Actual rating of 3.5.
Hadley has only been on Moonstone Bay for a few weeks now, and is still recovering from the revelation that she’s a witch, as well as the previous mystery that hit the bay as soon as she did. She’s settling into island life, but is finding herself feeling a little lost when it comes to her true heritage. Wanting to learn how to be a better witch she approaches another local witch madame Selena, an old rival of her grandmother’s, in a hope to better understand how to wield her powers. A nice night at a festival with Galen turns into another whopper of a case for Hadley and her merry band of paranormal beings when the body of a local woman is found. It seems like a cut and dried case, however, Hadley and Galen feel that there’s more here than meets the eye. Hoping to have a little downtime has definitely gone by the wayside in this story as Hadley teams up with Galen to find out some truths about long time residents on Moonstone Bay as well as some about her friends.
This is the second installment in Lee’s Moonstone Bay series, a cozy supernatural mystery that is a quick and easy read. The snarky traits of Hadley are still forefront as well as the overbearing protectiveness of Galen, which both seem to be running traits for Lee’s characters – this is also seen in her Mystic Caravan series. At times Hadley’s need to be angry, and looking for a reason to fight Galen can get a bit annoying, as well as Galen’s overpowering need to be the knight in shining armor hero and great protector of the woman he is dating. It doesn’t take away from the story much though.
I enjoyed the mystery, and didn’t figure out whodunit until around the 65-70% mark, but I really enjoyed the why of it. The explanation given was entirely believable and I think executed extremely well.
I’m glad to see that Hadley’s grandfather, Wesley, seems to be becoming a recurring character in this series as I think he’s great. I also love that we FINALLY found out exactly WHAT Booker is. And I have to admit, I didn’t see it coming. An awesome inclusion, I must say. I love that the characters in this series are not perfect, they have their flaws, which is another reason why I the snarkiness and overprotectiveness doesn’t irk me TOO much overall, they’re believable character flaws which I believe are much needed in the urban fantasy genre. A lot of people get annoyed with the “perfect-super-powerful-but-doesn’t-know-it” characters that litter the genre. It doesn’t annoy me too much overall as I believe that if the story is good enough, you can get over how OP the characters are. That’s just me though.
All in all, this story is as much about the character’s development and the relationship evolution occurring with said characters, as it is about the mysteries. I’m all about stories and series that focus on their character’s, because, let’s be honest, you generally read a series not only for the continuing story-line, but mostly for the characters themselves. I do at least anyway. A nice quick, easy read, which sometimes is just what the doctor ordered.