbling to the top when Aunt Lidia is arrested for murder.

I have mixed feelings about this book. The good: I loved the charming setting of Bellamy Bay and the Polish folklore that was woven into Alex's family history. The world-building set a solid foundation for the series going forward. What I struggled with: Alex did some silly things that put the case and herself in jeopardy, especially since she has a career in risk management. I also thought the mystery itself wasn't that interesting once the "whys" starting being revealed. However there was a nifty twist regarding the culprit that I enjoyed.

With its magical roots I'm looking forward to seeing where this series goes in future books.

Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Brenda.
4,233 reviews2,740 followers
June 7, 2020
Alex Daniels’ arrival in Bellamy Bay, North Carolina was her first visit in over twenty years. After her father’s death she decided to visit her Aunt Lidia and cousins Minka and Kamila; her memories of the times she played with her cousins were sparse, but she knew she’d had fun as a youngster. Welcomed with open arms, Alex soon joined Lidia and Minka at their apothecary shop, Botanika and when Lidia started teaching her to make soaps and perfumes, Alex was content.

But when one of the small town’s residents was murdered, it all pointed back to Lidia and when she was arrested for his murder, the cousins were shattered. There and then Alex determined she would discover who the killer was and prove Lidia’s innocence. But there was much more to the town and its inhabitants than Alex had had any clue about. Her own history was brought into the mix along with a feud that went back more than one hundred years. What was happening in Bellamy Bay? What was it her family was involved in?

A Spell for Trouble is the 1st in An Enchanted Bay Mystery series by Esme Addison and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Fun, entertaining, intriguing and intense, the mystery was gripping and kept me enthralled from start to finish. My first by this author and I’ll be keeping my eye out for the 2nd in the series. Highly recommended.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Skyler Autumn.
229 reviews1,404 followers
February 7, 2021
2.5 Stars

This is the year to read all the cozy books! I want to be coddled and swathed in coziness to inch of my life.

A Spell of Trouble has all the cadences of a cozy mystery; small town, quirky family/friends, cute store, amateur sleuthing, and possible love interests. Every box that needed to be ticked was ticked. Yet I found this read to be more irritating than invigorating. Our protagonist was not only pushy but made countless ridiculous decisions that made it hard to follow her without rolling your eyes, the two love interests that were introduced were not wholesome but toxic, the family wasn't't quirky enough to distinguish themselves from each other, the apothecary store should have been described in lot more vivid detail as if it was another character and the mystery combined with the magic came across messy.

Overall this will be the first and last I read in this series like I said at the beginning I need a coziness IV drip at this point in my life and if a book isn't delivering I'm not gonna force it.
Profile Image for Scottsdale Public Library.
3,282 reviews265 followers
January 21, 2021
Mermaids, magic, and murder! This new spell-binding cozy mystery series is a must read. Alex Daniels visits her estranged relatives in the quaint seaside town of Bellamy Bay and quickly becomes involved with their apothecary shop. Soon she discovers that the different teas, salves, and remedies may be more extraordinary than what meets the eye.
When a local is murdered and her aunt is arrested, Alex is determined to prove her innocence. She begins an investigation that unearths dark secrets about the town with her family right in the center of it all. With quirky characters and a touch of romance, the Enchanted Bay mystery series is one to look out for. ~Jenny L.
Profile Image for Judy.
1,156 reviews
May 11, 2020
This was a fun paranormal mystery woven around a delightful family of witches. It is centered around Alexandra Daniels who returns to her hometown of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina after being passed over for a promotion at work in New York. Her mother had died when she was young and she recently lost her father. Alexandra comes to visit with her Aunt Lidia and her cousins, Minka and Kamila (her father had never wanted her to accept an invitation to visit them and had made her promise not to go there). Alexandra ends up helping out at her Aunt's herbal apothecary and begins to feel she is part of the family. Then, her aunt is accused of murder. Alexandra extends her stay and begins to investigate because she knows that her aunt is not a murderer. She also finds out that her family has some special talents that have always been hidden from her.

I found the book to be charming and loved the characters. I enjoyed my time spent with the book and look forward to another in the series.

Thanks to Crooked Lane Books through Netgalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Linda ~ *Chatcozy* on semi-hiatus.
1,210 reviews15 followers
July 8, 2020
I enjoyed this new para-witch cozy mystery. The protagonist doesn’t have a clue she’s a witch, and it’s entertaining as she begins to learn how to use her powers! Her aunt and cousins are nice supporting characters, and I loved their shop full of healing products touched by their magic. I look forward to reading more stories in this series.
Profile Image for Harper Kincaid.
Author 10 books423 followers
May 12, 2020
Such a wonderful beginning to a new series! Addison has the most charming characters and environs and any cozy with a little bit of magic is a bonus in my opinion. I can't recommend it enough!!1
Profile Image for Tari.
2,430 reviews72 followers
May 14, 2020
This is going to be such an awesome series! I just loved this first book with all the unique magical characters, and I can't wait to visit with them again. The setting was awesome and I could just picture the gorgeous beaches. I just loved Minka who was probably my favorite character. Alex was a good strong main character and I have some high hopes for her and Jack the police lieutenant.

The killer was a total surprise to me, what a great twist! I love how so many things are possible when it's a magical world. The story about Alex's mom seems to be one that might stay around for awhile until it's completely resolved, but that's fine. The main mystery was solved, and the side mystery gives us a little something to look forward to.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Jenny.
1,760 reviews59 followers
August 22, 2020
A Spell for Trouble is book one of the An Enchanted Bay Mystery by Esme Addison. After her mother dies, Aleksandra Daniels decided to reunite with her aunty Lidia Sobieski and her cousins, Minka and Kamila, at Bellemy Bay, North Carolina. On arrival, Aleksandra started to work in the family business and enjoy her life in Bellemy Bay until her Aunty became the prime suspect in a murder investigation. Aleksandra decided to investigate. The readers of A Spell for Trouble will continue to follow Aleksandra to find out what happens.

A Spell for Trouble is the first book I have read of Esme Addison, and I will read another book by Esme Addison. I liked reading A Spell for Trouble with it quicky plot and excellent description of the settings of this book. I love Esme Addison's portrayal of her characters and their interaction with each other throughout this book. A Spell for Trouble is well written and researched by Esme Addison.

The readers of A Spell for Trouble will learn about the properties of herbal medicines and teas. Also, the readers of A Spell for Trouble will understand the consequences of keeping secrets from families and communities.

I recommend this book.
Profile Image for Lizz (Beer, Books and Boos).
424 reviews101 followers
March 30, 2020
I can't put into words how much I loved this book and I couldn't put it down. It gave me a Little Mermaid mixed with Practical Magic vibe which I loved, they are both my favorite movies. I am a sucker for books were the main characters reunites with family, then finds out about their magical roots. Alex is a great character but she does do something that could cause trouble not just for herself and family but the case as well. As she starts to understand her lost family a dead body makes them the prime suspect. The town of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina is a place I would love to visit and the author did a wonderful job bringing it to life. The writing was very easy to follow and it was fast pace. I could hardly put it down and I would definitely recommend this to my family and friends. I might even have to tell my mom to read it ASAP.

Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Alison Rose.
837 reviews33 followers
October 8, 2021
Books can really have an impact on you. For example, after reading this, I now want to work in a witchy apothecary shop.

I really enjoyed this one! The setting is charming, a little Stars Hollow-esque with a Southern flair, and the family botanical shop was so perfect. I don't know a thing about this kind of stuff, but it sure seemed like the author did her research (or at least that she's terrific at bullshitting). I really liked Alex's family and appreciated that the aunt and cousins all had distinct personalities. Plus, a small-town cozy with magic mixed in is just a great combination. I appreciated that the magical elements didn't get silly or over the top, too.

The mystery was fun to follow, and I definitely liked the neat twist the author gives us with the reveal, which meant that I almost guessed who it was, but not quite. No spoilers, obviously, but if you read it, you'll know what I mean. I liked that our MC doesn't do completely stupid stuff like can sometimes happen in cozies, though there were a couple times where things were a little too easy or convenient.

I'd say my other main issue was that the detective, Jack, was kind of inept in that he zeroed in on Alex's aunt as the suspect in the murder immediately based on not exactly concrete evidence, and didn't seem to even consider looking into anyone else. So then Alex has to be the one to tell him about the victim's land dealings and other things, and he's like "Oh really? Tell me more, let me take notes" and I'm like, dude…you have that gold shield for a reason, don't you? He's a former NYC detective! So that wasn't really believable and could've been done in a more realistic way.

But overall I had a lot of fun with this one and am very much looking forward to book 2!
Profile Image for Annu.
229 reviews31 followers
February 1, 2021
A good cozy with water witches. Alex comes to Bellamy bay where her mother’s side resides, to start over. She learns that her mother’s side are descendants of mermaids and so is she. It was nice to see Alex learning about her powers through this book. Aunt Lydia scared me, I don’t think I’ve ever been scared of a character in a cozy. Her temper and the way she reacted to certain situations was really scary. There is a love triangle in this book and so far, I’m leaning a little towards Dylan. As for the mystery, it was well done and I didn’t guess the killer. Looking forward to book 2.
Profile Image for Toni.
1,348 reviews47 followers
May 3, 2020
4.5 stars

This is the first book in the Enchanted Bay mystery series by Esme Addison.

The premise: A young woman comes back to her mother's hometown only to discover she has a magical heritage. When she assists her cousins and aunt with their herbal remedy shop, a man her aunt has a public argument with us found murdered.

This is kind of like a coming of age story. The main character, Alex is learning to not only trust herself but learn to trust others too. She has so many things to learn here. There is more than one love interest available here. The son of the family who is at odds with her family's interests is magical, plus the bond is there between them that crackles to life whenever she is around him. Then there is the mundane, the non magical option. Jack is a cop and her lineage is known for their love connections with non magical folk.

There is a whole lot going on just on the surface of the mystery and Alex's introduction to town and how things are done. Then add in all the magical elements and This book is so chock full you will never find yourself uninterested.

The mystery is spot on. The push and pull between the love interest is captivating and the magic is a super special thing to behold. I am all in and ready for the next book in the series.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I want to thank NetGalley,the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.
2 reviews1 follower
February 18, 2020
I just finished reading this thrilling cozy novel and I'm still spinning from the whirlwind of an ending. Definitely didn't see that coming. And I smell a sequel! And if there isn't one in the works, I strongly encourage the author to start writing one RIGHT NOW. Where do I start. Well first, the story immediately grabbed my attention from the beginning with it's vibrant style of writing and the lead character's arrival in the seemingly sleepy NC beach town. I'm from North Carolina so the attention to detail in describing the natural environment and the beaches during off-season really resonated with me. The plot pulsates with new twists and turns and kept me turning the pages late into the night. I felt like I was personally walking into the quaint town shops and like I knew each of the characters. I liked that the characters had their own unique stories which melded together into a really engaging story. There are definitely a few characters who I hope to learn more about their stories, like I said, in a book two. Fingers crossed that it's coming! For now, I give this novel five stars and a big recommendation to any cozy-mystery lover.
Profile Image for JoAn.
2,118 reviews1 follower
December 19, 2019
A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison was an intriguing beginning to this cozy series.

I really liked the setting of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina as it seemed to be a warm and friendly small town in spite of the Wesley family. Alex, Lidia, Minka and Kamila form a close bond once Alex moves to town. Alex seemed to be a strong woman but had allowed her former job in risk management to determine how she lived her life until she moved to Bellamy Bay. All of the characters are developing in this story and I felt that I got to know them pretty well. I especially liked how Alex began to push her own self-imposed boundaries to solve the mystery.

The plot is smoothly paced with murder, secrets, rumors and rivalries between magical families. Several suspects, twists, red herrings and magic kept me turning the pages. I will definitely look for the next book in the series.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Sue Em.
1,247 reviews62 followers
February 17, 2022
With so many good books out there, I usually pass on a new series by a new author until some reviews validate it. But for some reason, this appealed to me and I was happy that I took a chance on it.

Alexandra Daniels hasn't been back to visit her aunts in Bellamy Bay since her mother drowned there. Now that her father had passed away, she decided it was time to reconnect with family. The family business is a herbal oasis of perfumes, salves and soaps that are strangely potent. And, Alexandra soon learns her family has some special talents, and so does she. When her aunt Lidia is arrested for the poisoning of one of her customers, Alex is compelled to figure out how to clear her aunt's name.

Characters are interesting with room to develop in further books. All in all, a charming and enjoyable read. I'm already anticipating the next one. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
872 reviews20 followers
January 2, 2020
I enjoyed this book so much so that I was sorry when it ended. I want to know what happens next. I enjoyed the characters and the small town setting. It was an interesting mystery in how they figured out who did it and how it was wrapped up.

Thank you to the publisher, author and NetGalley for my eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lois .
1,872 reviews479 followers
October 28, 2022
3.25 enthusiastic stars
This was charming and I loved the cozy mystery mixed with the magical setting.
The author is Black and I wish the MC had been as well.
A bit of a missed opportunity but I support authors writing stories with MC of others ethnicities as long as it's done respectfully and this was.
Profile Image for Annarella.
11.8k reviews128 followers
July 3, 2020
An excellent start for a new series. I appreciated the cast of characters, the storyline and the setting.
The mystery is solid and kept me guessing.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
251 reviews6 followers
September 25, 2020
A Spell for Trouble is the first in a new cozy mystery series set in the seaside town of Bellamy Bay, NC. After a twenty year estrangement, Alex reconnects with her mothers side of the family and learns they are rumored to be magical healers descended from mermaids. When Alex's aunt is arrested for murder Alex begins investigating in hopes of finding the real killer.

This is a fun book, with likeable characters and a pretty setting. The mystery was engaging and the paranormal aspects are interesting and different from anything I've seen in other cozies as it is based on Polish folklore. Recommended for fans of cozy mysteries, particularly those with paranormal elements.
Profile Image for Margie.
1,716 reviews15 followers
April 29, 2020
Why didn't my Aunt Lidia and cousins Minka and Kamila just tell me? Why didn't my father tell me? Why did I have to find out from Dylan Wesley? Find out what, you ask? Find out that I am a witch descended from a mermaid. Wow! Now what? I left my risk management job in Manhattan and traveled to Bellamy Bay, NC to visit family I hadn't seen since my mother died a number of years ago and I get hit with this unbelievable news. So while trying to figure out what I am going to do with the rest of my life I am helping out in my aunt's herbal apothecary shop, Botanika. Sure, I witnessed Aunt Lidia's confrontation with Randy Bennett. Sure he consumed the tea made from the tea leaves Aunt Lidia gave him but she didn't give him the nightshade berries found in his stomach during the autopsy and that is what was determined to have killed him. I don't believe Aunt Lidia killed him. Her magic is all for good. I believe she is being framed and I am going to prove it. After all that hunk of a detective, Jack Frazier, who I had, past tense had, a date with after meeting at the coffee shop, believes he has arrested the killer and really isn't doing much further investigating. I will prove Jack Frazier wrong. Aunt Lidia is innocent!

I met this gorgeous woman at the coffee shop. I'm new to Bellamy Bay, moved here from Manhattan and left the New York City Police Department. Moved to be closer to family. Don't know why I was instantly attracted to Aleksandra Daniels, but I was. Too bad I had to arrest her aunt for murder and our dinner date for Saturday night is off. She keeps trying to convince me her aunt is innocent and to look at these other possible suspects. She insists she is going to do the job I am not doing and find the real killer. This is not good. Not good at all. And, oh yes, this is no way to start a relationship in case you readers were wondering. I wonder if Aleksandra has a sign or something that says, "Detective Jack Frazier is an idiot." Sigh.

A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addington is a super beginning to her Enchanted Bay series. Ms. Addington does a great job with this murder mystery. Aleksandra Daniels has lots of suspects to investigate and she sure gets into lots of trouble in the process. She and Jack are interesting characters. All the secondary characters help round out the story. The storyline is solid and I enjoyed following along with Aleksandra's investigation. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
246 reviews4 followers
May 18, 2020
After her mother's drowning death in Bellamy Bay, North Carolina more than twenty years before, Alex Daniels father forbade her from coming back to the town. But now after losing her job, Alex accepts an invitation from her aunt and cousin. While there she helps them with their herbal apothecary known for its remarkably potent teas, salves, and folk remedies.

But then there is a murder, and Alex's aunt becomes the prime suspect. After Lidia is arrested, Alex decides to do some sleuthing to find out the truth. She also finds out long hidden family secrets, and a long ago rivalry with another family in town that puts a new spin on things. Can Alex figure out the truth before more deaths occur? And can she handle her family's secret?

This is, without a doubt, one of the best cozies I've read this year. Alex is a great character, as are her aunt and cousins. As a matter of fact, the whole town is intriguing. I loved following Alex on her journey. The best part of this is that I didn't figure out the ending. I thought I had it, then I didn't, then I did, and then I didn't. This is one of those books that I hate to give away too much, because I enjoyed discovering it on my own, and I think other readers will, too. I will just say paranormal, and mermaids.

That made the book all the more entertaining to me. I am really looking forward to another book int his series, to see where Esme Addison leaves Alex and her family. It's sure to be entertaining. I highly recommend this book.

I read a digital copy of this book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.
Profile Image for Kristina.
3,525 reviews64 followers
July 13, 2021
A Spell For Trouble by Esme Addison is the debut of An Enchanted Bay Mystery series. I enjoyed reading this paranormal cozy mystery. I thought A Spell For Trouble was well-written with developed characters. The author took the time to set the stage as I call it. We are introduced to the characters and the town. I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of Bellamy Bay. Alex Daniels is a complex woman. She is a little lost when she arrives in town, but Alex soon becomes a strong protagonist. She is a woman that readers will like and will cheer her on. I like that she is proactive in investigating. I enjoyed getting to know Alex and her smart, intuitive canine, Athena. Alex has a kind aunt and friendly cousins. I thought the secondary characters were developed and they round out the cast nicely. They definitely enhanced the story. The mystery was entertaining. I love a complex whodunit that is full of twists and surprises. This was a fun one to solve. There are several themes woven into A Spell For Trouble that include a magical ancestry, family rivalries, a murder, secrets, innuendo, and the importance of family. The magical components are compelling and nicely incorporated into the story. A Spell For Trouble is a great start to this enchanting series. I am eager to read A Hex for Danger. A Spell for Trouble is a magical tale with an instinctive canine, kind cousins, a messy murder, a fervent reporter, a bitter brew, and helpful healers.
Profile Image for ♥Sabulous ♥.
357 reviews1 follower
October 5, 2021
Alright, let's get into it.

At first I was like "okay, yes Polish mermaid witches. Love that." I was vibing with this book for a bit. Like I knew it was going to be little and fluffy and have all the makings for a cozy mystery. I signed up for this, I was here for it.

And then, we get to Alex getting all upset. Demanding that she has a right to know her family's history. Ma'am. Do you know have a smart phone? Do you know how to conduct a Google search? There is Ancestry.com. Go to the library for local history. You aren't owed anything. Wanna get mad? Get mad at your parents for not telling you what's up. Don't go yelling at you extended family. Christ.

Then! We have the "they are trying to get back their ancestral land" thing. We are doin' this? Trying to lay claim to a land that was most likely stolen from the Native Americans? That is a nope. Big nope.

This has nothing to do with the book but a thought I had while reading the book...are cozy mysteries an huge example of White Privilege? Like think about it for a second. If the Amateur Sleuth was a BIPOC, would it change the story? Would the detectives be as kind and just keep telling them to leave the police business to the police? Or what about being found at an active crime scene? I think not
Profile Image for Jill.
148 reviews
March 29, 2020
This book was so fun and engaging. I cannot wait for the next one to come out.

Alexandra had not been to Bellamy Bay, NC since her mother died over twenty years ago because her father did not want her to go there. After her father's death and some work problems, she finally accepted an invitation to go visit her aunt and cousins.

While Alexandra is there she decides to help out at the family herbal apothecary shop and soon discovers that things are not as she expected. After a customer dies from poison, her aunt Lidia is arrested, and Alexandra decides that it is up to her to get to bottom of what happened. In the process she learns way more than she anticipated about her family history.

I received a copy of this book to review through Netgalley and thoroughly enjoyed it.
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