Title: Samhain Secrets (A Wiccan Wheel Mystery) Book 4 by Jennifer David Hesse
Genre: Currently #1202 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction, Holidays
Publication Date: Happy release date! August 28, 2018
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title and Cover: Samhain Secrets – Love that book cover and the requisite black cat
Here is your chance to peek into the life of a modern day witch, or in this case a Wiccan, and learn something about this spiritual culture practice in a delightful cozy mystery setting. Protagonist Keli Milanni is a serious practitioner. There is only one problem: She was raised Catholic and has not divulged that split to family.
Spells, incantations, calls to spirits, tarot cards, and sisterhood. Keli weaves the practice into the quest to find the person who murdered her aunt, Josephine O’Malley, an estranged free spirit of the family who chose to leave the nest early, only tapping connections inconsistently with no notice and disappearing just as quickly. It’s a fun romp into the paranormal side of life that strikes a few of those loosely held superstitions many of us are loathe to admit.
This is my first experience with the author and this series, but the characters feel well developed and the situation easy to absorb. Keli’s boyfriend Wes has moved in with her, but she still carefully keeps her worship behind private, closed doors, although it would seem he appears to know her proclivity. Keli has a cadre of good friends, a few of whom are aware (most not) and a strong stable position in a legal firm, a valuable member of the team.
Her aunt has always been an enigma in her life and though she didn’t really know her, still feels a bond. She feels she must solve the mystery when it appears the local police detective will pronounce it an accidental shooting in a wooded area by a hunter and whoever that was is long gone.
The author throws in a quirky sub-plot to play on the spirit of harvest, October, and the Halloween holiday theme. Keli must solve the appearance of a haunting in a Victorian home sale in which she played a legal part when the new buyer begins experiencing all manner of bumps, thumps, and screams in the night.
The storyline of this well-laid plot opens with a Halloween hook and the pace remains steady. One of her close friends is Mila (member of the Magic Circle coven), who owns Moonstone Treasures, and caters to all things Gothic and the occult. Keli looks to Mila for advice, but manages to get herself into some sticky wickets all on her own, going where she doesn’t belong more than once.
The setting in Illinois and the changing of the season is described beautifully. I don’t believe you have to be part of the Wiccan scene or connect in Keli’s pointy-toed shoes to enjoy the well-crafted story. Just sit as a quiet voyeur while the plot is laid out. I enjoyed the friendship between Keli and her friends and the dialogue was kept light though serious. The author doesn’t overwhelm the plot with romance and the subject is kept clean and matter-of-fact. The mystery veers through twists and turns and I must admit I did not suspect the identity of the perp nor the reason behind the murder until it was revealed in conclusion. No trail of bodies or brutal scenes, no blood, no mayhem, only some nail-biting scenes near the end. The conclusion wrapped up most loose ends, while creating a couple new ones, in preparation no doubt for series book 5. (Samhain – pronounced sou-en – “A time for celebrating the final harvest, honoring the dead, and communing with spirits.”)
I downloaded this ebook from the publisher and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read this fun mystery with a spiritual twist. Recommended for those who enjoy an entertaining read that includes the supernatural, ghosts, and paranormal in their cozy mysteries.
Rosepoint Publishing: Four of Five Stars
The Author: Jennifer David Hesse is an environmental attorney by day and author by night. Midsummer Night’s Mischief is her debut book in the new Wiccan Wheel series. Born and raised in Central Illinois, Jennifer now makes her home in Chicago with her husband, guitarist Scott Hesse, and their daughter, Sage. When she’s not writing, Jennifer enjoys yoga, hiking, and movie night with her family. Please visit her at http://www.JenniferDavidHesse.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/AuthorJenniferDavidHes
©2018 V Williams