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Witchy Expo Services Mysteries #1

Don't Judge a Book by Its Hover

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Witchy Expo Services. We host your convention, expo, or trade show—with a dash of magic!

Set up in a matter of days, our expos can host even the largest of crowds in our witch-run village of Cauldron Cove. We can offer what no other expo planners can: breathtaking illusions, instant teleportation from one end of the center to the other, floating item storage, and all the exceptional, magical touches that will make your event one-of-a-kind. Inquire about Cauldron Cove hosting your next event today by contacting Bernadette Toothaker, award-winning Head Witch General Manager of Witchy Expo Services for eleven decades.

Nimue Toothaker is ecstatic that her world-famous grandmother is about to retire and has chosen her as her successor in the family business. She’s only been working on the expos for a few years, but she’s confident she has what it takes to lead her fellow witches and warlocks in the business that defines their entire village. Unfortunately, her grandmother’s sole condition for Nimue taking the job is that she share the position with her arch rival, an irritating warlock possessed of two minds—quite literally.

First up is Bookshop Con, where indie booksellers from across the nation host authors and sell books to passionate readers. Nimue’s grand plans clash with her co-manager’s persnickety demands, but their arguments cease to matter when a celebrated author drops dead in the convention center lobby. Nimue suspects murder, but she knows that if she ends the convention prematurely, the magic at work will destroy her beloved hometown. It’s a race to catch the killer before they strike again—all while trying to prove she can handle the job she’s so desperately always wanted.

328 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 28, 2021

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About the author

Amy McNulty

31 books497 followers
Amy McNulty is an editor and author of books that run the gamut from YA speculative fiction to contemporary romance. A lifelong fiction fanatic, she fangirls over books, anime, manga, comics, movies, games, and TV shows from her home state of Wisconsin. When not editing her clients’ novels, she’s busy fulfilling her dream by crafting fantastical worlds of her own.

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Displaying 1 - 23 of 23 reviews
Profile Image for Kathleen.
1,116 reviews35 followers
December 30, 2021
Don't Judge a Book by Its Hover earns 5/5 Charming Charms…Entertaining Fun!

Bernadette Toothaker announced her retirement as head witch general manager of Witchy Expo Services after a century creating unique themed conventions with lots of magical elements for mostly human clientele since witches and warlocks aren’t all that interested in some of the flash. With no fuss, no fan fare, and no warning she named her replacements and left. Her granddaughter Nimue along warlock Soren/Ren Southern will be “co-managers.” Southern may be a bit complicated as a leader since he literally is two personalities in one: Soren is affable and easy going, but Ren is snarky and nit picky. Bernadette demanded the two “work together” and to remember it is essential for the good of the business and the magical community. Their joint project, Bookshop Con, must be a success, and as difficult it is to set aside disagreements and Ren’s push to be the one in charge, everything is set to go…until a public kerfuffle, accusations of bribery, professional animosity, and one author found dead!

Amy McNulty has created an intriguing world where witches, warlocks, and their magical abilities live out in the open. She has devised a fascinating lore of casting charms with “once a day” guidelines, a connection between the conventions and magic as key to the town’s safety, and a unique multiple personality warlock adding quite the drama. There’s more magic, charm casting, and witchy antics than I usually like in my cozies, but it works well here and is quite entertaining. Imagine how different the last book faire you attended would be with hovering books and teleportation portals. The drama entangles an assortment of authors with varying personalities and views on a world of magic along with fans who are excited about experiencing magic up close and personal, and friends and foes among the witch community. The dual persona of Soren/Ren was a unique element with an easy to follow transformation between the characters. There’s a fascinating past between Nimue and Soren which was slowly revealed along with Nimue’s relationship with her half human/half witch daughter. A fun read well worthy joining in…and more later in 2022.

Disclosure: I received an ARC from the author. My review is voluntary with honest insights and comments.
Profile Image for Nadine.
1,547 reviews2 followers
October 9, 2021
Not a bad book by all means, just not the right fit for me at this time in my life

Let me start by saying that my life right now has a lot of negativity and that, no doubt, influenced my opinion of this book. My current state of mind tainted my views on this book; I’m sad to say that, while I didn’t DISLIKE the book, I also didn’t LIKE it. And that was a surprise to me, because I’ve read other books by this author in the Spooky Games Club series and really, really enjoyed them.

I’ll first state the good: it was original! It was well-plotted and well-developed. The magic used was imaginative! I really appreciated that. And I loved the whole concept, and the setting of a magical Bookshop Con was awesome! I also loved Nimue’s mini-dragon familiar Gowdie. And there definitely were parts of the book that were pleasant, enjoyable, and entertaining!

Then the not-as-good:

The book starts with world building and while that was necessary, it did mean I didn’t get into it as well as I had hoped. I didn’t understand everything. It was a bit jumbled, and somewhat confusing, like the Ren/Soren thing, I only understood that later in the book.

Yes, this book carried the promise of something original, but for me that never fully came to fruition. It felt slow, the story dragged in places. I think if some of the details had been lessened and the pace had been quicker, it would have been better.

Maybe I missed the fun, the lightheartedness that I did find in this author’s other series that I mentioned before. In this book there’s a lot of snapping, raised voices, angry retorts, negative ways of talking to people. The rivalry between Ren and Nimue was not something I enjoyed. I didn’t like Balfour, or Ren, or Zelena, or Rona, or Sherman; for me there were too many dislikeable people. And actually, Nimue wasn’t very likeable either, the way she talks to people was often very snappy and negative too. She’s irrational and the opposite of calm, she holds grudges and treats people accordingly, and that got under my skin. But like I said, my own life right now subconsciously influenced my opinion; I think I did pick up on what negativity there was in the book and somehow, without meaning to, made that bigger in my head. But in the end, I can only judge a book by - no, not its hover, but by what I thought while reading.

I kept reading because of the fact it did carry promise, I kept thinking it’d get better, but I never took to it. And that’s more me than the author. Still, this is my honest opinion.
Profile Image for E.
1,180 reviews
October 15, 2021
Enjoyed it

Book started off slowly for me but quickly caught my attention. Enjoyed the whimsical world that was created by the author. Fun read, I didn't figure out who did it until the author was ready to reveal it. I look forward to seeing what happens in the next book.
1,022 reviews5 followers
October 13, 2021
This book was absolutely amazing. The characters are cute and fun. The story moves at a lively pace and the story just captures your attention. I read this one rather quickly. I really enjoyed this clever mystery cozy.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
4,264 reviews25 followers
January 28, 2022
Our heroine is excited to take on the family business, but a bit less so when she is saddled with an unwelcome partner. Even more troubling is the murder at her first event. This is not what she signed up for, but she is going to fix it one way or the other.

This is book one of the series, so a good place to start.

This is a cozy witch mystery, which got my interest right there as I am a big fan of the genre. The story was well written and easy to read with a fascinating setting that just begs to be explored in depth. The characters are also both zany and wonderful, providing an endless stream of off the wall encounters. Our heroine is particularly intriguing with a lot of facets to her character. Roll all this in with a mysterious plot and a good sense of humor and you get a clear winner. Overall, this was a lot of fun and I am definitely looking forward to seeing our heroine again.

Highly recommended

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout for review purposes.
Profile Image for Jodi Sweet.
1,266 reviews4 followers
January 29, 2022
Really enjoyable!

While definitely a cozy mystery that follows the cozy rules, this was a unique take on witches and how magic works. I love when an author Can come up with something that sets their book apart from the others. I truly loved the characters and the mystery played out so well. It’s going to be hard to wait until September for the next book!
9,647 reviews102 followers
November 4, 2021
What a new concept. Witchy Expo Services. Magic, awesome characters to start a new series. Impossible to not enjoy.
Profile Image for Julie Howard.
Author 2 books12 followers
September 12, 2022
I loved this book. I did get a bit confused at the start of the book with all the unusual names, especially with the familiar's as well, but the more I listened the more I got into the story and understood. I loved the magic aspect of this book and the way it is used to set up the convention, it's a nice twist on the use of magic. I really liked the characters and there different types of famillar's, with them taking on there witches personalities. The split job and personality also adds fun to the story and a whole lot of drama. The author showed a good imagination with not only coming up with ideas to make the convention exciting but also easy to imagine the goings on, so much so that I would love to visit it, well as long as there isn't a killer running around. The mystery was good and I was still trying to work out who was responsible, when the killer was revealed. Definitely a series that is going to be added to my must read/listen too list.
Nimue as assistant to the head witch and General Manager of Witchy Expo Services is use to hard work and problem solving in order to keep each and every convention running smoothly. But when her Grandmother announces her retirement on the eve of the book con, she is shocked to learn she is put in joint charge with a fellow warlock Ren, who has two sides to him. The success of the town and it's magic relies on them sorting out there differences, keeping the author and sellers happy and making the book show a success. Her problems with the Warlock and his familiar pales in comparison when the most famous and demanding author has a falling out with a rival and a popular draw to the convention backfires and she is found dead under a stack of books. Was Nimue's changes the reason for the death? Like Ren warned? Nimue and Ren find themselves not only trying to keep the death a secret, so the book con can go ahead but also find a killer. The author wasn't well liked by anybody but will magic help expose all her secrets in order to find her killer? Even if it was committed by a human?
I liked the narrator. She helped to make the story magical and come to life.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Profile Image for Tiffany Murphy.
457 reviews68 followers
September 29, 2021
Witchy expo services: we host your convention, expo, or trade show with a little something extra, magic. Our expos can set up to hot even the largest of crowds within a matter of days, all set in our picturesque, witch run town of Cauldron Cove. No other expo planners can offer what we can: breathtakingly beautiful illusions, teleportation from one end of the convention center to the other, floating item storage, and magical touches sure to make your event one of a kind.

Nimue Toothaker is thrilled to learn that her world famous grandmother has chosen her as her replacement as the head of Witchy Expo Services. She’s only been working the expos for a few years, but she’s confident that she can lead her fellow witch and warlocks in the family business that literally defines their town. The only drawback is that her grandmother’s sole condition for Nimue to take the job is for her to share the position with her arch rival, a warlock who is literally possessed of two minds, two distinct personalities. Their first event as co-managers is Bookshop Con, where Indie booksellers from across the country host authors and sell books. Nimue’s plans are at odds with her co-manager, but when a celebrated author dies, literally in the lobby of the convention center, they quickly have to put aside their differences. Nimue suspects murder, but if he ends the convention early, the magic at work wi destroy the entire town. They have to figure out what happened and who the killer is before they get the chance to strike again.

This was such a fun, easy read. Cauldron Cove is the cutest little town where magical beings live side by side with mortals. The characters are all unique with their own distinct personalities. This book does a great job of introducing all the characters and really setting the scene. The story moves along at a steady pace, while letting you really get to know the expo guests and participants, as well as all those working with the expo center. I really enjoyed this book and am very excited about the rest of the series.

I received this book from Amy McNulty, in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinions of this book.
Profile Image for Sue-Dee Numb.
320 reviews4 followers
October 2, 2021
A different take on things where fiction cosy books featuring humans without magic is a novel (no pun intended) idea! I enjoyed reading the story, the storyline is good with red herrings galore, but solving a human murder with magic tools does not always seem to work, sometimes magic IS overrated, and I liked that, I liked that the author did not make magic the tool to solve everything, I will definitely be looking to read the next one in the series!

Nimue Toothhaker has been working for the Witchy Expo services for 12 years. since her divorce and return to Cauldron's Cove as the Assistant to the Head Witch General Manager. who happens to be her Gran. Each convention is important to the town, not just for tourism and financial reasons but each convention the energy feeds the magic that ultimately feeds the town.
On the eve of one of the biggest Conventions of the year, Nimue's gran announces her retirement effective immediately, Her replacement? Nimue, and her colleague Soren Southern. Soren is a complicated character, after his wife died he literally split into two personalities, there is Sothern the Warlock Nimue has known since school, (had a secret crush on when at school, ) who is the softer side, the more open and free side then there is Ren who is more uptight and stiff.
Neither is happy to share the title with the other but as Nimue's dragon familiar tells her, "Success is the Best Revenge" so each set out to prove they are the best manager, without really working together,
When a murder sets to derail Book Con and the energy feeding the cauldron beneath Cauldron Cove, Nimue has to find out who killed the beloved author, and reveal the secrets behind the writing.
335 reviews3 followers
October 6, 2021
A Great Start To a Fun and Enjoyable Series!!!

Don't Judge a Book by Its Hover is Book #1 in the Witchy Expo Services Mysteries Series and it is the first book that I read by Amy McNulty and I really enjoy it.

Nimue Toothaker is very happy and exciting that her grandmother is about to retire and has chosen her as her successor in the family business, Witchy Expo Service but she is not happy with the condition that she has to share the position with her arch rival, Ren Southern, an irritating warlock possessed of two minds, two personalities.

At their first event as co-manager, Bookshop Con, a celebrated author dies right in the convention center lobby. Nimue and Ren will need to work together to find the killer before they strike again.

This book is a real page turner, it’s a great read, the plot is very original and unique with delightful characters, it's hard to put down fast-paced story line that keeps me entertained as I try to figure out who is the killer, the twists and turns are abundant in this adventurous paranormal cozy mystery. It is very entertaining and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Michelle.
584 reviews1 follower
October 4, 2021
A bit of a slow start to this book. As such I didn’t really think I would enjoy it. Yet as I read further on into the story I was drawn into this quirky world where magic and witches exist alongside the regular humans. Then there is this town full of magic that thrives on fan conventions feeding the magic cauldron that gives the place life.
A most unusual setting for a mystery to unfold. A murder at a fan con. The witch and warlock newly promoted must find the culprit and ensure the success of the con so the cauldron is happy and the town continues to prosper. Each of the characters are quirky and fun but there is not a lot of backstory on most of them. I’m not sure if this is first in a series but it feels like a bit of background between characters and some major events like what happened to Ren/Soren which is mentioned often but never fully explained. The world building is very cool, I for one would love to live in this town or vacation there often. Definitely an entertaining read with a few tweaks it would be excellent.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Geraldine Byrne.
Author 16 books27 followers
September 21, 2021
A fun read, with an interesting and well drawn world full of magic.
Nimue lives in a town full of witches in a world where the magical and mundane live side by side. Her daughter is half witch, half mortal. Her town hosts Witchy Expo Services using magic to make every event unique; Nimue's grandmother is the boss. Witches live a long time, but eventually even her reknowned grandmother Bernadette decides to retire and selects Nimue as her heir, alongside the enigmatic Soren/Ren.
The first in any series has to set the scene and explain the world. It's not laboured though and it's sufficiently different to justify the exposition. The characters are well drawn and once the story gets underway it maintains a good pace.
Overall an enjoyable fun read, the magic elements are well handled and cleverly thought out.
The mystery itself takes a bit of a back seat to the setting in some ways but there's enough there to keep you interested.
If you're a fan of genre specific cozies or magic based adventure this will definitely appeal
645 reviews4 followers
October 11, 2021
Don't Judge a Book by Its Hover: Case 1: Bookshop Con is book #1 in the Witchy Expo Services Mysteries series by Amy McNulty.

Nimue Toothaker’s grandmother retires and names her nemesis, Ren Southern Co-Head General Managers of Witchy Expo Services. In their first Expo, a famous author dies. Nimue needs to find out if it was an accident or murder because the whole town depends on the success of Bookshop Con.

I haven’t read anything like this where witches and warlocks have conventions for humans. Having the first book be about a bookshop convention was fun. It’s an interesting cast of characters and the fact that they have to work together to make the Expos a success is an intriguing twist.

I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book and I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
Profile Image for Emily Pennington.
15.6k reviews187 followers
October 5, 2021
The Awkward Partnership . . .

Nimue Toothaker will at last have the honor of taking over the business for her grandmother as head of Witchy Expo Services. She was not expecting the “condition” added by her grandmother, where she must share the position with her rival, Ren Southern, a warlock she doesn’t get along with.

At their first event, a celebrated author dies right in the convention center lobby. They will need to work together flawlessly to fix this situation. Can they find the killer before he strikes again?

This is a first-meet of the characters we will be seeing. The author did a great job with this mystery and I am eager to see the future books she has to offer in this series.
Profile Image for Janet Graham.
2,056 reviews3 followers
October 14, 2021
Different World
This is a cozy paranormal novel and the first in a new series. It is interesting in that it does not follow the 'rules' that most books follow in this paranormal world. Humans and Magicals exist together. Witches can only cast certain classifications of spells once per day. And, of course, there are tons more. In trying to wrap my mind around this new world, I found it very difficult to pay attention to the storyline which had its own complications. I am sure that this book is good, but it was too confusing for this old brain and I did not finish reading it. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
4,390 reviews43 followers
October 23, 2021
Nimue and Ren are forced to work together at the Witchy Expo service that her grandmother is retiring from after eleven decades. Working with a rival, setting up the town and Bookshop Con with all the magickal elements, dealing with a murder of a well known author, and thwarting a killer are goals in life Nimue did not see coming. Loved the characters and the unique storyline. The surprises and twists keep you guessing until the end, making it hard to put down. Loved the story and can not wait to read more of this group.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
4,267 reviews25 followers
October 6, 2021
when her great grandmother retires and leaves Nimue and her friend Soren as co-managing directors for Witchy ExS

a booth that provides a living scene from the book of your choice is surprisingly popular- and potentially quite dangerous and lethal

Can Nimue manage a spy or several, her multiple personality friend, some devious folks and familiars, and her own insecurities?

high flying witchly adventures

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Kim.
868 reviews8 followers
September 19, 2021
Witchy Expo Service is hosting BookCon. This is the first event that Nimue Toothaker is co-managing with her co-rival. Nimue and her rival disagreed on some aspects of the setup of BookCon the con was getting off to a rocky start. However, nothing could prepare Nimue for the death of the start author. Can Nimue find out if this was really an accident or murder before the BookCon has to close?

As with a lot of first in series, there is a lot of back story of the setting and characters. This resulted in a slow start to the story. Once you get past the backstories and to the main mystery of the book, the story picks up pace. The mystery has plenty of suspects and twists and turns to keep you guessing. The characters are interesting. I am looking forward to seeing how they develop over time.

All thoughts and opinions are my own, and in no way have I been influenced by anyone.
Profile Image for Heather W.
3,951 reviews25 followers
October 14, 2021
Don't Judge a Book by Its Hover: Case 1: Bookshop Con is the first book in the Witchy Expo Services Mysteries. This is a great start to this new series. The characters are quirky and the mystery was fun to figure out.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Vicky.
Author 22 books45 followers
October 29, 2022
Fun Paranormal Cozy

Perfect read for Halloween. Loved the different “familiars” the witches had - dragon, frog, sloth, llama, and more. And a decent mystery that had me guessing right up to the end. Definitely recommended.
437 reviews1 follower
October 26, 2022
Very interesting reading

The author created an amazing environment with a great plot to go with a fine group of characters making this hard to stop reading
Displaying 1 - 23 of 23 reviews

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