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Literary Friday: A Potion to Die For

Friday, November 29, 2013

This week I read a cozy little mystery: A Potion to Die For by Heather Blake. It's the first in a series, and I learned about it on Diana's blog, Book of Secrets.  You can read Diana's review here.

One reason I was intrigued with reading this book is the setting:  fictitious Hitching Post, Alabama.  Hitching Post is a scenic tourist town where folks can get a quickie wedding (hence the name of the town) or a quickie divorce. The local weatherman sometimes predicts not only the weather but the "chance for divorce."   These predictions always cause a run on Carly Bell Hartwell's Little Shop of Potions, a magic shop that specializes in love potions.  Across the circle from Carly's shop is her younger cousin Delia Bell Barrow's Hex Shop. I love the friction between these two witches….one dealing in the white arts, and the other in the dark arts.  

One morning Carly finds a body in her shop, and there are no signs of a break-in.  The corpse is clutching one of her custom-made, hand-blown glass potion bottles, and Carly's day and weekend declines even further after the discovery:  Carly's ex-finace Dylan who left her at the alter is back in town and the lead detective in the murder case; Rumors are spreading all over town that Carly's potions are killing people; and Cousin Delia shares with Carly prophetic dreams that portend danger to Carly.

Dylan warns Carly to quit sleuthing and let the professionals handle the case, but Carly's business and reputation is on the line.  Plus her fragile heart might break yet again being in such close proximity to Dylan while he investigates the murder.  I enjoyed the flirtatious banter between Dylan and Carly very much, not to mention the sexual tension.  I love how he calls her Care Bear…he really is adorable!

This little book has it all: puzzling mystery, suspense, wit, Southern sense of place, endearing characters, romance, entertaining family dynamics.  I can't wait for the next in this series.  This isn't a genre I often read, and I'm so happy I read it!

On a personal note: There are many witchy, woo-woo parallels in this book to my life.  I'm from the general vicinity in north Alabama where the fictitious Hitching Post is located;  several of the characters' names are the names of people near and dear to me, for example, Carly's best friend's name is Ainsley, just like my best friend!  My husband is the descendent of the Bell family (we added an "e" to the end of Shanley's middle name) of the Bell witch fame.  Plus we recently named a rescue pup Boo (as in Boo Radley) and there's a Boo terrier in the book.  

I've actually been reading more cookbooks lately than literature.  What have you been reading lately?

Until next time…

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. I have a stack of new library books but I s t r e t c h ed it in my link up this morning! haha! I've been reading music books! Happy reading! Sweet hugs, Diane

  2. "My husband is the descendent of the Bell family (we added an "e" to the end of Shanley's middle name) of the Bell witch fame."

    Ohhhhh how interrrrrrrrresting! Yessssss!!!!

    And don't you just love the cover art on this book? Another Yesssssss! :-)

  3. This book sounds DARLING! I clearly need to read it ASAP. :)
    I don't know anything about this Bell witch fame...OoOoO...research to do!

    (and I got a good giggle at the elf name graphic...Pudding Peppermint is perfect! I'm apparently Squeezy Sugar-Socks. Heeheee...)

  4. I love mysteries and series of books so I will be looking for this one.

  5. Looks like a fun read. I had a roommate named Ainsley. She was the only one I knew. xo Laura

  6. I had a professor who was part of that Bell family! I do love a good cozy mystery sometimes. Especially if it's in a quirky little town. Good review!

    I put other books aside this time of year and indulge in the stack of vintage Christmas books I collect.

  7. I have been busy trying to catch up on my reading and posting all the reviews I am behind with. As you know I have very eclectic tastes!

  8. I read cozy mysteries all summer so for fall and into winter I am trying lots of new genres.
    Here is one example:


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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