Title: Love Potions and Other Calamities
Author: Charlie Laidlaw
Published on: 7th November 2019
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Humor
Rosie McLeod is a pub owner and a gifted herbalist. Her herbal remedies are well-known in the village. Her husband of many years, Jack, is unaware of the fact that she secretly adds certain potency herbs in his tea and whatnot.
It so happens that she once gives him a cup of ‘his favourite’ tea. But the chap doesn’t like it, so he passes it to the pub help – Mara. Little did the poor girl knew that the ‘tea’ would give take her to a world of ecstasy and pleasure. Jack rescues Mara from embarrassing herself further. But Rosie has her doubts – why didn’t he seduce her? Or was it too strong that he seduced another woman?
Off goes Rosie on a quest to find out about her husband’s ‘affairs’. Well, things aren’t always as simple as they seem to be, do they? A hazelnut tree in their compound is dead – someone’s put a copper nail into it. Also, there are rumours of sightings of a large black cat. Rosie is jokingly called the local witch. Is someone trying to ruin her name?
Having read The Things We Learn When We’re Dead and The Space Between Time, I was eager to dive into another of Laidlaw’s masterpieces. I adore his storytelling! All his books are special. He writes stories that are relatable.
Love Potions and other Calamities is different from the books mentioned above. Dark humor with a bit of mystery makes this book a refreshing read. I like to experiment with genres. Once in a while, it feels nice to try something that is out of my comfort zone.
The writing and storytelling are marvelous. I will not talk much about the story and make this review a spoiler. But let me tell you this – there’s dark humor, romance, the sexual tension between the characters, and a large black cat lurking around. Mara and the reverend become unintended victims of Rosie’s remedies. The eccentric characters and equally weirder stories of theirs make you giggle.
Rosie creates quite a fuss about her turning forty. Uff! She’s being a pain-in-the-backside – Jack, tell me you love me; Jack, why are you wearing geriatric slippers; Jack this, Jack that! *rolls eyes*
Each chapter in the story starts with a herbal remedy. The author told me that it took him a lot of time to write this book as the amount of research he had to do was immense. Charles, your hard work’s paid off. Every single detail (especially the ones including the herbs) is well explained. The character portrayals are good too. The story did seem a tad dragged at certain places and the mysterious twist is almost at the end of the story but that didn’t spoil my read.
Love Potions and other Calamities is a witty and unique story. If you like to experiment with your reads, I recommend you to give this book a try.
Many thanks to Charles, NetGalley and Headline for the ARC.