Review: Double, Double, Toil and Truffle by H.Y. Hanna

November 13, 2019 Mystery, Review 2

Review graphic

Double, Double, Toil and TruffleDouble, Double, Toil and Truffle (Bewitched by Chocolate #6)
by H.Y. Hanna

My Rating: 3 stars

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF

Blurb:
Caitlyn Le Fey is enjoying her first autumn in England, nut-picking in the forest, creating delicious treats in her grandmother’s enchanted chocolate shop, and dreaming of cosy evenings with the handsome Lord James Fitzroy. But the peace is shattered when a mysterious woman claiming to be a witch arrives in the village. Some love her, others fear her… and one person is driven to murder.

Soon Caitlyn finds herself drawn into a mystery with links to ancient witch trials and–with the help of her toothless vampire uncle and a few magical spells of her own–she sets out to do some sleuthing. But strange things are happening, and Caitlyn is worried and confused. Why isn’t her kitten Nibs growing any larger? What does the new guest at Huntingdon Manor really want? And what is the jewel that seems to be exerting a sinister influence over her cousin Pomona?

There are dark forces gathering in the village of Tillyhenge, and Caitlyn is about to discover that the savage tradition of witch-hunting is still very much alive…

This book follows British English spelling and usage.
Clean read: no graphic violence, sex, or strong language.
Genre: humorous paranormal cozy mysteries / witch cozy mystery/ cat cozy mystery series / women amateur sleuth / British cozy mystery

My Review

I received a free copy from the author and voluntarily reviewed it.

I’ve been enjoying this series so far and was excited to start this sixth book in the series. For some reason I couldn’t get as into it as normally. I think this was one of those instances where I just picked up a book in the wrong mood sadly.

In Double, Double, Toil and Truffle a new witch comes to the small village of Tillyhenge. It quickly becomes clear this person is not a real witch and it seems she is actually a fraud and a con artist. Some of the villagers are eager and enthusiastic about her powers, but others want nothing to do with the witch and want her gone. She “helps” some people and gets them to pay her large sums of money for her spells and such. Ofcourse she ends up dead one day and it quickly becomes apparent it’s murder.

I liked how with the mystery it was clear from the start that it was murder, so there is no uncertainty about that fact due to how the person was murdered. I did manage to guess the murderer right somehow, even though I wasn’t sure of the motivation. I didn’t even pick up some of the clues that did point to that person’s direction, so that was a bit weird and I was actually a bit surprised when my guess turned out to be right. The twists and turns in the mystery weren’t as compelling as I am used to from this author or maybe that had something to do with my reading mood. I did like how the mystery got wrapped up.

There are a few things that don’t really get resolved, but most of those will probably be resolved in later books I think. I like the overarching plot line this series has, but sadly it’s very slow going. There are however some interesting plot points related to the overarching plot that line that get revealed in this book. Mostly paranormal related things that both expand the world building and add to the overarching plot line I think. And some new information about Caitlyn’s mother comes to light, although it somehow felt a bit strange that she only found out now, as this source has been available since book 1. Which made it a bit unsatisfying that it took her 6 books to find this out.

One of the things that didn’t really worked for me while reading this was how the tone of the book can be a tad silly at times? Normally I like that, but in my current reading mood it didn’t fully work for me. Things that are supposed to be funny, just felt a bit too silly somehow. And then there are some of those weird scenes that something goes wrong just so Caitlyn can find a clue or get her in the right place, which makes it feel like mostly a coincidence how she finds out anything at all. I just would’ve liked a bit more agency here with Caitlyn actually going after facts or doing things because she wants to, instead of just being in the right place at the right time. Or her kitten runs off again and she goes scampering after him, not sure why she just doesn’t wait for him to return as that’s what cats usually do in my experience. It just felt a bit forced sometimes or too convenient and the kitten feels like a plot device half of the time to get Caitlyn somewhere. I also never fully warmed up to Nibs somehow. I do like Victor though, although I have no clue how he can keep vampirism a secret.

While I like Caitlyn, her behavior can also grate on my nerves at times. Like the date with James scenes, where she acts weird and doesn’t bother to explain herself. It felt rude toward James how she acts at times. Or all her worries about her hips, I know it’s realistic, but I just wish she would worry a bit less about it sometimes. There are also scenes where I like how she stands up for what she believes or when she tries to teach Evie to do right thing.

After how book 5 ended I was expecting things to finally warm up between James and Caitlyn, but sadly there isn’t much in the way of that in this book. James has been away for a while and while he tries to further things, events and things keep popping up to prevent them for having a nice date, which was just a bit annoying. After 6 books I would like to finally get to see them a bit closer and see them deal with other struggles than the getting together struggle. It would be nice to have some more scenes where they are together and feel their romance as at times it’s hard to really feel their romance now. It was quite refreshing to see a few small quarrels between these two as James is so polite at times. I also liked how they both admit they were wrong about something at the end and apologize.

As for the side characters. I enjoy reading about the Widow Mags and Caitlyn’s aunt Bertha. There also was a plot line regarding Evie again and it felt realistic how things progressed. And I liked how the Evie plot line got resolved. There also is something going with Pomona and that doesn’t get resolved in this book, but I think it ties in with the larger plot line. I didn’t really like how she acts in this book.

The magic also seems a bit confusing sometimes with how what works. There were a few spells we hadn’t heard of before and with each book there is more about magic that we learn, but there doesn’t seem to be a big overarching way of how magic works, but it’s still mostly fun to read about. And with each book you learn a bit more of what else if out there that’s paranormal or relate dot magic.

To summarize: This is another fun installment in this series, but due to it not quite fitting with my current reading mood I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped. The mystery was decent, although the twist and turns in the mystery weren’t as compelling this time. Or how Caitlyn got involved in it didn’t feel as strong either. I did manage to predict the murderer by coincidence mostly. There are a few interesting side plot lines like the one with Evie and some progress in the overarching plot line. The overarching plot line is progressing really slowly, but I liked the few new bits we learned in this book. Caitlyn’s behavior bothered me at times and some of her behavior or actions felt a bit forced for plot reasons. Or thing being too convenient or coincidental just to get her somewhere. Sadly the romance between her and James didn’t really progress in this book like I had expected and things always seem to come between their romantic scenes. I would be happy for them to actually have a romantic scene without interruptions for a chance as it’s hard to really feel their romance like this. While not my favorite book in this series it had some great parts too and I am looking forward to see how the series progresses.

3 Stars

Links:
Goodreads
Bookbub
Amazon

You can also read my review on Goodreads, Bookbub and Amazon.

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