Potions and Pastries
Magical Bakery Series, Book #7
By Bailey Cates
Author Website: Baileycates(.)com
It’s been exactly two years since Katie and her aunt and uncle opened the Honeybee Bakery, where they serve delicious–and bespelled–treats to the good people of Savannah. After a dinner celebrating the bakery’s anniversary, they all take a stroll along the waterfront and meet Aunt Lucy’s friend Orla, a colorful character who has been telling the fortunes of locals and tourists alike for years.
The next day, Orla meets with what seems like a terrible accident, but Katie’s witchy intuition tells her it was something more sinister. Together with her trustworthy coven and her firefighter boyfriend, she’ll race to find out what happened to the unfortunate fortune-teller before the piping hot trail goes cold…. (Goodreads)
Cozy mystery readers are in for a treat with Potions and Pasties, the seventh book in the Magical Bakery Series. I liked this light-hearted murder mystery that has a bit of romance and magic sprinkled throughout.
When Aunt Lucy’s friend Orla, a local fortune teller, meets an untimely end, Katie’s magical sixth sense tells her Orla’s death was no accident. Detective Quinn is unconvinced by Katie’s insistence so Katie investigate on her own. Her questions lead her straight to Orla’s family, a tightly knit group of Irish Traveler heritage who do not want to have anything to do with Katie. Even after Katie finds herself in danger, she does not stop until the guilty party is revealed.
Cates has created a fun world with magical influences set in Savannah, Georgia. Savannah makes a beautiful backdrop, but I never really get a good sense of place from the writing. The action could take place in any charming Southern town, real or imaginary though there are some landmark references. I wish I could visit the Honeybee Bakery and partake of the delicious offerings. The descriptions of the baked goods make my mouth water. The characters are what keep me coming back for more with the Magical Bakery series. I particularly enjoy Aunt Lucy and Uncle Ben. They set the bar for relationship goals. Declan, Katie’s fiancé, is an honorable and nice guy (Is it bad that I sometimes think he is too good for Katie?) The members of Katie’s coven add variety and interest to the series though we do not see much of them in this installment. Of course, I enjoy the animals and wish Katie’s familiar Mungo could talk.
The mystery here is intriguing, and I spent most of the book vacillating between the suspects trying to figure out whodunit. The killer’s identity is not exactly a surprise when it is revealed, but it makes sense with the mystery. Katie is a bit too obvious in her investigating for my taste, and she does teeter on the edge of having “too stupid to live” moments, but, overall, she makes a fine amateur sleuth. I appreciate the balance of magical and mundane in her life.
I enjoyed Potions and Pastries and recommend it to readers who appreciate magic with their murders.