Magick & Mayhem

Magick & Mayhem

by Sharon Pape

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Overview

Magick & Mayhem by Sharon Pape

"Magic, Merlin, and murder are a great mix for this fun debut cozy."
-Lynn Cahoon, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

"A charming, must-read mystery with enchanting characters. A fun and entertaining page turner."-Rose Pressey, USA Today bestselling author

"Spellbinding, with magical prose, a wizardly plot, and a charming sleuth."
-Janet Bolin, Agatha-nominated author of the national bestselling Threadville Mysteries

What's in a murderer's bag of tricks?

Twenty-something Kailyn Wilde has learned to embrace her unpredictable life as a descendant of small-town New Camel's most magickal family. She just didn't expect to inherit her mother and grandmother's centuries-old shop, Abracadabra, so suddenly. The surprises keep coming when Kailyn goes to finalize the estate at the local attorney's office-and stumbles over the body of her best friend Elise's husband . . .

As a brash detective casts the blame on Elise, Kailyn summons her deepest powers to find answers and start an investigation of her own. What with running a business, perfecting ancient spells, and keeping up with an uninvited guest of fabled origins, Kailyn has her hands full. But with the help of her uncanny black cat Sashkatu and her muumuu-clad Aunt Tilly, she's closing in on a killer-who will do anything to make sure she never tests her supernatural skills again!

"Pape has a sure handed balance of humor and action."
-Julie Hyzy, New York Times bestselling author

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781516100569
Publisher: Random House
Publication date: 05/02/2017
Pages: 258
Sales rank: 375,881
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.58(d)

Read an Excerpt

Magick & Mayhem

An Abracadabra Mystery


By Sharon Pape

KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.

Copyright © 2017 Sharon Pape
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-5161-0056-9


CHAPTER 1

"You need to summon a familiar of your own," my grandmother Bronwen said. Her voice was easy to recognize, despite the fact that it emanated from a small, amorphous cloud of energy hovering above my new computer. Both she and my mother had been steadfast in their refusal to buy into the technology age, so when she popped out of the ether that morning, I expected a tirade against the computer that now occupied the desk behind the counter. It took me a few seconds to realize that my recent purchase wasn't the subject of her visit. I briefly considered telling her the computer was my familiar, but I didn't think she would see the humor in it.

"Hand-me-downs never work properly," she went on. "Surely we've taught you better."

"Besides," my mother chimed in, from a second cloud that appeared beside Bronwen's, "my Sashkatu is ancient, and the five others aren't worth the cost of their kibble."

"Morgana!" my grandmother scolded, "you mustn't write them off that way. You summoned them and they came. They're our responsibility now. I mean Kailyn's," she muttered. "I keep forgetting that we're dead. In any case, it's entirely possible the problem was more yours than theirs anyway."

I held my breath, hoping my mother might finally realize that arguing about such things was pointless. I'd thought death would mellow the two of them, but so far they'd proven me wrong. Maybe the sudden, unexpected nature of their passing had left their souls on edge, and once they adjusted to their new circumstances they'd put their earthbound bickering behind them. Then again, maybe not. I'd always suspected they enjoyed the verbal sparring far too much to give it up.

"What exactly do you mean it's my fault?" my mother asked indignantly, dashing my hopes. "You didn't have any better success at restoring our mojo than the cats or I did."

"I'd been semi-retired for three years," Bronwen sputtered. "You'd taken the reins of the business!" The chimes over the front door jangled like a bell ending a boxing round.

"Hey, we have company," I hissed at them. "Make yourselves scarce!" They vanished without a second to spare as a middle-aged couple ambled up to the counter. I was grateful I didn't have to explain the presence of clouds in my store.

The woman's eyes were flitting around the shop with anticipation, but her companion looked like a child who'd been dragged to the dentist. I made a mental note to buy a comfortable chair for the men who were coerced into making the trip.

"Welcome to Abracadabra," I greeted them, trying to shake off the negative energy my family had left in their wake. "Take your time browsing. If you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer them. There are some baskets at the far end of the counter to make shopping easier." I'd talked my mother and grandmother into buying lovely wicker baskets instead of the ubiquitous plastic ones available in all the grocery and drugstore chains. They cost more, but they were more fitting for our shop.

The woman thanked me and went to take one, her husband grumbling, "How much do you plan on buying here?"

"Well, I'm sure you don't want to drive up here again anytime soon," she said sweetly as she started down the first of the four narrow aisles. I'd heard the warning in her undertone, but I doubted that he had. Back in my early teens, I'd realized there were certain subtleties of mood in women's speech that often eluded men.

I sat down behind the computer to finish setting up my online banking account. Although the shop wasn't large, it took most people half an hour or more to browse through all the lotions, potions, unguents, and creams with intriguing names and mystical purposes. Until about fifty years ago, the inventory had been smaller, meant specifically for those who were practiced in the arts of sorcery and witchcraft, but that was before tourists discovered our quaint little town of New Camel, New York. My enterprising grandmother had seized the opportunity to add a line of the health and beauty products our family had been whipping up for our own use as far back as anyone could remember. It didn't take long before word of mouth brought a steady stream of customers to our door. The other merchants in the town prospered as well. A couple of bed and breakfasts opened to accommodate visitors who wanted to spend the night. One local resident was able to drum up enough financial support to open a small ski resort nearby. Snow is never in short supply around here in winter.

When the couple returned to the counter, the woman was beaming with success. Her husband was carrying the basket, now piled high with our most popular products. He looked as close to dying of boredom as anyone I'd ever seen. He yawned widely, without bothering to cover his mouth.

"You ought to have a website so people could order your products online," he groused as I rang up his wife's purchases. "You're way out here in the boonies, no public transportation, hard to get to from everywhere. It's a miracle you have any customers at all."

Not a miracle, I wanted to say, just a little magic. But that was one secret ingredient we never talked too much about. "Thanks for the advice," I said instead. "I'll definitely look into it." I had considered going ahead with a website after I inherited the shop, but although Morgana and Bronwen were deceased, they hadn't totally passed on. The thought of arguing with them about it on a daily, if not hourly, basis quickly shut down my enthusiasm for the project. Besides, I was still euphoric about finally having a computer on the premises.

"My friends all swear by your products," the woman said with a smile. "So I had to try them for myself. I told Robert here that we'd make the trip into a bit of a vacation, but for him if there's no golf, it's not a vacation." She sighed and searched my face for some empathy. I nodded and smiled back, though I was finding it hard to relate to her problem. She could have left Robert home and driven here alone or with friends. Maybe it was simply the difference between her generation and mine. Had it been me, I would have preferred to make the trip alone. But then, I've had strong, self-sufficient women as role models all my life. My father left when I was five, and my grandfather, years before my birth. Morgana and Bronwen had carried on as if they'd never really expected their spouses to make the final cut.

Robert took the shopping bag I held out to them. "We should have been on the road fifteen minutes ago," he said to his wife, who was looking at a display of candles infused with healing oils.

"I love your shop," she said as he hooked his arm through hers and propelled her out the door. He pulled it shut behind them so hard that he startled Sashkatu, who'd been sleeping in the spill of sunlight on the windowsill behind me. The cat regarded me with regal contempt as if I'd been the source of the disturbance. Although he was fifteen, his black coat had kept its luster, and his emerald eyes were as sharp and bright as ever. If he pined for my mother, he kept it to himself and slept right through her visits from the other side. When he was done glowering at me, he sighed and laid his head down on the tufted goose-down cushion Morgana had made to ease his arthritic joints. Fortunately the five other cats didn't seem to mind being left back in the house during the workday. I didn't want to think about the destruction they could wreak on the shop's inventory with one high-energy game of chase. If I were to follow Bronwen's advice and summon my own familiar, there would be seven cats to deal with and a bigger bill for cat food and other feline necessities. I kicked that decision to an already-crowded back burner in my mind and prepared to close up for the night.

I was ready when my Aunt Tilly came through the connecting door from her shop, Tea and Empathy. She was my mother's younger sister and my one remaining relative, aside from a few distant cousins somewhere in the wilds of Pennsylvania. Although I loved Tilly dearly, she tended to be a bit scattered and eccentric. According to my grandmother, she was hands down the best psychic our family had ever produced.

She padded up to the counter in one of the frothy Hawaiian muumuus she'd taken to wearing after menopause settled in with some extra pounds. Her ballet flats dangled from her left fingertips and the turban she often wore at work was still perched on her head. She thought it lent her an air of mysticism. I thought it made her look like a Hawaiian swami with identity issues, but I would never tell her that.

"Did you want to wear the turban to see the attorney?" I asked, because I'd never seen her wear it outside the shop.

"Oh my," she said, plucking it off her short red hair and giggling. "Silly me — I forgot I had it on." I laughed too, because even as a child I'd thought of her as Silly Tilly. She plopped the turban onto the counter and finger-combed her curls. I beckoned my purse from the shelf behind the counter and was actually surprised when it popped up and floated into my hand. These days my magick was far from a certainty.

While I set the security code, Tilly slipped on her shoes. My little blue Prius was parked outside at the curb. Tilly climbed, or more accurately fell, into the passenger seat. I tucked in the edges of her dress and shut the door, before hopping behind the wheel.

Jim Harkens, who handled our family's legal matters, shared a small, one-story office building with the town's only dentist. It was less than a three-minute drive from our shops, hardly worth taking the car. But Tilly had arthritis in her hips and corns on her feet. My mother had tried everything in her bag of tricks, but the ailments had proven impervious to her spells and potions. So we drove to our appointment.

When we pulled into the parking lot behind the building, Jim's big white SUV was the only vehicle there. I pulled into one of the diagonal spots and helped my aunt out of the car. Jim's office suite was off the short common hallway on the left. We opened his door and walked past Ronnie's unoccupied desk. She was Jim's receptionist, secretary, and paralegal all rolled into one. Since she only worked until four, we saw ourselves down to Jim's office. I knocked on the closed door. There was no response, but it wouldn't be the first time I'd found him asleep, his padded chair angled back and his feet propped up on his desk. Although he was on the brink of fifty, he'd confided to me recently that early retirement was beckoning with a Siren's call. I knocked again, then tried turning the knob. Since it was unlocked, I walked in, Tilly right on my heels. The room was dark, bits of sunlight creeping in around the edges of the closed blinds. When I stopped to let my eyes adjust, Tilly slammed into me and sent us both sprawling. If Jim had been awake to see our little vaudeville act, he would have enjoyed a good laugh. But he must have been sleeping soundly.

"Are you okay, Aunt Tilly?" I asked, doing a quick appraisal of my own condition. My left knee had taken the brunt of the fall, and although it hurt, I didn't think it was broken.

"I'm okay, dear. Just had the wind knocked out of me," Tilly said. "Guess I have more than enough padding these days."

Unfortunately she'd landed diagonally across my lower back and legs, softening her fall, but grinding me into the coarse, commercial-grade carpeting. As my eyes accommodated to the darkness, I could see that Jim's chair was empty. Maybe he'd gone to use the bathroom in the outer hallway. I was gathering myself to stand up, when I realized he hadn't gone anywhere. He was inches from where I lay, and even in the dim light I could see what looked like a dark bloody halo around his head.

CHAPTER 2

I felt Tilly's weight shift on me as if she was preparing to get up. By her silence, it was clear she hadn't realized we weren't alone on the floor. Dealing with my own upside-down emotions would have to wait. There were things that needed doing. "Don't move," I said to her.

"Nonsense," she replied, "I told you I wasn't hurt." She tried to leverage herself off the floor and me.

"Don't move," I repeated, "this may be a crime scene." She immediately flopped back down, knocking the breath from my lungs in the process.

"Crime scene?" Her voice rose a shrill octave. For someone who could predict the occurrence of future events, you'd think she'd be less startled, or at least less panic-stricken, by the horrors that can crop up in life. But you'd be wrong. "What do you mean? Kailyn, what's going on?"

"I need you to calm down," I said, trying to keep my own voice even. "We're not in any danger." Although I couldn't know that for certain, a screaming Tilly wouldn't help no matter what the situation was. Besides, I was reasonably sure that if Jim was murdered and the killer was still in his office, we'd already be dead too. Focus, I told myself. I knew we had to do our best not to disturb the crime scene, but in spite of all the blood, a little voice in my head was insisting that I check to see if Jim might somehow be alive. I was on my stomach where I'd fallen, but I was close enough to touch him. Trying not to think about what I was doing, I reached over the pool of blood and found his face and neck. The skin was too cool to the touch, but I felt for his carotid artery anyway. I'd never actually done it before, except on myself as a matter of curiosity. What little knowledge I had on the subject, came from watching TV shows. I held my breath to steady myself and walked my fingers along his neck to the spot below his chin where his pulse should have been. Nothing. I checked all over that part of his neck to be sure I hadn't missed it. Jim was truly gone. Tears welled up in my eyes. I dashed them away with my hand. No time for that now. Focus. The best thing I could do for him was not trample any possible clues that might lead the police to his killer. "Okay, Tilly," I said, forcing the words through the tightness in my throat, "I want you to crawl backward to the doorway, but don't get up until I get the lights on. I don't want you to trip over anything and hurt yourself."

Without argument, my aunt hoisted herself off me and did exactly as I asked. "I want to know what's going on, Kailyn," she demanded once she reached the threshold. "Stop treating me like a child for goodness sakes. I won't fall apart."

By then I'd gotten to my feet and found the light switch. The overhead lights flashed on, illuminating the awful scene we'd literally stumbled upon. What I hadn't been able to see in the darkness was the small, round bullet hole in the center of Jim's forehead.

Tilly screamed long and hard as she struggled to her feet. "Sorry, sorry," she gasped when she finally came up for air. "I didn't mean to do that. I'm perfectly fine now, really I am. It was the shock of seeing him lying there like that." She was rocking back and forth on her heels and shivering like a dog in a thunderstorm.

"I know," I said, putting my arm around her quaking shoulders to steady and comfort her. The contact made me feel a bit better too. "Now I'm going to walk you over to Ronnie's desk. You can sit in her chair while I call the police."

"Yes, yes, that's what I should do," she mumbled, allowing me to guide her with my arm around what had once been her waist. After she was seated, I took a minute to try to compose myself. Jim was dead, but my heart ached for Elise, his wife and my best friend. For the shock awaiting her and their two boys. It wasn't as if he'd been suffering through a long illness or was known to have had heart problems. There was nothing in their shared history to prepare them for this.

Once I felt able to speak sensibly, I used the phone on Ronnie's desk to dial 911.

Although New Camel was too small to have a police force of its own, the county kept two officers here on a split shift. They were headquartered in a small, repurposed bungalow near the center of town. The men were rotated out on a three-month basis, because it was considered too cushy a gig to be permanent. Cushy or not, I'd heard that most of the officers complained of boredom. Until today, the only crime we'd had in the past five years was one pickpocket, one burglary, a counterfeit hundred-dollar bill and the occasional trespasser. I was about to shake things up for sure.

"Officer Curtis, what's the nature of your emergency?" He sounded like I'd taken him away from something more interesting. I heard a baseball announcer in the background.

"This is Kailyn Wilde," I said. "I'm calling to report a murder at thirty-five Main Street. It's our attorney, Jim Hastings."

"Did you say murder?" He sounded cynical, as though he thought my call was a practical joke. "Are you aware that it's a crime to file a phony report?"


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Magick & Mayhem by Sharon Pape. Copyright © 2017 Sharon Pape. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Magick & Mayhem 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts This new series from Sharon Pape is off to a magickal start! We meet Kailyn Wilde who has inherited the family business due to the unexpected passing of her mother and grandmother. Her Aunt Tilly operates the attached tea room and does readings by appointment. When they arrive at their lawyer’s office to tie up a few loose ends they are shocked to find the man has been murdered very recently. Kaitlyn and the attorney’s wife Elise are best friends and she can’t imagine what she will do without her husband. Then Kailyn realizes the detective on the case thinks Elise is his prime suspect. With Aunt Tilly’s help and a little assistance from Sashkatu, a very special black cat, Kailyn is on a mission to catch the real killer before you can say Abracadabra! What an enchanting read. I liked Kailyn and Tilly from the beginning and when they are joined by a very special guest the story got even better. Kailyn also has some visits from her dearly departed grandmother and mother that were so funny. All the characters are cleverly written. They reminded me of characters created by the late Joyce and Jim Lavene‘s in their Renaissance series. Fun, quirky, unique and a pleasure to follow around. The story is full of twists, turns, mystery, and comedy. When magick goes awry you need to be prepared for surprises and the author delivers plenty of those. The final reveal was dramatic and unexpected. As a fan of this author I expected no less. I have been entertained by every story of hers that I have read. If you are looking for a lighthearted cozy mystery, you need look no further than Magick & Mayhem. For me the visit to New Camel ended much too soon. I can’t wait to go back again for That Olde White Magick coming this November.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Overall I enjoyed this book and will probably read the next to find out what happens to Merlin. However, after making a big to do of not letting Merlin out of their site, he is suddenly absent for quite a few pages - pages that I skipped with no loss of the main storyline. The whimsical nature of the first part of the book made it enjoying and different from the run of the mill mystery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Characters likeable and well-developed. Plot well thought out and fun. Even the appearance of Merlin seems believable and not overplayed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book had so many points that could have added needed humor...why not let Merlin run a little amok? Why stop Aunt Tilly's fun gregarious ways, or at least add some humor instead of making her little forays in to spying just miss the mark of fun and interesting. The mystery itself was not bad just boring in many spots. I am a prolific reader, and love mysteries of all kinds but Kaylin just was too stiff and worried about silly things. I won't read the sequel, sorry.
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
A magical mystery delight that will have you under its spell. When I started reading cozy mysteries I had no desire to read any with a paranormal aspect to them. However, with authors like Sharon Pape, and a handful of others conjuring up stories like this, even cozy reader purists will surely find themselves with shelves full of “para-cozies”. MAGICK & MAYHEM, the first installment in the Abracadabra Mysteries was a wonderful escape from everyday life. Ms. Pape made the pages of this book come alive. From chapter one on, I let the magic carry me away to a group of wonderful characters, and a first rate mystery that held me spellbound until the very last page. If you’re looking for a great new cozy mystery, MAGICK & MAYHEM is the enchanting book for you!
lauralovesreviewingLT More than 1 year ago
She gets more than she bargained for when Kailyn Wilde and her Aunt Tilly arrive at the lawyer’s office. After losing her mother and grandmother to a terrible accident, Kailyn needs to finalize some legalities about inheriting the family business, but instead finds the lawyers dead body. The detective assigned to the case doesn’t rule them out as suspects but has his sights firmly set on the dead mans wife, Elise, who just happens to be Kailyn’s best friend. Not one to stand by and let her friend go to jail for murder, Kailyn sets out to clear her name. I love a good cozy mystery and was looking forward to meeting the folks of New Camel. Kailyn is a delight. I honestly didn’t know how she knew when she was coming or going. It wasn’t enough that she was left with a business to run and a house full of cats, one of which lets his opinions be known. She’s also trying to get a handle on why magick is on the blink, causing some inconvenient and often hilarious occurrences. To top it off, while summoning a familiar, something which she should have done earlier, an unexpected visitor arrives, creating it’s own sort of mayhem. There’s a scene where some puppies get loose that had me laughing out loud, along with the ghostly visits from Kailyns’ mom and grandmother. I suspect that’s where the word Mayhem, from the title, enters the story. Plenty occurs to keep you entertained, including the stunning finale. Cozy mystery fans need to check out this new series. Get in on the beginning. You’ll be turning the pages quickly, as eager to find out who the villain is as you will be to find out what mayhem happens on the next page.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
Magick and Mayhem by Sharon Pape is the first book in An Abracadabra Mystery series. Kailyn Wilde has recently inherited her families magic shop called Abracadabra after the unexpected deaths of her grandmother and mother. The two of them may be gone from the earthly plane, but they manage to pop in to chat regularly (and eavesdrop). Kailyn still has her Aunt Tilly who runs Tea and Empathy next to Abracadabra. Kailyn and her Aunt Tilly close their respective shops and head to a meeting with family attorney, Jim Harkens. The office is dark when they arrive and they manage to fall over each onto the floor. Kailyn moves to get up and notices Jim on the floor. Upon closer inspection, she sees a pool of blood. They turn on the lights to find that Jim has been shot in the head. That night Kailyn performs a summoning spell for her familiar (she wants a dog). The families magic has been on the blink the last few months and her deceased elders believe she needs her own familiar. The next day Kailyn is in the shop when she hears glass breaking in her storeroom. She investigates and finds an older man inside. He claims to be Merlin (yes, Camelot’s Merlin). Kailyn wonders if her summoning spell went awry. Kailyn hears that Elise Harkens is a prime suspect in her husband’s death. Kailyn knows Elise would not harm her husband, and starts doing some sleuthing. Kailyn grew up reading Nancy Drew novels and has wanted to try her hand at solving a case. While Aunt Tilly keeps Merlin occupied, Kailyn starts questioning her list of suspects. Travis Anderson, local newsman, is interested in Kailyn as well as the story. The two pair up to clear Elise and find the real killer. Can they find the real culprit and clear Elise? Magick and Mayhem is easy to read and has an interesting premise. Kailyn was a good character and her Aunt Tilly was a fun eccentric. Merlin was an unneeded addition. I wish the author had not included him in the story because Merlin and his antics dominated the story (they had to have someone watch him, he performed magic in public, fascination with food and gadgets, etc.). I was hoping for a talking dog instead (maybe a human trapped in dog form or a human that came back as a dog). I wish the author had provided more background on the characters and the family. We get some of the history, but I would have liked more details. I also felt that the characters needed more development. I give Magick and Mayhem 3 out of 5 stars. Magick and Mayhem felt like a first book for this author (and it is not). The writing did improve in the second half of the book. The murder mystery was the best part of the book. It was complicated (which I loved), but I wish it had been a little harder to solve. I was hoping for more magic in the story. There is very little of it (well, Merlin did cast a few dubious spells). I wondered why the family did not maintain a Book of Shadows (instead of spells written on random pieces of paper and stuffed in trash bags). During the book, Kailyn digs through the bags and sorts through the items. I was curious as to why when she located the item she was searching for, she stuffed everything back into the bags. Why did she bother sorting them in the first place (too nitpicky?)? Magick and Mayhem is a decent first book in An Abracadabra Mystery series. I will be reading That Olde White Magick when it releases in November and hoping for improvement.
CozyUpWithKathy More than 1 year ago
an entertaining mystery with plenty of fun MAGICK AND MAYHEM by Sharon Pape The First Abracadabra Mystery Life had always been a bit different for Kailyn Wilde. The family's magickal store, Abracadabra, sees loyal customers travel for miles to purchase health and beauty products with a magickal touch. Lately, however, the magick has been acting up and not always working right. Kailyn's mother and grandmother, recently deceased, but certainly not gone, pop in to offer advice between bickering between themselves, but have no answers. Kailyn and Aunt Tilly get an even bigger surprise when they find their family lawyer dead in his office! Who could have killed Jim Harkens? MAGICK AND MAYHEM is a story about family, friends, and dealing with the unexpected. When Kailyn attempts to get her own familiar she instead summons Merlin. Yes, THAT Merlin. The first Abracadabra Mystery is filled with great characters, including Merlin, the silly Aunt Tilly and quarrelsome matriarchal ghosts. My favorite character is Sashkatu, the elderly black cat who looks at the world with disdain. Kailyn Wilde is a likeable protagonist struggling to keep her world as normal as a magickal life can be, especially when murder enters the picture. Sharon Pape provides an entertaining mystery with plenty of fun. MAGICK AND MAYHEM is a solid start to a new mystery series. FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a digital ARC provided through NetGalley, in the hopes I would review it.
ValerieL More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars rounded up. While this is definitely a decent start to this new series, Magick & Mayhem, almost didn't make the cut for me. I found it to be very disjointed and confusing at the beginning. However, I enjoyed the second half of the book much more than the first half, which redeemed it a bit. The characters are definitely interesting. Kailyn's certainly fun and inquisitive. Aunt Tilly & Merlin add some extra spice to the group. They're fairly well-rounded characters, though it didn't really seem like it at first. At first, they simply seemed all over the place and not developed at all. I'm not a fan of the heroine who decides that she must poke her nose in when she really doesn't have that much of a reason. I can see where Kailyn thinks she has a reason, but honestly, until her friend is actually arrested, it seems pretty flimsy at best. The descriptions of the settings were okay, but not great. I had a hard time imagining many of the settings, including Kailyn's shop and house. It would've helped to have a little more detail there. The story line... thankfully it got better as the book went on. The first half of the book, I was very confused by the secondary plot and found that getting in the way of the main plot line. The longer the book went on, however, the better the two plot lines merged and successfully played off of each other. I also did not know who the villain was until it was revealed. I was off on the wrong track completely. Normally, when I'm reading a new book, I give the book 50-100 pages to reel me in (depending on the length of the book). However, when I'm reading a book for review, I don't do that for the most part (there has been one exception to that). In this instance, I'm glad I didn't stop reading because it did get better the longer it went on and by the end of the book I actually found myself enjoying it! I do recommend this book, mostly because it gives a decent introduction to the characters that we're sure to see in the future. I do plan to give the series another try when the second book comes out in November. I'm hoping that the writing style of that book will be more like the second half of this one when everything was starting to finally gel together.
chefdt More than 1 year ago
Magick And Mayhem is the first book in the An Abracadabra Mystery series. Kailyn Wilde has recently taken over the family business of magical products, lotions, spells, etc., with the sudden death of her mother and grandmother. The shop is connected to her Aunt Tilly’s shop, Tea and Empathy. They have an appointment with their lawyer to sign the papers turning Abracadabra over Kailyn. Instead, they body of the lawyer, Jim Hastings, dead from a gun shot wound. When Detective Max Duggan to investigate murder are put off by his abrasiveness. As the police begin to investigate, Hastings’ wife, Elise, becomes a person of interest as they had been having marital problems. Kailyn and Elise are close friends as Kailyn had baby sat for Elise when her boys were young. With the help of a news reporter, sets off on her own investigation, as she soon learns that Duggan might have has reason to kill Hastings. But there are quite a few suspects that Kailyn has to sort through before she can name the killer. This book has a good mix mystery solving and humorous characters. Early in the book Kailyn tries a spell to get her own familiar. There are enough cats around so she tries to conjure up, maybe, a dog. What she ends up with is Merlin the Sorcerer. The interaction of Merlin and Aunt Tilly were particularly funny and of course, Merlin having to deal with all the new technology that exists. I will be watching for the next book in this very entertaining new series.
ArizonaJo More than 1 year ago
Magick & Mayhem by Sharon Pape is the first book in her new paranormal cozy mystery series. I enjoyed reading this book and felt that it was a great series debut. Kailyn Wilde now runs her family's magic shop titled Abracadabra. She's twenty something, smart and independent. The small town that she lives in made for a perfect setting for this easy cozy read. I loved that Ms. Pape added a twist to the plot by introducing a secondary character that is legendary, Merlin. He added some wonderful humorous moments as the story unfolded. Aunt Tilly was also a great addition as Kailyn's partner in crime solving. A quickly paced plot that is well written with enough suspects to keep me guessing until the reveal made for a lovely afternoon read. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Lyrical Underground via Net Galley. All of the above opinions expressed in this review are my own.
CozyMysteryLover1 More than 1 year ago
Kailyn Wilde is a fun character in Magick & Mayhem by Sharon Pape. The author brings a modern twist on old tale, complete with magic, spells & Merlin. I enjoyed the story and learning about the small town of New Camel. When Kailyn inherits Abracadabra, her families magic shop, she has no idea that this inheritance will put her life in danger while trying to save her best friend. Her mother & grandmother are a colorful addition to this debut novel. I am looking forward to reading the next book. I voluntarily read an ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.