Publisher: Mass Market Paperback for most; latest are now in hardcover first (grrrr…)
Series or Stand-Alone: Series. Currently (July 2011) there are 7 published with #8 on the way!
Why in the Lost and Found: I read 1-6 in one full swoop when I got my hands on them about 6 months ago. And, because these aren’t really as mysterious as their snippets would lead you to believe, he few details you need to remember from book to book are easy to remember even for a series junkie like me. Basically, you need to remember that Maggie is a witch and her boss Liss is too and is her mentor. And her sleepy little mid-west town is now running rampant with murder and mystery. Not much else that you really need to learn – the author of these summarizes all required info on each book (that’s why as a group, they were so easy to read quickly).
The Trouble With Magic (#1): No review, but 3 stars
A Charmed Death (#2): No review, but 3 stars
Hex Marks the Spot (#3): No review, but 3 stars
No Rest for the Wiccan (#4): No review, but 5 stars
Where There’s a Witch (#5): ** spoiler alert ** another cute little story. These aren’t exactly Agatha Christie mysteries… the culprit is normally pretty obvious, but they are still a fun little read. Maggie is a sweet character and the others that have become part of her circle are too. The prejudice that she and Liss face is a little frustrating, but it was good in this book to see her stand up to her mother a little (and it was just a little). It was also nice to see the Marcus/Tom thing come to a head at the end of this book. One of the more refreshing parts of these books is the acknowledgement that having all these crimes happen in one small town is a little weird. That way, you don’t have to wonder why all the rimes always happen in cabot cove (at least, I used to wonder that with the Murder She Wrote stories). It would be nice to see a little more magic and romance, but then maybe these wouldn’t be classified mysteries. They are quick reads, cute little plots, and the characters and the settings feel very midwestern. In some ways, its a relief to read some stories that don’t take place in NYC.
In this installment, Maggie ends up, again, in the wrong place at the wrong time when she and her friends discover a dead body at the site of a fair/future church addition. Still reeling from the ramifications of her sister’s big mouth, and the lack of business that means for Enchantments, she ends up first witnessing an argument or two with the woman who becomes the victim and then she ends up on site when the dead body is found. Tom, as usually, takes issue with Maggie being there and lets her know his frustration. Like in all the other books, she and her band of N.I.G.H.T.S. (although not through a formal NIGHTS event) figure it out. She ends up thrown into a scary situation with Marcus, and they finally come together. The murder is solved, tied up in a nice bow, like usual, and we are left looking forward to the next installment.
There was a little less of Liss in this book – and that was disappointing since she is my second favorite character. But, I expect we will see more of her in the future. Off to read the next one….
A Witch in Time (#6): While the answer to the mystery was pretty apparent very early on, we get a little more of Maggie’s Mom and Mel then I would like, and there wasn’t enough Liss, this was another enjoyable quick little read. I like the way we hear how it all tied together in this installment. And I like getting to see more of Marcus. The little we get of Tom made me like him even less then I already did. Some of the things that occurred in this book had the ground work laid in the last 2 books. So, it would be helpful to read those before starting with this book. But the author does a good enough job with the background to make it not strictly necessary. For someone who’s read them all in order, it makes these an even quicker read since some of this is skimmable – especially when you read a few of the books in just a few days. The more time spent with Maggie, the more I like the cast of characters that she considers her friends (Steff, Evie, Tara, Gertrude, Liss, Marcus and the bunch). And I think the mysteries get easier to piece together the more I read this series. This mystery was a little obvious – some of the info dropped as hints early on stood out a little too much, so I knew who the culprit would be as soon as the murder happened. And I knew the secrets that were being kept chapters before Maggie realizes it all. But when she does put it together, its great to see her do it with Marcus’s help – and sort of as a team. I hope we get lots more of Maggie and Marcus in the next book. These are enjoyable and easy to read, with just enough magic to keep things interesting – and to keep it seeming realistic, instead of needing to suspend all beliefs in reality like you need to do when reading stuff about vamps/weres/etc.
Home for a Spell (#7): No review, but 3 stars
In Charm’s Way (#8): Due out August 2011.