Title: A Hex for Danger (An Enchanted Bay Mystery #2)
Author: Esme Addison
Published on: 13 July 2021
Genre: Cozy Mystery
A Hex for Danger is the second book in Esme Addison‘s An Enchanted Bay Mystery series.
The people of Bellamy Bay are busy prepping for the upcoming annual Mermaid festival. A renowned artist is called in to create a mural. The artist ‘suffers’ a series of oopsies – the paint tin ‘flies’, splashing paint all over her pretty dress during the inauguration. Neve, the artist in question, spends a lot of time hanging around Jasper, Celeste’s boyfriend. Celeste is fuming with jealousy and tries to stop Neve from snatching her boyfriend. At a reception held for Neve, things take a turn for worse; Neve is found dead in Jasper’s office and Celeste is the main suspect.
I haven’t read the first book of this series but I had no issues following the story. Alex’s previous sleuthing adventures are mentioned a couple of times though. Aleksandra Daniels aka Alex arrived at Bellamy Bay soon after the death of her father. Her mother died when Alex was seven and her father kept her away from her mother’s relatives. Alex returns to her mother’s ancestral home only to learn she’s part Mermaid. Alex is still struggling to digest this new-found ‘secret’. She learns she’s not the only Magical at Bellamy Bay.
The story starts with Alex having a normal day at the family-owned tea and candle store. Alex learns her friend Celeste is actually related to her – this puts Celeste in a new light. When Neve arrives on scene, it is pretty obvious Celeste is angry, after all, Jasper (Celeste’s boyfriend) is being ‘too friendly’ with Neve. When Neve is found murdered in Jasper’s office, all fingers point to Celeste. It is up to Alex now to prove her best friend/relative’s innocence.
There are two mysteries in this series. Until halfway through the story, Alex doesn’t realize the two crimes are connected. Her boyfriend Jack refuses to believe her when she doubts the connection between the two cases. Alex takes the help of her aunt and cousins to solve the case. She also learns how to block someone’s magical power on her – this happens after an attack on Alex while she’s at the beach with her dog, Athena.
I really loved the combination of mystery and magic. The magic here has something to do with Mermaids. At times, it felt like I was reading a scene straight out of a Disney princess movie. 🙂 I haven’t read a cozy mystery featuring Mermaids before and I enjoyed every bit of this story. With whatever’s happening in the world right now, we could all do with a sprinkle of magic. What say?
The second half is really interesting. We have hexes, mermaids and a whole lotta sleuthing. The identity of the perp was unexpected and shocking. I couldn’t guess their identity or motive until Alex comes face-to-face with them. We also have a twist at the end. A ‘shocking secret’ that might change the course of this series. I am eager to see how this plays out in the next book.
I loved the writing. Esme Addison is a master storyteller. The character development is excellent and the mystery kept me hooked on to the story until the end. Catching the perp red-handed is one of the best parts of this book – spells and charms gave the denouement a magical touch.
If you are looking for a unique and engrossing cozy mystery, you might want to give A Hex for Danger by Esme Addison a try.
Many thanks to Crooked Lane Books for the ARC.