Can a witch who can only cast one spell solve a murder?
Maddie Goodwell, Trixie, her Persian cat (who might also be her familiar), and Maddie’s best friend Suzanne Taylor, run their coffee truck, Brewed from the Bean, in the small town of Estherville, Washington state.
Maddie always thought it was a sleepy kind of town, apart from the fact that when she was seven, she found an ancient book, Wytchcraft for the Chosen.
Now, twenty years later, she can only cast one spell successfully from the book – the Coffee Vision spell.
But when she peeks into Joan’s future – one of her regular customers – she sees the middle-aged woman lying dead in the kitchen!
When the vision comes true, Maddie is determined to investigate – with the help of Trixie, and Suzanne. Will her witchy abilities help or hinder her?
Who would want to kill Joan? Why?
And will they be coming after Maddie next?
This is a clean paranormal read with humor and fun!
A note on the cover and title of this book
Originally this book was called Lethal Latte and came with this cover:
It was later changed to Spells and Spiced Latte and the cover was updated too. I do like the new cover more, although I really like the Lethal Latte one too! And check out the author’s name… Jinty James has a great ring to it.
Despite the cute covers and awesome pen name, I was a bit disappointed by this one, unfortunately. There were some good parts and I think it wasn’t a bad start to the series, but I would have loved a little more character development to really get into the story.
The bits that I liked:
- The story is short.
- The heroine is sweet and likeable.
- I love coffee and the girls run a coffee shop.
- It’s easy to keep track of everyone and what’s happening.
- Trixie the cat is a beautiful cat who turns up in just the right places.
- Maddie is not a the kind of Cozy heroine who stupidly gets into dangerous situations.
- The law enforcement officer isn’t ridiculously incompetent.
- The cover is so cute.
The bits I think needed improving:
- The story focuses mainly on Maddie and her friend Suzanne. As sweet as they are, the constant focus on them made the story a little boring. Perhaps what could have helped is if their characters were explored some more; or if there was some sort of conflict for them to work through, other than the mystery.
- We get very little into their back story and personalities other than Maddie’s possibly being a witch. There is clearly much more to that story that will probably be covered in books later in the series.
- A significant amount of conversation between Maddie and Suzanne is spent discussing the new addition to their menu, “health balls.” The other main dialogue lines seem to revolve around Suzanne’s compliments to Maddie.
- The girls are sweet and cute but maybe a little too sweet and cute at times. I do like my characters with a bit more edge, or, at least, a couple flaws.
However, the pacing of the book is quick and the mystery is interesting. Some more tension and character development would have made it more exciting for me.
There are several positives to this story and I found this to be a very quick and easy read. So overall, I’m giving this 3/5 espresso shots, but I may not be continuing the series.
And another one off my Beat The Backlist Challenge list. I won’t be successfully completing the 2018 challenge but I’m still working my way through the list.