Review: A Spell of Murder (Book #1: A Lost Maidens Loch Mystery Series) by Kennedy Kerr

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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?

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Source: NetGalley and Bookouture          Rating: 4½/5 stars

YES! YES! And, YES!

Kennedy Kerr welcome to my world and thank you for bringing Lost Maidens Loch and the Love sisters with you!  It’s always a risky proposition starting a new series as new series have a tendency to be difficult to navigate.  Fortunately, all the first in a series pitfalls have been nicely avoided and a very solid first offering has been provided.

Lost Maidens Loch is a place of mystery, romance, and history.  According to local lore and legend, the loch periodically claims a life and when it does, it becomes even more a part of the legend of the place.  Thanks to the tragedy and the lore, tourists keep the town alive and the money rolling in for locals like Temerity and Tilda Love.  Since the loss of both their parents, the Love sisters have run their family’s curiosities shop with trades in odds and ends related to the occult, the supernatural, rare books, and antiques.  Thanks to the girls’ inherent and learned gifts, their store does rather well for itself and has earned the girls a sound and solid reputation. 

Temerity Love has a reputation as not just an antiques dealer, but a woman with certain gifts.  Thanks to her parents, Temerity has the gift of psychometry which makes for excellent findings related to provenance and antiques and has come in handy on more than one occasion for the local police.  In times related to crime, the local sheriff has called on Temerity more than once to help solve a mystery.  Though Temerity doesn’t particularly enjoy such callings, she always helps where she can and this time, she’s been called to the scene of a murder. 

Though Temerity gets little from the objects found and the scene of the crime, she does get impressions, none of which are explainable or good.  As is her way, Temerity has more questions than answers and she isn’t one to let things go.  As is common in small towns, the gossip is rampant, and Temerity knows just who to ask for the information she needs.  Every answer she gets leaves her more perplexed and takes her ever closer to the large estate that has log been shrouded in mystery and despair.  What’s more, whomever it was that killed the poor woman has worked ever so hard to leave the impression witchcraft in involved and that has Temerity beyond curious.  Before it’s all said and done, Temerity will be tested beyond anything she’s ever known and, in the process, she may discover some new things about herself and her life. 

The Bottom Line: Temerity and Tilda Love and so delightfully weird and wonderful and both are comfortable in their oddness which makes them even more endearing.  Temerity is, by far the more outgoing of the two sisters, but as we discover in this book, she has to work to be so.  Her gifts, though generally accepted, aren’t always understood and that often makes her feel isolated.  Tilda is the nerdy sister who is far less outgoing than her sister and often pays for that thanks to local gossip.  Between the two, they are intelligent, kind, caring, and funny women who doing they best they can to live fulfilling lives.  When you add the setting and the story to the mix of really wonderful characters, you have all the makings of a fine story and that’s exactly what I got.

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