Review of Spelling the Tea by Erin Johnson

Welcome back to Erin Johnson on The Cozy Pages. And guess what? Erin has a brand new series for us in this new year.

Welcome to the coziest, vampire-owned tea room in Bath! It’s steeped in magic and mystery.

You’re supposed to support your guy, right? Even if it means moving away from the watery source of your witchy magic and suffering through five years of writer’s block?

Minnie Wells thought so, until her soon-to-be-ex left her high and dry for another woman. Now, she’s back in Bath, with the magic of the town’s enchanted springs flowing through her veins, ready to explore her newbie witch powers and pen her novel. Bath inspired her favorite writer Jane Austen, after all. Why wouldn’t it work for her?

Only catch is, once the divorce is final, Minnie will be deported back to the US (and she’ll lose her powers all over again) unless she can convince the haughty (and handsome) vampire owner of a struggling tea room to hire her. 

As if her cup didn’t already runneth over with trouble, an employee drops dead during her interview.

Now Minnie’s got to solve the murder to clear the cafe’s name, while figuring out a way to bring in more customers. With the help of her vampire roommate and black cat familiar, she’s hot on the killer’s trail. But when the murderer sets Minnie in their sights, she’ll have to tap into her own inner strength (and magic) to save herself, and bring the killer to justice.

Will Minnie solve the murder and save the vampire’s tea room? Or will she find herself in hot water with the killer?

Pull your armchair closer to the cozy crackling fire, sip your steaming tea, and find out now in Spelling the Tea!

If you like charming towns, a hilarious cast of lovable characters, and twisty mysteries, you’ll love Erin Johnson’s lighthearted whodunnit. Spelling the Tea is the first book in the Vampire Tea Room Magical Mysteries

Available on Amazon and via Kindle Unlimited.

spelling the tea by erin johnson review

The mystery we must solve is who killed Brock, a young student who worked at the Bath Butler Cafe. Brock’s murder leaves his co-workers stunned and his boss increasingly concerned for his cafe’s reputation! There are several suspects including a stalker ex-girlfriend, an irate best friend, an angry former classmate, a potential lover (or two), her husband and not-so-friendly co-workers. I love that each of them has a valid motive and most have plenty of opportunity. The final showdown is quite entertaining and very suiting.

The world building: Sadly, we are no longer in Bijou Mer BUT we are in the very charming town of Bath, England. The ancient Roman baths are supposedly the source of Minnie’s witchy powers. Although this is not a world where magic is known, Minnie’s best friend is a vampire and she makes some good-witch connections. I look forward to the continued interplay between real-world and magical world as the series progresses. As Minnie is an aspiring writer, she is, of course, enamoured of Jane Austen and we get interesting tidbits throughout about the celebrated author and her connection to Bath.

The characters: Minnie is a charming heroine. She may be a little down on her luck at the moment but she’s resourceful, determined and creative. I like how, even in the face of adversity, she decides she will be in control of her own destiny and will not take no as an answer from grumpy old Fitz. Fitz, a vampire who lived in the Regency era, brings oodles of old world charm with just the right amount of scorn and suspicion of modern technology. I hope these two will be paired off as they are certainly a great example of opposites attract! We also meet Minnie’s bestie, Gus, and the rest of the butlers at the cafe. The butlers are an odd mix but their personalities complement one another perfectly.

Overall, this is a wonderful beginning to a new series. I really like the heroine, the secondary characters and the setting. I’m looking forward to much more!

I give Spelling the Tea 5/5 espresso shots.

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