Title: Murder in Devil’s Cove
Author: Melissa Bourbon
Series: A Book Magic Mystery #1
Publisher: Lake House Press
Release Date: September 22, 2020
Pages: 306
Book Source: ARC

“Every book tells two stories—one written on the pages with pen and ink, and one woven into the paper, a story of the soul. The Lane women have the gift of bibliomancy. They can read both.

But Cassie Lane doesn’t see this as a gift. For her, it is a curse because the book magic comes with a price–the Lane women die young and the men are lost to the sea. As soon as she’s able, she leaves Laurel Point, Oregon, running from her past and her fate, ending up on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. There she meets Leo Hawthorne and lives a perfect life with him in an old Sea Captain’s house.

Perfect, that is, until an old book foretells the future, and the curse that has plagued the Lane women comes true for Cassie.

Twenty years later, Cassie and Leo’s children, twins Pippin and Grey, are back in Devil’s Cove. Long forgotten secrets surface and an old crime comes to light. Now Pippin must learn how to be a bibliomancer if she is to discover the truth about her father and continue his effort to stop the curse.” – Amazon

Kim’s Review

I love the concept of A Book Magic Mysteries, two authors writing a series together, but writing separate books. While Murder in Devil’s Cove by Melissa Bourbon has an ending and we find out what really happened to their father, there are still questions that need to be answered and it segues perfectly into the next book in the series, Death at Cape Misery by Wendy Lyn Watson.

I think people who enjoy cozies or mysteries will really like Book Magic Mysteries since they are a traditional mystery with cozy elements. Meaning the murders take place off scene, there is no gore, there is a small town community, the heroine turns into an amateur sleuth, and the bad guy gets caught with a final showdown.

But while it has cozy elements it definitely has a different feel than a cozy. It feels a bit more substantial, not quite as fluffy as a traditional cozy. Pippin is dealing with a family tragedy, exploring her emotions while experiencing personal growth, and trying to stop a curse and not just leaving her place of work to talk to the locals and track down the bad guys like in cozies. And while we do get to read about a small town, to me the town didn’t feel as explored in depth as traditional cozies. So this is a wonderful hybrid of the two genres!

Bourbon incorporated the supernatural elements into the story really well. It didn’t feel unreal like a mystery with werewolves or vampires. Having the curse being part of the mystery that carries over to the next book is a wonderful way to leave readers wanting more and a pretty good guarantee that they will be reading the next book. And I will admit to asking a question and opening a random book to a random page and planting my finger down onto the page hoping the sentence I’m touching gives me the answer!

A great start to A Book Magic Mysteries, and I am looking forward to book two which will be out on December 1, 2020.

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