4 star

A Potion to Die For

Magic Potion Mystery #1

By Heather Blake 

ISBN# 9780451416308

Author’s Website: http://www.heatherblakebooks.com

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra



As the owner of Little Shop of Potions, a magic potion shop specializing in love potions, Carly Bell Hartwell finds her product more in demand than ever. A local soothsayer has predicted that a couple in town will soon divorce—and now it seems every married person in Hitching Post, Alabama, wants a little extra matrimonial magic to make sure they stay hitched.

But when Carly finds a dead man in her shop, clutching one of her potion bottles, she goes from most popular potion person to public enemy number one. In no time the murder investigation becomes a witch hunt—literally! Now Carly is going to need to brew up some serious sleuthing skills to clear her name and find the real killer—before the whole town becomes convinced her potions really are to die for!


A very good start to what reads like a promising new series by Heather Blake.  The story started with the introduction of all the main characters:  Carly Bell Hartwell, a healing witch and owner of a local shop – The Little Shop of Potions. She has a quirky family including cousin Delia (a black witch and owner of a boutique called Till Hex Do Us Part) who dabbles in hexes and is continually trying to find out what and where Carly’s secret ingredient to her potions are hidden, and three spinster aunts known around town as the Odd Ducks (each one owns a local Inn), Jessamine Yadkin – proprietor of Déjà Brew – the local coffee shop, Sergeant Dylan Jackson (past fiancé “times two” to Carly) and more colorful characters you will discover as you read!  I really enjoyed how the characters were introduced, thoughtfully with enough of a back story to want to know these characters.

I loved the following quote – it shows the depth of Carly’s character:

“Someone had broken into my shop and killed a man.  I had to figure out who had done it and why, if only because I didn’t want to be fearful every time I walked into my shop. The shop my grandmother had built.”

Carly usually rides her bike to her shop with her two cats (Roly and Poly) in the front basket…too funny.  Who ever heard of cats being that compliant?!  One particular morning, Carly arrives at the shop and opens the door to find a dead man clutching one of her potion bottles. And so the sleuthing begins.  Carly must clear her potion!

I loved the story development between Carly and her ex- fiancé.  You can see that she and Dylan are not over (?), the question is, how far will each be willing to go?  I like their banter and also the fact that Carly is taking things VERY slow…but it is hard when Dylan is the local police chief and in her face constantly throughout the investigation.

We are led through the lives of the residents of Hitching Post, Alabama on the journey to finding the killer.  Many unusual local town folks with a myriad of odd stories.  Very colorful….and funny I might add.

An enjoyable cozy that kept me guessing until the end.  I can say unequivocally that I will be reading book #2.  I look forward to the continuation of the journey called Carly 🙂 .