A Spell of Murder (A Lost Maidens Loch Mystery Book 1)

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 3 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

Witches. Family curses. Poisoned cups of tea. For resident psychic Temerity Love, it’s just another day at the office.
Psychic investigator Temerity Love is just about to take her first bite of a warm buttered scone at The Singing Kettle – the town of Lost Maidens’ best, and possibly haunted, cafe – when the door flies off its hinges to reveal a wind-blown messenger bearing some pretty shocking news: sweet-as-pie local schoolteacher Miss Molly Baliss has been murdered in the teacher’s lounge at break time.
Temerity hurries to the side of Lost Maidens police officer Angus Harley ­– not that she’s exactly welcome there. Angus has no time for professional psychics, especially when they come with an awesome rockabilly wardrobe and a stubborn streak a mile wide. But truth be told, Angus needs help: a spooky black mirror found next to Molly’s body points to a murderer who knows his way around the occult. Lights, camera, action: this is Temerity’s moment to shine.
Temerity knows she won’t rest easy until Molly’s murderer is caught. The thing is, anybody in town – from the town’s new doctor to the sassy maid at the big manor house – could be a suspect… and this time the killer is hiding in plain sight. But how can she catch the culprit when Angus is stepping on her heels at every turn?! He’s just so difficult… and infuriating… and, okay okay, gorgeous (focus, Temerity!). Can this completely unconventional duo solve the most mysterious murder ever to blight Lost Maidens Loch before the killer strikes again?

This was a wonderful little witch cozy mystery.
Quick read for me as I couldn't put it down at all.
Very engaging plot and story line with some twists and turns.
Engaging characters that were well fleshed out and fun to follow.
Will be looking for more of these from the author.

I requested and received an Advanced Readers Copy from Booktoure and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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When I first started reading this book, I got the impression that our heroine was a middle-aged woman, but while her age is never given precisely, she is actually much younger in her late twenties early thirties. This isn't an issue and doesn't affect the story, but I would have liked some clarity so I could form my own picture of our heroine. 

Now onto the story itself, I couldn't put this one down, full of twists and turns the murder mystery was so well crafted that I had no idea who the murderer was until the big reveal. It is very rare for me to be surprised at who the murderer is so well done to the author; she really kept it interesting. 

The paranormal elements aren't heavy in the story; they just add an extra something unique to the story. I can't wait to read the next in this series. 

I received an arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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"A Spell of Murder" the first book in the "Lost Maidens Loch Mysteries" by Kennedy Kerr.  Great start to a new series!

In the sleepy town of Lost Maidens Loch, people sometimes disappear…

Down a quiet lane in town sits a little shop full of oddities you’d probably miss if you weren’t looking for it. This is Love’s Curiosities Inc., and its owner, Temerity Love, is sought by experts all over the world for her rare and magical gift: the ability to find lost things and learn their stories.

When Lost Maidens’ pretty local school teacher is found murdered by a poisoned cup of tea, a strange antique hand mirror is discovered nearby. Temerity – with the help of witchy sister Tilda, their cats Scylla and Charybdis and the lovingly eccentric local townspeople – is determined to divine the story behind the mirror and its part in Miss Molly Bayliss’ untimely death.

If only grumpy out-of-towner Angus Harley of Lost Maidens Police wasn’t on the scene. Temerity can’t solve the crime without him, but he’s distracting, and in more ways than one. Can this unconventional duo solve the most mysterious murder ever to blight Lost Maidens Loch before the killer strikes again?

The story is set in the small village of Lost Maidens Loch, Scotland where sisters Temerity and Tilda Love, run Love’s Curiosities, Inc, a little shop full of oddities.

This was a fabulous paranormal cosy mystery and as I mentioned previously I loved the sisters’ familiars - cats, Scylla and Charybdis, plus the parrot, Hebrides!. As expected in small town cozies there was quirky villagers, as well as newcomer Constable Angus Harley and will he become Temerity’s love interest?  Temerity’s inner musings about him constantly cracked me up.

As for the mystery it was full of twists, turns which made this a story I did not want to put down nor end ...
I can't wait for book two and getting to know the Love sisters and other residents of Lost Maidens Loch better.

I requested and received an Advanced Readers Copy from Booktoure and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own
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I like cosy mysteries, but I had a hard time with this one. The first third of this book was a struggle. I couldn't get into the story at all and the overly specific descriptions of things like rooms and outfits were starting to get on my nerves. But then it all just clicked, the story picked up pace and I couldn't put it down. 

I liked the supernatural aspects of the novel. Temerity was very logical about her magical skills, and the story didn't only rely on her visions to solve the murder. That meant that the police were actually portrayed as competent (if a bit sceptical about magic), which isn't always the case in stories like this one. 

The balance between murder mystery and romance was just right, and the humour served as a counterbalance to the tragic aspects of the mystery. 

This was the first in a series, with no other books announced as far as I know. I really hope we get more stories featuring Temerity and Angus and the rest of Lost Maidens Loch.
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In the sleepy little town of Lost Maidens Loch we meet sisters Temerity and Tilda Love. Temerity runs Love Curiosities Inc., a little shop selling oddities and where she is well sought after from near and far for her ability to find lost things and learn their stories through her magical gift.

The hub of the little Scottish town is The Singing Kettle where Muriel makes a cracking cup of tea and feeds the tourists and locals with her good Scottish food. It gave me a wee chuckle every time I read about The Singing Kettle and I couldn’t help singing “Spout, handle, lid of metal. What’s inside the singing kettle”. This where Temerity is when she hears of a dead body being found at the school and off she goes to investigate.

Molly Baylis a teacher at Lost Maidens primary school has been murdered and Temerity is asked to help out with her gift but she has an uneasy feeling and things end up being a bit more complicated than first thought and not just with the murder but also Temerity’s private life too.

I really enjoyed getting to know Temerity, she’s a great character and it will be exciting to see her character develop more. Tilda is the quieter sister, I didn’t feel like I got to know her quite as well but she has a great relationship with her sister.

A Spell of Murder is a cracking story, it had me intrigued as I got to know the characters and gripped as I followed the mystery which turned out to be just that, a real mystery. I did have ideas along the way as to the who but I changed my mind a few times and in the end it was a surprise to not only who was the murderer but the why too.

A Spell of Murder is a brilliant start to the series and with its lovely Scottish setting, the real whodunnit mystery and the added humour I’m really looking forward to reading more from Kennedy Kerr soon and I’ll definitely be recommending this.
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A Spell of Murder
(A Lost Maidens Loch Mystery #1)
by Kennedy Kerr

Kindle Edition, 267 pages
Published October 3rd 2019 by Bookouture






Goodreads synopsis:
In the sleepy town of Lost Maidens Loch, people sometimes disappear…

Down a quiet lane in town sits a little shop full of oddities you’d probably miss if you weren’t looking for it. This is Love’s Curiosities Inc., and its owner, Temerity Love, is sought by experts all over the world for her rare and magical gift: the ability to find lost things and learn their stories.

When Lost Maidens’ pretty local school teacher is found murdered by a poisoned cup of tea, a strange antique hand mirror is discovered nearby. Temerity – with the help of witchy sister Tilda, their cats Scylla and Charybdis and the lovingly eccentric local townspeople – is determined to divine the story behind the mirror and its part in Miss Molly Bayliss’ untimely death.

If only grumpy out-of-towner Angus Harley of Lost Maidens Police wasn’t on the scene. Temerity can’t solve the crime without him, but he’s distracting, and in more ways than one. Can this unconventional duo solve the most mysterious murder ever to blight Lost Maidens Loch before the killer strikes again?

A magical and unputdownable whodunnit, perfect for fans of Adele Abbott, Amanda M. Lee and Leighann Dobbs.

***

4 Stars

This is the first book in the Lost Maidens Loch mystery series by Kennedy Kerr.

Temerity Love has the gift to touch things and discover their truths. When a teacher is poisoned, she does her thing and searches the cup for the perfect memory hiding within it. She then uses this to help the police solve the murder.

I enjoyed the dynamic between Angus, the police chief and Temerity Love the psychic. You can tell there is going to be some big spark they will have to contend with one day and I plan to be there to see the fireworks. This story was just a fun ride. I enjoyed all the magical elements and terms used within its pages. 

Once you start reading, you will definitely want to hold out till the end. Great book one and I look forward to many other offerings by this author. A new author for my TBR pile, yay!

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.
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Very well written. The plot was very clever in that you would guess the culprit but the author has you guessing until the very end.
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This is a wonderful witch cozy series debut that  I hope will continue into a long running series. The author has created a wonderful atmospheric mystery set in a perfect setting of a Loch village in Scotland that adds to the beauty of this book.  This is the "definitive" cozy mystery series with all the perfect elements to delight every reader. 
Thank you to Net Galley and to the publisher. My review is my own and cross posted  across platforms. 

In this delightful new series we meet Temerity Love ( love the name!) who operates the charming family shop, Love’s Curiosities, Inc. She is known for her magical gifts and has a talent for finding lost items for people and can read provenance.  She lives above the shop  with her sister Tilda. Tilda's expertise of the shop is  rare and old books, herbal teachings and is known for her magic. They work well together and enjoy running their unique shop.  They also have two cats and a Hyacinth Macaw that live with them.  I love the addition of the cats and the Macaw to the story . Right away I loved the way the author wrote of her charcters and introduced them and the shop to her readers. 

When A local school teacher is found murdered Temerity works  with the local Inspector to solve the murder.  The inspector appreciates her gifts for finding clues and together they are soon on the right track of clues leading to the right suspect.  The sleuth was pleasing to conclusion and I enjoyed the fast pace writing. This is a humorous cozy mystery with much potential for future books in the series. Well done to the author ! 

I loved this book and look forward to the next in series. This is a fun, well crafted mystery with likable charcters, a great location and the perfect paranormal addition to the cozy world.
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Scottish Paranormal Cozy Mystery
This book is the first in a new series; Lost Maidens Mysteries. The plot was just wonderful with just enough paranormal elements to get the reader in the spirit. The crime ended up being complex with hidden motivations. This looks like it will be a great series. I received this ARC book for free from Net Galley and this is my honest review.
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Title:  A Spell of Murder
Author:   Kennedy Kerr 
Genre:  Mystery, fantasy
Rating:  4.0

Love’s Curiosities Inc. is a small shop full of odds and ends and curiosities that most people overlook. Temerity Love and her sister Tilda grew up there and now own it. Things have changed a bit since their parents owned the shop but magic still happens there. Tilda is a witch and Temerity is renowned for her ability to touch objects and see where they came from.

When a local schoolteacher is murdered by a poisoned cup of tea, an antique hand mirror is found nearby, and the local investigator asks for Temerity’s help finding the murder. Too bad his new protegee, grumpy out-of-towner Angus isn’t so open-minded. As Temerity starts asking questions, she’s determined to find out who killed the schoolteacher—with or without the help of the townspeople. 

I really enjoyed this cozy mystery mixed with magic! The characters are unique and quirky, and the town was vibrantly alive, filled with a sense of history and stories lurking around every corner. The writing is solid, and I just sort of settled into this novel and enjoyed it.

Kennedy Kerr is an author with a love of all things Scottish. A Spell of Murder, the first book in the Lost Maidens Loch Mysteries, is her new novel.

(Galley courtesy of Bookouture via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)
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Sisters, Temerity and Tilda Love, run Love's Curiosities in the small, sleepy village of Lost Maidens Loch. Their shop sells antiques, which may or may not bewitched. As Temerity is having a nice cup of tea and homemade scone at the local tea shop, The Singing Kettle, she hears that a teacher at the local school has died suddenly. Molly Bayliss was poisoned right in the teacher's lounge after school ended for the day. Temerity offers her special gifts to help the local law officers solve the crime. Who killed Molly? Was it another teacher or someone who felt she had wronged them? As Temerity digs deeper into Molly's life, she learns many secrets that the small town has been hiding. Can she solve the crime before she puts herself or those she loves in further danger?

A Spell of Murder is a great cozy murder with a bit of witchery and a little light romance. I quite enjoyed the endearing and lovable characters, the descriptions of the beautiful Scottish lands, and the suspenseful storyline. Great book to pick up this October around Halloween!
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A Spell of Murder is great cozy mystery. It has some interesting characters and storyline. It is well written and the characters are well developed.
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My thanks to Bookouture for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘A Spell of Murder’ by Kennedy Kerr in exchange for an honest review. It was published on 3rd October.

This is the first in her Lost Maidens Loch Mysteries set in Scotland featuring sisters Temerity and Tilda Love, who run Love’s Curiosities, Inc, a little shop full of oddities. The shop was established by their parents, both who had been occultists. Temerity had the gift of psychometry and is highly regarded in the antiques world for her ability to establish the provenance of object.

When a local schoolteacher is murdered a magical object is found next to her body and the sisters become involved in determining whodunnit as well as why.

This was a brilliant witchy cosy mystery made even more so due to it being grounded in real witchcraft and occultism rather than the usual fantasy type of witchy cosy. While I enjoy these it was refreshing to discover an author taking this more grounded approach.

 I only realised after reading that I had previously read and reviewed (5 stars) her fantasy novel, ‘Queen of Sea and Stars’ also published by Bookouture under the name of Anna McKerrow. I wrote then that the author clearly had a solid background in witchcraft. 

I also loved the sisters’ pets/familiars and the eccentric town folk. Then there is the yummy newcomer to the local police force, Constable Angus Harley. Temerity’s inner dialogue about him constantly cracked me up.

Full marks to Kennedy Kerr for this delightful whodunnit. I can hardly wait for Book Two and getting to know the Love sisters and other residents of Lost Maidens Loch. 

Highly recommended.
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Sometimes you pick up & book and from the start you are totally into it. That was the case for me & 'A Spell of Murder'. Tilda & Temerity Love run a rather esoteric shop in the Scottish village of Lost Maidens Loch. Tilda is mostly concerned with the ancient book side, whist Temerity sells curios & is a recognised expert on psychometry, being called in Internationally to provide provenance for articles. They are both what one might call 'white witches' & keep the rituals they had been taught by their parents. When a teacher in the local school is murdered the local inspector calls on Temerity's skills, much to the surprise of the new policeman. The search for the killer reveals some surprises for the locals.

Kennedy Kerr has painted a wonderful picture of this community & its inhabitants. Once the setting & characters had been established the story moved up a gear & kept the page turning. I loved this book & can't wait to meet these characters again soon.
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At first I didn't think I was going to like this book because of the witch/occult/black magic slant but in actual fact there's not too much of this and it is very gentle. Instead I fell in love with Temerity Love of Love  Curiosities Inc. and the small Scottish village Lost Maidens Loch. The characters were well portrayed and reading this book was just as the title 'cozy mysteries' suggests. It was like putting on a warmed pair of slippers, wearing a fluffy jumper and snuggling up in a fireside armchair. It did remind me of the Agatha Raisin series that I used to devour. Very easy, pleasant reading that still has a storyline and plenty of sleuthing to detect who the murderer is.
Like some people indulge in TV/film box sets, I will definitely read the next in this series if Kennedy Kerr writes a second.
Oh, and if you want to know the plot line, it involves death by poisoning, a Laird of the Manor, a new Police Constable as Temerity's love interest and some witchcraft. Who poisoned Molly Bayliss, school teacher, how is she connected to Liz, the housekeeper at the Manor and is this purely about inheritance or a love spell that goes wrong? Read and find out!
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I feel the beginning of a great series!

Remote Scottish village, close connection to the land and witchcraft, handsome police officer....

A teacher is murdered in Lost Maidens Loch and it is up to Temerity Love world famous for her ability to find lost things and work out their history to help the police.
Great
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This is the "maiden" book for this new cozy series and I think is most becoming! The Love sisters and their interestingly named pets are wonderfully different and fully embrace their witch heritage and even better is that their sleepy Scottish town fully embraces it. Temerity has the gift of psychometry and Tilda is gifted with the ability to brew up something to fix that which/witch ails you. So needless to say, Temerity is handy to have around when you need to know where an item came from or who it is associated with such as the black scrying mirror with the thistle motif. The only one who doesn't seem to get how important Temerity is to the investigative process is new arrival, Constable Angus Harley, sent to take over for soon to retire Investigator Kim Hyland. A murdered teacher, a stalking co-worker, a disgruntled roommate, a shifty seeming maid, and all sorts of secrets and portent to be sifted through. Temerity is trying to avoid distraction while working with the new Constable and I especially like the one sided conversations she has in her head with the "Wolfman". I literally laughed out loud every time. It can be hard to let go of the past and move onto the future but this might just be what Temerity needs. Hope this is the start of many more books to come!
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If there’s one thing I like doing it’s discovering new authors.  Kennedy Kerr is definitely a new author for me and judging by how much I enjoyed reading ‘A Spell Of Murder’, I can guarantee that I will be reading more of her work in the future.  I read the synopsis for ‘A Spell Of Murder’ and it certainly sounded like the quirky kind of read that I love to read every once in a while.  It reminded me a bit of the Worst Witch series by Jill Murphy that I loved to read back when I was a child all those decades ago.  I now feel old but I digress so back to the review I do go.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘A Spell Of Murder’ but more about that in a bit.
It didn’t take me long at all to get into this book.  From the moment I started reading until the moment I closed the back cover, I was completely under the book’s spell (pardon the pun).  It was as if the book had a hold over me and it was a hold that I didn’t want to break.  I initially picked the book up only expecting to read the first couple of chapters to get a feel for the story and to get used to a new author’s writing style but I was enjoying the book so much that I ended up reading far more than a couple of chapters.  I was swept away by the story and by how well I took to the quirky characters.  I tried to ration how much I read in one go so I could prolong my enjoyment of the book but the attempt at rationing was thrown out of the window because I was enjoying the book so much that I just couldn’t put the book down.  The book wasn’t exactly glued to my hand but it might as well have been because it travelled everywhere with me.  I binge read the book over the course of a couple of days and I was most disappointed when I reached the end of the book.  I was enjoying the storylines, the characters and the author’s writing style so much that I just didn’t want the book to end.  I soon cheered up when I realised that ‘A Spell Of Murder’ is actually the first book in a new series.  Hurrah more fantastic tales involving Tilda and Temerity Love.
‘A Spell Of Murder’ is exceedingly well written.  The author has one of those writing styles that draws you into the story and by the time you reach the end of the book you feel as though you have been a part of the story yourself.  That’s how I felt at any rate.  Yes I know this book is fiction and not real but I find that if I enjoy a book as much as I enjoyed ‘A Spell Of Murder’ I get far too involved in books that I enjoy and I tend to ‘live’ the story as if it were real.  For me, ‘A Spell Of Murder’ is the definition of a real page turner.  I was gripped by this story throughout and I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the story.
In short, ‘A Spell Of Murder’ is a mighty fine start to what promises to be a fantastic series.  On the strength of ‘A Spell Of Murder’ I would definitely recommend this book and this author to other readers.  I can’t wait to read more in the Tilda & Temerity Love series.  Here’s hoping that we don’t have too long to wait.  The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.
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What better way to start October than curling up with a cozy witchy read! A Spell of Murder is the first book in the Lost Maidens Loch Mystery series. This was my first book in this genre and won't be my last! This book was as advertised - a magical and unputdownable whodunnit! 

Temerity and Tilda Love are Lost Maiden Loch's resident witches and proprietors of Curiosities Love Inc. a shop specializing in rare antiques. Temerity with the gift of provenance and Tilda specializing in herbs and potions live the perfect life with their cats Scylla, Chabardis and quirky macaw Hebrides. Both sisters with personalities that are poles apart are loved and respected by all the people in their cozy town. So when a local school teacher is found dead on a busy day at school by apparent poisoning, Temerity Love's provenance skills are called upon by the town Inspector to help solve the mystery. Miss Molly Bayliss was new to Lost Maiden's Loch but was not liked well by her peers. Soon rumors of affairs and unrequited love start floating around and Temerity finds herself in the middle of a complex case that even her witchy skills cannot decode. There's a lot of dark magic at play and to add to the drama, Temerity finds herself drawn to Angus Harley the latest recruit for the town police with the social skills of a wolf. Temerity and Angus's unusual partnership takes them to from the Loch to the eccentric Laird's spooky mansion. But will they solve the crime in time before more bodies fall?

All characters of this book - both human and animal are a delight to read about. However, more than Temerity I found myself drawn to the character of Tilda more. I also liked the plot of this one and that is not a simple whodunnit but layered with twists, intrigue and light suspense. I had hoped for something more "witchy" with more spells, potions and magical artifacts so here's hoping I'll see more of it in the next books to come. This book gives us a glimpse into the Loves' childhood but I'm eager for more and to see what sort of bond the Sr. Loves' had with each other and their children. A spell of murder was a great start to this fantastic new series I'll keep my eyes peeled for!

Thank you NetGalley, Bookouture and Kennedy Kerr for an arc!
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This is a great start to a new series. 
It’s a magical crime thriller set in a little Scottish village with sisters, Temerity and Tilda at its centre. 
A body is found and alongside it is an antique hand mirror. 
Temerity can sense things from items and gets the impression that something dark is linked to the mirror. 
The victim is a school teacher but the local Police have no idea where to start. 
Temerity and her sister have inherited their gifts from their parents and Temerity is asked to help with the investigation. 
Newcomer, Angus is sceptical about Temerity’s gift At first but is also intrigued. 
As the investigation gets underway the story really comes into its own and I loved the way it was all pulled together at the end. 
This is a great read that had me racing through the pages to find out the identity of the killer. 
Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.
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