A month ago, I picked up Broomsticks and Burials, the first out of ten books by Lily Webb. I later went on to Spellbooks and Stakings and Alchemy and Arson, the second and third books in the series.
If you’re looking for a fun, fast, and light paranormal mystery, the Magic and Mystery series may be the series you’re looking for a summer read. The Magic and Mystery series are made up of ten books, each with a paranormal mystery to solve.
Out of the three books, I enjoyed the first one the most. The second and third books were primarily focused around world and character development. While I found Moon Grove, the mysterious, and paranormal town, to be interesting, the character development fell flat for me.
This is a general synopsis of what you’ll expect from the series.
Originally from the human world, Zoe Clarke is Moon Grove’s ambitious investigative reporter. Despite discovering that Moon Grove’s crawling with paranormal creatures, it didn’t stop Zoe from getting involved with witches, vampires, and werewolves to solve the town’s murder mysteries. In the process, she also awakened her telepathic abilities.
As Zoe learned more about Moon Grove, she also found out more about the past. Were her parents’ supernatural creatures? Was she a descendent of the most powerful witch herself? With each mystery she got involved in, Zoe always discovered a little more.
The mystery plot for all three books was simplistic, something I enjoyed. It was easy to follow, and the magic was kept at a minimum. In other words, the author didn’t bombard readers about unnecessary magic that wasn’t related to the murder.
In the first book, the front-running witch was found dead. The second involved a school murder. And the third was magic arson. Zoe also discovered her telepathic abilities in the first book, the trigger to finding out more about her past in future books.
With each mystery she solved, the readers learned more about who she was and where she could’ve come from. Telling Zoe’s story this way was ideal without feeling like there were two on-going plots in the story at once.
Moon Grove was an intriguing place. But so far, it was the same as your everyday modern city, except with paranormals. Even the politics are similar.
The readers got exposed to different spells with each mystery, which made it more interesting. However, it was lacking that extra oomph to really make it a memorable, magical world.
I loved Zoe’s ambition. It’s what drove most of the book. However, she slowly began to lose her flair.
She discovered that she’s the descendant of Lilith, the all-powerful witch. This was the reason why her magical abilities were so strong in the beginning. Because of her potential, she got a one-way ticket to the most prestigious magical school in Moon Grove.
In the third book, Zoe defied the council’s orders and brought her grandmother to Moon Grove. She solved the murder of one of the council members to make up for her mistake and everything’s all well and happy.
I would’ve preferred a more out-of-bounds backstory for our protagonist. The more I found out about Zoe, the blander she appeared. It also didn’t really help that everyone in town is hypothetically in love with her.
The one thing that irked me was how the “romance” was carried out. Zoe got romantically involved with a handsome shape-shifter, Beau. Still, their relationship had no time to develop, nor was there any reason or development as to why Beau was suddenly attracted to her. Their dates were often Zoe asking Beau for help on her cases or Zoe bailing on him to pursue the case.
It would make more sense for Beau to be Zoe’s partner in crime, rather than a romantic interest. Or, flesh out the romance more. This gave Zoe’s character more points in the “Mary-Sue” category.
Frankly, I would love to learn more about vampires. They appeared mysterious, intelligent, and ambition-driven.
If you’re looking for a complex plot that requires a lot of thought, this series won’t cut it. But, if you are looking for something fun, fast, and light, this book may be up your alley. I’ve only read the first three books, so my star rating will be an average out of the three.
If you’re a Kindle user, you can find the first book for free on Amazon. Or, you can pick up three books as a bundle.
Thanks for reading this post. 🙂 For anyone interested in FanFiction, I have two on-going Kingdom Hearts fanfics posted on AO3 and Fanfiction.net.