A Spell for Murder Review

  • Author: Kennedy Kerr
  • Series: Lost Maidens Loch Mystery #1
  • Genre: Murder Mystery/Fantasy
  • No. of pages: 267
  • Year published: 2019
  • Publisher: Bookouture
  • Dates read: 29.09.19 – 06.10.19
  • Rating: 2.75 stars

Synopsis: Down a quiet lane in town sits a little shop full of oddities you’d probably miss if you weren’t looking for it. This is Love’s Curiosities Inc., and its owner, Temerity Love, is sought by experts all over the world for her rare and magical gift: the ability to find lost things and learn their stories. When Lost Maidens’ pretty local school teacher is found murdered by a poisoned cup of tea, a strange antique hand mirror is discovered nearby. Temerity – with the help of witchy sister Tilda, their cats Scylla and Charybdis and the lovingly eccentric local townspeople – is determined to divine the story behind the mirror and its part in Miss Molly Bayliss’ untimely death. If only grumpy out-of-towner Angus Harley of Lost Maidens Police wasn’t on the scene. Temerity can’t solve the crime without him, but he’s distracting, and in more ways than one. Can this unconventional duo solve the most mysterious murder ever to blight Lost Maidens Loch before the killer strikes again?

First of all, thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for allowing me to read this ARC for an honest review.

This was a pretty hard decision for me as the last 100 pages were really good but it didn’t personally make up for the first 150 pages.

I want to start off with my praise for this book.

I found the plot to be really interesting and engaging. I felt that every chapter ended in a way that continued to peak my interest so I had to continue reading. I had a big desire to find out who the murderer was and I was satisfied with the end result. Personally, as I have said already, the last 100 pages really took me by surprise, it was so fast paced and rich with intrigue and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out who the murderer was.

I really enjoyed the use of Termerity’s psychometry powers it was a really unique twist to a murder mystery; I thought it was done super well. I also felt it was used well throughout the duration of the book, there was an equal spread of using the gift. Rather than just being used in the first part of the story and then forgotten about later down the line.

I think the detail in the world-building of Lost Maidens Loch and how Kerr described the buildings both outside and in was done really well and I could easily picture all the places mentioned. My favourite descriptions were that of Termerity’s shop with all it’s varying trinkets and antiques and the loch itself. I felt that Kerr really captured the eeriness of the loch and allowed me to perfectly picture it in my mind.

Sticking on the theme of descriptions, there was a lot of description of what characters wore but it got too much. Personally I feel describing what a character is wearing is good to establish what the character looks like and explain a bit about their personality. But these descriptions was carried on through the entire novel and it just got boring. I would skip entire sections of the book as I didn’t want to read about what quirky outfit Termerity was wearing during a specific scene. This amount of detail,which most of the time did not add anything to the plot, would just slow the pace down and make me not want to pick it back up.

There was a lot of instances where the writer tells us what was happening rather than showing us, this slowed the pace down and made it hard to read. We are told that Termerity and the Inspector have a great relationship but every time he makes a joke to her the writer feels the need to follow up and say that he was joking even though it was obvious to the reader he was. Or another example, it was obvious Termerity is checking a character out but the writer needs to solidify with the reader she was, in fact, checking that character out by having Termerity’s inner monologue confirm it to the reader. It pulled me out of the story a couple of times.

I liked Termerity, I thought she was a fun character but her inner monologue got quite cringey at times. Especially, when she referred to a character as “wolf-man”, it started off funny but then got dragged out quite a bit and I really struggled by the end of the novel with some of her comments.

I think my main struggle with this book was Kerr’s writing style. I love murder mysteries it’s my favourite genre of all time. So, when I read or watch murder mysteries I take into consideration every single detail but with over use of description and detail, to the point I couldn’t tell what was important and what wasn’t, and mentioning what was already obvious to the reader I think it hindered what could have been a really fun and crazy murder mystery.

The next book I will be reviewing is A House of Ghosts by W.C Ryan. A paranormal murder mystery set in World War 1. I am very excited.

4 thoughts on “A Spell for Murder Review

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