Esme Addison is a “new to us” author here, but the story just sounded SO fun, so we jumped right in. We always love finding more amazing authors to read and share!!
Author: Esme Addison
Series: Enchanted Bay Mysteries, #2
Release Date: July 13, 2021
Review Copy: NetGalley*
The small town of Bellamy Bay has its share of skeletons in its closet, but it isn’t used to bodies turning up in the local history museum. After all, this coastal North Carolina town is much like any other…except, of course, for the mermaids.
Helping to run the family business, an herbal apothecary, while keeping her supernatural secret hidden is no easy feat for water witch Aleksandra Daniels. But somehow she’s still found time to help her friend Celeste, who has her own Caribbean mermaid heritage, plan the annual Mermaid Festival. As fun-seekers throng the beaches, Alex gets to know and is intrigued by renowned artist Neve Ryland, who’s in town to decorate the local park with a mermaid-themed mural. Celeste, however, is less enamored with the artist, as Neve has been spending entirely too much one-on-one time with her boyfriend Jasper, director of Bellamy Bay’s history museum. Then, a reception for Neve ends abruptly when the artist is found dead in his office.
When the police investigation nets Celeste, Alex decides to find the true culprit. With the help of her magically-inclined aunt and cousins, Alex dives in to clear her friend’s name. But there was more to Neve Ryland than met the eye…and Alex fears she may be in way too deep. Will she catch the crook or be next on the hook?
I adored the cover of A Hex for Danger upon first sight. The bright purple door and the beautiful dog beckoned me inside and the promise of a cozy paranormal mystery sealed the deal. I dove right in! In fact, I dove in so quickly I failed to realize the book was second in the An Enchanted Bay Mystery series by Esme Addison. Because of that impetuousness on my part, I can share that the book can be read an enjoyed as a stand-alone!
What I loved:
The mystery was wonderfully laid out with the characters/suspects rolled out well from very early on. I felt very much as if I had been pulled into a murder mystery dinner theater performance. I delighted in putting on my detective hat and trying to unravel all of the chaos Neve Ryland’s murder wreaked on Bellamy Bay.
I was mentally noting possible clues before a murder was even committed. Once the murder occurred, we were inundated with people with probably motives to have committed the murder. We also had a suspect so obvious that it seemed like an open and closed case to some. One of those people was Alex’s boyfriend and town detective, Jack who apparently tried to pin a murder on a member of Alex’s family in the previous book – as you can imagine, going after someone Alex cares about never works out well for him!
Alex Daniels is quite the investigator and I like how forward she is – her reputation proceeds her with many of the suspects and it makes the questioning a little less awkward. Pepper, her best friend and reporter, is a great side-kick and can be depended on to do the needed research and unearth connections. And unearth them she does! There are plenty of layers to the story and plenty of people to pad the suspect list, at least for Alex.
I loved the extra layer that the paranormal and mythologies brought to the story. Neve’s knowledge of the secret related to Alex’s ancestry added many other possible motives and I was quickly so wrapped up in governmental conspiracies and company espionage possibilities – everyone had a reason to murder Neve!
The town is adorable and one I’d happily return to for more paranormal mysteries like this one.
What I Didn’t Love:
This one may be on me as I entered the series in book 2, but something is off in the romance department. I wasn’t feeling the chemistry with Alex and Jack and often forgot she had a boyfriend. Jack was like a dog with a bone as he investigated the case and I know that frustrated Alex due to her ties with one of the suspects he was convinced was the murderer, but I thought Alex’s pursuit of her own investigation showed extreme doubt in her boyfriend’s ability to do his job. There was more tension than romance throughout most of the story.
Hex for Danger was a fun and enjoyable read. The mystery alone keeps you wondering, but add in all of the paranormal and you’ll be easily whisked away to the town of Bellamy Bay where you’ll don your detective hat and work to get to the bottom of it all!