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Brownies and Broomsticks
Magical Bakery #1
Bailey Cates

May 2012/ 978-0-451-23663-0

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

At the ripe old age of 28, Katie Lightfoot has abandoned her lackluster life in Akron, Ohio. Her job as assistant manager at a bakery was barely sustaining her financial leads, holding down her creativity, and to make matters worse her love life has gone down the drain. The move to Savannah, Georgia included a whole new life plan. A bakery that Aunt Lucy and Uncle Ben are opening, the Honeybee Bakery (named for her Aunt Lucy's cat) promises to provide that creative outlet she craves as well as financial stability; if, that is, all goes as planned.

Katie loves her new house, and is thrilled to be starting over and making it a home. With the help of her Aunt Lucy and her Uncle Ben, she is settling in nicely. When a member of the Downtown Business Association arrives at the bakery, days before it is open for business, trouble follows. The woman, Mavis Templeton, informs Katie and Lucy that she will be having the meeting of the DBA at the Honeybee Bakery, and they realize that it would be good business to take on the challenge. After all, the bakery won't officially be open yet and it would be good practice and help spread the word about their baked goods. When the mostly successful meeting is over, Mavis hands over a check for half of the agreed upon fee. Uncle Ben takes issue with her and Mavis storms out, proclaiming that she could put them out of business in less than a month.

Very soon after she leaves the bakery, Mavis is found dead, murdered. Her neck was broken and her body is in her car. Due to the very public altercation that Ben had with her, he is taken in for questioning by the police. Lucy and Katie know Ben is innocent, and with the help of friends and a bit of Lucy's magic they set out to clear his name.

This is a hugely entertaining debut that promises a wonderful new series. It is a cozy mystery, that's for sure, and I can honestly say that I enjoyed every page. Aunt Lucy's magical abilities are utilized just right, and the bonds of family and friendship are well represented. The bakery setting did make my mouth water, but fortunately there are some recipes at the back of the book to help with the cravings!

Reviews of other titles in this series

Brownies and Broomsticks #1
Bewitched, Bothered, and Biscotti #2
Some Enchanted Elcair #4
Magic and Macaroons #5
Spells and Scones #6

Reviewed 2012