Ghost of a Potion
A Magic Potion Mystery, Book #3
By Heather Blake
Author’s website: www.Heatherblakebooks.com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
With all the ghosts that haunt her at this time of year, Carly doesn’t exactly rush to celebrate Halloween. Even a costume ball organized by her boyfriend Dylan’s mother, Patricia Davis Jackson, holds little allure. But to please Dylan, who wants peace between the two women, Carly reluctantly agrees to go.
Gossip around town is that architect Haywood Dodd plans to make a big announcement at the party. But before he can address the crowd, he’s found dead with Patricia standing over him, holding the murder weapon. Anxious to clear Patricia’s name and perhaps broker a truce with her, Carly would love to use her snooping skills to find the real killer. Only she has bigger problems to deal with—ghosts are flocking to her for help, including a very persistent Haywood Dodd…
Ghost of a Potion is the enchanting third entry in the delightful Magic Potion series by Heather Blake. Chock full of eccentric characters, with a little witchy magic thrown in for good measure, and a strong mystery, readers would be hard pressed not to enjoy Carly Bell and her adventures.
Halloween is rapidly approaching in the small town of Hitching Post, Alabama. Unsettled ghosts rise on Halloween in search of help so that they can successfully cross over. Carly Bell, as a white witch and empath, is the perfect person to assist, but past experiences have been unpleasant so she plans to hide from Halloween until All Soul’s day. As an empath, she can feel how the ghosts died, and if she looks them in the eye, she is bound to help them. Avoidance is the only action which can guarantee her getting through the three days unscathed.
However, she thinks she is safe to attend the Hitching Post Restoration and Preservation Society’s (Harpies) costume gala on October 30 with her boyfriend Dylan to support her father’s bid to join the society. She does not look forward to seeing Dylan’s mother Patricia, who is one of the Harpies, and, as expected, Patricia is downright insulting and hostile to Carly. Things take a dramatic turn during the party when Patricia is found standing over another society member’s prostrate form, holding the presumed murder weapon. Carly knows she is in trouble when she looks straight into the eyes of Haywood Dodd’s spectral form. Patricia quickly becomes the prime suspect, and Carly resigns herself to uncovering Haywood’s true murderer and clearing Patricia’s name (that is sure to score some brownie points with Patricia, right?).
The three day deadline brings a sense of urgency to Carly’s investigating, and to complicate matters, she picks up two more ghosts needing her assistance along the way. The other Harpies make excellent suspects, as does the mysterious stranger Avery. Carly learns that they have all received blackmail letters, and she feels sure that if she finds the source of the letters she will unmask the real killer.
Heather Blake pens some of my favorite books, and Ghost of a Potion did not disappoint. This is an emotional ride full of secrets, choices and consequences, and the things people will do to protect those close to them. It is ultimately a tale about family. The mystery surrounding Haywood’s death is strong, and I did not figure out whodunit until right before Carly did. The other mysteries that sprung from the investigation are equally compelling. We even learn why Patricia has been so hateful to Carly all these years and her endless motivation to sabotage Dylan and Carly’s relationship. Ghosts Jenny Jane and Virgil’s final wishes are sweet and just as important as the bigger stories.
Hitching Post has more than its fair share of eccentric yet believable characters. They are flawed and face the same kind of problems we all encounter. It seems perfectly normal that there are witches and ghosts in this picturesque Southern town. Carly is plucky and full of heart, and I enjoy reading as her strained relationship with her cousin Delia grows stronger. Her parents are a hoot, and I can feel the genuine affection and devotion they share. Carly and Dylan have quite a bumpy history, and I hope they continue to mend and grow together as a couple. The revelation of Patricia’s big secret is a great twist, and I cannot wait to see how it plays out. Bring on the next book!
Ghost of a Potion is a fun Halloween tale, though it can be read any time of year, and I highly recommend it to all cozy readers, even if you think you do not care for paranormal cozies. It will make you laugh aloud, your heart beat a little faster and maybe even shed a tear.