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Magic and Murder Among the Dwarves (Crying Woman Road #1)

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Supernatural evil. Tragic romance. A psychic investigator. The widow Amanda Knight settles in the Blue Ridge Mountains to quietly grieve and rebuild a normal life. But her cantankerous neighbors, dwarves who come above ground only after dark, demand that she use her psychic power to solve a gruesome murder for them. To catch the brutal and clever killer, Amanda turns for Supernatural evil. Tragic romance. A psychic investigator. The widow Amanda Knight settles in the Blue Ridge Mountains to quietly grieve and rebuild a normal life. But her cantankerous neighbors, dwarves who come above ground only after dark, demand that she use her psychic power to solve a gruesome murder for them. To catch the brutal and clever killer, Amanda turns for help to Tristan, an expert in dwarves. She is drawn to him but is still bruised by the recent death of her soldier husband. Then the dark side of Amanda’s power turns against her, and she is haunted by an evil presence more sadistic and cunning than any murderer. Amanda must tame her fears if she is to outwit the killer and conquer the immortal enemy inside her. And if she loses, death is no longer the worst thing that can happen to her.


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Supernatural evil. Tragic romance. A psychic investigator. The widow Amanda Knight settles in the Blue Ridge Mountains to quietly grieve and rebuild a normal life. But her cantankerous neighbors, dwarves who come above ground only after dark, demand that she use her psychic power to solve a gruesome murder for them. To catch the brutal and clever killer, Amanda turns for Supernatural evil. Tragic romance. A psychic investigator. The widow Amanda Knight settles in the Blue Ridge Mountains to quietly grieve and rebuild a normal life. But her cantankerous neighbors, dwarves who come above ground only after dark, demand that she use her psychic power to solve a gruesome murder for them. To catch the brutal and clever killer, Amanda turns for help to Tristan, an expert in dwarves. She is drawn to him but is still bruised by the recent death of her soldier husband. Then the dark side of Amanda’s power turns against her, and she is haunted by an evil presence more sadistic and cunning than any murderer. Amanda must tame her fears if she is to outwit the killer and conquer the immortal enemy inside her. And if she loses, death is no longer the worst thing that can happen to her.

30 review for Magic and Murder Among the Dwarves (Crying Woman Road #1)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    There are some books that tell a story and then there are other books that place the reader in the story as they watch it unfold before their eyes: Magic and Murder Among the Dwarves by Erik Bundy fits into the later group. Not only is it an interesting story, due to the author's perfection for details it placed me in the story as it unfolded. It is sort of unique in that the 'story' part is not what is emphasized in his writing (although it is told, no doubt about that) but it is the detail of There are some books that tell a story and then there are other books that place the reader in the story as they watch it unfold before their eyes: Magic and Murder Among the Dwarves by Erik Bundy fits into the later group. Not only is it an interesting story, due to the author's perfection for details it placed me in the story as it unfolded. It is sort of unique in that the 'story' part is not what is emphasized in his writing (although it is told, no doubt about that) but it is the detail of the surroundings and thoughts and feelings that are emphasized to make for such an enjoyable experience. It is like the surroundings and 'people' (I use that term loosely as not all the 'people' are human) are explained so thoroughly that I was there seeing them before me, smelling the damp earth beneath my feet with a faint smell of mushrooms, and then the story happens as I 'watch' it going on. All the characters are developed fully, even the non-human ones. Amanda, the main character, is developed realistically in the sense I had a love/hate relationship with her especially at the beginning of the book. I thought she'd be like a heroine (all nicey nice) since she was the 'star' of this book but I found her a bit self-centered with a really poor outlook on people and life in general. Perhaps it can be explained away by her 'oddsense' and having to deal with that, maybe it was having to live next to dwarves which really don't think highly of humans and it rubbed off, maybe it is the loss of her husband, and there are a few other things she has going on in her life that may contribute to this outlook of her's. Whatever the cause, she is very realistic in that she has her good points and bad, good days and bad, just like everyone I know. As the story progressed I became a little more understanding of her and other characters in the book. I can't really vouch for how realistic the dwarves are since I never met one but as far as the fantasy/paranormal characters in the story, they all were what I believed they would be like if they did exist: dwarves would live in the forest, demons would cause uneasiness and smell/use fire, and a ghost appearing would create a cold spot in a room. The plot of the book is so interesting on all its levels. Amanda has physic abilities and is asked to help solve some crimes by both the humans and dwarves but this isn't a case of one simple crime. Things start snowballing (as they can in real life) and a simple missing person can turn into a murder investigation which in turn can lead to threats against the investigator and even attempted murder of the investigator if s/he gets too close so this one crime ends up being multiple crimes involving multiple people. It is all done with a logical flow of events and although it sounds like a lot going on, I was never lost. Actually, there is even more going on but I don't want to write any spoilers so I don't want to write any more about it than what the author already wrote in his book description but believe me, it is not confusing nor is it a bunch of random events that leaves the reader trying to make sense out of it. In fact, there are even clues along the way and I even caught on that these were the clues as to who done it and why but I just couldn't put the pieces together. Once Amanda did and she revealed what happened and why, it all made perfect sense but I still didn't see that ending coming. What a great sight! The pace of the book is, well, this is going to need some explaining. Remember, there is a lot going on in this book so the pace is a good one but remember this author is about detail and some details need more explaining then others so some times it seems to slow down. Also, keep in mind that not everything that is happening is happening one right after another, some of this is happening simultaneously so naturally the pace picks up here which in turn makes other areas seem to drag. The best I can sum up the pace of the book is by saying it depends on how 'into' the detail/story you are. If you are not into detail that much and want only action then you may find in parts it drags (but never for long) but if you are like me and want to experience the story and smell Tristan's Old Spice cologne (among many other things) then you will find this story rich and paced nicely throughout. I totally recommend this book to all mystery, paranormal, crime buffs. *I received a free copy of this book for my honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Clare

    Lots going on in this quirky tale of dwarves, demons and sybils. Oh yes, and the protagonist is a female human with oddsense, an ability that makes her necessary to the dwarves seeking a midwife's killer. If you enjoy tales of the paranormal, murder mysteries and/or love stories, it's all here along with a cast of characters I hope to read more about in what I hope will be a sequel. Lots going on in this quirky tale of dwarves, demons and sybils. Oh yes, and the protagonist is a female human with oddsense, an ability that makes her necessary to the dwarves seeking a midwife's killer. If you enjoy tales of the paranormal, murder mysteries and/or love stories, it's all here along with a cast of characters I hope to read more about in what I hope will be a sequel.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bea

    The title pretty well sums up the book; it's all about magic and murder among dwarves although the story is told from the point of view of a female human who is hired to investigate the murder of of local dwarf woman. Amanda has an ability that she calls oddsense that seems to be a combination of clairvoyance and premonition. It's this ability that gets her hired to find the killer of the dwarf community's midwife. She's also still dealing with the death of her husband Jason and gets involved i The title pretty well sums up the book; it's all about magic and murder among dwarves although the story is told from the point of view of a female human who is hired to investigate the murder of of local dwarf woman. Amanda has an ability that she calls oddsense that seems to be a combination of clairvoyance and premonition. It's this ability that gets her hired to find the killer of the dwarf community's midwife. She's also still dealing with the death of her husband Jason and gets involved in the search for a missing local human girl. There's a lot going on in the story and it dragged in a few places. During the last 40 percent or thereabouts the pace picked up and I became invested in the story. Prior to that, my attention wandered. I enjoyed the story well enough but the author's style was at times ponderous. He did a nice job though of sprinkling clues both false and true and most of the time I was not able to predict what would happen. While I didn't always love the dwarves I did appreciate Bundy's take on them. These dwarves are true to the old stories but set in a current times with an interesting back story. "Magic and Murder Among the Dwarves" is an original story with a mix of fantasy, folk tales, mythology, romance and mystery. It's character driven more than plot driven but there's some action and suspense and some dark undertones. It's not a cheerful story but there's hope mixed in with the sorrow and it's original, which is refreshing in fantasy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tammy Hall

    I'm not sure where to begin exactly this was such a great book to read it was funny and at a couple of points it also caused a tear or two. Amanda is a very well thought out character in this story who is about to have a demonic infestation on her hands if she isn't careful. While reading this story the song Black Magic Woman played in my head. It seemed fitting. Amanda is asked to take on three different cases at once and as she does this she knows that she has to be able to control her psychi I'm not sure where to begin exactly this was such a great book to read it was funny and at a couple of points it also caused a tear or two. Amanda is a very well thought out character in this story who is about to have a demonic infestation on her hands if she isn't careful. While reading this story the song Black Magic Woman played in my head. It seemed fitting. Amanda is asked to take on three different cases at once and as she does this she knows that she has to be able to control her psychic abilities there's just one small problem with that they are already upon her ready to reek havoc where ever they can. reading every scene in this story and seeing how it all plays out in my head was quite comical at least for me it was. Poor Amanda will she be able to control the inner demons waiting to run a muck and can she solve the cases before she herself becomes a victim? The worst of the worst maybe unleashed and it all falls in Amanda's lap could things get any worse. I for one am rooting for Amanda but the odds seem to be against her. This was an absolute great read I found it to be light and a refreshing story. Magic and Murder Among the Dwarves is one story I would truly love to hear more about. Thank you Eric Bundy for sharing your story with the rest of us!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    I want to say that I liked this book. However, I had such a hard time getting into the story. The visions were interesting but I can't say much else was. I should have been able to read this book in a few hours but it took days to read. I kept finding other things that I would rather do. There was nothing wrong with the book but it just didn't hold my interest at all. I want to say that I liked this book. However, I had such a hard time getting into the story. The visions were interesting but I can't say much else was. I should have been able to read this book in a few hours but it took days to read. I kept finding other things that I would rather do. There was nothing wrong with the book but it just didn't hold my interest at all.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    Erik Bundy sent me this book a while ago and for some reason it took me quite some time to get reading it. I must say, that was a mistake! This was a truly great read. There was so much going on in this book that it was hard to put down. The main character is a woman named Amanda. She has the ability to see things that have already happened without having been there. The dwarves play a major part in this book, as they are the untrusting people who need Amanda's help. Unlikely alliances are made. Erik Bundy sent me this book a while ago and for some reason it took me quite some time to get reading it. I must say, that was a mistake! This was a truly great read. There was so much going on in this book that it was hard to put down. The main character is a woman named Amanda. She has the ability to see things that have already happened without having been there. The dwarves play a major part in this book, as they are the untrusting people who need Amanda's help. Unlikely alliances are made. Danger is everywhere. It seems only Amanda has the ability to find the answers, if only she can survive long enough.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Pemberton

    It's hard to pin-point just why this book offers such a satisfying read. Certainly the writing is sharp and colorful, certainly the characters are vivid--human and dwarf, oracle and demon, alike--and certainly Erik Bundy's wit infuses the fantasy. (I must confess I was hooked when Amanda, on her first encounter with the fierce Daskin, notes that, "A female (no beard) marched around the right front corner of my cottage....") But underlying the humor are some archetypal themes of life and death an It's hard to pin-point just why this book offers such a satisfying read. Certainly the writing is sharp and colorful, certainly the characters are vivid--human and dwarf, oracle and demon, alike--and certainly Erik Bundy's wit infuses the fantasy. (I must confess I was hooked when Amanda, on her first encounter with the fierce Daskin, notes that, "A female (no beard) marched around the right front corner of my cottage....") But underlying the humor are some archetypal themes of life and death and the meaning of our stay on earth. Like all good fantasy, the book speaks to the human condition...and that, perhaps, of dwarves.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Deedra

    I enjoyed this book.I found some of the voices done by Carmen Beaubeaux a bit over dramatic,but good for the most part.Dwarves are just a normal part of life in this world,as are witches,demons,etc. Amanda is haunted by her dead husband,she is a psychic that helps the local dwarves in issues they can't find answers to themselves and she also helps the Police with cases. She is asked by the dwarves to find a missing baby.She is in for WAY more than she bargained for. I was given this book free for I enjoyed this book.I found some of the voices done by Carmen Beaubeaux a bit over dramatic,but good for the most part.Dwarves are just a normal part of life in this world,as are witches,demons,etc. Amanda is haunted by her dead husband,she is a psychic that helps the local dwarves in issues they can't find answers to themselves and she also helps the Police with cases. She is asked by the dwarves to find a missing baby.She is in for WAY more than she bargained for. I was given this book free for an honest review

  9. 4 out of 5

    Toni Michelle-Editor

    Magic and Murder Among the Dwarves was so fun to read. I have to give it a 5 star review as it kept me interested from start to finish. It is a crazy awesome book that made me laugh, cry (just a little), and want more! I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that loves a good fantasy story. Its a great trip!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kami

    Andrea is psychic and lives next door to dwarves. A female dwarf comes to her in the middle of the night and asks for her help. Her dead husband's ghost tries comes to her to try to warn her. And a demon is hunting her. This is a well-written, fast paced story, full of magic and adventure. 4 stars. Andrea is psychic and lives next door to dwarves. A female dwarf comes to her in the middle of the night and asks for her help. Her dead husband's ghost tries comes to her to try to warn her. And a demon is hunting her. This is a well-written, fast paced story, full of magic and adventure. 4 stars.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    I received a free copy of this book to honestly review. If you like he genes fantasy and mystery then you will probably enjoy this book. For me, the beginning was slow and it took me a bit of time to get into the story. Once I for a few chapters in, the story was fairly engrossing. There was just enough romance to make me smile. I hadn't read much fantasy that involved dwarves, except lotrs of course, but this was cool. I received a free copy of this book to honestly review. If you like he genes fantasy and mystery then you will probably enjoy this book. For me, the beginning was slow and it took me a bit of time to get into the story. Once I for a few chapters in, the story was fairly engrossing. There was just enough romance to make me smile. I hadn't read much fantasy that involved dwarves, except lotrs of course, but this was cool.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jeannie Lawson

    I received a free copy of this book through Voracious Readers Only. Once I started this book, I just couldn't put it down! I read it's 411 pages in about 24 hours!!! The character development made me fall in love with some and hate others. I recommend this book for anyone that loves mystery and magic!!!!! I received a free copy of this book through Voracious Readers Only. Once I started this book, I just couldn't put it down! I read it's 411 pages in about 24 hours!!! The character development made me fall in love with some and hate others. I recommend this book for anyone that loves mystery and magic!!!!!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Judy Ferrell

    A murder with a difference. Murder among the Dwarves brings this mystery a new flavor than any other. Very new and inventive. I enjoyed finding all the twists and turns. I kept thinking what happens next. This is a very well written book and has much to recommend it. I look forward to more in the series. I received this book through Voracious Readers Only.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Katy Brito

    Where to begin?... Amazingly written... As soon as I started reading the first few lines, I was addicted. That’s how books work for me... I have to connect with them automatically from the first sentences. I love supernatural, fiction books but lately all the books I started reading were all the same so I gave up on them. This one was different. The way the author writes gets you caught. Loved the characters in the story. Specially the dwarfs. They absolutely come alive, like you can see them right in Where to begin?... Amazingly written... As soon as I started reading the first few lines, I was addicted. That’s how books work for me... I have to connect with them automatically from the first sentences. I love supernatural, fiction books but lately all the books I started reading were all the same so I gave up on them. This one was different. The way the author writes gets you caught. Loved the characters in the story. Specially the dwarfs. They absolutely come alive, like you can see them right in front of you, touch them and smell them... Was a bit disappointed with the ending but am most times when I love a book, as I don’t want it to end... Brilliant work xx

  15. 5 out of 5

    Beth Oliver

    [I recieved this ebook from the Author via Voracious Readers Only for a review for free.] Magic and Murder Among the Dwarves. That's all you need to know of a quick summary. There is magic and murder among the Dwarves but not any dwarves I've read about before. None of those from a certain pale princess. They are stong, warrior-like, and have lived among us for centuries. Told from a human psychic point of view, she helps the dwarves find the murder but to a hindrance to herself most of the time. [I recieved this ebook from the Author via Voracious Readers Only for a review for free.] Magic and Murder Among the Dwarves. That's all you need to know of a quick summary. There is magic and murder among the Dwarves but not any dwarves I've read about before. None of those from a certain pale princess. They are stong, warrior-like, and have lived among us for centuries. Told from a human psychic point of view, she helps the dwarves find the murder but to a hindrance to herself most of the time. You can't fight fate. Great storytelling for those who love a good paranormal murder mystery.

  16. 4 out of 5

    MetisLit

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This review contains spoilers. We received a copy of this book through Voracious Readers. I strive to keep MetisLit’s reviews professional and objective, and if I find it necessary to lend criticism, I do my best to keep it constructive and positive. If I personally don’t care for a book, I make the personal nature of that dislike clear. As an aspiring author myself, I try not to flame books in review if I can avoid it. That being said, there is very little I can say about this book that is good This review contains spoilers. We received a copy of this book through Voracious Readers. I strive to keep MetisLit’s reviews professional and objective, and if I find it necessary to lend criticism, I do my best to keep it constructive and positive. If I personally don’t care for a book, I make the personal nature of that dislike clear. As an aspiring author myself, I try not to flame books in review if I can avoid it. That being said, there is very little I can say about this book that is good. In addition, to not personally liking it, it’s poor writing for the reasons listed below. The mystery aspect is, at the very least, not completely boring. But I found this book exceptionally trite and poorly written. At best, the author is ignorant and incompetent. At worst, this book is a repulsive and misinformed criticism of women’s rights. The least of its sins is that it’s bad copy. It’s rife with typos and omitted prepositions. I don’t have a problem with self-publishing, I have a problem with not bothering to proofread. Up until Chapter 15, the book was fine. It was a cute, urban fantasy, mystery. After Chapter 15, the author decided they wanted it to be more ~literary~ and tacked pretentious comments on the futility of society and life at the end of seemingly random paragraphs. But worst of all is this: best I can figure, the author wanted to include themes of gender inequality, but has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about. Believe it or not, this is the interpretation wherein I give the author the benefit of the doubt. First, the author tried to draw similarities between the narrator and a fabricated blues singer “whose life had been one of frustration, anger, and sorrow. The cause had been men.” (Chapter 22, Location 2364, Kindle Edition). I assume the blues singer was fabricated because a name is never included and she only appears as a statue. The narrator’s life was not one of “frustration, anger, and sorrow” at the exclusive cause of men. We can expect the narrator to have experienced all of these things upon the death of her husband because these are normal feelings that both men and women experience when grieving the death of a loved one. These feelings are not the responsibility of the deceased, although blaming them can be an unhealthy coping mechanism (certainly one that the narrator uses). The true blame of Amanda’s (the narrator) “frustration, anger, and sorrow” does not, shockingly, fall upon Jason (Amanda’s late husband), or upon any other man. It falls squarely upon the nature of grief. Even the resentment she feels toward the nature of her husband’s death is trite, as manifested by a ghost that is tied to Amanda because of those feelings. The ghost only leaves, i.e. Amanda is only able to let go of the resentment, when she finally starts a relationship with her friendly neighbor, Tristan. The author tried to create a tableau of Amanda as the resilient and strong feminine, weathering the storm of male ignorance/oppression. But what finally liberates her from the grief of Jason is another man. Jason, as described through Amanda’s memory, had been neither ignorant or oppressive. He had died while serving in the National Guard. By the way, implying directly or indirectly that anyone who dies in the line of duty is cruel and neglectful of those they leave behind is malicious and inexcusable. The author should be ashamed of themselves. In addition, the author tries unsuccessfully to use dwarven society as vehicle of gender inequality. “She-dwarves rarely visited humans and never without a male escort.” (Chapter 1, Location 90, Kindle Edition). Except the female that visited Amanda alone that night suffered no consequences for this disregard of tradition. She experienced mild derision from her male colony members, but this is easily a reaction to her dismissive and busk treatment of them. Amanda wasn’t treated with respect, but humans rarely were anyway. In general, “Dwarf mothers didn’t handicap their young by teaching them to be polite.” (Chapter 1, Location 99, Kindle Edition). Any “impoliteness” perceived by the narrator is a function of the society itself and cannot be accurately judged from outside that society, in other words, it cannot be accurately judged by the narrator. Furthermore, the three most powerful figures of the dwarven colony are, in fact, female. The Sybil, who is endowed with demi-god levels of magical power and is respected and obeyed unquestioningly by all members of the colony. Granny Narji is the eldest member of the colony because she founded it. She is venerated by all members of the colony, and meeting her is an honor in the extreme. Third, the shaman/healer of the tribe is also a she-dwarf of magical power. (She can, at the very least, banish demons and heal any wounds inflicted by them). She is respected due to her power and importance. Near the end of the book, it is revealed to Amanda that she has the requisite psychic ability to succeed the current Sybil, who is nearing the end of her life. Amanda balks at this, and refuses. As the story draws to a close, the murder mystery is resolved, and Amanda’s and Tristan’s relationship grows until Amanda receives an undeniable and unavoidable premonition of Tristan’s looming death. Only after something as finite and unfightable as death claims the man in her life will Amanda finally agree to assume the role of sybil. As if singledom is worse than the realities of being a sybil, which are repulsive and were Amanda’s initial reasons of refusal, independent of her relationship status. I didn’t expect literary excellence from this book, but I also didn’t expect it to be written with such a high degree of ineptitude. In trying to force extra meaning where there was none, the author bludgeoned a story together that was unintelligent, patronizing, and condescending.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I received a free copy of this book [via Voracious Readers] to review. For me the story got off to a slow start and I almost stopped reading, but it eventually drew me in. There's a mix of mystery, fantasy,crime and a little bit of romance in both human and dwarf communities - then title sums up the basic story in a sentence. Amanda and her oddsense makes for a relatively engaging character. I was a little disappointed with the ending. I'm not sure if I would read another book by this author. I received a free copy of this book [via Voracious Readers] to review. For me the story got off to a slow start and I almost stopped reading, but it eventually drew me in. There's a mix of mystery, fantasy,crime and a little bit of romance in both human and dwarf communities - then title sums up the basic story in a sentence. Amanda and her oddsense makes for a relatively engaging character. I was a little disappointed with the ending. I'm not sure if I would read another book by this author.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Emmy

    •audiobook• I tried dozens of times to get through this book. I finally reached 70% and had to give up. It’s been nearly a year. It’s very slow with painful details. If it was written in third person, it could flow better. But as a first person POV, the main character is simply a mind reader fixated on interpretating and dissecting everything. I really really wanted to love this - or at least finish it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cath

    Amanda, recently a widow, has moved to a small cottage on the strangely named Crying Woman Road, for a change of scenery and to overcome her grief. Her nearest neighbours, as she finds out when handed her keys, are dwarves who live deep under the mountains and only come out at night. No wonder the estate agent was so glad to get her into the cottage! Amanda isn’t quite like other humans, she has an aunt who is a witch and she herself has ‘Oddsense’ – the ability to see visions in her dreams or w Amanda, recently a widow, has moved to a small cottage on the strangely named Crying Woman Road, for a change of scenery and to overcome her grief. Her nearest neighbours, as she finds out when handed her keys, are dwarves who live deep under the mountains and only come out at night. No wonder the estate agent was so glad to get her into the cottage! Amanda isn’t quite like other humans, she has an aunt who is a witch and she herself has ‘Oddsense’ – the ability to see visions in her dreams or when in contact with an item. She has already been asked to help with some cases for the dwarf elder and has now been asked to solve the murder of their midwife. This brings danger to many, especially for Amanda as her Fate seems to be intertwined with those of the dwarves, the hunt for the murderer and herself. The dark side of her psychic powers has escaped and is trying to take over, she is losing her light side with the drain from seeing her dead husband’s ghost every day. She has to fight events happening around her and without much assistance, the evil around her multiplying and causing her severe injury. Her life is no longer normal and all she can do now is to try and stay alive, if she can. Bring in poisons, traps in the forest, demons, humans who hate dwarves and those who interact with them and a chance of love, this makes for an interesting mix of action taking place in the book. This book goes into quite deep detail on the lives and customs of the dwarves and the differences between male and female dwarves. Her new friend and neighbour Tristan is an expert about male dwarves and often has them over in the evening, but has never met a female dwarf. He provides her with some protection and knowledge in her tasks. An interesting read that gave me a completely different opinion of dwarves than any from any other book I have read with dwarves as characters. I loved Amanda’s character, flawed and suffering from the grief of losing a child and then more recently her husband and unable to forgive him for the actions leading to his death. She is too angry to release his ghost from this world. The struggle between good and evil, both within Amanda and the local communities echoes life everywhere. I actually found myself enjoying this book, the more I got into it, having been a bit taken back at the beginning by having dwarf neighbours seeming normal to some. A nice mix of mystery, fantasy and crime investigations in both human and dwarf communities. I received an ARC copy of the book from Hidden Gems and I have freely given my own opinion of the book above.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    I received a free copy of this book from Voracious Readers Only in return for an honest review. i gave up on this book I'm afraid. I got as far as Chapter 13 by which time a baby dwarf, that neither the reader nor main character has any emotional attachment to, had been stolen (maybe) and found (maybe). And then a dwarf midwife is killed. 13 chapters, a quarter of the book and this is the sum of the main plot. Yes there is worldbuilding - an excessive amount that interjects at random times and bogs I received a free copy of this book from Voracious Readers Only in return for an honest review. i gave up on this book I'm afraid. I got as far as Chapter 13 by which time a baby dwarf, that neither the reader nor main character has any emotional attachment to, had been stolen (maybe) and found (maybe). And then a dwarf midwife is killed. 13 chapters, a quarter of the book and this is the sum of the main plot. Yes there is worldbuilding - an excessive amount that interjects at random times and bogs down almost every scene. And it is inconsistant. Female dwarves have to have a male chaperone on the rare occation they come above ground. Except, none of the female dwarves above ground have a male with them and (by chapter 13) none have suffered for it. Yes there is scene setting - again excessive and mostly involving smell. And so many similies! Nothing could just 'be' something, it had to be 'like' something else, or rather, smell like something else. And describing almost every action of the main character, why? It adds nothing and just slows down the narative. Characters? All pretty 2 dimentional. And mostly angry and unpleasent. Including the main character. A big problem for first person narrative is fleshing out other characters and this book really does suffer from that. Conflict? Yes, between the main character and pretty much every other female and her dead husband. For little or no reason. She does seem to like the hunky male neighbour though. And there is an easily defeated demon after them. A quick chant and a rune and all's safe. Plot? A dead midwife that no-one, even her own mother, seems to care about. The main character certainly doesn't. The ony reason she's investigating is to get rid of the ghost of her dead husband. To be fair, he is really annoying in the one scene he's in. I'd want got rid of too. I thought this book sounded exactly the sort of thing I'd enjoy. Sadly, it became such a chore to read that I reluctantly gave up.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bohdana

    ***I have received a complimentary copy from Voracious Readers*** I don't typically read mystery books (I prefer just watching cop procedural though), but I liked the mythological aspect. My review is not the best one to look at the mystery aspect but I still enjoyed it even if I read it for the mythological worldbuilding. The characters weren't two-dimensional. It was engaging in the various things she had to solve which kept it fast paced for me. Information given to the reader wasn't overwhelm ***I have received a complimentary copy from Voracious Readers*** I don't typically read mystery books (I prefer just watching cop procedural though), but I liked the mythological aspect. My review is not the best one to look at the mystery aspect but I still enjoyed it even if I read it for the mythological worldbuilding. The characters weren't two-dimensional. It was engaging in the various things she had to solve which kept it fast paced for me. Information given to the reader wasn't overwhelming neither did it slow the pace. The style lies in between formal and informal, poetic and to the point (keeping up the pace that is). It was a bit distracting at times. The writing at times was more distant, formal-sounding yet the style was casual (informal) so the former made the later sound off at times. Then there's the metaphors- some references to Greek classics, other times metaphors that are very down to earth. It was interesting so I didn't mind but just be warned of the style changes if anyone minds those. There were a rare few missing quotation marks (not sure if that's just a transcription/HTML issue?). I liked the rather Stoic scenes (I'm just keeping it vague to not spoil anyone, but you'll know when you see it). I'm not really into that new-age stuff but I like reading mythology so I liked the book overall. Also, there is a sort of pre-feminism/post-feminism style in there at times sounding a bit indirectly didactic. I'm not entirely sure how to label it as MetisLit (their review includes spoilers) is on the opposite extreme about their opinion of the book. As a casual read, I liked the book, it was entertaining and I kind of saw what the author wanted to do though some would debate if the author acheived thier goal.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    World building, check, interesting and flawed characters, check, a fast paced mystery, check- this book really impressed me right from the beginning. You are drawn into a world that is based in modern america but an america where dwarves and witches are just interwoven into the fabric of history. Having a world that knows openly of the existence of fantasy creatures is always a tricky subject as it would alter all of history- this book manages to not clash with real world history by focusing on World building, check, interesting and flawed characters, check, a fast paced mystery, check- this book really impressed me right from the beginning. You are drawn into a world that is based in modern america but an america where dwarves and witches are just interwoven into the fabric of history. Having a world that knows openly of the existence of fantasy creatures is always a tricky subject as it would alter all of history- this book manages to not clash with real world history by focusing on protagonist's- Amanda Knight's- personal history the rich surroundings of her tiny patch of forest land and local town. I was impressed in the way Amanda was written, a woman who has lost so much and yet has so much confidence in herself and her powers- she does not shy away from her own vulnerabilities instead uses them to push forward and is constantly facing herself and her fears. The physical embodiment of those uglier sides of herself manifesting into a demon that she eventually vanquishes, taming it to become her own familiar. This was by far the most impressive part of the book in my opinion- you truly empathize with the lead but also don't doubt her ability to get the job done. This book was gripping, the way the dwarves talked in english was inspired and you could almost smell them as you read the descriptors. The only thing stopping me giving this book a 5* review is that I found the mystery being explained at the end of book to the dwarves not to my taste. I felt it should've been shown more in the last few chapters, instead the ending felt like suddenly the whole book was just explained to the reader. I did however really enjoy the story, the relationships and world it was set in, I am captivated in a way I am not normally by an author that I was unaware of until this week and will definitely be keeping an eye out for the next in the series and other books by Bundy.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dean

    I received my copy of Magic and Murder Among the Dwarves from Voracious Readers Only. I did not know what to expect when I started this novel and I am not even sure what I got after I finished it. Overall the book was very well written with steady characterization and good pacing paired with rich visuals. However, the many plot threads woven into Amanda's story take some juggling on the part of the reader to keep straight (dwarf, dwarf custom, town, demon, magic, past, present future). While this I received my copy of Magic and Murder Among the Dwarves from Voracious Readers Only. I did not know what to expect when I started this novel and I am not even sure what I got after I finished it. Overall the book was very well written with steady characterization and good pacing paired with rich visuals. However, the many plot threads woven into Amanda's story take some juggling on the part of the reader to keep straight (dwarf, dwarf custom, town, demon, magic, past, present future). While this is the first novel in the series it is not the first case Amanda has worked in town so events and relationships are hinted at but never explained through the course of the novel. I can see where Magic and Murder Among the Dwarves can be seen more as a set up novel for the rest of the series and not quite strong enough to stand on its own. A case of main protagonist syndrome if I've ever seen one. Now maybe I would have enjoyed the novel if it didn't take me a month to read it, but the writing also didn't grip me quite enough to keep me engaged through the first half of the novel. A decent novel with great concept, just lacking on genre and plot clarity. Or maybe I'm just not cut out for thillers as I thought I was?

  24. 4 out of 5

    Skyla ✧

    You can tell the author loves the Carolina mountains, and that's what really drew me to this story. A born and raised North Carolinian myself, this was just what I needed to help soothe my current home sickness. And it certainly delivered the fun and intrigue that mysteries promise. This is a great story if you are a fan of witches, the paranormal, and fantasy mixed into modern times. The story takes place inbetween a small Appalachian town and a colony of dwarves, both who are adjusting to life You can tell the author loves the Carolina mountains, and that's what really drew me to this story. A born and raised North Carolinian myself, this was just what I needed to help soothe my current home sickness. And it certainly delivered the fun and intrigue that mysteries promise. This is a great story if you are a fan of witches, the paranormal, and fantasy mixed into modern times. The story takes place inbetween a small Appalachian town and a colony of dwarves, both who are adjusting to life dealing with the other. Then comes the sorrowful protagonist, Amanda, a widow with powerful psychic abilities. There's a love story, a murder, and a friendship between a human woman and a dwarf woman. You may not like the dwarves much at first, but they definitely grow on you. As for the paranormal things that surround Amanda, those will always have you turning pages for more. My only negative thing to say is that I found the beginning rather slow, but once I got past that I could not put it down. Great novel. *I received a complimentary copy of the book from the author via Voracious Readers Only in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Skyla ✧

    You can tell the author loves the Carolina mountains, and that's what really drew me to this story. A born and raised North Carolinian myself, this was just what I needed to help soothe my current home sickness. And it certainly delivered the fun and intrigue that mysteries promise. This is a great story if you are a fan of witches, the paranormal, and fantasy mixed into modern times. The story takes place inbetween a small Appalachian town and a colony of dwarves, both who are adjusting to life You can tell the author loves the Carolina mountains, and that's what really drew me to this story. A born and raised North Carolinian myself, this was just what I needed to help soothe my current home sickness. And it certainly delivered the fun and intrigue that mysteries promise. This is a great story if you are a fan of witches, the paranormal, and fantasy mixed into modern times. The story takes place inbetween a small Appalachian town and a colony of dwarves, both who are adjusting to life dealing with the other. Then comes the sorrowful protagonist, Amanda, a widow with powerful psychic abilities. There's a love story, a murder, and a friendship between a human woman and a dwarf woman. You may not like the dwarves much at first, but they definitely grow on you. As for the paranormal things that surround Amanda, those will always have you turning pages for more. My only negative thing to say is that I found the beginning rather slow, but once I got past that I could not put it down. Great novel. *I received a complimentary copy of the book from the author via Voracious Readers Only in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Bourque

    I received a copy of "Magic and Murder Among the Dwarves" from Veracious Readers in exchange for an honest review, and I quite enjoyed this book. The story offers readers magic, supernatural elements focused around demons, witches, ghosts, a physchic, and of course dwarves. What's not to like? Amanda Knight is a physchic who is helping Daksin, a female dwarf, and they are working together to determine who murdered another female dwarf. While they investigate they encounter demons, secrets, and man I received a copy of "Magic and Murder Among the Dwarves" from Veracious Readers in exchange for an honest review, and I quite enjoyed this book. The story offers readers magic, supernatural elements focused around demons, witches, ghosts, a physchic, and of course dwarves. What's not to like? Amanda Knight is a physchic who is helping Daksin, a female dwarf, and they are working together to determine who murdered another female dwarf. While they investigate they encounter demons, secrets, and many unexpected surprises. "Magic and Murder Among the Dwarves" is very well written and really brings to the life the beautiful magical fantasy aspect of the story. The character development is also very good and offers a great back story that incorporates nicely into the overall storyline. If you like to read fantasy, magical, supernatural based stories, "Magic and Murder Among the Dwarves" is a definite must read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    I enjoyed that Bundy has taken us into a world I had never considered previously. There aren't many fiction novels that take you into the world, and culture of dwarves. I was impressed with how much thought and focus had gone into the minute details of dwarf culture, I was talked into believing they are actually real, just very good at hiding themselves from us. That said, I struggled to connect with the female lead, she complains a lot and is, for the first half of the book, stuck in place in he I enjoyed that Bundy has taken us into a world I had never considered previously. There aren't many fiction novels that take you into the world, and culture of dwarves. I was impressed with how much thought and focus had gone into the minute details of dwarf culture, I was talked into believing they are actually real, just very good at hiding themselves from us. That said, I struggled to connect with the female lead, she complains a lot and is, for the first half of the book, stuck in place in her life. In the second half of the book, she is forced to move forward, a genius plot device and face her issues with her dead husband, going-nowhere case and her looming potential romantic partner. I will say, at the end, I was very upset with Bundy for threatening to break up her short lived happiness, but that is a credit to how much I was drawn into this world and loved the characters in the end.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Magic and Murder Among the Dwarves was a fun fantasy crime story about a psychic recruited by a neighboring colony of dwarves to help solve a murder. I was honestly surprised to learn that this book was the first in the series as it references other cases that the character has assisted the dwarves with and the relationships between characters suggests back stories the reader may be familiar with. This didn’t take away from the story itself. Overall, it was a fun read and I would recommend it to Magic and Murder Among the Dwarves was a fun fantasy crime story about a psychic recruited by a neighboring colony of dwarves to help solve a murder. I was honestly surprised to learn that this book was the first in the series as it references other cases that the character has assisted the dwarves with and the relationships between characters suggests back stories the reader may be familiar with. This didn’t take away from the story itself. Overall, it was a fun read and I would recommend it to anyone interested in both fantasy and mystery. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through Voracious Readers Only.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cristina Reid

    A book in the style of a fantasy realm, maybe or as some with gifts would say all is real, one just has to look, lot of using the connection of person who has powers and able connect from her world to theirs is clever and inspirational, use of the antipathy to smell of lavender , Sybil synonomous with the name as the bad one, Tristan, and Sharman, and passion, on the Quest to find missing baby and the murderer, brings all of the ways as is in the human world can be in the other worlds. From my ex A book in the style of a fantasy realm, maybe or as some with gifts would say all is real, one just has to look, lot of using the connection of person who has powers and able connect from her world to theirs is clever and inspirational, use of the antipathy to smell of lavender , Sybil synonomous with the name as the bad one, Tristan, and Sharman, and passion, on the Quest to find missing baby and the murderer, brings all of the ways as is in the human world can be in the other worlds. From my experience hard write like this, one has have projected mind into the other realms I find that have sense them and understand them or feel them, brilliant writer in this vain.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Magic and Murder Among the Dwarves I recieved a copy of this book from the Author through Viracious Readers only to review. This review is my own oopinion. I was slow to open this book and usually would finish within a day. I actually put it down read another book and came back to it . I cant say I disliked it but I didnt love it either. If you are a real fan of Fantasy which l am not it is a book you will love.The storyline setting aside all the mythical creatures was great and was really just tak Magic and Murder Among the Dwarves I recieved a copy of this book from the Author through Viracious Readers only to review. This review is my own oopinion. I was slow to open this book and usually would finish within a day. I actually put it down read another book and came back to it . I cant say I disliked it but I didnt love it either. If you are a real fan of Fantasy which l am not it is a book you will love.The storyline setting aside all the mythical creatures was great and was really just taking off for me when it ended with an unseen event which left me wanting more. Would l recommend it to friends, yes l would and l know many who would love it. The characters were described in detail where I swear I cringed imagining the smell when they entered aroom or even knocked on a door.

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