The Witch is Back and Only the Strong by Amanda M. Lee – Mini Reviews

Still catching up on some of the series I follow by Amanda M. Lee. These were the latest books in The Wicked Witches of the Midwest and A Death Gate Grim Reapers Thriller series.

Bay Winchester is living the high life. She’s engaged, owns her own business, and is undergoing a magical transformation, complete with growing powers at every turn. All that changes when a local teenager goes missing at a festival and nobody knows who took her.

The girl’s friends saw the abduction but the description they provide doesn’t match anybody in town. The only other witness is Marcus, her cousin Thistle’s boyfriend, and he was seriously injured in the attack and can’t provide additional information.

Bay is determined to solve the case, although she’s not sure where to look. On top of that, her normal partner in crime is otherwise engaged, which means her mother has decided to tag along for the ride.

Bay is the sort of witch who is willing to put herself on the line to save those who need saving. Unfortunately, this time around, the answers she finds only lead to more questions. On top of that, her great-aunt Willa and cousin Rosemary have arrived in town out of nowhere and they seem to be harboring their own secrets, and it’s something that could change the entire trajectory of Bay’s life.

The Winchesters are loyal, and it’s going to take all of them working together to solve this one. It seems new magic is afoot, and whoever is wielding it is deadly.

Magic, mystery and mayhem are about to collide. Batten down the hatches. The Winchesters are about to take you on a wild ride.

Available on Amazon and via Kindle Unlimited.

This was definitely one of the best in this series for a while.

Mystery: Who attacked Marcus and kidnapped a local teenager? There are several suspects ranging from the girl’s friends to some suspicious members of the community. Oh, and then there are also members of the Winchester family who make a surprise appearance. Could they be involved? The suspects, motives and opportunities are revealed at a good pace and the final showdown is exciting.

There were several aspects I really enjoyed this time around:

-Thistle fussing over Marcus

-The hilarity of Bay’s mother trying to go investigating with the Chief and Landon

-Bay and Landon trying to figure out how best to support each other.

-Bay’s increasing powers

-The mystery around the reappearance of great-aunt Willa

On the down side, the character that is cousin Clove could be one of the most annoying of secondary characters.

I thought this book would tackle the return of the unwanted Winchester relatives but it seems the scene is simply being set for the acton to play out in a later book. I’m looking forward to it!

I give The Witch is Back 4.5/ 5 witchy espresso shots.

The Death Gate is down and Izzy Sage is at a crossroads. What will happen when they throw the switch and bring it back? She’s all atwitter on the big day … and then things only get more twisted when Zoe Lake-Winters, a powerful mage, walks through the door with her husband and daughter in tow.
Zoe is an enigma, one Izzy is drawn to, but before they can get to know one another a revenant crosses the newly-opened gate and a magical explosion from Zoe’s daughter Sami causes more mayhem … and an additional coverup.
Two very different worlds are colliding, and Izzy and Zoe are at the center of it. The mystery of the other side is dark and deep and Zoe finds she’s intrigued … even if her methods are a bit extreme for the Grimlocks.
There’s a conspiracy afoot, and it’s anybody’s guess who at the reaper council has been compromised. Sheer grit and determination will bring a mage and a bruja together, but it’s loyalty that will ultimately guide them.
It seems someone is erecting gates in various locations around the city, but why? What do they hope to accomplish? Is a full-scale revenant attack imminent? Only time will tell, and when the battle comes, two powerful beings will have to come together to protect what they love most.
Hold on to your hexes, because the magical union you’ve been waiting for is finally here … and it’s going to be a very snarky affair.

Available on Amazon and via Kindle Unlimited.

I think Amanda M. Lee has been have a ball writing books where characters from her various series have a chance to crossover to other series. This go around, the Winters family from the Covenant College books visit the Grimlocks… with hilarious and intriguing consequences.

Favourite Part: How well the Winters and Grimlocks get along. The snark is on full display as they tease and challenge one another. Cormack is completely smitten with the mouthy teenager, Sami, who provides a terrifying warning for Aisling and Griffin as to how their own spoiled rotten baby girl is likely to turn out. Oh, the mystery is pretty great too. It’s not so much a clear cut whodunnit as much as a why and how. The fantastical parts of this paranormal cozy mystery are explored in more detail.

Least Favourite Part: Okay as fun as the snark is, most of the time, there are occasions when it goes on a bit or just seems completely unnecessary and childish… e.g. the continued Angelina bashing. Thankfully, main character, Izzy, is a good stabilising presence for the Grimlocks!

I really do enjoy this series with it’s mixing of cozy mystery with fantasy elements and look forward to the next one (especially as we seem to finally be getting more into the larger series arc about Izzy’s parents and her blurry past). I give Only the Strong 4.5/5 snarky espresso shots.

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