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That Old Black Magic (Piper Donovan Series #4)
     

That Old Black Magic (Piper Donovan Series #4)

3.9 26
by Mary Jane Clark
 

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New York Times bestselling author Mary Jane Clark whips up a 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

That old black magic

Aspiring actress and wedding-cake decorator Piper Donovan has barely arrived

Overview

New York Times bestselling author Mary Jane Clark whips up a 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

That old black magic

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 Bertrand when a ghastly murder rocks the 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 about the ratings-starved radio talk-show host? Or even the amiable owner of the local Gris-Gris Bar?

Though Piper has a full plate decorating cakes for upcoming wedding celebrations, she's also landed an exciting but unnerving role in a movie being shot in the Big Easy. When the murderer strikes again, leaving macabre clues, she thinks she can unmask the killer. But Piper will have to conjure up some old black magic of her own if she hopes to live long enough to reveal the truth.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
12/09/2013
Clark’s suspenseful fourth Piper Donovan mystery (after 2013’s Footprints in the Sand) takes the baker/actress to New Orleans, where she’s thrilled to be working as a guest baker at Boulangerie Bertrand in the French Quarter. Piper also lands an acting role that requires her to play a character entombed alive in a casket. When someone goes on a murder spree in the vicinity of Boulangerie Bertrand, Piper’s boyfriend, FBI agent Jack Lombardi, urges her to get out of New Orleans as soon as possible, but she remains committed to finishing a wedding cake at the bakery. As the body count rises, locals connect the mysterious clues left at the crime scenes to voodoo, and the police consider no one above suspicion, even Piper. Amid a multitude of red herrings, the roller-coaster action builds to a most startling conclusion. Agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, William Morris Endeavor. (Feb.)
Kirkus Reviews
2013-12-22
Piper Donovan travels to yet another notable vacation spot to bake yet another wedding cake and gets tossed into yet another series of murders. While she ponders what sort of cake would best commemorate the nuptials of antique-shop assistant Sabrina Houghton and Leo Yancy, owner of Bistro Sabrina, Piper's staying with Sabrina's friends Bertrand and Marguerite Olivier, of Royal Street's Boulangierie Bertrand, so that she can pick up some authentic New Orleans baking techniques. What could be cozier--especially when Piper, ever the hopeful actress, gets cast as Channing Tatum's girlfriend? True, her character dies in the first reel, and the scene in which she realizes that she's been buried alive brings on traumatic memories of Piper's last brush with violent death (Footprints in the Sand, 2013, etc.). What really turns Piper's stay into a nightmare, though, is the murder of Muffuletta Mike, the neighboring butcher. Will the good people of Royal Street--Sabrina's boss, Ellinore Duchamps, her flirtatious nephew Falkner the tour guide, bartender Wuzzy Queen, street musician Cecil Gregson--band together to repel the killer or turn their backs long enough for Piper to become the next victim? Think Margaret Truman in the Big Easy with a recipe for beignets or a lesser Agatha Christie with an unusually imperiled heroine and just enough hints of voodoo for the tourist trade.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062135490
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/21/2014
Series:
Piper Donovan Series , #4
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
56,937
File size:
714 KB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Mary Jane Clark worked at CBS News for nearly three decades. Her twelve KEY News media thrillers were inspired by that experience. Envisioning the Piper Donovan/Wedding Cake mystery series, Mary Jane enrolled in cake-decorating classes and researched unique wedding locations. The daughter of an FBI agent and a mother who customized cakes for the neighborhood kids when she was growing up, Mary Jane has two grown children and splits her time between New Jersey and Florida. She is currently concocting her next novel.

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That Old Black Magic 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quick moving story and keeps you guessing on the murderer.
beckybh More than 1 year ago
Good Mystery - Great Location! 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. Just after Piper arrives, murders start occurring within the same block as the bakery. A talk radio DJ trying to get higher ratings coins the murderer as the Hoodoo Killer. As usual, Piper winds up in the center of the murder investigation. The story picks up about one month after the previous book in Clark's series, FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND, and a large plot point revolves around Piper's misadventure from that mystery and her resulting symptoms of possible PTSD. It's not necessary to read the previous book to understand why Piper reacts the way she does, as it's explained in this story. But while in New Orleans, Piper plays a small but significant role in a movie being shot in town in which her PTSD symptoms are amplified. I don't prefer the author's method of making each scene a separate chapter, as sometimes it's hard to keep up with so many different points of view. However, this is Clark's writing style and probably what her fans expect from her stories. I give this book four stars because of the complexity of the mystery and how Clark captures the vivacity of New Orleans, almost to the point of making the city a main character in the book. Red herrings abound, and most of the primary characters have motive and opportunity to be the killer. Clark's books aren't too light or dark and are enjoyable stories with just the right balance of action and dialogue, making them perfect to read over a weekend or at the beach. If You Like This, You May Also Like: Other PIPER DONOVAN MYSTERIES by Mary Jane Clark, DADDY'S GONE A HUNTING and I'VE GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN (Apr '14) by Mary Higgins Clark, REGAN REILLY MYSTERIES by Carol Higgins Clark, KINSEY MILLHONE MYSTERIES by Sue Grafton * Read my other reviews on the Blue Moon Mystery Saloon blog. ** An ARC was provided by Harper Collins/William Morrow and Edelweiss for an honest review.
kona-girl_1 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book very much. Love the Piper Donavan series/ Can't wait for the next one. Adriana Smith
ChaLee More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this book. Didn't even suspect who the perpetrator was! I'll be reading more of this author and the Piper Donovan series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoy every book this author has written. Never disappointed and her style of writing keeps you on your toes. I also liked how she can expand on the main story with all of the little side stories tied in to make a complex but understandable story with multi "who done it's" possible!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved all of her books, this one was fun and thrilling.
suzeque65 More than 1 year ago
Really enjoy Mary Jane Clark's books; the Piper Donovan series always good; hard to put down once started reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it, must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like this story and it was fast.moving. Loved the characters and admired Piper for her attitude.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Regional but not quite a cozy despite receipes the cooking sub combos in mysteries has become formatic rather than creative though just read a very good one about a wasp chinese chef. i have read one of her other books think a vampire cake in that one problem with cozies they start to kinda merge more like a big long buffet rather than a house speciality buska
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Smiles
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Very good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Intro. Code. Locations. Reporr. Weather report. Questions. Gathering. Oak. Moonpool. Starclan. Dark forest. HC. SC. AC. NV. RC. Rogue. Tribe. Endless. 1