Publication Date: 02/04/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound
Hannah Reed on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads
Books in the series:
Buzz Off (2010), Mind Your Own Beeswax (2011), Plan Bee (2012), Beeline to Trouble (2012), Beewitched (2014)
Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
Excerpt from, Beewitched, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.
The latest Queen Bee Mystery in a series that's "a sweet treat for cozy mystery fans." (Fresh Fiction)
Beekeeper Story Fischer has stocked the shelves of her market, The Wild Clover, in preparation for the influx of produce-crazy tourists about to invade Moraine, Wisconsin. In fact, with the apple cider and caramel apple stand on Main Street and the corn maze out at Country Delight Farm, the whole town is ready for the swarm.
But when a self-proclaimed witch moves into town, the neighbors are all abuzz with questions. Is the quirky newcomer a good witch or a bad one? Story thinks Dyanna Crane is perfectly nice, albeit a little eccentric. But after an entire coven shows up for a new moon ritual—and one of the witches ends up dead in the corn maze—Story must comb through both fact and fiction, before anyone else is murdered under the cover of magic…
Author Hannah Reed delivers with her latest book in the Queen Bee mystery series, Beewitched. Witches and bees and honey... oh my! Reed has a little magic up her sleeve in this one and readers will love the addition of several witchy secondary characters. It's almost tourist season in Moraine, Wisconsin and Story Fischer is ready for it. Fans of the series with love the over-the-top humor and comical situations and new readers will fall in love with the small town setting. Beewitched might just bespell readers into reading it again and again.
What I liked:
I have always enjoyed the premise of this series. Story is not only the owner of the local market, The Wild Clover, but also keeps bee's and there is always a lot of information about beekeeping, from how to start a hive to details about honey production. I think that behind the scenes look at a hobby than can actually sell, is what makes this series so popular. Along with the realism of the small town setting and the authors great sense of humor it all adds up to great series based on an interesting profession or hobby.
Story is a great heroine as well. She knows what she wants and how to get it. I liked the fact that she isn't skeptical of her new neighbor who is a self-proclaimed witch. She just goes with the flow and gives Dyanna the benefit of the doubt. Of course when one of Dyanna's coven members ends up dead, Story can't help but wonder if it was magic or just plain old revenge. I think Reed does a great job of making Story so easy to relate to. She can be very inquisitive, almost too curious and very forthright and clear about what she thinks, she is a great cozy heroine.
The humor has always been one of the things that drew me to this series. Reed knows what readers will find funny. Story's neighbor Patty provides a ton of comic relief especially in this book. Murder can be a really heavy subject, so a good dose of humor lightens the mood and gives the reader a breather from some of the more gruesome details of a murder. When an author understands humor is makes for a great read and Reed has it in the bag.
I enjoyed the witch angle a lot. It certainly took the series in an unexpected direction with this book and I thought Reed pulled if off well. The misconceptions about Story's new neighbor, had some townspeople paranoid. But when one witch ends up dead, it's up to Story to figure out whodunit. I thought the mystery elements were well written and believable. That's exactly how my neighbors would react to a witch in the neighborhood. Story is so good at getting to the truth.
What I didn't like:
Though I enjoyed all of the details surrounding Story's mother's wedding. I was still a little baffled at why the author chooses to completely leave Story out of the planning. Her sis is the wedding planner, but Story has no real role until the big day. I could feel Story's pain at the slight she was experiencing, but that's one of those things that is the author's perspective. Other's might like that part, me, not so much.
I love the bee keeping aspects of the book as well as the magical aspects in this one. Reed certainly knows how to add a little piazz to town, just throw in some witches and no telling what might happen. The humor had me in stitches and readers will love the small town charm of Moraine and the camaraderie of the townsfolk.
Beewitched is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
Hannah Reed lives on a high ridge in southern Wisconsin in a community much like the one she writes about. She is busy writing the next book in the Queen Bee mystery series (Beeline to Trouble, Plan Bee, Mind Your Own Beeswax, Buzz Off).
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Beewitched by Hannah Reed.
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