10.13.2022 | Thursday

A Formidable Potion

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A Formidable Potiontitle: A Formidable Potion
author: Constance Barker
series: Happy Blendings Witch #6
published: 2 March 2020
publisher: self-published
genre(s): cozy mystery, paranormal
pages: 108
source: Kindle Unlimited
format: eBook
buy/shelve it: Amazon | BookBub | Goodreads
rating: two-half-stars
series rating: three-stars


the blurb

Two Deaths...One is Real, the Other Isn't
Sam and the gang are back in Goodsprings with new guests, Cassandra and Paula the Parrot. However, strange things are occurring. Phineas is not ordering his usual wheatgrass juice, Chuckles isn't looking too well, and David has started a new venture. Phineas' strange friend remains in town as well. But is he more enemy than friend?
A new biker shop has opened up and one of the owners is sweet on Sam. And Tessa has decided glamour spells is just what she needed to spice up her life. But has she bit off more trouble than she can handle? And why are Cassandra and Paula experimenting with Sam's grandmother's spells. Are they searching for something?
When a murder occurs, one of the townspeople is accused of murder, but nothing is as it seems.
***Find out what happens in the sixth book in the Happy Blendings Cozy Witch Mystery Series***


a few notes

cover notes: cute & happy
keywords/phrases:
witches, magic, murder
mood reading:
in the mood for a light read
bonus points:
Tessa’s storyline
anti-bonus points:
a lot of judginess

my review

The main plot of this story was fun and engaging, as they always are in this series. Tessa’s subplot was a great addition to the story, exploring some deeper issues than is usual for this series, those of identity and self-esteem.

But a couple of things really brought the story down for me. The first of those things was the amount of stereotyping and judginess that took place regarding the bikers opening shop nearby. Stereotypes about “gangs” being scary and bad. Telling the new owners that they needed to keep their employees and clients off the sidewalk to avoid frightening the townspeople. Making commentary about the tattoos. Comments about bikers being gangbangers. Sam says all of this repeatedly and in front of her own employee, who is a biker himself, with tattoos. It reached obnoxious levels. The second of those things was about David’s new venture. Sam referred to his clients as “geezers” in a nonironic way, which just came off as unnecessarily rude. And the whole business venture surrounded a pseudoscientific practice, and it was treated as something valid and good. In reality, studies have shown it’s ineffective at best, dangerous at worst. Seemed like an odd choice.

about Constance Barker

Constance Barker lives in the Midwest with her husband and two Akitas where she can look out from her screened porch onto a wooded area brimming with activity. Since she was a young girl she read mysteries, often given to her by her grandmother. She loved figuring out who the culprit was and sometimes she was right and other times startled at who the author picked as the assailant. Now she enjoys writing mysteries herself. When she isn’t writing stories, she can be found in her favorite vacation spot, Las Vegas or shopping for bargains.

Rating Report
plot
two-stars
characters
two-half-stars
writing
three-stars
pacing
two-stars
cover
four-stars
Overall: two-half-stars

reading challenges:

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