Maggie O'Neill continues exploring her witchy, mystical talents while working at the antique shop Enchantments in this second installment of Madelyn Alt's Bewitching mystery series. Stony Mill, Indiana, is the place called home for a surprising underbelly of magical ne'er-do-wells, and native daughter Maggie walks a fine line between small-town citizen and the paranormal.
Fans of cozy mystery series like those by Joan Hess or Carolyn Hart will love these cozy paranormals, where Alt blends the traditional structure of a mystery; murder, false leads, oop--surprise cullprit--solution, with a touch of earth-based magic of the Mother Earth Sister Moon variety.
Charmed involves the untimely demise of a thoroughly unlikeable high school student and the mysterious appearance of a hacked city website where teens can log on and follow the sexploits of an anonymous classmate. Throw in some witchcraft, and the mystery takes off.
For readers accustomed to the blistering pace of urban fantasy crime stories, Charmed will feel almost meandering, but the mystery is deftly woven, the clues and red herrings cleverly hidden, and the character of Maggie likeable and easy to pull for. It won't keep you on the edge of your seat, but will provide some hours of escape while curled in the corner chair with a mug of cocoa on a cold winter afternoon. In other words, cozy.
Maggie O'Neill must turn on her own charms-mystical and otherwise-while investigating the death of one of her customers from the antique shop, Enchantments.