Sprinkles and Sea Serpents (Sugar Shack Witch Mysteries #1)
by Danielle Garrett
Narrated by Amanda Ronconi
My Rating: 3 stars
Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF
They say you can’t go home again. . .oh, if only that were true.
Thanks to a series of unfortunate events – and one backstabbing frenemy – home is exactly where I’m headed. back to Winterspell Lake, the small community in Eastern Washington where magic runs rampant and humans are outlawed.
Faster than you can say hocus pocus I’m unpacking my bags and settling into the guest room of my parents’ house, trying to ignore the creeping sensation that I’ll never break free again.
The one thing Winterspell has going for it is the sweets shop in the center of town, a bakery filled with magical creations designed to enchant the taste buds and charm even the pickiest of connoisseurs. Luckily for me, I get the friends and family discount since my parents own the famous Sugar Shack. If I want room and board, I have to frost cupcakes and sling macaroons with the rest of the fam.
Unfortunately, things in Winterspell aren’t all sugar cookies and rainbows. According to the local news, a dangerous sea serpent has claimed the lives to three missing girls. The journalist in me has to have a look for myself, and what I find is something far more deadly.
Something that makes me wish I’d stayed in the bakery.
I received a free audiobook copy from Tantor Audio and voluntarily reviewed it.
I listened to one of Danielle Garret’s books before, which was also narrated by Amanda Ronconi and as I enjoyed that one I decided to give this new series a try. Sprinkles and Sea Serpents follows the story of Rosella Midnight who returns to her hometown of Winterspell after losing her job and boyfriend. She has no money so she returns home to regroup. Instead she gets involved in a mystery.
I liked Rosella’s unique gift/ powers. While she sees it as a curse I thought it was a pretty cool power and I especially liked how she managed to use it during the mystery to help solve it. Unfortunately most of the town seems to hate her for it and I thought it was a bit much, especially when you find out what she can do and why the town hates her.
The start of this one felt a bit slow to me, with a lot of background info and not all of it as relevant or interesting to me. I ended up setting the narration speed a bit higher which helped a lot. I was a bit slow to get into this book and it’s definitely one of those books that gets better the further you get.
While I wasn’t as invested in the mystery at the start I actually quite liked how it got resolved. The mystery didn’t really seem to go anywhere for a long time without any solid leads, but there was an interesting twist at the end and I liked the scene at the end where they solve it.
It took me some time to warm up to Rosella. I liked her love for animals and also how she wanted to solve this mystery. It made sense how she got interested in the mystery and I also liked how her reporter skills were a good fit for it. But then in other scenes I didn’t really like how she acted. I also felt like she was still very much trying to find her way and I think she might turn more likable once she finds her place and grows more confident with her abilities.
There are quite a lot of side characters, but it was relatively easy to remember who was who. There is Rosella’s family, two potential love interests as well as some towns folk. There is a bit of a love triangle with two possible love interests for Rosella and I kept going back and forth with me guess as to whom she would end up with. Guess we’ll see in future books. She definitely has a connection with both of them.
What really added to my enjoyment of this book was the narrator. She did an awesome job with this book. Everyone had a different voice and the voices really add to the characters. I especially liked her voice for grandma Rose.
To summarize: While I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I had hoped, it was a solid start to this new series and it’s definitely worth getting in audio as the narration is awesome. This book had a bit of a slow start for me and I had trouble getting into the story. The whole book was a bit like that with scenes that really worked for me and others I didn’t care for. The mystery was a bit slow to start with no big clues and hints, but I liked the twist at the end and how Rosella resolved the mystery. I didn’t really like Rosella at first, but grew to like her a bit more as the story progressed. I like her love for animals and how dedicated she is to solving the mystery, but she could act a bit unlikable as well. There are plenty of side character to bring the town to life as well as two potential love interest. The narrator was awesome and I liked all the different voices she did.
The first book in a series can be tough. I have liked some of the other series and Amanda Ronconi is great.
Anne – Books of My Heart recently posted…Death at the Crystal Palace by Jennifer Ashley
I’ve read multiple cozies where the first book was a bit tough with all the set-up and introduction that still needs to happen. Amanda Ronconi is a great narrator indeed.
I’m so glad this ended well for you, even if the start wasn’t as good as you liked. I love this author/narrator pairing. I still need to get caught up on the other series by this author.
Melanie Simmons recently posted…Royal Straits by A.C. Donaubauer
This author/ narrator pairing is great. I’ve listened to another book them as well, which was enjoyable too.
I had a similar response to this book but I’m eager to read more of the series. I read the short story but thats l that is out so far. I love Amanda Roncoini, one of my top favorite narrators!
Berls recently posted… Berls Reviews When We Were Magic