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Here Comes The Witch (Main Street Witches #1) by Ani Gonzalez

Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery

Age category: Adult

Release Date:7 September, 2016

Jewelry designer Kat Ramos has come to Banshee Creek to break the famous Hagen House curse and, in order to do that, she must marry Liam Hagen. A vengeful ghost with a deadly history isn’t part of the deal, and neither is love. Will Kat be able to handle both? Or will the mystery of the cursed Hagen House remain unsolved?

 

***Disclosure: I received a free copy in exchange for a review.***

“Let me get this straight: you want to film a Caribbean Santeria ritual that aims to exorcise an Italian ghost during a Chinese ancestor festival?”  The plot in a nutshell.

What’s Good: like it says, it’s a light, cozy (sorta) mystery.  Lots of pop culture references, one-liners and more mythological name dropping & wiccan terminology than you can shake a stick at.  As a spinoff from the Banshee Creek series, the characters and setting should be readily familiar to those fans.

The PRoVE crew (Paranormal Research of Virginia Enterprises) were a fun & funny bunch- think of them as the town’s version of Mythbusters.  You’ll enjoy whenever they make an appearance.  I also liked the diversity of the town; lots of myth and lore from across the world and a studious avoidance of the same old stale Wiccan-only focus.

Amy Chan, proprietor of the local chinese restaurant, was the best character and needed much more screentime.  Hopefully this’ll happen in future books.

What’s Bad: see above.  Even though it’s a spinoff, so much is invested in building up the backstory, characters and squeezing in more magickal mumbo-jumbo than necessary it comes damn close to putting you off.  There’s a limit to this kind of stuff; a lot of it felt like filler to pad things out because there isn’t a whole lot to this ‘mystery’ and curse- like an Anita Blake novel, after all the buildup the main plot gets wrapped up and fizzles out in about two pages.

Theres’s no actual sex in the book, just lots of kissing and attempts at building sexual tension.  Attempts.

The main characters were inconsistent; they know everything about everything that’s going on… except when they don’t.  Main man Liam is as sharp as a crayon.  He knows he’s supposed to complete all the traditional marriage rituals in order to break the curse yet doesn’t seem to realize this includes giving someone a chance to object to the wedding, carrying his bride over the threshold of the house, kissing the bride and of course- consummating the marriage.  Really?  Because everyone else in the town knew all that.

The female lead, Kat, ain’t a whole lot better- she didn’t think of any of that stuff, either.  The moment she meets Yolanda (Yoda), she immediately recognizes all the paraphenalia she’s wearing and which gods it’s dedicated to, yet she doesn’t know jack all about casting spells and magic.  She literally resorts to books like Wiccan for Dummies and Witchcraft 101 to break the curse on the house.  Huh?

And it’s odd that a place that’s such a hotbed for verified paranormal activity that it’s become a tourist spot, there’s no governmental agency to monitor things.  But maybe that’s just me overthinking things.

What’s Left: there’s lots to like and lots to scratch your head about.  It gets bogged down under its own weight, which is odd for a cozy.  Think of it as a book version of an episode of Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie.

3/5 stars

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