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A Spell for Trouble

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Alexandra Daniels hasn't set foot in the quiet seaside town of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina in over twenty years. Ever since her mother's tragic death, her father has mysteriously forbidden her from visiting her aunt and cousins. But on a whim, Alex accepts an invitation to visit her estranged relatives and to help them in their family business: an herbal apothecary known f Alexandra Daniels hasn't set foot in the quiet seaside town of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina in over twenty years. Ever since her mother's tragic death, her father has mysteriously forbidden her from visiting her aunt and cousins. But on a whim, Alex accepts an invitation to visit her estranged relatives and to help them in their family business: an herbal apothecary known for its remarkably potent teas, salves, and folk remedies. Bellamy Bay doesn't look like trouble, but this is a town that harbors dark secrets. Alex discovers that her own family is at the center of salacious town gossip, and that they are rumored to be magical healers descended from mermaids. She brushes this off as nonsense until a local is poisoned and her aunt Lidia is arrested for the crime. Alex is certain Lidia is being framed, and she resolves to find out why. Alex's investigation unearths stories that some have gone to desperate lengths to conceal: forbidden affairs, family rivalries, and the truth about Alex's own ancestry. And when the case turns deadly, Alex learns that not only are these secrets worth hiding, but they may even be worth killing for.


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Alexandra Daniels hasn't set foot in the quiet seaside town of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina in over twenty years. Ever since her mother's tragic death, her father has mysteriously forbidden her from visiting her aunt and cousins. But on a whim, Alex accepts an invitation to visit her estranged relatives and to help them in their family business: an herbal apothecary known f Alexandra Daniels hasn't set foot in the quiet seaside town of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina in over twenty years. Ever since her mother's tragic death, her father has mysteriously forbidden her from visiting her aunt and cousins. But on a whim, Alex accepts an invitation to visit her estranged relatives and to help them in their family business: an herbal apothecary known for its remarkably potent teas, salves, and folk remedies. Bellamy Bay doesn't look like trouble, but this is a town that harbors dark secrets. Alex discovers that her own family is at the center of salacious town gossip, and that they are rumored to be magical healers descended from mermaids. She brushes this off as nonsense until a local is poisoned and her aunt Lidia is arrested for the crime. Alex is certain Lidia is being framed, and she resolves to find out why. Alex's investigation unearths stories that some have gone to desperate lengths to conceal: forbidden affairs, family rivalries, and the truth about Alex's own ancestry. And when the case turns deadly, Alex learns that not only are these secrets worth hiding, but they may even be worth killing for.

30 review for A Spell for Trouble

  1. 5 out of 5

    PamG

    A SPELL FOR TROUBLE by Esme Addison is the first book in the An Enchanted Bay paranormal cozy mystery series. The story takes place in Bellamy Bay, North Carolina and the author does a great job of world-building. Alexandra Daniels lost her mother when she was young and recently lost her father. She hasn’t been to visit her aunt and cousins in North Carolina since she was a child. Instead, she has focused on her career in risk management in New York. However, she decides to accept an invitation a A SPELL FOR TROUBLE by Esme Addison is the first book in the An Enchanted Bay paranormal cozy mystery series. The story takes place in Bellamy Bay, North Carolina and the author does a great job of world-building. Alexandra Daniels lost her mother when she was young and recently lost her father. She hasn’t been to visit her aunt and cousins in North Carolina since she was a child. Instead, she has focused on her career in risk management in New York. However, she decides to accept an invitation and visit her relatives and help them for a few weeks in their family business, an herbal apothecary. Alex is a compelling character that is engaging and someone you can root for. Her goals were clear and proactive enough to influence the plot with believable motivations. The secondary characters were well-rounded and enhanced the story. I was immediately drawn into the story and the vivid descriptions of the seaside town gave me a great sense of the place. There are a lot of themes woven into this story including murder, marital affairs, secrets, rumors, family rivalries, making wrong assumptions, the importance of family, and much more. While I guessed who the murderer was, there were several twists and turns along the way and one very large surprise. Overall, I enjoyed this well-written novel and recommend the series to those that enjoy this genre. It is the first book that I have read by this author and I am already looking forward to the next one. I liked how magic was weaved into the plot of this cozy mystery without overwhelming it. This was a solid start to a new series that was engaging and entertaining. Thanks to Crooked Lane Books and Esme Addison for a digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley and the opportunity to provide an honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Phrynne

    This was a light, enjoyable read and an excellent opening for a new cosy series. I always enjoy witchy books and this one had a good little mystery going as well, with a big twist at the end just when you think you have worked it all out. Several story lines were set in place for future books in the series. The magic system was entertaining if a little troubling at times. I am not sure I could live in a house where everyone was eavesdropping on my thoughts. The characters were all interesting an This was a light, enjoyable read and an excellent opening for a new cosy series. I always enjoy witchy books and this one had a good little mystery going as well, with a big twist at the end just when you think you have worked it all out. Several story lines were set in place for future books in the series. The magic system was entertaining if a little troubling at times. I am not sure I could live in a house where everyone was eavesdropping on my thoughts. The characters were all interesting and our main character already has the requisite two men in her life to cause maximum indecision and confusion. Lots to look forward to in the next book! My thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Book of Secrets

    3.5 Stars → A SPELL FOR TROUBLE kicks off the new Enchanted Bay Mystery series featuring former risk assessor, Alex Daniels. After some trouble at her New York office, Alex accepts an offer to visit her Bellamy Bay relatives whom she hasn't seen in many years. There is much she didn't know about her long lost aunt and cousins and their enchanted apothecary shop, and all the family secrets start bubbling to the top when Aunt Lidia is arrested for murder. I have mixed feelings about this book. The 3.5 Stars → A SPELL FOR TROUBLE kicks off the new Enchanted Bay Mystery series featuring former risk assessor, Alex Daniels. After some trouble at her New York office, Alex accepts an offer to visit her Bellamy Bay relatives whom she hasn't seen in many years. There is much she didn't know about her long lost aunt and cousins and their enchanted apothecary shop, and all the family secrets start bubbling to the top when Aunt Lidia is arrested for murder. I have mixed feelings about this book. The good: I loved the charming setting of Bellamy Bay and the Polish folklore that was woven into Alex's family history. The world-building set a solid foundation for the series going forward. What I struggled with: Alex did some silly things that put the case and herself in jeopardy, especially since she has a career in risk management. I also thought the mystery itself wasn't that interesting once the "whys" starting being revealed. However there was a nifty twist regarding the culprit that I enjoyed. With its magical roots I'm looking forward to seeing where this series goes in future books. Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    I think I have found a new favorite cozy mystery series! A Spell for Trouble is the first book in the new Enchanted Bay Mysteries. Alex Daniels comes back to Bellamy Bay, NC after years away. Her father didn't like her Aunt Lidia and her cousins. He said they were odd and not like them, and made her promise never to go back. But after his death, she goes back for some family comfort. What else do you do when you quit your job without a plan B? Her Aunt Lidia runs a herbal apothecary shop, Botani I think I have found a new favorite cozy mystery series! A Spell for Trouble is the first book in the new Enchanted Bay Mysteries. Alex Daniels comes back to Bellamy Bay, NC after years away. Her father didn't like her Aunt Lidia and her cousins. He said they were odd and not like them, and made her promise never to go back. But after his death, she goes back for some family comfort. What else do you do when you quit your job without a plan B? Her Aunt Lidia runs a herbal apothecary shop, Botanika. It sells tea, herbal remedies and a few extra things....luck potions and the like. Alex quickly feels a part of the family again and starts to think about how to put her life back together. But..... There's always a but, isn't there?? But.....her aunt is suddenly arrested for murder. A troublesome customer is found dead....and Aunt Lidia is blamed. Alex knows she needs to do some serious sleuthing...because while her family exhibits some strange talents....her aunt is not a murderer! This tale is cute, entertaining and fun to read! It made for a great afternoon of reading!! I like the setting (because I live in NC, I love reading cozies set here!), the characters and the basic plot. I can't wait to find out what happens in the next book!! Luckily Esme Addison is currently working on the second book in this series....plus the first book in another new series! I will definitely be reading both! **I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  5. 4 out of 5

    Esme Addison

    I'm the author, so I'm giving myself five stars, ya'll! Just wanted to drop in and say, thanks for stopping by and reading my debut cozy and maybe leaving a review? I wanted to create a fun, magical cozy set in my home state of NC that celebrated my in-law's Polish heritage in a fun and interesting way. I'm happy with the final product but there's always room for improvement, right?! I'm currently at work on book 2 and can't wait to see what happens to Alex and the gang next. Would love to know fr I'm the author, so I'm giving myself five stars, ya'll! Just wanted to drop in and say, thanks for stopping by and reading my debut cozy and maybe leaving a review? I wanted to create a fun, magical cozy set in my home state of NC that celebrated my in-law's Polish heritage in a fun and interesting way. I'm happy with the final product but there's always room for improvement, right?! I'm currently at work on book 2 and can't wait to see what happens to Alex and the gang next. Would love to know from you readers, who would you like to see Alex involved with? Jack or Dylan? Why or why not? Don't forget to find me on Instagam, Facebook and Twitter @esmeaddison. -Esme xxooxx

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    Alex Daniels’ arrival in Bellamy Bay, North Carolina was her first visit in over twenty years. After her father’s death she decided to visit her Aunt Lidia and cousins Minka and Kamila; her memories of the times she played with her cousins were sparse, but she knew she’d had fun as a youngster. Welcomed with open arms, Alex soon joined Lidia and Minka at their apothecary shop, Botanika and when Lidia started teaching her to make soaps and perfumes, Alex was content. But when one of the small tow Alex Daniels’ arrival in Bellamy Bay, North Carolina was her first visit in over twenty years. After her father’s death she decided to visit her Aunt Lidia and cousins Minka and Kamila; her memories of the times she played with her cousins were sparse, but she knew she’d had fun as a youngster. Welcomed with open arms, Alex soon joined Lidia and Minka at their apothecary shop, Botanika and when Lidia started teaching her to make soaps and perfumes, Alex was content. But when one of the small town’s residents was murdered, it all pointed back to Lidia and when she was arrested for his murder, the cousins were shattered. There and then Alex determined she would discover who the killer was and prove Lidia’s innocence. But there was much more to the town and its inhabitants than Alex had had any clue about. Her own history was brought into the mix along with a feud that went back more than one hundred years. What was happening in Bellamy Bay? What was it her family was involved in? A Spell for Trouble is the 1st in An Enchanted Bay Mystery series by Esme Addison and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Fun, entertaining, intriguing and intense, the mystery was gripping and kept me enthralled from start to finish. My first by this author and I’ll be keeping my eye out for the 2nd in the series. Highly recommended. With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    This was a fun paranormal mystery woven around a delightful family of witches. It is centered around Alexandra Daniels who returns to her hometown of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina after being passed over for a promotion at work in New York. Her mother had died when she was young and she recently lost her father. Alexandra comes to visit with her Aunt Lidia and her cousins, Minka and Kamila (her father had never wanted her to accept an invitation to visit them and had made her promise not to go the This was a fun paranormal mystery woven around a delightful family of witches. It is centered around Alexandra Daniels who returns to her hometown of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina after being passed over for a promotion at work in New York. Her mother had died when she was young and she recently lost her father. Alexandra comes to visit with her Aunt Lidia and her cousins, Minka and Kamila (her father had never wanted her to accept an invitation to visit them and had made her promise not to go there). Alexandra ends up helping out at her Aunt's herbal apothecary and begins to feel she is part of the family. Then, her aunt is accused of murder. Alexandra extends her stay and begins to investigate because she knows that her aunt is not a murderer. She also finds out that her family has some special talents that have always been hidden from her. I found the book to be charming and loved the characters. I enjoyed my time spent with the book and look forward to another in the series. Thanks to Crooked Lane Books through Netgalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Harper Kincaid

    Such a wonderful beginning to a new series! Addison has the most charming characters and environs and any cozy with a little bit of magic is a bonus in my opinion. I can't recommend it enough!!1

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tari

    This is going to be such an awesome series! I just loved this first book with all the unique magical characters, and I can't wait to visit with them again. The setting was awesome and I could just picture the gorgeous beaches. I just loved Minka who was probably my favorite character. Alex was a good strong main character and I have some high hopes for her and Jack the police lieutenant. The killer was a total surprise to me, what a great twist! I love how so many things are possible when it's a This is going to be such an awesome series! I just loved this first book with all the unique magical characters, and I can't wait to visit with them again. The setting was awesome and I could just picture the gorgeous beaches. I just loved Minka who was probably my favorite character. Alex was a good strong main character and I have some high hopes for her and Jack the police lieutenant. The killer was a total surprise to me, what a great twist! I love how so many things are possible when it's a magical world. The story about Alex's mom seems to be one that might stay around for awhile until it's completely resolved, but that's fine. The main mystery was solved, and the side mystery gives us a little something to look forward to. I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lizz

    I can't put into words how much I loved this book and I couldn't put it down. It gave me a Little Mermaid mixed with Practical Magic vibe which I loved, they are both my favorite movies. I am a sucker for books were the main characters reunites with family, then finds out about their magical roots. Alex is a great character but she does do something that could cause trouble not just for herself and family but the case as well. As she starts to understand her lost family a dead body makes them th I can't put into words how much I loved this book and I couldn't put it down. It gave me a Little Mermaid mixed with Practical Magic vibe which I loved, they are both my favorite movies. I am a sucker for books were the main characters reunites with family, then finds out about their magical roots. Alex is a great character but she does do something that could cause trouble not just for herself and family but the case as well. As she starts to understand her lost family a dead body makes them the prime suspect. The town of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina is a place I would love to visit and the author did a wonderful job bringing it to life. The writing was very easy to follow and it was fast pace. I could hardly put it down and I would definitely recommend this to my family and friends. I might even have to tell my mom to read it ASAP. Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    JoAn

    A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison was an intriguing beginning to this cozy series. I really liked the setting of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina as it seemed to be a warm and friendly small town in spite of the Wesley family. Alex, Lidia, Minka and Kamila form a close bond once Alex moves to town. Alex seemed to be a strong woman but had allowed her former job in risk management to determine how she lived her life until she moved to Bellamy Bay. All of the characters are developing in this story an A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison was an intriguing beginning to this cozy series. I really liked the setting of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina as it seemed to be a warm and friendly small town in spite of the Wesley family. Alex, Lidia, Minka and Kamila form a close bond once Alex moves to town. Alex seemed to be a strong woman but had allowed her former job in risk management to determine how she lived her life until she moved to Bellamy Bay. All of the characters are developing in this story and I felt that I got to know them pretty well. I especially liked how Alex began to push her own self-imposed boundaries to solve the mystery. The plot is smoothly paced with murder, secrets, rumors and rivalries between magical families. Several suspects, twists, red herrings and magic kept me turning the pages. I will definitely look for the next book in the series. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Monroe

    I just finished reading this thrilling cozy novel and I'm still spinning from the whirlwind of an ending. Definitely didn't see that coming. And I smell a sequel! And if there isn't one in the works, I strongly encourage the author to start writing one RIGHT NOW. Where do I start. Well first, the story immediately grabbed my attention from the beginning with it's vibrant style of writing and the lead character's arrival in the seemingly sleepy NC beach town. I'm from North Carolina so the attent I just finished reading this thrilling cozy novel and I'm still spinning from the whirlwind of an ending. Definitely didn't see that coming. And I smell a sequel! And if there isn't one in the works, I strongly encourage the author to start writing one RIGHT NOW. Where do I start. Well first, the story immediately grabbed my attention from the beginning with it's vibrant style of writing and the lead character's arrival in the seemingly sleepy NC beach town. I'm from North Carolina so the attention to detail in describing the natural environment and the beaches during off-season really resonated with me. The plot pulsates with new twists and turns and kept me turning the pages late into the night. I felt like I was personally walking into the quaint town shops and like I knew each of the characters. I liked that the characters had their own unique stories which melded together into a really engaging story. There are definitely a few characters who I hope to learn more about their stories, like I said, in a book two. Fingers crossed that it's coming! For now, I give this novel five stars and a big recommendation to any cozy-mystery lover.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sue Em

    Picking up a new series by a new author is enough for me to give it a pass, at least until some reviews validate it. But for some reason, this appealed to me and I was happy that I took a chance on it. Alexandra Daniels hasn't been back to visit her aunts in Bellamy Bay since her mother drowned there. Now that her father had passed away, she decided it was time to reconnect with family. The family business is a herbal oasis of perfumes, salves and soaps that are strangely potent. And, Alexandra s Picking up a new series by a new author is enough for me to give it a pass, at least until some reviews validate it. But for some reason, this appealed to me and I was happy that I took a chance on it. Alexandra Daniels hasn't been back to visit her aunts in Bellamy Bay since her mother drowned there. Now that her father had passed away, she decided it was time to reconnect with family. The family business is a herbal oasis of perfumes, salves and soaps that are strangely potent. And, Alexandra soon learns her family has some special talents, and so does she. When her aunt Lidia is arrested for the poisoning of one of her customers, Alex is compelled to figure out how to clear her aunt's name. Characters are interesting with room to develop in further books. All in all, a charming and enjoyable read. I'm already anticipating the next one. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Margie

    Why didn't my Aunt Lidia and cousins Minka and Kamila just tell me? Why didn't my father tell me? Why did I have to find out from Dylan Wesley? Find out what, you ask? Find out that I am a witch descended from a mermaid. Wow! Now what? I left my risk management job in Manhattan and traveled to Bellamy Bay, NC to visit family I hadn't seen since my mother died a number of years ago and I get hit with this unbelievable news. So while trying to figure out what I am going to do with the rest of my l Why didn't my Aunt Lidia and cousins Minka and Kamila just tell me? Why didn't my father tell me? Why did I have to find out from Dylan Wesley? Find out what, you ask? Find out that I am a witch descended from a mermaid. Wow! Now what? I left my risk management job in Manhattan and traveled to Bellamy Bay, NC to visit family I hadn't seen since my mother died a number of years ago and I get hit with this unbelievable news. So while trying to figure out what I am going to do with the rest of my life I am helping out in my aunt's herbal apothecary shop, Botanika. Sure, I witnessed Aunt Lidia's confrontation with Randy Bennett. Sure he consumed the tea made from the tea leaves Aunt Lidia gave him but she didn't give him the nightshade berries found in his stomach during the autopsy and that is what was determined to have killed him. I don't believe Aunt Lidia killed him. Her magic is all for good. I believe she is being framed and I am going to prove it. After all that hunk of a detective, Jack Frazier, who I had, past tense had, a date with after meeting at the coffee shop, believes he has arrested the killer and really isn't doing much further investigating. I will prove Jack Frazier wrong. Aunt Lidia is innocent! I met this gorgeous woman at the coffee shop. I'm new to Bellamy Bay, moved here from Manhattan and left the New York City Police Department. Moved to be closer to family. Don't know why I was instantly attracted to Aleksandra Daniels, but I was. Too bad I had to arrest her aunt for murder and our dinner date for Saturday night is off. She keeps trying to convince me her aunt is innocent and to look at these other possible suspects. She insists she is going to do the job I am not doing and find the real killer. This is not good. Not good at all. And, oh yes, this is no way to start a relationship in case you readers were wondering. I wonder if Aleksandra has a sign or something that says, "Detective Jack Frazier is an idiot." Sigh. A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addington is a super beginning to her Enchanted Bay series. Ms. Addington does a great job with this murder mystery. Aleksandra Daniels has lots of suspects to investigate and she sure gets into lots of trouble in the process. She and Jack are interesting characters. All the secondary characters help round out the story. The storyline is solid and I enjoyed following along with Aleksandra's investigation. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    After her mother's drowning death in Bellamy Bay, North Carolina more than twenty years before, Alex Daniels father forbade her from coming back to the town. But now after losing her job, Alex accepts an invitation from her aunt and cousin. While there she helps them with their herbal apothecary known for its remarkably potent teas, salves, and folk remedies. But then there is a murder, and Alex's aunt becomes the prime suspect. After Lidia is arrested, Alex decides to do some sleuthing to find o After her mother's drowning death in Bellamy Bay, North Carolina more than twenty years before, Alex Daniels father forbade her from coming back to the town. But now after losing her job, Alex accepts an invitation from her aunt and cousin. While there she helps them with their herbal apothecary known for its remarkably potent teas, salves, and folk remedies. But then there is a murder, and Alex's aunt becomes the prime suspect. After Lidia is arrested, Alex decides to do some sleuthing to find out the truth. She also finds out long hidden family secrets, and a long ago rivalry with another family in town that puts a new spin on things. Can Alex figure out the truth before more deaths occur? And can she handle her family's secret? This is, without a doubt, one of the best cozies I've read this year. Alex is a great character, as are her aunt and cousins. As a matter of fact, the whole town is intriguing. I loved following Alex on her journey. The best part of this is that I didn't figure out the ending. I thought I had it, then I didn't, then I did, and then I didn't. This is one of those books that I hate to give away too much, because I enjoyed discovering it on my own, and I think other readers will, too. I will just say paranormal, and mermaids. That made the book all the more entertaining to me. I am really looking forward to another book int his series, to see where Esme Addison leaves Alex and her family. It's sure to be entertaining. I highly recommend this book. I read a digital copy of this book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    4.5 stars This is the first book in the Enchanted Bay mystery series by Esme Addison. The premise: A young woman comes back to her mother's hometown only to discover she has a magical heritage. When she assists her cousins and aunt with their herbal remedy shop, a man her aunt has a public argument with us found murdered. This is kind of like a coming of age story. The main character, Alex is learning to not only trust herself but learn to trust others too. She has so many things to learn here. The 4.5 stars This is the first book in the Enchanted Bay mystery series by Esme Addison. The premise: A young woman comes back to her mother's hometown only to discover she has a magical heritage. When she assists her cousins and aunt with their herbal remedy shop, a man her aunt has a public argument with us found murdered. This is kind of like a coming of age story. The main character, Alex is learning to not only trust herself but learn to trust others too. She has so many things to learn here. There is more than one love interest available here. The son of the family who is at odds with her family's interests is magical, plus the bond is there between them that crackles to life whenever she is around him. Then there is the mundane, the non magical option. Jack is a cop and her lineage is known for their love connections with non magical folk. There is a whole lot going on just on the surface of the mystery and Alex's introduction to town and how things are done. Then add in all the magical elements and This book is so chock full you will never find yourself uninterested. The mystery is spot on. The push and pull between the love interest is captivating and the magic is a super special thing to behold. I am all in and ready for the next book in the series. I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I want to thank NetGalley,the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Heather (bookswithclarkie)

    I have gained a new love for cozy mysteries. Don’t get me wrong I still hands down love a good hardcore thrilling murder mystery. But having a book with a whodunnit vibe is nice and refreshing. . This is the debut novel by Esme Addison and from what she’s told me it’s not her last! A Spell for Trouble had mystery, magic, mermaids, witches and a cute dog. All of the things I love. The main female character was tough and very likeable. So much I wish she was real so we could be BFF’s. There is a ver I have gained a new love for cozy mysteries. Don’t get me wrong I still hands down love a good hardcore thrilling murder mystery. But having a book with a whodunnit vibe is nice and refreshing. . This is the debut novel by Esme Addison and from what she’s told me it’s not her last! A Spell for Trouble had mystery, magic, mermaids, witches and a cute dog. All of the things I love. The main female character was tough and very likeable. So much I wish she was real so we could be BFF’s. There is a very strong family is everything dynamic throughout the book and that is something I can stand behind. Because to me, family is the most important. I love how it had my guessing up until the end who actually did do it. A fast fun read with a great storyline!. . I highly suggest you put this on your radar for July 7th if you are a fan of cozy mysteries. . Thank you to Netgalley, the author Esme Addison and the publisher for this book in exchange for my honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Heidi Prockish

    I enjoyed this one! I am really hoping there is a book 2.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    This book was so fun and engaging. I cannot wait for the next one to come out. Alexandra had not been to Bellamy Bay, NC since her mother died over twenty years ago because her father did not want her to go there. After her father's death and some work problems, she finally accepted an invitation to go visit her aunt and cousins. While Alexandra is there she decides to help out at the family herbal apothecary shop and soon discovers that things are not as she expected. After a customer dies from p This book was so fun and engaging. I cannot wait for the next one to come out. Alexandra had not been to Bellamy Bay, NC since her mother died over twenty years ago because her father did not want her to go there. After her father's death and some work problems, she finally accepted an invitation to go visit her aunt and cousins. While Alexandra is there she decides to help out at the family herbal apothecary shop and soon discovers that things are not as she expected. After a customer dies from poison, her aunt Lidia is arrested, and Alexandra decides that it is up to her to get to bottom of what happened. In the process she learns way more than she anticipated about her family history. I received a copy of this book to review through Netgalley and thoroughly enjoyed it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    RoloPoloBookBlog

    A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison Book #1: Enchanted Bay Mystery Series Source: NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books Rating: 4/5 stars Alex Daniels has spent her life in the dark: in the dark about how her mother really died, in the dark about her mother’s family, and in the dark about her own connection to magic. Alex’s father was determined to never allow his daughter to succumb to the same fate as her mother and in an effort to protect her, he has inadvertently cut her off from the only people who A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison Book #1: Enchanted Bay Mystery Series Source: NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books Rating: 4/5 stars Alex Daniels has spent her life in the dark: in the dark about how her mother really died, in the dark about her mother’s family, and in the dark about her own connection to magic. Alex’s father was determined to never allow his daughter to succumb to the same fate as her mother and in an effort to protect her, he has inadvertently cut her off from the only people who can truly help her, her mother’s family. In the wake of her father’s death, Alex has decided to reconnect with her mother’s family and spend some time in Bellamy Bay. The quaint little seaside town is just what Alex needs to soothe her soul and her mind and help her decide what her next life steps should be. Not one to lay about or shirk her responsibilities, Alex agrees to help her aunt and cousin in their small herbal apothecary. Though Alex doesn’t particularly believe in magic and woowoo, magic and woowoo believe in her and she quickly discovers there is far more to her family than she ever suspected. As if her life weren’t already changing at the speed of light, the knowledge of her family’s gifts also comes with a terrifying murder that her aunt is accused of committing. Though she’s no detective, Alex can’t allow her aunt to be falsely accused of murder, so she begins poking about and asking questions. Trouble is, Alex is the new kid in town and her poking takes her to places her mother fought hard to keep her from, like magic and woowoo and old and dangerous family rivalries. Determined to help, Alex not only takes a more active role in the family business, she also begins training to control and wield her magic so that she might clear her aunt’s name. Magic, like murder isn’t something to be trifled with and as Alex quickly learns not all wielders of magic have good intentions. Alex’s investigation brings her into contact with one of Bellamy Bay’s oldest and most powerful family’s, a family she learns has no love for her own family and a grudge that has been passed down through the generations. Unfortunately, to unveil the actual culprit of the crime, Alex must work with at least one member of the rival family and though trust is at a premium, she has to trust someone in order to get the help she needs. As she comes ever closer to discovering the truth, Alex also comes closer to true danger and as a new magic wielder, she may not be totally equipped to handle what she’s facing. The Bottom Line: What a fun new series for me! This one has all the stuff I love about cozy mysteries: a quaint, small town setting, a wonderful little business that isn’t at all what it appears to be, characters with power and secrets, and a plot that took me into the history/backstory of the characters and town. Everything sort of comes together in this first-in-a-series read and I was delighted with the outcome. There’s a lot to be had in this book and much of what is thrown at the reader – especially the backstory and history - is in an effort to set up future books and plot lines. I can see a ton of potential and room for growth in this series and its characters and I sincerely hope that is what will come to pass.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    When it is snowy and cold outside (and my car is buried under 2ft of ❄️ ), superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. Fans of Ellery Adams and He When it is snowy and cold outside (and my car is buried under 2ft of ❄️ ), superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. Fans of Ellery Adams and Heather Blake will be charmed by Esme Addison's new Enchanted Bay mystery series. Aleksandra Daniels hasn't set foot in the quiet seaside town of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina in over twenty years. Ever since her mother's tragic death, her father has mysteriously forbidden her from visiting her aunt and cousins. But on a whim, Alex accepts an invitation to visit her estranged relatives and to help them in their family business: an herbal apothecary known for its remarkably potent teas, salves, and folk remedies. Bellamy Bay doesn't look like trouble, but this is a town that harbours dark secrets. Alex discovers that her own family is at the centre of salacious town gossip and that they are rumoured to be magical healers descended from mermaids. She brushes this off as nonsense until a local is poisoned and her aunt Lidia is arrested for the crime. Alex is certain Lidia is being framed, and she resolves to find out why. Alex's investigation unearths stories that some have gone to desperate lengths to conceal: forbidden affairs, family rivalries, and the truth about Alex's own ancestry. And when the case turns deadly, Alex learns that not only are these secrets worth hiding, but they may even be worth killing for. I liked this book because I have generations of pharmacists in my family: in the old days, all pharmacies and apothecaries were herbal as chemical medications had not been invented. This is a cute little cosy mystery with no 50 shades of any colour. The characters are interesting and well written and the mystery was well crafted to not let you guess who was the killer. Great job - I look forward to all the books in this new series! As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 💊 💊 💊 💊 

  22. 4 out of 5

    NicoleG

    A great first in series! A clever setting and interesting characters. I felt that the author did a good job in setting the scene for a well planned mystery with a fun paranormal element. I definitely plan to read the next book in this series.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Peggy R

    This is the first book in the new Enchanted Bay cozy mystery series by author Esme Addison. I enjoyed this book from the first few pages. It is set in the charming small town of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina. Our protagonist is Aleksandra (Alex) Daniels who is returning home to visit her aunt and her cousins following the death of her father and the loss of her job. I found Alex to be a likable main character along with her dog, Athena. The secondary cast of characters is interesting and has great This is the first book in the new Enchanted Bay cozy mystery series by author Esme Addison. I enjoyed this book from the first few pages. It is set in the charming small town of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina. Our protagonist is Aleksandra (Alex) Daniels who is returning home to visit her aunt and her cousins following the death of her father and the loss of her job. I found Alex to be a likable main character along with her dog, Athena. The secondary cast of characters is interesting and has great potential as the series develops and grows. This is a paranormal cozy mystery and it plays heavily into the storyline. I thought the paranormal aspect was interesting. Alex and her family are water witches, descending from a mermaid. The only problem was Alex didn't know about her heritage until she returns to Bellamy Bay and she has to help clear her aunt, who has been accused and arrested for a murder she did not commit. The mystery was woven nicely throughout the entire story. There are plenty of suspects to choose from, although one does stand out more than the others. That said, the author does a nice job of trying to deflect attention to other viable candidates with a motive for murder. I did wish that Alex was a little less impulsive in her sleuthing. Having just come into her magical power a bit more caution would have been warranted, especially considering her father was a police officer. The only aspect of the story, perhaps in the books to come, is the potential for a love triangle. I am not a fan of that particular trope, either in my romances or my cozy mysteries. For me, it is something that detracts from the story and something that will cause me to lose interest or discontinue a series. I hope the author chooses not to introduce that angle into this book. I voluntarily read a digital advanced review copy provided to me by the publisher through Netgalley.

  24. 5 out of 5

    K.M.

    This was an outstanding first book in a new series! I thoroughly enjoyed the paranormal aspect of this cozy mystery. The characters were intriguing and the setting was idyllic. I loved the premise of an apothecary family business. The whodunit was top notch and kept me enthralled and guessing. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series! I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anna Fox

    I enjoyed this book so much so that I was sorry when it ended. I want to know what happens next. I enjoyed the characters and the small town setting. It was an interesting mystery in how they figured out who did it and how it was wrapped up. Thank you to the publisher, author and NetGalley for my eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    The first in a new series titled Enchanted Bay Mystery Series. Alex Daniels has not been in Bellamy Bay North Carolina since her Mother tragically drowned over 20 years ago. Her father has recently died, and she quit her job as a risk manager in New York and decides to visit her Aunt Lidia when she calls out of the blue. Just the thing to relax and figure out what to do next in her life. As soon as Alex steps into Aunt’s house she begins to have memories of life there when they would visit as a The first in a new series titled Enchanted Bay Mystery Series. Alex Daniels has not been in Bellamy Bay North Carolina since her Mother tragically drowned over 20 years ago. Her father has recently died, and she quit her job as a risk manager in New York and decides to visit her Aunt Lidia when she calls out of the blue. Just the thing to relax and figure out what to do next in her life. As soon as Alex steps into Aunt’s house she begins to have memories of life there when they would visit as a child, her cousins Minka and Tamela welcome her with open arms. Since she has nothing better to do, she decides to tag along and go the herbal apothecary that her Aunt Lidia and Minka run. When her Aunt has to step out a customer Randy Bennett comes in looking haggard and wanting to see Lidia, but she is not there. He asks Alex if she is Sobieski and she says yes so, he asks for a good luck potion. Minka gives him a good luck tea but as he is getting ready to go Aunt Lidia returns and has a terrible fight and Lidia raises him off his feet with her temper. Unfortunately, Pepper Bellamy who is a reporter and gossip is in the store and writes all about it. Robert is found dead with the tea beside him and belladonna berries in his stomach and Aunt Lidia is arrested for murder. They get her out on bail, and she is under house arrest with a tether on her leg. Pepper has been doing research on all the old families in town and tells Alex that her family is descended from mermaids and they are all water witches. Alex tells Pepper that sounds like the Little Mermaid and is all a bunch of junk. Unfortunately, when she confronts her Aunt and cousins, she learns it is the truth. Is this why her Father would never let them visit after her Mother died. As she begins to investigate there is a charming detective Jack that she meets the first day in town and then Dylan Wesley of another magical family that is in a centuries old feud with her family. Dylan was a little boy she remembers who made her a crown of violets and they played together in her Aunts backyard. Is he good or bad like the rest of his family? This was an interesting mystery that almost seemed impossible to determine who the actual killer was because of magic. Alex has little magic and is out of her element as she knows nothing about it or to protect herself from it. I enjoyed the story and read this in just one day as I could not put in down. Another love triangle and that is always perplexing, Dylan is so smooth, and I think really does care about Alex and even saved her from death but is she safer with Jack. I hope the next in the series comes soon.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    When Alexandra Daniels returns to Bellamy Bay, NC, she is smarting from a hitch in her big-city career in risk management. Who would expect a visit with her aunt, cousins, and their herbal apothecary to be so -- risky? Aunt Lidia plies Alex with Polish pastries and one of her soothing teas, hoping Alex will stay for awhile. Alex accepts, intending to return to Manhattan when a job offer comes through. She really isn't into herbs and potions, and she scoffs at the village gossip about the family. When Alexandra Daniels returns to Bellamy Bay, NC, she is smarting from a hitch in her big-city career in risk management. Who would expect a visit with her aunt, cousins, and their herbal apothecary to be so -- risky? Aunt Lidia plies Alex with Polish pastries and one of her soothing teas, hoping Alex will stay for awhile. Alex accepts, intending to return to Manhattan when a job offer comes through. She really isn't into herbs and potions, and she scoffs at the village gossip about the family. There's no such thing as witches, right? Not so fast. No sooner does she begin to learn about the medicinal and sensual qualities of lavender, elderberry, sage, and violet, than a customer who has clashed with Lidia in the past is found dead. A bag of Lidia's tea and one of her signature fragrances is by his side. Lidia is arrested for murder. It's up to Alex to come up to speed on the magical secrets of her heritage, and the occult powers of many other townspeople if she's to save her aunt. Like many first-in-series cozies, this one is stuffed with backstory. Unlike many, however, the backstories are filled with mermaids, Vikings, water witches, and land disputes that go back centuries. The author has constructed a little world of wonders and wars in Bellamy Bay, with unpredictable characters co-existing with "mundanes." It's a busy book, so busy that the reader has to avoid being distracted by all the folk-and-herbal lore - not to mention the obligatory red herrings. Think Practical Magic mixed in with a bit of A Discovery of Witches, against a background of dancing fountains in a sweet little town. It's a heady brew. Of all the elements in this elixir, I found Alex herself a bit troubling. She may be an expert in risk management, but her common sense and logic sometimes go badly astray - especially in the enchantments of love. But whose wouldn't? 4 stars. I'll definitely read more in the series. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC to review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cozy Cat Reviews

    "A Spell For Trouble" is the first book in the new series " Enchanted Bay Mystery Series". This is a delightful read with all the perfect elements that made for a great cozy mystery read ! I loved this book and look forward to the next in series. Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity. My review opinion is my own. We are introduced to Alexandra Daniels and the quaint town of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina. Bellamy has deeply hidden secrets beneath its charming surface. Imm "A Spell For Trouble" is the first book in the new series " Enchanted Bay Mystery Series". This is a delightful read with all the perfect elements that made for a great cozy mystery read ! I loved this book and look forward to the next in series. Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity. My review opinion is my own. We are introduced to Alexandra Daniels and the quaint town of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina. Bellamy has deeply hidden secrets beneath its charming surface. Immediately I was intrigued by the author's descriptions of this seaside town. Alexandra has not visited in over twenty years. She has relatives here and wants to visit them even though her father has mysteriously forbidden her to have anything to do with them. Her relatives have invited her and offered her to come help them in the business: an herbal apothecary that sells homemade teas, salves, and folk remedies. Alexandra is anxious to know them and look forward to a change since her Mother has passed away. Soon Alex discovers that her own family is at the center of nasty town gossip, and that they are rumored to be magical healers descended from mermaids. She feels this is pure nonsense. When a local person is poisoned and clues lead police to her aunt, Alex wants to jump in to investigate to save her aunt. She soon finds clues abound that the rumors may be true. She finds more hidden secrets and dissension within the family. I love the mysterious clues that the author gave. The sleuth was very well crafted and full of surprises. The charcters are richly drawn and all add to the setting. The writing is smartly fast paced and reading this was a pleasure in one sitting to conclusion. Very well done to the author. I look forward to the next in series. , A Charming exciting cozy mystery read. Delightful !

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kendrea Parsons

    A Spell for Trouble was a great beginning to a new cozy mystery series. I love cozy mysteries that are magical so this book was perfect for me. I really liked the main character, Alex. I felt bad for her a little bit because of how a special part of her was kept hidden from her for so long, but she adapted well and was a very likeable character. I also love her aunt and cousins. I'll admit though that I was bummed about how things ended with her and Dylan. I hope things get better between them i A Spell for Trouble was a great beginning to a new cozy mystery series. I love cozy mysteries that are magical so this book was perfect for me. I really liked the main character, Alex. I felt bad for her a little bit because of how a special part of her was kept hidden from her for so long, but she adapted well and was a very likeable character. I also love her aunt and cousins. I'll admit though that I was bummed about how things ended with her and Dylan. I hope things get better between them in future books. I'm also not much of a fan of her being with Jack. It's kind of a cozy mystery cliche that the amateur sleuth dates the cop/police detective. I think it'd be much more interesting for Alex and Dylan to get together. I did find the big reveal shocking. That whole scenario was never on my radar. So not only was it clever, but it was a nice surprise and one I never expected. I'll definitely read more books in this series. I'm really looking forward to seeing Alex grow into her magic powers and seeing what else happens in Bellamy Bay. Note: I voluntarily read a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for a review. All opinions are mine.

  30. 4 out of 5

    The Cozy Review

    A new witch series "An Enchanted Bay Mystery" from Crooked Lane Books, A Spell For Trouble is the debut cozy for author Esme Addison. Characters in this book are somewhat eccentric and unique. Alex seems to be a bit on the distrustful side, and she takes some warming up too in order to truly be likable. After the first half of the story, readers will begin to enjoy Alex and get to know her. The fact that her personality evolves throughout this book is an excellent indicator of what she will bec A new witch series "An Enchanted Bay Mystery" from Crooked Lane Books, A Spell For Trouble is the debut cozy for author Esme Addison. Characters in this book are somewhat eccentric and unique. Alex seems to be a bit on the distrustful side, and she takes some warming up too in order to truly be likable. After the first half of the story, readers will begin to enjoy Alex and get to know her. The fact that her personality evolves throughout this book is an excellent indicator of what she will become as other volumes are added to the series. Lidia is a beautiful character; she has depth and substance already and is easily understood. Alex's cousins are complete opposites from each other, and from Alex, this works in the author's favor. The characters will grow over time, but for now, they will hold the reader's interest. The setting of Bellamy Bay is enchanting. I hope we get to learn more about the town and the secret witch world that plays such an intricate part in this first book. The mermaid aspect of this story was a bit hard for me to enjoy. It seems a bit outdated and runs the risk of being too unbelievable. Hopefully, the author will give us more detail and bring the mermaid myth out of the stone age and into the 21st century. The victim was common and ordinary in so far as not deserving what befell him. All of the suspects and there are enough to keep the mystery alive; even the witch ones are intriguing; all are easily believable with motives that can and should be interesting to most readers. The resolution of the crime is fraught with twists and turns and takes readers on a journey worth their time. I knew who the killer was almost as soon as the character was introduced, which made it difficult to continue reading to the end. I found some aspects of A Spell For Trouble a bit too common, and other elements too far fetched. I found having a love interest and possibly a triangle this early in the series distasteful and not within the personality the author established at the beginning of the book for Alex's character. The witchcraft aspects could have been done better, it seemed a bit hokey. I want to read the next installment if for no other reason than to find out more about Alex's cat, Athenia. Overall this was a good beginning in a new witch based cozy series that has potential and room to improve.

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