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Book one in Manitoba Tea & Tarot Mysteries seriesMy Review...
Charm McCall, armed with a library full of Agatha Christie stories and her unique witchy gifts, knows how to solve a small-town murder…
Charm McCall, the oldest of the McCall triplets by a whole day—or one minute before midnight if one’s being picky—is the designated driver for her whole town. Why, if it wasn’t for her, Snowy Lake would incinerate or fall into Hudson’s Bay. With her unique abilities, she’s all set to keep her family and town safe and on its proper course.
That is, until a hot Mountie moves into town, a busload of strippers breaks down on Main Street and Mrs. Hurst goes and gets herself murdered with poisoned jam. Jam crafted by Charm’s family at the Tea & Tarot café. Now it’s up to her to solve the murders—yes, plural, when another local business owner ends up dead.
Charm knows just what to do. What’s breaking a few laws if she can sleuth out the culprit? She knows the people of Snowy Lake better than any new lawman possibly could. So why can’t he just leave her be to get on with things?
And why does he have to be so darn hot?
Cute cozy involving a family owned bakery with a few added items to sell. Items like helping your love life and finding your lost necklace. You got it…this is a magic bakery full of good pastries and good witches too. Or at least one very talented witch with a name like Charm. The name of the bakery is the Tea & Tarot Café. You can get fed and find out when you’ll get the payment you need for your car all in the same “sitting” so to speak. I’m not making light of this. It was a cute, enjoyable read. It did have all of the elements of a cozy, an amateur sleuth determined to save her business, a VERY handsome cop or so the author said, a small town on a body of water, a Festival, a delightful family of nutty characters and a dead body of course.
So, I can’t say there were any surprises but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. It was well written, quick to read, and fun. It was one of those books that makes you feel good when you’re finished.
The author, January Bain, has several other books published, even in different genres. All appear to have good reviews.
Read an Excerpt...
There came a loud snapping of branches. Darn it, unwanted company. My fingers grasped at the aerosol spray bottle at my waist. I waited for another sound to alert me to the direction of the intruder. The sun in my eyes, I squinted to survey the landscape, swiveling my head back and forth.
I caught the movement of a humongous upright creature headed straight for me, plowing through the thick undergrowth and overhead canopy as though he had just one intention—to do me harm. I didn’t care if it were a huge black bear or the legendary Bigfoot. Either way, I’d strike first, with the sharp knife hidden in my boot if it came to that. I sprayed the noxious substance from the hip, directing the wide stream from my belt holster.
A loud grunt of surprise sounded. “Aww, why did you do that?” More moans of human agony followed.
Out of the bushes stumbled a very large man—not Bigfoot, but darn close. Dressed in a black windbreaker, black jeans and extra-large combat boots, he wore a very nice black Stetson, accompanied by a full-on grimace. And oh my, when he pinned me with a look from his haunting brown eyes under that spectacular bad-boy hat, my insides somersaulted. Wow.
“Oh, my goodness! I’m so sorry! Thought you were a black bear. If I’d known you were—well, you, I’d never have sprayed.”
The tall hunk of a man was too busy flushing his face with a water bottle to give me an answer. I waited, chewing on my lower lip and wishing I could just sink into the ground. But who rumbled through the bushes in such an obvious way? A bear, that was who. A land predator unafraid of humans and wanting to take a bite right out of me.
“Ma’am, I was coming to warn you. There’s been a bear sighted not far from here. I heard you caterwauling and thought you might be in trouble. Didn’t expect to be pepper sprayed for my trouble.”
I looked around warily. Maybe it was time to head back to town and bring a group of people to pick berries another day when I could assign someone to keep a lookout. I had filled four buckets. Not too shabby.
What did he just say?
“I do not caterwaul. I was singing. And it sure beats crashing through the bush like Bigfoot.”
“If you say so, darlin’.” Was that a twinkle in his eyes? The rest of his handsome mug remained inscrutable, launching another fussy crop of butterflies into my body, looking to land. He came closer and the acrid stench of the protection spray on his clothes made my eyes water in sympathy. Oh, my.
He caught my grimace. “Not so pleasant an odor to be around, I agree. I’m Constable Ace Collins, by the way.”
“As in RCMP?” My voice came out in a high-pitched squeal. Darn it. Of all the people to mace, how did I manage a lawman?
About the Author:
January Bain has wished on every falling star, every blown-out birthday candle, and every coin thrown in a fountain to be a storyteller. To share the tales of high adventure, mysteries, and full blown thrillers she has dreamed of all her life. The story you now have in your hands is the compilation of a lot of things manifesting itself for this special series. Hundreds of hours spent researching the unusual and the mundane have come together to create books that features strong women who live life to the fullest, wild adventures full of twists and unforeseen turns, and hot complicated men who aren’t afraid to take risks. She can only hope her stories will capture your imagination.
If you are looking for January Bain, you can find her hard at work every morning without fail in her office with her furry baby, Ling Ling. And, of course, she’s married to the most romantic man! Who once famously remarked to her inquiry about buying fresh flowers for their home every week, “Give me one good reason why not?” Leaving her speechless and knocking her head against the proverbial wall for being so darn foolish. She loves flowers.
If you wish to connect in the virtual world she is easily found on Facebook. Oh, and she loves to talk books…
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