My Rating: 3 stars
Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF
New York Times bestselling author Lynn Cahoon introduces a new heroine with her own special brand of culinary magic in this novella to introduce her Kitchen Witch series.
When Mia Malone’s grandmother asks her to take a week away from her restaurant job and come to Magic Springs, Idaho, she’s happy to oblige. Like Mia, Grans has witchcraft running through her veins, and life with her is never boring. Plus, the cause is a good one—helping Grans get the local food bank up and running again. But there’s an unappetizing surprise in store. While Mia is knee-deep in boxes of donated produce, she encounters the body of Dorian Alexander.
Dorian was a warlock, leader of the local coven. He was also her Grans’ new beau. There’s no potion that’ll make this trouble disappear. But if Mia wants to keep her Grans—now a prime suspect—from serving a spell in prison, she’ll have to unearth the real killer fast. . . .
I received a free copy of this book through the publisher on Netgalley. I voluntarily reviewed this book.
I heard lots of good things about Lynn Cahoon’s books, so when I saw this prequel to her new series on Netgalley I excitedly jumped on the chance to read it. Chili Cauldron Curse is a fun short prequel novella to this new series. I liked getting a feel for the characters and the town where I think this series will take place as well as the magical aspect. There also is a short murder mystery to be solved.
I enjoyed this novella, while it was short it didn’t feel rushed and moved along on a good pace. I often have difficulties with shorter reads to really get into the story and get familiar with the characters and that was something I struggled with here a bit as well. I liked what we saw of the characters so far and I definitely look forward to reading more and getting to know the characters better.
The mystery was pretty straightforward, which is understandable given the shorter length of this one. I have to say I liked the rest of the story more with the food bank volunteer work and the chili contest. The mystery progressed quite quickly and there isn’t as much time to talk to potential suspects and really get to wondering who had done it. By the time you have some suspects the mystery gets solved already. The main character also solved the mystery sort of by accident. It was nice how she sort of just hears things instead of really have to investigate and her focus is on the volunteer work.
I liked main character Mia and her Grandma and hope to see more of them in the future books. I do feel like there’s a lot of them we don’t know yet and I had some trouble to really get a feel for their characters, but I like what we saw so far. There were a few instances where the dialogue felt a bit off.
I liked how this prequel kinda sets the stage for the first book, with the volunteer job and her being in another town than where she lives and then the events at the end of the book. I am curious to see what she will do next and how she adjusts to things after the events of this prequel. I also liked the paranormal aspect, there are scenes in which magic is used and a few mentions of what is possible.
To summarize: this was a fun short and serves as an introduction to this new paranormal cozy mystery series. I liked reading it and look forward to the first book in the series. The mystery was pretty straightforward and not as engaging, but that makes sense as it’s a shorter read. I liked what I saw of the main character Mia and a few interesting side characters and I hope we get to see more of them in the first book. The paranormal element was interesting too. All in all this is a nice short taste and I look forward to the first book.