Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Review and Giveaway: A Potion to Die For

A Potion to Die For (Magic Potion Mystery - Book 1) by Heather Blake

Publication Date: 11/05/2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Obsidian Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 336
ISBN-10: 0451416309
ISBN-13: 978-0451416308

(Received for an honest review from Obsidian Mystery)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Heather Blake on the WEB: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest

Excerpt from A Potion to Die For, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.



As the owner of Little Shop of Potions, a magic potion shop specializing in love potions, Carly Bell Hartwell finds her product more in demand than ever. A local soothsayer has predicted that a couple in town will soon divorce—and now it seems every married person in Hitching Post, Alabama, wants a little extra matrimonial magic to make sure they stay hitched.

But when Carly finds a dead man in her shop, clutching one of her potion bottles, she goes from most popular potion person to public enemy number one. In no time the murder investigation becomes a witch hunt—literally! Now Carly is going to need to brew up some serious sleuthing skills to clear her name and find the real killer—before the whole town becomes convinced her potions really are to die for!


Hitching Post, Alabama is the setting for the first book in Heather Blake's new Magic Potion Mystery series, A Potion to Die For. Readers who have read Blake's Wishcraft series will love that she doesn't stray too far from her roots and keeps up the witchy theme in this series. Readers are introduced to Carly Bell Hartwell, a healing witch with a local potion shop. She has a quirky family including a cousin who dabbles in hexes and three aunts known around town as the Odd Ducks. With characters like these readers are sure to find another hit series on their hands. Heather Blake once again thrills readers with something old and something new.

Blake's Wishcraft series was a lighthearted foray into witchery and she garnered many fans with her spunky heroine and all of her mishaps. The new Magic Potion series has a lot of similarities. Once again Blake focuses on a witch as her main character. She allows readers to discover that Carly Bell is what might be considered a healing witch, using potions and the like to bring health to her patrons. She specializes in love potions which was a nice touch. I liked the fact that Blake continued with this theme into a new series. She did a remarkable job letting readers get to know Carly Bell and what she was doing and why she did it. I liked all the witchy information imparted throughout the book and did not think it was too overdone. I hope Blake continues to explore this idea with her readers.

The characters take center stage in this book and Blake does a fantastic job of introducing readers to a whole crop of quirky, eccentric people to populate this series. Carly Bell Hartwell is a great heroine. She knows who she is and she's comfortable with herself and with her strange family, but that doesn't always mean other people share that sentiment. I liked the fact that Blake creates some really over the top inhabitants for this small town, like the Odd Ducks, Carly Bell's aunts who are bit on the weird side but definitely fun to read about. Then you have cousin Delia who is the polar opposite of Carly Bell. She runs a hex shop and appears kind of devious all the way around. Readers will love this new and different characters that really set this series apart from the Wishcraft series.

The characters are very important in this book and I found that Blake put a lot of emphasis on character development and bringing in the back stories of those characters who would advance the plot of the story, but I think there is one other character that has to be discussed, Hitching Post, Alabama. What a quaint little town. I loved everything from the name to the atmosphere that Blake allows to permeate her descriptions of the town. I liked the fact that it took ion the characteristics of a character in the book because it was so central to the story.

The mystery aspect of this one was hard to figure out. What was the local lawyer doing with one of Carly Bell's potions? How did he end up dead? Was it poison in the potion? Will Carly have to rely on her ex to help her figure it all out? Will this be the end of her career in the potion business? and who in the wide world of Hitching Post, Alambama is getting divorced anyway? All of these questions and more were buzzing around in my brain as I sifted through the suspects and motives they could have for the crime and I was stumped. I couldn't get a handle on who I thought it could be and I liked that. The ending was a surprise though reading a good book from Heather Blake never is. She is one of the best paranormal cozy writers around and you'll not want to miss the beginning of this new adventure!

A Potion to Die For is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Heather Blake (aka Heather Webber) is the author of more than a dozen novels and has been twice nominated for an Agatha Award. She's a total homebody who loves to be close to her family, read, watch reality TV (especially cooking competition shows), drink too much coffee, crochet, bake (mostly cookies), and occasionally leave the house to travel to the beautiful mountains in the northeast. Heather grew up in a suburb of Boston, but currently she lives in the Cincinnati area with her family and is hard at work on her next book.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of A Potion to Die For by Heather Blake.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US Addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, November 26th.

1. Please leave a comment describing a what you like about paranormal cozies.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


Susie R said...

Oh. Looks like another great book to add to my TBR list!

Carol N Wong said...

The last one that I read had a very handsome and frendly ghost in it. In fact I loved the ghost the best of all. I really like it when the paranormal is not scary!


Karen B said...

A love potion - just what I wanted about 60 years ago! I like the "mild" paranormals - the ones that let me sleep with the lights OFF.

justpeachy36 said...

I like paranormal cozies for a lot of reasons but mostly I think it is because reading to me is always an escape, so paranormal characters are pretty far from the norm in my small town and that fits the bill for me.

NoraA said...

I'm a long time fan and reader of Heather's books. I've even had the pleasure of having dinner with her and her friends' at RWA-NY and she is just as lovely in person.

I'd love to win a copy of this book to add to my Heather Collection.

Sue Farrell said...

I like paranormal cozies because the have paranormal characters but they aren't scary.

Anonymous said...

Sounds great!

Rita said...

I love paranormal cozies because they are fun reading and always keep you interested.

holdenj said...

I really like the idea of paranormal cozies, it really ups the stakes as far as detecting, depending on what their "power" may be! I guess because of that, I lean more toward friendly witches.

cyn209 said...

i enjoy paranormal cozies, as they are fun & somewhat harmless.......

thank you for the giveaway!!!

Melissa @ My Recent Favorite Books said...

I like the potions and the witches in paranormal cozies, they really are interesting!
and..I really enjoy all of the book series that Heather Blake ( Webber ) writes!

Barbara Thompson said...

I'm just now starting to read paranormal cozies, but I really enjoyed them. This book sounds great and would love to read it. Thank you for the chance to enter this giveaway and please enter my name.
Barbara Thompson

Barbara Thompson said...

Also, I'm an email subscriber!!

Barbara Thompson

Linda Kish said...

They are a little bit spooky but don't really scare you. They are a lot of fun to read.

lag123 said...

I love paranormals that are about ghosts. I just think they are fun to read.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Carol M said...

I like paranormal cozies because they are fun to read!

Renee said...

Paranormals are fun and funny. They are the break I need from the real world.

Natasha said...

I love how they are funny and magical.
Thanks for the chance to win!

Nancy Luebke said...

The thing that makes humans unique is their spirital side, their soul. So why not ghosts, physics, the unexplaned. Ever just have a feeling that something is wrong.

traveler said...

Simply unique. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I've read other books by her & loved them so I can't wait to try this one. Paranormal cozies take you to a world that's exciting yet comfortable.

Michelle Willms said...

Paranormal cozies, to me, bring a lighthearted note, to a sometimes dreary book. A cozy can't get into the deep investigation of a thriller, so sometimes it needs something a bit more fun. A paranormal twist is just like adding vanilla flavoring to the cake batter - it gives it just that touch of "something" needed to make the cake "just right."