Read Spell Booked by Joyce Lavene Jim Lavene Online


The national bestselling authors of the Missing Pieces Mysteries summon up the first Retired Witches Mystery in a brand new supernatural series...Once upon a time in Wilmington, North Carolina, three witches ran a curio shop named Smuggler’s Arcane. But as the years passed, their magical powers started to fade—leaving them no choice but to conjure up a retirement package… The national bestselling authors of the Missing Pieces Mysteries summon up the first Retired Witches Mystery in a brand new supernatural series...Once upon a time in Wilmington, North Carolina, three witches ran a curio shop named Smuggler’s Arcane. But as the years passed, their magical powers started to fade—leaving them no choice but to conjure up a retirement package…     Before they could blink their eyes or twitch their noses, Molly, Elsie, and Olivia somehow became eligible for AARP. But they can’t fly off to Boca Raton just yet. First they must give up their magic, recruit and train three new witches, and pass on their cherished spellbook.   They’ve barely begun to consider potential practitioners when Olivia winds up dead and their spellbook is stolen. To honor their friend and reclaim their spells, Molly and Elsie are about to go wand-to-wand with a dangerous young witch more powerful than the trio was in their prime. And this time they’re going to need more than magic up their sleeves…  ...

Title : Spell Booked
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780425268254
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Spell Booked Reviews

  • Linda Langford at Chatting About Cozies
    2018-09-04 22:55

    Three good witches have surprisingly spent most of their lives raising families, working regular jobs, and being 'normal'. When they suddenly need to practice magic, their memory's not too sharp and their skills are rusty. Not very good when you're a witch. They desire to retire to Boca, FL, but first must find replacements for themselves in the coven. When one meets with tragedy, the other two must immediately replace her. Ha! Easier said than a twitch of ones nose. What follows is a clever tale brimming with humor and overflowing with the serious everyday problems of trying to juggle a normal life when you're secretly a witch! There are plenty of spells to be cast, villains to be found, evil separated from good, and new friends to be made in this charming, unpredictable, debut paranormal cozy.

    2018-08-29 02:36

    Dollycas’s ThoughtsJim and Joyce Lavene have magnificent imaginations! They continue to surprise me. With those imaginations they bring us extraordinary characters and their words paint vivid images in my mind.In this case the characters are a group of witches whose magic is waning and all they want to do is retire to Boca. Before they can do that the Grand Council of Witches tells them they need to find replacements and to pass along their spell book, since no one in their families has the gift of magic. They barely start their search and one of them is brutality killed and the spell book is stolen. So now they are not only looking for replacement witches they are hunting down a murderer, a murderer than could be a very powerful witch.We meet Molly, Elise and Olivia and their first recruit Dorothy, plus Molly’s husband, Joe, a police detective. Joe has no idea Molly is a witch. We also meet 4 feline characters that are all extra special. These characters are all engaging and fascinating in their own ways. I don’t want to over share and spoil any of their enchanting ways for anyone.The story takes place in North Carolina and the ladies run a shop, Smuggler’s Arcane, that sells supplies to other witches and those interested in witchcraft. It is quite an amazing place and has some secrets all its own. The town has another group of paranormal residents that I am usually not to fond of but the Lavene’s have written them in a fun and not too scary way that I didn’t mind their presence.This cozy mystery has everything a good cozy requires and more. The plot really has a spark and I was totally caught off guard as to how the whole mystery played out. That final twist was a doozy!Spell Booked will keep you Spellbound!!

  • Richard Denney
    2018-08-22 20:00

    Such a cute and quirky cozy! For me it gave off a Halloweentown meets Cozy Mystery vibe and I loved that. I loved the characters, the magical elements and the mystery. If you're looking for a darker cozy this isn't it. This one is more quirky than dark. Will be looking forward to the sequel in the near future. :)

  • Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
    2018-09-11 02:40

    I truly enjoyed this book! I don't know that I am always drawn to books involving witchcraft but something about these characters make them seem more like you or me...normal! I think Dorothy is my favorite character because she just seems so innocent, yet eager to learn. As I was reading I was trying to figure out who the killer was because there isn't a huge cast of characters, but the true identity was hidden until the end. I did sense something wasn't right with this character but I couldn't pin my fingers on anything the authors do a great job of keeping you guessing as to who is a good witch and who is a bad witch!All of the witches, Olivia, Molly and Elsie, have their own special skills and I am always intrigued when witches do ceremonies outdoors and find a Time to Dance and celebrate their witchcraft. I can just picture them doing this! And sure they may have declining powers but that doesn't make them any less of a witch or someone that needs to be put out to pasture. Plus they did it more for themselves and for fun. I thought it was interesting that they have to "retire" but I guess in every profession there is a time where you have to hang it up.I think this is going to be a fun series to follow

  • Linda
    2018-09-05 20:46

    I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of this book and found I really enjoyed it. The main characters in this new series are three female witches (Molly, Elsie and Olivia) who are looking to retire and need to find replacement witches for their coven. Seems that as they age, their magic starts to fade or go wrong and this is the hint that it's time to train someone new. They have already picked out one likely candidate, Dorothy, who works at the nearby library. But before they are able to approach her, Olivia is murdered. The story involves finding their friend's murderer and also bringing Dorothy into their coven for training. I loved these characters, different from the normal cutesy witches, and appreciated the ideas of slowing down and moving on. I also enjoyed the spin put on the magic rules of the Grand Council in that no non-magic person, even family, can ever know of the witches and their magic or there would be dire consequences. And since Molly's husband, Joe, is the investigating police detective, this makes for some challenging circumstances. I admit I was clueless until the end as to the identity of the culprit. My only regret is I felt the ending was a little rushed (maybe it was just me not wanting it to end), but all in all, an enjoyable read with a hint of things left to explore in future stories in the Retired Witches Mystery Series. Disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Tess
    2018-08-29 00:45

    Did anyone happen to hear me cheering the other evening when I finished this book? I never thought I would be so happy to read the story in the "Retired Witches Mystery" series. I wanted to know who did it, but then again I wanted this book to go on and on and on. I was almost sad when I got to the last page. But if I know the Lavenes this will not be the last book in this series. Molly, Elsie and Olivia convince me that witches have gotten a bad rap for all these years. They are really just ordinary people, like you and me, they just have a little extra something to help them through life. When one of them is murdered the other 2 are compelled to find the murderer of their beloved friend. The love and respect that these ladies have for each other and their families was a joy to read. When ever Joyce and Jim write a new book, I am right there, with my greedy hands out to beg them to allow me the pleasure of reviewing their book for them. It doesn't matter which series it is in, if it has the Lavene name on it, you can be assured that I love it!FTC Full Disclosure - A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

  • Richard
    2018-09-10 18:48

    In search of something light, I found myself oddly drawn to Spell Booked. The writers are prolific and the synopsis sounded kind of clever. (And I'd really love to find a new cozy series to fill the space in my life left by the passing of Dorothy Gilman.) Anyways, this is unforgivably stupid and doesn't even follow its own rules. It's kind of like if you crossed Passions with Golden Girls but sucked out even the tiny bit of camp charm those shows possessed.

  • Sandie Laughner
    2018-09-19 01:35

    Another winner for Joyce Lavene!! I was lucky enough to be given an advanced ecopy of this book. Halfway through the book, I preordered the paperback--so I can read it again in my hands--real paper!! What can I say?? Witches, cats, Magic, murder, and intrigue. This book has it all!! I loved these new characters and the setting. I definitely got lost in the pages of this new series. I can't wait to read the next book!!

  • Nicole
    2018-08-21 20:32

    Nice cozy mystery! I was a little hesitant because I prefer my cozies to be more traditional - without witches, ghosts or anything paranormal - but this was so well-written and perfectly believable that I became lost in the story. Molly, Elsie and Olivia are the members of a coven in North Carolina who are planning their retirement to Florida and looking for replacements. Olivia is murdered and Molly and Elsie must work together, while staying on the good side of the Grand Council of Witches, to discover the rogue witch who is reputed to be the killer before he/she can strike again. A+

  • Debbie Lester
    2018-08-31 18:49

    Joyce and Jim Lavene have given readers everything from a ghostly firefighter to a psychic mayor and now they are tackling a couple of retiring witches in their latest novel, Spell Booked, the first in a new series. With this unique premise readers are in for a real treat as Molly and Elsie try to find replacement witches, solve the murder of their friend and fellow witch, Olivia and find the missing spell book. There are plenty of clues and a rogue witch or two thrown in for kicks. A very good start to a new witchy series!What I liked:Sometimes I wonder how author's come up with their ideas for new books. And then I think about author's like the Lavene's who are always coming up new and different ideas. It's truly amazing to me, what can come from a very fertile imagination. The idea of witches being governed by their own Council. That retiring witches must train replacements and pass down their knowledge and spells. How witches with declining powers stand up against a more powerful witch. Who thinks like that? These two writers do and are we readers ever thankful enough!I really enjoyed the idea and premise of this book and series. I love paranormal stories in general but if you package them along with a cozy mystery, that's all the better. Witches solving murders, now that's a novel idea. I found myself sympathizing with the main characters Molly, Elsie and Olivia. They are somewhat past their prime and their powers have become unpredictable. They are trying to keep their families in the dark, while trying to find replacements so they can retire. Not an easy task, if everything was going perfect, but then tragedy strikes and Olivia ends up dead. How do you cover up a witchy murder when your husband is the homicide detective? And the mystery was on...The witch council and training replacements aside, this was a murder mystery. Did somebody kill Olivia because they were after the spell book or was it something a little less complicated like jealousy? Is there a rogue witch out there trying to steal the spells and power of the others or was this just a random killing? I loved how the authors kept the reader guessing as to the real motives throughout the book. If you are looking for unpredictability you'll definitely find it here.Joyce and Jim Lavene know how to write compelling and interesting characters. Molly and Elsie were intriguing from the start, then you add in Dorothy and the rogue and things get even more complicated fast. Ferreting out who was behind it all, was only part of the puzzle. Becoming involved in the lives of these witches was just as exciting and thrilling as the rest of the book. I can't wait to see where the author's take us with this series, there is a whole lot of potential for a greatness. Bottom Line:The Lavene's always show great originality in anything they write, but I thought this one was particularly well written. The premise was unique, the characters were easy to relate too and the reader could become completely immersed in the story. World building isn't often as important in cozy mysteries as in science fiction or paranormal writing, but in this one it was key to making this a good read. Definitely, a series to keep an eye on!

  • Lynn
    2018-09-13 00:51

    What a fun and enjoyable book! When I choose a book to read I assume that I will like it. This book surprised me somewhat as I didn't realize how much I would like it.The book is about three witches who are aging and feel they are losing their magical powers. They want to retire to Boca Raton. It is a hot bed for retired witches. Before they can do that, they have to find replacements. A murder occurs and their spell book is stolen. So retirement is on hold until the murder is solved and the spell book found.There is real danger for family members who do not have magic to find out about their magic family members. There is a witch's council that tries to govern all witches. There is an adventure into a werewolf bar and a smelly meeting with the Bone Man. I enjoyed the humor and I could visualize many of the scenes. It was a book that when I wasn't reading it, I wanted to be reading it. It was humorous and the mystery portion was good. The authors have very good imaginations. I am looking forward to continuing with this series.

  • Dawn Frazier
    2018-09-01 22:51

    Excellent! This is the first book in a new series, and I am so glad that it is a series!! I knew only a few pages in that I would love this book. Great characters, and how can you resist a book full of witches, magical cats, and ghosts? We have Elsie, Olivia, and Molly, who are witches wanting to retire to Florida, but first they must find replacements for themselves. Lots of twists and turns in this book, I was anxious to get to the end to see what would happen, but sad at the same time, because now I have to wait for the next one!! Highly recommended!

  • Melodie
    2018-09-22 02:46

    Not a bad first in series, but not nearly as good as some other "witchy" cozy series being done today (most notably Heather Blake and Ellery Adams' series). I love the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade series they write as J.J. Cook with the ghost! That series is stellar, IMHO. If they can bring this up to the level of that series, they'll have accomplished something! I'll read the next one of these, but if it isn't a big improvement I probably won't read beyond that.

  • Stefanie
    2018-08-21 20:45

    Very quick read. Read it in almost a single sitting.

  • Mary
    2018-08-24 23:33

    I enjoyed this right from the beginning!Molly, Olivia, and Elsie are witches! They are getting older. They want to retire to Boca in Florida where many witches have retired. They are trying to recruit some younger witches to take their place in their Curio shop so that they can retire. They have their eye on the local librarian in town, when they find out that Olivia has been murdered!Molly's husband is a cop and received the call about Olivia's death! There is only one thing that Molly does not share with her husband, Joe, that she is a witch! Also that her friends are witches too!The book is way cool as the two remaining friends with some help try to find out who killed Olivia! The book kept my interest until the very end with many concepts about air witches, water witches and spell books, some werewolves were thrown in to round out the paranormal experience!I enjoyed the experience and wished that both authors were still living so they could still be writing such great books!I cannot wait for our book discussion on Facebook on this book, it should be a good one!

  • Becky
    2018-09-05 22:51

    I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. Can't wait to see what happens next for the witches.

    2018-09-08 23:32 to you by OBS reviewer DanieleSpell Booked drew me in immediately, and I knew early on in the story that these were characters I wanted to spend time with. Olivia, Molly, and Elsie make up their own witch coven in the coastal town of Wilmington, NC. Lifelong friends who together own a curio shop, really a cover for selling all sorts of magical supplies to the covert witch community, find themselves in a bit of a pickle. As with other abilities and such that dim with age, the ladies notice that their powers are fading and their magic sometimes goes awry. Before they can “retire”, they must find replacement witches for their coven and pass on all their knowledge and spellbook. This is made a more difficult task since none of their descendents have inherited their magical abilities so they must look elsewhere. They set their sights on Dorothy, a young local librarian, but before they can approach her Olivia is brutally murdered and their spellbook stolen. It seems that a powerful rogue witch is stealing artifacts and killing witches to gain power. However, the Grand Council does not seem very interested in resolving the situation so Molly and Elsie, with the “help” of Dorothy and another young witch Brian (who happened to be the last person seen with Olivia and is a suspect himself) set out to avenge Olivia on their own. But they face an even bigger obstacle – Molly’s husband Joe is a homicide detective assigned to Olivia’s case, and he does not know anything about his wife’s magical tendencies. The witches must keep their abilities under wraps to protect their mortal families.The Levine writing team has done a good job creating a paranormal world that fits realistically into the real world. The rules of the witch community are uncomplicated and easy to follow. Each of the main characters has a distinct personality and magical strengths, and I particularly like the ladies’ cats, their familiars, and hope to learn more of their back stories in future books. The witchcraft presented here is not particularly dark or evil. When Dorothy asks what witches do, she is told:“we observe and protect the laws of nature. We interact with the natural elements of the world.” (p.43) I appreciated that the witches, for the most part, carry on normal average daily lives. Werewolves briefly make an appearance, and I hope other fey creatures are included in the future. The story was well paced with enough intrigue to keep the plot moving along. The older characters’ relationships are natural and endearing, and the younger witches a good contrast to the older. Specific suspects were a bit vague, but there were enough twists and turns to keep this reader guessing at the murderer’s identity until almost the very end.I really enjoyed Spell Booked and found it to be a solid first entry in the Retired Witches series. Mr. and Mrs. Levine rarely disappoint, and this is no exception. I highly recommend this to fans that enjoy more mature sleuths, a bit of the paranormal, and Southern settings. I look forward to the next adventure.*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplyin a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*

  • Stephanie
    2018-09-21 21:51

    3.5/5Spell Booked is the first in the brand new Retired Witches cozy mystery series by writing duo Joyce and Jim Lavene, who have written a number of cozy series. It centers around a trio of witches (Molly, Elsie, and Olivia) who run a magic shop in North Carolina. Now as they are getting older, their magic is beginning to fade and they are dreaming of retirement. To prepare, they must find and train three new witches to pass their spell book onto. Just as plans start to take off, Olivia is found murdered, with her house ransacked and the book stolen. Now Elsie and Molly are determined to find the killer, find the book, and find new witches to train before they lose all their magic.This book had me hooked right from the get go with its unique and fun premise of witches who are no longer in their prime and ready to retire. Magic is treated uniquely in this story. The women lead pretty normal lives despite their magical powers, and are unable to tell their other family and friends about their magic. This includes Molly, a longtime wife and mother who has kept her secret hidden for many, many years. I liked that these women seemed like normal people who just so happened to be magic. I liked also that each witch had her own distinct personality and character traits. The witches find themselves in a lot of trouble while trying to solve the mystery on their own, and this, of course, lends to a lot of adventurous mishaps and fun for the reader. All in all, this was a nice start to a new cozy series. It didn’t blow my mind or anything like that, but the mystery was well written and exciting to try and solve. I really enjoyed it quite a bit and will definitely continue on with the series.

  • Melissa ♥ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
    2018-09-09 18:58

    Five reasons to pick up Spell Booked:The Premise: Witches - Need I say more? You all know that Witches are my absolute favorite and this book sure delivered. Add in a few feline familiars and this was sure to be a hit with me:) Although I wasn't a fan of the idea of magic fading over time (I personally believe that it would only get stronger with experience and practice) , I did love how the Lavene's worked that kink into the premise of needing to find new witches to take over the coven. Plus it made for some pretty funny moments to see how their magic faltered and some great moments to cheer when it didn't. It also helped us focus on the importance of working together and building relationships which was what ultimately kept them all strong.The Main Characters - Mollie, Elsie, & Olivia are so quirky and lovable that I connected with them immediately even though the idea of retiring is far from where I am at in my life right now.The Setting - Small town, waterfront, a quaint business ...all the makings of a perfect backdrop!The Secondary Characters -Especially Mollie's husband. I was so thrilled when Mollie finally clued him in to the paranormal world that she'd been hiding from him for all those years.The Friendships - As I stated previously, this book was all about relationships and how they make us better. I loved how connected these three gals were:)A fun read though I didn't 100% connect with the main characters:)

  • Jeanette Hammond
    2018-09-14 22:56

    I just finished reading this book and I loved it. Molly, Olivia, and Elsie own Smugglers Arcane, a shop full of unusual items. They are also witches who are wanting to retire to Boca Raton, with all the other retired witches. But first, they have to find and train their replacements. They are watching Dorothy, a librarian, who shows strong promise but she doesn't know she's a witch. A wrench is thrown into the mix when Olivia is murdered. Now, Elsie and Molly hunt for Olivia's killer with the help of Dorothy and Molly's husband John, a police detective and John's partner, Lisbet. The characters are down to earth and likable people. Joyce Lavene has given them fresh dialog and real emotions. The spells at the beginning of each chapter are a nice touch and the reader is given a lot of history of witches (from her viewpoint) and their rules and regulations. The twists and turns will keep you turning the pages until you're done with the book. The ending totally blew me away but left it open ended for the next book.Do yourself a favor and pre-order this book for a delightful look into the witch world. You won't be disappointed.

  • Fred
    2018-08-21 18:49

    Spell Booked is the first book in the A Retired Witches Mystery series.An enchanting new series.Molly, Elsie and Olivia run Smuggler's Arcane in Wilmington, NC.The three witches have decided that it is time to retire and move on to their next stage in their lives, but first they must find replacements for themselves. They have put a spell on Dorothy, a librarian, who they feel might be a wonderful addition, if she feels the calling. But before she does, Olivia is found with her throat cut in an alley. On top of losing her best friend, Molly's husband is the lead detective on investigation into Olivia's murder, and he knows nothing about Molly being a witch, or for that matter, Olivia. As Molly and Elsie are training Dorothy to learn and use her power as a witch, they all find out that Dorothy is the daughter that Olivia put up for adoption at birth. When Dorothy gets kidnapped and the Council of Witches is slow to offer them help, they get serious about finding the killer.A wonderful cast of characters in this series. Very believable and funny. So enjoyed the bantering between the ladies.Definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.

  • Jeanette
    2018-09-15 00:37

    Someone in the witch community is stealing magic artifacts and killing witches for their powers. I love these type of books. Cozy mysteries with a great plot that you don't get until the end. Books with magic and witches and werewolves. Makes me not want to put my book down. This cozy mystery was a little different than the ones I normally read. Its about retirement age witches looking for replacements for their coven so they can retire (to Boca!) when a rogue witch starts stealing magical items and kills a member of their coven! Don't let the age fool you. They were full of wit and humor (and a little friskiness from Olivia and Elsie). I almost picture the ladies from the tv show The Golden Girls. lol Definitely recommend this book. I believe it is part of a series too. *The author provided me with a free pdf version to read and review*

  • Betty
    2018-09-02 18:50

    A paranormal cozy and light relaxing read. Good on a summer beach or by the fire place on cold and windy day. A small coven of witches are looking for younger witches so they can retire. We have Olivia who is a flirt, Elsie who is constantly mixing up spells and Molly who is married to a homicide inspector who is not a witch. Supporting them we have a young girl and boy witches who are both untrained. There is a lot of mystery and spells along with enough twist to keep you entrain. I am ready to read the next when it comes out.

  • Shelley Giusti
    2018-09-03 21:51

    This First in a Brand new series will have you under a spell until the very end. Molly, Elsie, Dororthy and Olivia are vibrant and fun characters that bring this story to life. From keeping thier secret of being witches from others to solving the murder of their friend these witches will keep you captivated and on the edge of your seat wanting more. Charming, bewitching and fun! I loved this book and look forward to the next one!

  • Katrina
    2018-09-20 22:47

    I was lucky to get an advanced copy of this book. I could not wait to read it.I loved the setting and the three witches were some I could see being friends with. once I started reading I did not want to put it down. A great start to a new series. I can't wait for the next one.

  • Sallee
    2018-09-06 02:01

    First in a new series by Joyce and Jim Lavene, I found it entertaining. A lot of things happening in a very short time frame, the story had interesting characters and a plot that was interesting. A fair start to a new series.

  • Barbara ★
    2018-08-27 19:40

    I'm very much in the minority on this one as I found these old ladies rather boring and didn't like any part of this cozy mystery. I very much enjoyed the "A Bewitching Mystery" series by Madelyn Alt and was expecting something along the same lines. Sadly I was disappointed.

  • Matthew
    2018-08-24 22:46

    I quite liked the first quarter, more or less, of this book. There were some oddities in characterization. But I think there is some realism in these relatively old ladies acting kinda like kids. The main characters, Olivia and Molly are 58 years old while Elsie is 70 years old. But people don't really grow up. There is no sudden transformation in adulthood. Humans are humans and everyone has their immature moments, regardless of age. At least in some ways, this was realistic. The werewolf bar scene was kind of weird. Selling tickets to poke the witch was silly. But my main criticism was not with the world or the characters. What turned me off was... I felt the mystery was poorly handled. We were given a couple of very obvious red herrings who weren't exactly handled well in their presentation to be very convincing. The actual person responsible was someone who was obscure and had no motive or real involvement until the moment of reveal. This reminded me of the TV show Glades. I think other mysteries do the same thing. In each episode, they would introduce a cast of suspects in the first 10 minutes. And there would be one person mentioned with absolutely no reason to suspect them or even for them to be mentioned or shown. And every single time, that person would be the culprit. If the police get the pool-boy to pull the body out of the pool while interviewing family and neighbors who all wanted the victim dead, obviously, the pool-boy did it. This isn't Agatha Christie. It's mystery by obscurity. In the last 10 minutes, you find out the pool-boy was actually dating the victim and killed her because she dumped him. With no hints of any of this in the first 30 minutes. The culprit in this book was essentially just insane. And was working with someone... which was obvious from the beginning... who has no significant identity in the story and isn't a factor in the ending with poor justification.With this style of story, as often happened on The Glades, I got bored with the middle section. There were a lot of chapters when the witches were just spinning their wheels, chasing obvious red herrings and not advancing the story at all because there needed to be enough time between the introduction and the twist reveal. But it wasn't a good twist reveal and there wasn't a trail of hints leading to the twist reveal. I love mysteries where you want to reread to see how the author set up for the ending, like The Icarus Hunt. Here the ending and the story just felt pretty disconnected.

  • Moondance
    2018-09-05 23:57

    "Can you see her?"Elsie, Molly and Olivia are aging witches living in Wilmington, NC. They are looking for new witches to take over their small coven so that they can retire, The town's new librarian, Dorothy, is an earth witch that the three are hoping will acknowledge her magic and approach them. Unfortunately, Olivia is murdered before the ladies can convince Dorothy of her true self. Molly's husband, Joe is the lead detective on the case along with his partner, Lisbet. Molly and Elsie know that they need to help with the investigation after learning that their spell book was stolen from Olivia's house.This first book in A Retired Witches Mystery has a good solid start. The characters are likeable and well portrayed. Who knew that Wilmington could be home to witches, werewolves and ghosts. Well it was a pirate's cove at one time so I guess the ghosts are there. I was a little surprised that the small coven did not already have four witches to cover all four of the quarters. Molly is a water witch, Elsie is fire and Olivia was air. They definitely needed earth to be more grounded. The clues to the murderer were varied and hinted at several magical people. It was quite obvious at times that the suspects were being framed. Molly has spent years keeping her magic from her family as has each of the ladies that do not have magical relatives. I was happy when Dorothy accepted her heritage and sad that she didn't get to know her mother. There were a number of family relationships that were handled well. I really appreciated the loving relationship between Molly and Joe. I like to think that they were an extension of the Lavenes and wrote a bit of themselves into the story.I was very sad when the killer was revealed. The betrayal to several characters was palpable. It was difficult to accept the truth and the skewed reasoning for the murder.I look forward to visiting with the group again in the next book.3.5 stars

  • Tari
    2018-08-29 23:50

    Molly and Joe appear to be your average couple. She's a retired teacher and he's a police officer. But when Joe is at work, Molly lives a whole different life as a witch with her besties Elsie and Olivia running their herb and books shop, that is until Olivia is murdered. Molly is afraid to let her husband get too close because as we all know, magic and mortals/muggles/mundane world do not mix (I remember that from watching Bewitched lol). So with the help of a newly recruited, just found out she's a witch type witch named Dorothy, Brian, a male witch they met and Olivia's ghost, Molly and Elsie are determined to find out who killed their friend and why this person is targeting and stealing from witches.I really loved this mystery. It was written in such a light-hearted and comical style at times that it was too enjoyable to not suck me into the story. Being a witch didn't always have an advantage for the friends while investigating because whatever they were looking for seemed more powerful than they were. I loved their determination and sticking together. Olivia was such a hoot when she was a ghost, she had some of the best lines and I loved the friendly bickering between her and Elsie. Joe was an amazing husband--I won't spoil the one part but let's just say he's a candidate for sainthood in my book! This was a really intriguing story and I didn't have any suspicions until later in the book. My suspicion was correct but as always, I had no idea about the reasoning and deeper story behind. I thought it had a really nice ending. It didn't lead into another story but I like the characters so much that I do want to read the other two in this series. The authors, Jim and Joyce Lavene have passed on but I sure wish they were still around to write some more magical stories like this one. I intend to look into their other series as well.