The weekend before her coffee shop’s Grand Opening in the small Wisconsin town of Horizon, former Chicago marketing exec and hereditary Wiccan, Ellie Gooden, opens the back door to her new business... and finds murder. The former owner is dead in the middle of her kitchen, tied to a chair, covered in syrup and feathers, with a butcher knife sticking out of his chest. A stranger in a new town, Ellie climbs immediately to the top of a suspect list of one. To make matters worse, someone is vandalizing both her new shop and her new home, and the shade of the murdered man keeps urging her to solve the crime. As she struggles to launch her new business and salvage her reputation, she digs into the dead man’s past, unearthing long-buried, small town secrets – secrets that have driven someone to kill. And by exposing the past, Ellie could be next.
Cozy mysteries are not my usual go-to genre, but when a trusted friend showed me the book, I just had to read it. After all, I'm a huge fan of crime shows (NCIS, the Mentalist, Murder She Wrote, Person of Interest, Castle) and I love everything supernatural (Ellie is a Wiccan).
Growing up with shows like Buffy and Charmed, the supernatural aspect piqued my interest, too, so I gave it a go.
The story starts with Ellie driving to the town of Horizon to get everything ready for her grand opening in seven days, just to find the former owner dead in his shop, covered in feathers and syrup.
The author brilliantly laid out false trails throughout the book and then proceeded to kill my murder suspect near the end.
The characters are well rounded, Ellie was a bit passive in this first book, but I reckon she will take charge more in later books, when she learns to trust her instincts better. There were quite a few characters so it was at times a bit hard to remember who was who, but that's no fault of the author, I tend to read too fast and miss details. I especially liked Charlie and Kate and wished they would appear more frequently. Maybe in book 2? I feel like Ellie might end up with Charlie, which would be great, because he's cute.
The author has updated the cover and the book since my purchase, so I'll buy myself the new edition soon. I'm rather fond of matching covers on my shelf.
Can't wait to see what happens in book 2!