When town trouble maker, Louella Drummond, drops dead in front of Isolde Quinn’s pet store just minutes after threatening both Issy and her cousin Graeme, the police in the small lakeside town of Silver Hollow assume it’s from natural causes.
… Until it’s discovered that Louella was murdered.
Not just any murder, though. Murder by paranormal means. Dark magic that could only have been performed by a powerful witch. And every law-abiding paranormal knows that dark magic is forbidden and carries strict punishment at the hands of “the committee” – the mysterious entity that provides law and order within the paranormal community.
Being witches, Issy and her three cousins fear they are at the top of the suspect list. To make matters worse, a secret division of the FBI has gotten wind of the happenings in Silver Hollow and sent two agents to ferret out paranormal activity. Even worse than that, Issy is annoyingly attracted to one of them!
Armed with their unconventional posse of familiars, Issy and her cousins dodge the efforts of the ‘real” police and the special FBI agents while following a twisty path of clues that lead to a shocking betrayal.
I enjoy a good cozy mystery, whether it’s contemporary or paranormal, and when I spotted this one on sale, I snatched it up.
Issy Quinn is a witch living in an inordinately paranormal town. There are a few humans as well, but there are also a lot of witches and shifters. And tons of quirky characters. When one of the humans dies right in front of Issy, she and her cousin are marked as possible suspects. The four Quinn cousins decide they have to solve the murder as while they have no worries about the local police, they do have to worry about ‘the committee’ which could make things difficult for them or the FPBI (the paranormal arm of the FBI don’t you know) which would be worse. I did love the addition of the FPBI, a group that is scarier than ‘the committee’ – and that’s saying something. All they know is if the FPBI finds a paranormal, they take them to area 59, and that’s bad.
All of this makes for a wonderful town and setting for a cozy, only I found that it lagged in a lot of spots. Issy was constantly on the move to figure things out, which focused the book completely on the mystery and never gave me any other look into her and her cousins’ lives. There was a hint of a possible love interest though I wonder how Dex is going to handle being where he’s at considering he doesn’t believe in paranormal stuff.
The one thing in this book that bothered me the most was what happened at the end. There’s a saying amongst cozy mystery readers – never harm an animal, not even in gest. At the end, two animals were almost harmed, and one of them treated roughly. While I understood it for dramatic emphasis, in the cozy world, that’s a no-no and left me with negative feelings toward the book.