Daniels returns to Bellamy Bay, North Carolina, after a twenty-year
absence. After her mother died, her father forbade her to
return to the seaside town to visit her aunt and cousins.
Now that her father is gone, Alex accepts an invitation to
visit with her remaining family members.
Alex left her high-level job in risk management after the
environment turned toxic. Visiting Bellamy Bay with her dog,
Athena, seemed like a necessary change of pace. Working in
her aunt’s herbal apothecary, Botanika, offers not only
a distraction but also a chance to learn more about herbal
medicine and more about her family.
When a man with whom Aunt Lidia has a past visits the apothecary
and later dies from poison, Aunt Lidia is arrested as the
murderer. , Alex decides to stay in town and use her logical
skills to find the truth, yet the truth about her family is
not what she expected. As facts unravel, Alex learns that
she is one of a line of magical healers descended from mermaids
and frequently accused of practicing witchcraft. She’d
best figure out how to use these powers immediately.
As with most series debuts, there is the need to properly
set the scene, introduce the protagonist and main and secondary
characters, and to weave the plot of the murder mystery with
the goal being to engage readers and capture their interest
for not just this book, but for future books in the series.
Esme Addison has done a commendable job that ticks all the
boxes. For those reasons, I recommend the book to cozy mystery
lovers who enjoy a touch of the paranormal.
Overall, it’s a good book. For me, though, the protagonist,
Alex, was a character I just couldn’t like. Her behavior
is bizarre considering that she is supposed to be an educated
and professional woman. She won’t heed good advice from
her family or even instructions from the police. She often
says one thing while thinking another, even after she knows
full well that her aunt and cousins can hear her every thought.
Alex tries to hide her emotions but ultimately blushes, finds
her skin hot, and gives her feelings away over and over. I
sincerely hope that the character comes into her true self
more in the next book instead of bumbling about and putting
herself in danger.
I will absolutely look forward to book two so I can see how
things move along in the series and hopefully read about the
character turning over a new leaf and showing her intellect
as she adjusts to her new normal.