My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Lily Sweet has lived a difficult life, always on the move from place to place because her mother was afraid “they” would find them. She never could get who “they” were out of her emotionally-distant mother and even broaching the subject would upset her. All alone now, her mother gone after a two year long battle with cancer, Lily is about to find out.
But upon her death, her mother left Lily a surprise legacy. After having done without, living from meager paycheck to paycheck, and hiding in the shadows of rural upstate New York for years, Lily is floored when an attorney approaches her at her mother’s memorial service with a box of mementos and cryptic instructions regarding a home, money, and the existence of family members somewhere in Georgia. All Lily has to do is sneak into the town without any of the relatives knowing she’s there, scope out the place, and find further instructions from her mother hidden somewhere in the house.Thinking this is doable, Lily sets out in her ancient Ford pickup (named George) for Sweet Briar, Georgia. A budding sculptor, she’s delighted to learn that her destination is an artsy, crafty, tourist town, and has hopes that she can even find a studio to create ‘found art,’ and settle down. Things look even better when she hits the area and meets some of the local guys who are friendly, welcoming, and particularly good-looking. But when she is immediately caught making her first ‘secret’ visit to her new house and unearths the skeleton of a young woman under the front porch floorboards, things don’t feel quite so charming any longer. And when the cute guys try to convince her that they and she are actually witches, Lily wonders what kind of place she’s come home to.
What a fun, entertaining start to this new witchy mystery series! Lily is smart and snarky and funny. I especially liked her great-grandmother, Adriana, and their snappy exchanges. Lily and Adriana are very alike even though they are generations apart and have been separated for most of Lily’s life. I look forward to more interaction between the two in future books, especially as Lily begins to come to grips with her new-found witchy powers.I liked that the romantic plotline is still at the beginning stages. Lily doesn’t just jump at the first pretty face. (There are choices!) And there is tension from her not knowing who she can trust and who has hidden motives or agendas. This was entertaining in this book, and I think it will be fun to see where this goes in future ones.
The town of Sweet Briar is full of surprises and engaging characters, and it is depicted as Small Town USA. Everyone knows everyone else, their background, and most of their secrets. And there are a lot of secrets to tease out in this story and exciting possibilities for love interests as well. All the mysteries that arise are not resolved in this book, leaving room for future novels in the series.I recommend this book for cozy mystery readers that enjoy elements of magic, witches, and witchcraft in their stories.
I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from Reedsy Discovery.
See my original review on Reedsy Discovery!