Bells, Spells, And Murders By Carol J. Perry [Book Review]

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Book Review: Bells, Spells, and Murders by Carol J. Perry | ARC | Reading | Paranormal Mystery | Cozy Mystery | Book Blogger | Blogging | Creative Writing | Witch City Series | RachelPoli.com

I received a paperback ARC of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

Someone’s spreading deadly holiday cheer through Salem, Mass . . . 

Lee Barrett has landed her dream job at Salem’s WICH-TV. As the new field reporter, she’ll be covering events live as they’re unfolding. Next on her holiday checklist is an interview with the beloved chairman of a popular walking tour through Salem’s historic districts. But it may be his ghost walking this snowy Noel season after Lee finds him murdered in his stately offices, bloody Santa hat askew.

With her police detective boyfriend working the case and a witch’s brew of suspects–including some bell-ringing Santas–Lee chases down leads aided and abetted by her wise cat O’Ryan and some unsettling psychic visions of her own. When a revealing clue leads to another dead body, not even a monster blizzard can stop Lee from inching closer to the truth . . . and a scoop that could spell her own demise this killer Christmas.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comAs always, the book cover is always spot on with this series. The covers are eye-catching and it really showcases some events of what happens in the novel.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comThis is book number seven in the Witch City series. I spent my summer reading this series starting with the first book leading up to this latest release. I was looking forward to it.

Plot | RachelPoli.comLee starts her new dream job as a field reporter for WICH-TV when she finds the man she’s supposed to interview dead in his office. Between staying up with the case for her job, Pete, her detective boyfriend, and her natural Nancy Drew skills, Lee has a lot on her plate.

This was executed well even if the process is similar in a way to the other books. The author knows how to make it all unique from the other books. I will admit, I missed Lee investigating purely because she’s curious, wants to help, and has connections with her boyfriend. The TV reporter was certainly a nice touch but it was a definitely different. This isn’t a bad thing though. In fact, it was cool her job seemed to come full circle.

Characters | RachelPoli.comThe characters are well established at this point – Lee, Aunt Ibby, Pete, O’Ryan, and River North. They’re a great cast and Lee especially is a fun character lead.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

I love the way Perry writes. She’s spot-on with the cozy mystery aspect and the paranormal side is an awesome touch. The book is easy to read and follow along with, it’s fun, and there’s no scratching your head or hardcore confusion as you try to figure things out alongside the characters. Everything makes sense.

The book is a decent length but it’s a quick read and hard to put down.

Overall | RachelPoli.comThis is another great installment to the Witch City series. I’d certainly recommend it.

Bells, Spells, and Murders by Carol J. Perry gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Mr. Doan characterized the man as ‘dumb as a brick but with great pipes.'” -Carol J. Perry, Bells, Spells, and Murders

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Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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It Takes A Coven (Witch City Mystery 6) By Carol J. Perry [Book Review]

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Book Review: It Takes A Coven (Mystery City Mystery 6) by Carol J. Perry | Reading | Cozy Mystery | Paranormal | Books | Book Blogging | RachelPoli.com

I received a free paperback copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

There’s a new witch-hunt in Salem, Massachusetts . . .

When Lee Barrett joins a former student’s bridal party as maid of honor, she expects cake tastings and dress fittings. But wedding planning becomes more peculiar than Lee’s scrying talents could ever predict. There’s a magical baker, a best man with a checkered past, and a talking crow named Poe as the ring bearer. There’s also a kindly old man dead under his apple tree—one of a series of unexplained deaths hanging over the Wiccan community . . .

With witches dropping dead before they even come out of the proverbial broom closet, Lee’s best friend, River, fears she might have somehow unleashed a terrible curse on the city. Now, aided by Poe and her clairvoyant cat, Lee sets out to investigate. Are lives being claimed by vengeful supernatural forces—or by something more shocking? She soon discovers, casting light on the wicked truth can be one killer commitment . . .

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I think this cover is my favorite of the series so far. As usual, a lot of key elements from the plot are on the cover and the purple colors really make it stand out.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I’ve read the first five books, enjoyed them all, and now have moved onto the sixth.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Some of the witches in town have been dying all within in a short time span between one another. Lee doesn’t believe it’s a coincidence and River is worried she may have had something to do with it unintentionally. As always, Lee gets on the case with the help of Pete, her detective boyfriend, and her Aunt Ibby.

I really enjoyed how this particular plot put a spin on the witches in town. Yes, it’s a paranormal mystery set in Salem, Massachusetts where witches are everywhere, but I thought it was cool that the witches were dying – though not in the sense you would think from your history textbooks.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

As always, it was great to revisit Lee, Pete, Aunt Ibby, and River. River especially since she seemed to have a little bit of a bigger part in this one. Each character is well rounded and they all fit perfectly together within the setting and plot.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The author has a great writing style where the words are easy to read, the mystery is easy to follow, and you easily get attached to the characters. It’s a fairly chunky book but it’s one you can’t put down.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

While this can be read as a standalone, I’d recommend reading the series in order to get a good sense of the characters. However, if you’re looking to get your feet wet with the series and happen to come across this one, just get it and give it a go.

It Takes a Cover (Witch City Mystery 6) by Carol J. Perry gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Actually they met in a graveyard, but that’s another story.” -Carol J. Perry, It Takes A Coven

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Check out my book reviews for book one and book two of this series.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Grave Errors (Witch City Mystery 5) By Carol J. Perry [Book Review]

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Book Review: Grave Errors (Witch City Mystery 5) by Carol J. Perry | Cozy Mystery | Paranormal | Reading | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

I received a free paperback copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

Whose funeral will be next?

For residents of Salem, Massachusetts, the day after Halloween brings empty candy wrappers, sagging pumpkins, and a community-wide identity crisis. That is, until Lee Barrett s TV production class suggests extending the spooky season with the traditional Mexican celebration Dia de Los Muertos. But when the students discover not all of Salem s dead are resting in peace, the post-October blues don t seem so bad after all . . .

As if a series of haunting graveyard visits isn t disturbing enough, Lee and her policeman boyfriend connect the crime to an unsolved missing person case. Driven by a series of chilling psychic visions, Lee calls on her cleverest allies including her shrewd cat, O Ryan to go underground and dig up the evidence needed to put a lid on a cold case forever . . . before the latest headstone in town has her name on it!

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I’m a fan of the cover. It really conveys what happens in the book and showcases some important points of the plot.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I’ve spent the summer reading through this series and happily picked up this next book right away.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

This plot is certainly unique from the stories in the rest of the series. It’s a paranormal story so having a plot based on Day of the Dead and a cemetery is great. I loved every minute of it. While this kind of setting is a bit cliche, it certainly found a way to twist the cliche upside down.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I feel like I’ve talked about the characters so much lately since I’m reading and reviewing these books pretty much all at once. So, it’s no surprise that I enjoy the main characters still. It was great to get back to seeing Lee’s students again. They’re a great cast and Dorothy was a great addition.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This book is easy to read. You think you know the answer but things end up getting turned upside down. Still, it’s easy to follow along with. This is the type of mystery that intrigues you from the very beginning and you don’t want to put the book down until it’s over… yet, you want to savor it. The dialogue and description go hand in hand and is very well done.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

As always, this was another great mystery from Carol Perry. I’m eager to read on with the series.

Grave Errors (Witch City Mystery 5) by Carol J. Perry gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“The empty candy wrappers have been swept from the streets, the carved pumpkins have gone soft, their jagged-toothed sagging crookedly.” -Carol J. Perry, Grave Errors

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Murder Go Round (Witch City Mystery 4) By Carol J. Perry [Book Review]

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Book Review: Murder Go Round (Witch City Mystery 4) by Carol J. Perry | Cozy Mystery | Paranormal | Fiction | Reading | RachelPoli.com

I received a free paperback copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

A killer takes a spin through Salem . . .

Lee Barrett has agreed to attend a storage auction with Aunt Ibby–even though she suspects the forgotten rooms will yield more junk than treasure. Her skepticism vanishes once the two win a bid on an overlooked locker and uncover a trove of beautiful curiosities, including a stunning wooden carousel horse with gentle eyes and fading paint. But just before Lee leaves the fairground relic at a local repair shop, the sight of a silver samovar awakens her psychic abilities and conjures visions of murder.

Lee prays the intrusive ESP episode was just a glimpse into the past–until her policeman boyfriend reports a dead man outside the repair shop. Apparently, the unknown victim had been hot on Lee’s trail since the auction. And with the horse found dismantled, it looks like he was up to no good. What’s the story behind the antique equine, and could a strange bubblegum-chewing woman with fiery hair have something to do with the crime? Guided by her gift and O’Ryan, her wise tabby cat, Lee’s set on catching the murderer . . . before she’s sent on the darkest ride of her life.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

The cover is keeping with similar colors like the previous books. It really matches the series and the plot of the book well.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

This is a great series and I’m really enjoying it so far. I’m happy I’ve had the opportunity to read through it all.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Lee and her aunt Ibby find themselves in the middle of yet another murder once they buy a storage locker filled with antique goodies at an auction. A key piece is a carnival-like horse.

This is what I love about the plot of this book and the ones before it – they’re all unique and fun. The evidence isn’t exactly what it would seem and you don’t necessarily know what any of it has to do with the rest until more people talk. It’s a great story and mystery to figure out.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

As always, Lee, Aunt Ibby, Pete, and River are wonderful. I still think they’re a great cast of characters. There are always characters who you’re not sure about either which is always a thrill.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The author’s writing is as beautiful as ever. The dialogue is spot-on, each character having their own unique voice, the description of the people, places, and actions are all well done too. This book is almost at 400 pages but it’s a quick read. You can’t put it down.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This is yet another great mystery for the Witch City series. I’m looking forward to reading book five.

Murder Go Round (Witch City Mystery 4) by Carol J. Perry gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Strangely enough, it makes me think of a carousel, going around and around, with none of the horses ever catching up with the one ahead of him.” -Carol J. Perry, Murder Go Round

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Look Both Ways (Book 3) By Carol J. Perry [Book Review]

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Book Review: Look Both Ways (Witch City Mystery 3) by Carol J. Perry | Cozy Mystery | Paranormal | Fiction | Reading | RachelPoli.com

I received a free paperback copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

In Salem, Massachusetts, there are secret everywhere–even in the furniture. . .

When Lee Barrett spots the same style oak bureau she once had as a child on the WICH-TV show, Shopping Salem, she rushes to the antiques shop and buys the piece. Just like the beloved bureau she lost in a fire, this one has secret compartments. It also comes with an intriguing history–it was purchased in an estate sale from a home where a famous local murder took place.

The day after the bureau is delivered, Lee returns to the antiques shop and finds the owner dead. The police suspect the shop owner’s unscrupulous business partner, but Lee wonders if the murder is connected to her new furniture. At least part of the answer may be revealed through a mirror in the bureau, tarnished and blackened, allowing Lee to tap into her psychic visions. Using this bureau of investigation, Lee may be able to furnish her policeman beau with the evidence needed to catch the killer–before the next one to be shut up is her. . .

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

As usual, I think the book cover is great. The colors are well done as is the font for the title. It really conveys what the story entails.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I read and enjoyed the first two books in the series and was excited to read on.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

The plot around this one revolves around an old murder sort of due to a piece of furniture Lee buys. I think that’s a pretty unique thing to fixate on. There were a lot of questions asked straight from the beginning and is slowly revealed throughout the story, which is great.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

It’s always fun to revisit Lee, Aunt Ibby, Pete, and River North. They’re one of my favorite group of characters to follow. Even the side characters, suspects and culprits were some of my favorite characters in the series so far. They were all so interesting.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This is written in 3rd-person limited with Lee as the POV character. What I love most about reading the story through her is that she doesn’t actively investigate. She’s curious but she doesn’t go looking for trouble and it all plays out naturally.

The dialogue is great and I absolutely love the description, especially for the setting. This is certainly an easy book to read and hard to put down.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

Book three of this series did not disappoint. I think this was my favorite one out of them… so far. If you’re in paranormal cozy mysteries, please do give this one a try.

Look Both Ways (Witch City Mystery 3) by Carol J. Perry gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“That annoying ‘It’s A Small World’ song from Walt Disney World started playing in my head.” -Carol J. Perry, Look Both Ways (Witch City Mystery 3)

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Liked this review? You can read my reviews for Caught Dead Handed and Tails, You Lose by Carol J. Perry. Or you can check out all the Book Reviews on the site.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Tails, You Lose (Witch City Mystery 2) By Carol J. Perry [Book Review]

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Book Review: Tails You Lose (Witch City Mystery 2) by Carol J. Perry | Mystery | Paranormal Fantasy | Reading | RachelPoli.com

I received a free review paperback copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

Her instincts may be killer–but can she catch one this wicked?

After losing her job as a TV psychic, Lee Barrett has decided to volunteer her talents as an instructor at the Tabitha Trumbull Academy of the Arts–known as “The Tabby”–in her hometown of Salem, Massachusetts. But when the school’s handyman turns up dead under seemingly inexplicable circumstances on Christmas night, Lee’s clairvoyant capabilities begin bubbling to the surface once again.

The Tabby is housed in the long-vacant Trumbull’s Department Store. As Lee and her intrepid students begin work on a documentary charting the store’s history, they unravel a century of family secrets, deathbed whispers–and a mysterious labyrinth of tunnels hidden right below the streets of Salem. Even the witches in town are spooked, and when Lee begins seeing visions in the large black patent leather pump in her classroom, she’s certain something evil is afoot. But ghosts in the store’s attic are the least of her worries with a killer on the loose…

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

Like the book before it, I enjoy the over. It shows off a lot of what the story entails and the woman on the front is pretty spooky, especially for a paranormal mystery.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed the first book and was eager to read the sequel.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Lee finds herself in wrapped up in another murder mystery as well as mysteries from the past. With the help of Pete, her detective boyfriend, her aunt, cat, and her students, they come together to unravel the secrets.

I found it interesting that Lee roped her students into the mystery – especially since some of them were questionable. It added a little more to the story since there were more characters to think about.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed revisiting the old characters as well as the new ones. The students acted exactly how students usually do. My only complaint was that Aunt Ibby and O’Ryan, the cat, didn’t seem to be in it as much as they were in the first book. O’Ryan had a big part at the end, but I missed them throughout.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This book is easy to read and the mystery is fairly easy to follow along with. There’s some stuff that happened in the past that was brought up for the present, which, I’ll admit, confused me here or there, but it was overall easy to read and follow along.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed this sequel. It was an interesting tail (sorry, not sorry) and I loved being with the old characters again. I’m looking forward to reading book three.

Tails, You Lose (Witch City Mystery 2) by Carol J. Perry gets…
4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Be nice. I’ve heard that he’s pretty much responsible for getting our funding.” – Carol J. Perry, Tails, You Lose

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Caught Dead Headed (Witch City Mystery 1) By Carol J. Perry [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Book Review: Caught Dead Handed (Witch City Mystery 1) by Carol J. Perry | Mystery | Paranormal Fantasy | Fiction | RachelPoli.com

I received a free review paperback copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

She’s not a psychic–she just plays one on TV.

Most folks associate the city of Salem, Massachusetts with witches, but for Lee Barrett, it’s home. This October she’s returned to her hometown–where her beloved Aunt Ibby still lives–to interview for a job as a reporter at WICH-TV. But the only opening is for a call-in psychic to host the late night horror movies. It seems the previous host, Ariel Constellation, never saw her own murder coming.

Lee reluctantly takes the job, but when she starts seeing real events in the obsidian ball she’s using as a prop, she wonders if she might really have psychic abilities. To make things even spookier, it’s starting to look like Ariel may have been an actual practicing witch–especially when O’Ryan, the cat Lee and Aunt Ibby inherited from her, exhibits some strange powers of his own. With Halloween fast approaching, Lee must focus on unmasking a killer–or her career as a psychic may be very short lived. . .

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

The cover is dark and mysterious. It shows off a lot of what the book is about – the cat, for example – and even the title hints as well.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

If you know me then you know I love a good cozy murder mystery. I was asked by the author to read the series and gladly accepted.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Like most cozy mysteries, Lee Barrett doesn’t have things going the way she wanted them to. She didn’t get the job she wanted. As she leaves her interview, she stumbles upon a dead body. On the plus side, the dead body was one of the workers so Lee ends up with a job in the end.

Things begin to get strange around the news station and, as Lee researches witchcraft and psychics for her job, she discovers some things about the people she works with and ends up investigating the murder case as well.

This adds a new twist on paranormal mysteries as Lee is pretending to be a psychic for her audience on her TV gig and find the true nature of her job as the people around her.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

All the characters were wonderfully written. I didn’t have a problem with any of them. They all had unique voices and personalities. Aunt Ibby, Lee’s aunt who she lives with, is an awesome character. She was very supportive and likable. I’m sure Aunt Ibby was my favorite character.

Every character has a purpose, though by the end of the book there were some characters who seemed to have disappeared. Scott Palmer, the man who got Lee’s job in the first place, had a lot of meaning the beginning and then just seemed to fall off the face of the earth by the end.

Oh, and O’Ryan the cat. He was truly my favorite, the MVP.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed the author’s writing style. There’s a good balance between dialogue and description, though more on the description end. The picture was painted well and the author had great knowledge of the setting of the book, Salem, MA.

The story flowed well and went at a nice pace with a good amount of tension and funny moments. It was an easy read and was a decent length at nearly 400 pages.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was a great first installment for a mystery series. It was a fun mystery to figure out and, now that it’s finished, I’m remembering some clues that would have helped me figure it out sooner. It was well put together. I’m looking forward to the next book.

Caught Dead Handed (Witch City Mystery 1) by Carol J. Perry gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“She held up a well-manicured hand and began counting on cerise nail-polished fingers.” –Carol J. Perry, Caught Dead Handed (Witch City Mystery 1)

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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