M.R. Sellars
Harm None
Rowan Gant Mysteries, Book #1

Review brought to you by OBS staff member Heidi

This is the first book in the Rowan Gant Mysteries series that introduces us to, not surprisingly, Rowan Gant.  Rowan is a witch, not a hocus pocus turning you into a frog kind of witch but a practicing Wiccan.

The story starts out when Rowan’s best friend, Ben, who’s a homicide detective, asks him to help decipher some Pagan symbols that were found at a murder scene, drawn with the victim’s blood. The killer is using Wicca but is not a true Wiccan because the main mantra of their religion is to harm none, which is where the title of the book hails from. Rowan tells Ben what he wants to know and quickly starts offering to help him try to solve the case.  Ben, needing all the help he can get gladly accepts.

It all becomes a little more personal to Rowan once he gets a gander at the crime scene photos and sees that the victim is one of his former Wiccan students, Ariel.  After a little more investigating, he realizes that the killer isn’t done and this was just a practice run.

Then, more bodies start piling up, all apparently practice runs.  Rowan uses his extra sense to find clues and is even able to see what happened at some of the murder scenes through the energies that are left there by the victims.  But he is disturbed by nightmares all starring Ariel and a little girl version of Ariel asking him why and pleading for him to make it stop.

Once, the puzzle pieces start fitting together Rowan realizes that the last and final victim is going to be a child; they must quickly figure out who the murderer is and race against the clock to save an innocent girl before she is sacrificed in a horrendous ritual, created by a sick individual.

Being from the St. Louis area I thought it was different and kind of neat reading a book based in St. Louis and reading and seeing places near me that I’ve actually been to, such as Union Station, mentioned in passing.

This book did take me longer than I expected to really get into though.  I really don’t know why that is because the storyline was interesting from its onset.  Maybe it was because it was all about the murders in the beginning and I was missing the characters’ day to day lives??  I seemed to get more into it when Rowan’s wife ended up in the emergency room and when Ben and his wife were fighting.  Then, after that the story started picking up with them figuring out all the little clues leading up to who the killer is.

I ended up really liking this story and would definitely read more of the series.