Seashells, Spells & Caramels by Erin Johnson

Themes: Cosy mystery, witch

The synopsis

Imogen’s spent her twenties in Seattle, saving every penny and missing every party, to follow her dream of opening her own bakery.

When that dream goes up in flames, she accepts a spot in a mysterious baking contest—one she doesn’t remember entering. She travels to a bustling, medieval village off the coast of France and discovers an enchanting world of magic and mystery, and learns that she, too, possesses powers.

Unable to so much as cast a spell, Imogen struggles to keep up with the other witches and wizards who have come from all over the magical world to the Water Kingdom’s big competition. She juggles relationships with a sweet new friend, a snarky baking fire, and a brooding, handsome baker. As Imogen falls for this bewitching world, she fears she won’t master her magic in time to win the job of Royal Head Baker, and will be forced to return to the shambles of her non magical life.

It only gets worse, when a competitor drops dead in the middle of the big white baking tent, and Imogen’s the prime suspect. Now, she’ll not only have to survive the vampire and psychic judges, but also clear her name by finding the real murderer, before they strike again.

With a killer on the loose, a missing prince, and the Summer Solstice Festival fast approaching, Imogen will have to bake like her life depends on it- because it just might.

The review

This book was a really good cosy mystery with everything you could expect: a bakery setting (so a lot of comforting food), different magical beings, a fairytale-like town and castle, and a heroine full of joy and optimism. Add to that a sparkle of romance for the sake of the drama of the series and you have this book!

I really enjoyed the world (even if I hope it will be developed further in the next books) and the characters. I knew enough about them to care about them and I found them very heartwarming. Obviously, you have a lot of friendship, tension but also rivalry between them. I especially like Iggy, the talking fire, even though I first wished Imogen would extinguish him! (and that she would stop crying too).

The mystery was okay, the biggest issue being Imogen’s investigation, or rather her lack of. Don’t expect going into this book to have a proactive heroine, that will really be looking for clues. Despite the fact that I had partly guessed the culprit, it kept my attention until the end, and the goals were also a surprise. The other little mysteries were obvious to guess, both in the who, what and why but still added a nice touch to the story.

In brief: Lovers of thrillers and mysteries will perhaps find this one too easy for them but to me, it remained enjoyable, very comforting and perfect to launch the autumn season!

My rating: 4/5


3 thoughts on “Seashells, Spells & Caramels by Erin Johnson”

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