Friday, February 28, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Beewitched

Beewitched (Queen Bee Mystery - Book 5) by Hannah Reed

Publication Date: 02/04/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy
Pages: 304
ISBN-10: 0425261611
ISBN-13: 978-0425261613

(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.

Bottom Line:

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 TroublePlan BeeMind Your Own BeeswaxBuzz Off).

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Beewitched by Hannah Reed.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, March 14th.

1. Please leave a comment describing any experiences you may have with bee keeping or a good story involving honey.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


traveler said...

I haven't had any beekeeping experience. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Charlotte said...

No I haven't don't any thing with bees.

holdenj said...

Well, we don't have any bee keeping stories around here either. But, on the first day of kindergarten, my daughter was stung by a bee. Luckily, she was ok, and never seemed to mind returning to school!

Angela - Bookaunt said...

I have not experience with bee keeping but I come from the town where Sue Bee Honey is made.

Linda said...

No personal experience but have neighbor down the street that has beehives and sells honey. Can't think of a good story about honey except that I love warm biscuits with honey for breakfast on weekends!

Carol N Wong said...

No bee keeping experience. I did have a pastor who kept bees and he gave us free honey. He loved be a beekeeper. I wish that I had asked him why.


Elizabeth Schroedle said...

Beekeeping reminds me of the Monk episode where the killer was stung by bees in one place and intentionally rams his car into a beekeeper's hives. Monk solves the case when he finds the actual beehive on a cliff.

Rita Wray said...

The only experience I have with bees is if one comes near me I jump up and down and flap my arms around like I'm doing jumping jacks. lol

Bonnie said...

I'm a bee sting target. I get stung several times a year. I try to stay clear of them. I did hear that bees are becoming less and less and may end up on the endangered list. If that happens we're in trouble.
This looks like a fun book. I'm putting it on my TBR list.
Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

I was eating a treat with honey recently and decided to share a tiny bite with each of my dogs. When I wasn't looking, my Yorkie decided to lick the honey droplets from my plate. His ears touched the plate and later stuck to everything. It took me a bit to figure out why his ears were sticky. Now, he's all tangled. I can put both ears above his head and make him look like a Dr. Seuss' Who.

cyn209 said...

good or bad?? NO experience with bees or beehives!! LOL!!!

thank you for the giveaway!!!

Dotty Kelley said...

No beekeeping stories but I keep a jar of honey on hand in case I get a sore throat.

Nancy said...

I stay away from bees because I'm allergic, however a friend raised for a while. However, he lost them because of the cold.

Linda Kish said...

When I was a young girl and visited my grandpa's farm, we used to get the honeycomb fresh from the hives to eat. It was so tasty. That was long before I developed an allergy to bees. Now I'd be afraid to get near a hive again.

Natasha said...

I haven't had any experiences with beehives yet.
Thanks for the chance to win!

bn100 said...

no experiences to share

Anita Yancey said...

I haven't had any experience with bee keeping, and I don't know of anyone who keeps them. Thanks for having the giveaway.


lag123 said...

I don't have any bee keeping experience, but we did have bees take over a fallen tree near our house.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

skkorman said...

I love to eat honey but I'm allergic to bees so I stay away from them!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

Michelle F. said...

No experience with beekeeping. One time I made honey scones from a recipe from one of Laura Child's tea shop mysteries. And I know that when Sherlock Holmes retired he took up beekeeping.

Brooke Showalter said...

I have seen glass pane beehives at the fair. We always buy the flavored honey sticks. :)