Brownies and Broomsticks by Bailey Cates is the first book in the new “Magical Bakery” mystery series. Publisher: Obsidian, May 2012


Katie Lightfoot’s tired of loafing around as the assistant manager of an Ohio bakery. So when her aunt Lucy and uncle Ben open a bakery in Savannah’s quaint downtown district and ask Katie to join them, she enthusiastically agrees.

While working at the Honeybee Bakery—named after Lucy’s cat—Katie notices that her aunt is adding mysterious herbs to her recipes. Turns out these herbal enhancements aren’t just tasty—Aunt Lucy is a witch and her recipes are actually spells!

When a curmudgeonly customer is murdered outside the Honeybee Bakery, Uncle Ben becomes the prime suspect. With the help of handsome journalist Steve Dawes, charming firefighter Declan McCarthy, and a few spells, Katie and Aunt Lucy stir up some toil and trouble to clear Ben’s name and find the real killer.

I love discovering new series, and in this one Katie Lightfoot learns that she was born to a family of spell-casting witches. That newfound task may be put to use when her uncle becomes the prime suspect in a murder. Knowing that the police will need absolute proof of her uncle’s innocence, Katie and the others begin an investigation into who had a stronger motive. This was a fun book that I enjoyed immensely. The murder mystery stomped me and totally caught me unaware of the killer’s identity. I like the spirit of Katie as she comes to term with her heredity and the supporting characters blend beautifully in the storyline and I can’t wait to read more about their history. This fast-moving whodunit boasts a great plot, a lovable and colorful cast, entertaining dialogue and a warm and a friendly tone. This is a great beginning in this charmingly enchanting debut series that I hope is here to stay. Bonus recipes are included in this delightful read.

Bailey Cates is the pseudonym of Cricket McRae and you can visit her at

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