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

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

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Member Reviews

A Spell of Murder is a really enjoyable, well written murder mystery with very likeable characters and a touch of magic. Temerity Love and her sister Tilda are the resident witches in the tiny town of Lost Maidens Loch  in the Scottish highlands where they live with two cats and a macaw with a personality. While Tilda specialises in herbs and spells, Temerity is able to tell the provenance of an object by touching it and has often been called in by the local police inspector to help in cases where she can get some useful information from a victim's belongings. 

When a local teacher is found dead after drinking poisoned tea, Temerity is asked to have a look at the scene where she gets some strange visions. A new Constable, the silent and taciturn Angus Hawley, at first doesn't believe in Temerity's gift but soon starts to learn otherwise. Temerity has a great time imagining amusing conversations with him in her head but soon finds a growing attraction for this awkward young man. With a few twists and turns, the murder is solved in a credible way and made for a great start to this new series. I hope to enjoy visiting Lost Maidens Loch again soon.
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A Spell of Murder is the perfect cozily witchy October read.

When I began reading, I tensed up when Temerity Love was invited to speak at a conference in Alaska. If the book was about her time in Alaska I wasn't sure I'd stay involved with it, since I particularly wanted a cozy UK setting. But I worried for naught. She looked for excuses not to go and then--didn't.

Set in a small village on the edge of the fictional Lost Maiden's Loch in Scotland, it's populated with believably eccentric characters, enough suspects to keep things bubbling, but I particularly love Temerity, our sleuth. She and her sister Tilda are daughters of parents who were "occultists" but the sisters seem strangely unaware of the specifics of their beliefs. They are both referred to as witches by villagers but neither claims the title. Tilda, along with being a rare book collector [with a library inherited from their parents] is an herbalist and healer.

And of course, our sleuth Temerity, when asked, says only that she's "kind of a witch" because she has the gift of psychometry, She gets visions and vibes from things that she touches, a talent that means the local Inspector is not averse to letting her get involved in questionable deaths and in this case, murder.

However, like any good cozy, there has to be someone who isn't thrilled that she's being trusted and believed, and like any good cozy, that skeptic is Constable Angus Harley, her love interest. Of course!

I say none of this as mocking. It all works wonderfully well. Angus is a skeptic, but a reasonable and at times even a sensitive one. Kerr didn't fall back on the triter tropes of the genre. She gave us a taste of small village Scotland, a budding relationship, many seeds that can sprout into future books--

Oh, and of course, murders to be solved. 

A solid foundation to build on as the series continues.
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I'm so glad this is going to be a series as I really enjoyed exploring this Scottish town with its brilliant cast of quirky characters and idyllic, though spooky, location. The story is a cosy murder mystery with paranormal and magical elements. The two sisters, Temerity and Tilda Love, run the shop they inherited from their occultist parents, Love's Curiosities Inc. with Tilda specialising in rare and old books, including magical tomes, whilst Temerity is a world renowned expert at sensing the stories of objects and finding lost things. It is Temerity's psychometry talent that proves useful to the local police Inspector when a local primary school teacher is murdered by being given a poisoned cup of tea and a bespelled mirror is found nearby. However, he has a new colleague, Police Constable Angus Harley, who initially seems disbelieving and grumpy. Can Temerity and Angus actually manage to work together to help solve the murder before the killer strikes again?

This story truly is magical, a real page turner with mystery, humour, community, danger and surprises galore. It is a great introduction to the Lost Maidens Loch community, giving just enough background information to bring it to life in the reader's imagination. I could imagine popping round to the Singing Kettle for food and drink and would love to try some of Muriel's apple pie and cream whilst catching up on all the news she always seems to have to share! Hebrides is a very different and knowledgable character - if only they'd listen to him sometimes! Now I want to know if Temerity really will go to Alaska and what will happen between her and Angus in future, too.

I requested and was gifted a copy of this book, via NetGalley, and this is my honest review after choosing to read it and finding it a fantastic, magical, murder mystery - I look forward to reading more stories involving this community in future.
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A SPELL OF MURDER, the first story in the A Lost Maidens Loch Mystery series, certainly had me under its spell very quickly with a lively cast, an intriguing mystery, and lots of magical happenings. Yes, of course, there was some world building, in the beginning, there has to be as a new series starts yet within the creating of this world we are introduced to some very quirky characters, one non-believing in magic (and perhaps a romance potential) lawman and the magic that I always find in any setting that includes a loch.

Temerity and her sister, Tilda live over their shop, Love’s Curiosities Inc. along with their cats. Each has their own unique skills and abilities. The murder of a local teacher by poisoned tea has the town talking and looking for a murderer. Soon the local police are at the door asking questions and seeking help – even if Angus thinks all this magic talk is nonsense. What follows is a delightful Paranormal Cozy Mystery with quirky townsfolk, a bit of magic tossed around, the changing of a non-believer to a perhaps there’s something to this stuff, and enough red herrings and twists to satisfy any mystery reader.

I had such fun with A SPELL OF MURDER and I’m definitely keeping an eye out for the next book in this series. If you love getting in on the beginning of a series, enjoy a good mystery with a little romance, and have fun with Paranormal Cozy Mysteries – then you’ll want to pick up this one, like now. I’m convinced you’ll enjoy yourself and wish for more.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
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I didn’t really have any expectations going into A Spell of Murder. I liked the cover and, let’s face it, anything with witches, I love! When I was younger, I really enjoyed murder mystery books! So when I found out that A Spell of Murder took my love for magical settings and witches, and combined them with a murder mystery, I was all in!

If I’m being completely honest, I think one of the key reasons I really liked A Spell of Murder was because after the first couple of chapters, all I kept thinking was, “this is what happens after a witch graduates from Hogwarts… this is their everyday life!!” 

The relationship between Temerity and Tilda Love was insanely and perfectly real. As a sister, their dialogue and interactions with each other were eerily close to things that I would say to my sister and interactions I would have with her. I also loved that all the Scottish accents were written into the characters’ dialogues and found myself trying to pronounce words the way the characters were pronouncing them! 

There were a couple reasons that ASoM didn’t get 5 stars from me, though. I found the story to be a bit slow in the beginning, but this was easily fixed with how interesting I found the magical aspects, but, if you’re not like me, and don’t care as much about the world build-up, you might find the slow start to the mystery a little too tedious. I also thought that the ending was a little rushed with it’s reveal, but this is easily fixed when you consider that the story is told from the perspective of someone who is not a cop, and therefore shouldn’t have, realistically, been privy to all the minor details of the case as they came in!  

All in all, I really enjoyed the story and I would recommend A Spell of Murder to anyone who enjoys nice and cozy good-witches and a good who-dunnit mystery!
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Temerity Love, owner of ‘Love’s Curiosities Inc’, her unusual little shop in the small village of Lost Madiens Loch, Scotland, lives with her older sister Tilda above the shop, along with their two cats and their Macaw Parrot called Hebrides. They are deemed witches by the villagers and often called upon when a mystery needs solving.

Temerity has the gift of psychometry, which means she can make physical contact with an object and feel its past. When local primary school Miss Molly Bayliss dies at the school the murder weapon seems to be a cup of tea laced with poison. Next to the cup was an old hand-made mirror and Temerity is called in to use her gift to help the police solve the crime.

Inspector Kim Hyland and new constable Angus Harley are assigned the case. Angus is sceptical about Temerity’s gift, preferring a more ‘normal’ investigation. However, over time he comes to see the way that Temerity clicks with objects. Can she help solve the case and convince Angus of her powers?

I’m a real sucker for books containing witches and whilst I have read many books featuring them I’ve never read a cosy mystery before so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

The book started quite slow and I’ll be perfectly honest just one chapter in and I believed this book wasn’t for me, I’m more of a full-blown thriller gal so being gently introduced into the story just didn’t work for me. I did preserve as I didn’t want to just give a book one chapter. The book does pick up when the murder occurs and the pace changed and so did my interest.

Temerity and Tilda are both fascinating characters. I simply loved everything about them, including Tilda’s love for old and rare books. They worked perfectly together and bounced off one another, just like Temerity and Angus. I enjoyed Angus’s sceptical nature of anything that is out of the ordinary and how he didn’t believe Temerity or her powers for one second but the more he witnessed the more he found himself fighting with himself to believe what he was seeing.

The book is set in a great location and had plenty of twists to keep the reader on their toes. It was a fun read and had plenty of humour within the pages, I simply adore Hebrides too. Going forward I’m not sure cosy mysteries are for me though as it did take me awhile to get through the book, I think all the years reading thrillers have had me wanting a little more, but I can certainly see this book appealing to many people. The writing was flawless, the plot engaging, I just wanted a little more action and more gritty scenes.
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This story has all the ingredients for a perfect escape. Cozy mystery, with a touch of magic, and vividly created characters and setting. Set in a small town in the Scottish Highlands, the loch has a mystical significance, well understood by psychic Temerity, and her herbalist sister Tilda. Temerity’s gift manifested when her first love died tragically at the Loch, something she feels inherently guilty for. Both women feel tied to the small town and they are intrinsic to its wellbeing.

The villagers accept the women, although gossip has it that they are witches, with their two seemingly lazy cats and an opinionated parrot. Temerity’s give for psychometry, has proved useful to the police in the past, but the new officer in the town isn’t convinced. Maybe he’s worried about his secrets?

There is so much in this first book to absorb the reader and capture their interest. The setting is authentic and described so well that you can visualise it. The mystical ethos, and legend that surrounds it add to its appeal. The protagonists are complex characters full of flaws and hidden layers. Some of which, are revealed in this book. Some are hinted at, to be revealed later in the series? The small-town dynamic works, the sense of community and gossip is evident. The cast of characters colourful and mostly easy to like.

The magical, witchy element is the icing on the cake, not too far-fetched, but outer-worldly enough to appeal. The cozy mystery is cleverly plotted, with lots of suspects, a dastardly murder, and plenty of clues and misinformation, to engage those who enjoy this.

A brilliant start to what promises to be an enchanting series, with a wide appeal because we all need a little magic in our lives.

I received a copy of this book from Bookouture via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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I hope this is the first in a long series because once I started reading I couldn't put it down till the last page.
It's a cozy mystery with gothic elements but there're also some strong themes that makes it a gripping read.
I loved how the author manages to described Temerity path to move on and overcome grief, the cozy and quaint village that can be so cruel toward people who are considered different.
It's a novel that can be poignant at moments and make you laugh after some pages.
I loved the cast of characters, I think they are fleshed out and interesting. Temerity is a strong woman and she's able to change. Tilda is sweet and I hope we will see more of her in a next novel.
The mystery is well crafted, full of twists and turns, and it kept me guessing. I loved how the author manage to balance the mystery and the paranormal elements.
I was a entertaining and engrossing read, highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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I’ve been on a big cozy paranormal kick lately, and I thought this one would fit the bill. I hadn’t read this author before, so I didn’t know what to expect. What I got was a delightful, well-written paranormal cozy with interesting characters. Temerity and her sister Tilda are an amusing pair of characters who live in a small village in Scotland. They are witches and each has a gift. Temerity has helped the local law enforcement with crimes before, but the new officer doesn’t believe in that hocus pocus…until Temerity shows off her stuff. At times, I found Temerity hard to relate to, but even with that (I know sometimes a series starter can be a little rough), I am really looking forward to more books in this series. I hope we find out what happened to Patrick…or maybe not. I do recommend! I was provided a copy which I voluntarily recommend!
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A Spell of Murder, the first book in the A Lost Maidens Loch series is a great fun read. From the striking cover, to the whodunit storyline, to the loveable characters, this book is the perfect escape to get lost in and will have you racing through the pages as Kennedy takes you on a magical journey. I was hooked from the start and was disappointed when it came to the end. I just could have kept reading about the town and it’s colourful characters. If you love a cozy mystery that has crime, witchcraft, talking cats and a touch of romance then this is definitely the book for you!

Set in the picturesque sleepy town of Lost Madiens Loch, Miss Molly Bayliss a teacher at the local primary school drops dead in the staffroom. The murder weapon, a cup of tea laced with poison! When an antique hand made mirror is found near Molly’s body, local law enforcement enlist the help of Temerity Love, who has the gift of psychometry to help them solve the crime. But Temerity has her work cut out for her in making the new constable Angus Harley believe in her gift, as they race to solve the murder before the killer strikes again.

In the town of Lost Madiens Loch resides some quirky characters which Kennedy does a great job in bringing them to life throughout the story. Normally when I read the first book in a series it can usually take me a couple of books to connect with the characters, but in this case it was instantaneous. I absolutely adored them and I look forward getting to know them better in future books. I am particularly keen to read more of Temerity and Angus to see how their relationship progresses.

What I love the most about cozy mysteries is you still have the crime aspect in the stories but there is also humour, which Kennedy does a great job incorporating the two perfectly throughout. I really enjoyed her writing style and found it to be engaging, articulate, fluid and atmospheric. I really loved how through the prose, Kennedy was able to make me feel like I was part of the story and I absolutely loved every minute of the journey.

As a debut novel, Kennedy has captured the pure essence of the cozy mystery genre perfectly. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next with the second instalment and hopefully many more to come in this delightful series. It was an absolute pleasure to read and review A Spell of Murder which I highly recommend.

Thank-you to NetGalley, Bookouture and Kennedy Kerr for allowing me to read an advanced copy of A Spell of Murder which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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A Spell of Murder is the start of a new series by Kennedy Kerr. 

This is a cosy mystery, with a magical touch. 

Set in Scotland, Temerity Love runs a shop, Love’s Curiosities and lives over the store with her sister Tilda. They share their home with two cats and a large parrot, Hebrides. 

Both the sister have a touch of magic about them, Tilda is a herbalist and a witch, and Temerity has a gift of being able to find lost things….

When a local teacher is found murdered, the local police investigate, with the help of Temerity. 

This is a unique take on a police procedural, with well developed, quirky characters and a twisty plot. All in all an engaging and entertaining tale.

Thank you to Bookouture, the author and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest, unbiased review.
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It’s been a while since I’ve read a book featuring a witch, so when I read the blurb for this, not only does it have witches in it but it’s a cosy mystery too, well I just had to read it!

This is the first in the witchy cosy mystery series set in the small Scottish town of Lost Maidens Loch. Temerity Love is a psychic antique verifier who runs an antique shop called Love Curiosities Inc, along with her older sister Tilda. She’s lived there her whole life, a trauma in her past tying her to the place.  

A tragedy comes to the small town when a young teacher is found dead in the local school.

Using her powers Temerity, having helped out with cases in the past, is asked to see if she can find any clues at the scene of the crime, much to new policeman Angus Harley’s disgust.  Temerity is drawn further into this puzzling mystery but can she solve the case?

A Spell of Murder is an intriguing cosy mystery, with a hint of magic and a dash of romance, the perfect introduction to this series.

Temerity is one of those characters that you root for. Outwardly she’s confident with unusual dress sense but she’s still holding on to hurt from her past. Her sister Tilda does steal the show occasionally throughout the novel, with her sarcastic humour and doesn’t care what anyone thinks attitude. I also loved her loyal parrot Hebrides.

The witchy powers throughout the novel are more understated than I was expecting, there’s no nose twitching or broom flying, but there is still plenty of magic weaved throughout the story. 

I loved the setting of Lost Maidens Loch. On one hand it’s a small town where gossip is rife and everyone seems to know everyone but what makes it stand out is the bit of spooky folklore about the Loch weaved in there. 

The pace of the book felt a little slower than I’m used to with a cosy mystery, probably because this is the first in the series and we’re getting to know fairly large cast of characters but I feel like it will pick up as the series goes along.

A Spell of Murder is a definite must if you love a supernatural cosy mystery.
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With such a cute cover how could I resist this book. The spelled cozy from the get go. This had witches and psychics which added to the thrill and spirits of the Greek Gods. 

A poisoning of a teacher brought Temerity Love, a renowned psychic, into the investigation by the Chief of Police as he knew she had the power of psychometry. Constable Angus, a newcomer to town, didn't really believe such hocus-pocus, and was the introvert to her extrovert. Romance was brewing along with curses on poppet dolls. 

A debut by Kennedy Kerr, the book showed promise with its smooth penmanship. The dialogues were funny and I loved the close camaraderie between the town folk. Strange things happened at the Loch, and that was a part of their lives. 

Both Temerity and his sister Tilda were interesting characters with different powers. They were occulists to some extent and powerful in their talents. Temerity was the lead in this who had known loss at a young age, which affected her even today. Angus provided a good support. 

I loved the Scottish burr to the words which gave it a unique look. It was easy to understand, no fear. There were various subplots in the prose which were tied up, some were left untied to be answered later. I was greedy so I wanted more speels and mysticism. But this was not fantasy but a cozy murder mystery. So it remained within its definitions. 

Overall, an enjoyable read. Would love to see what the author brings up in book 2.
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This book was just fabulous! A real delight! Unique, original, quirky, fun with a fantastic mystery thrown in. Just wonderful! I loved it from start to finish. A treat, a joy. I'd recommend  it to everyone.
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Long-time readers of Girl Who Reads know that I don't read horror. But in October I like to read something to get me into the Halloween season. Sometimes it is a terrifying thriller and other years it is paranormal cozy mysteries. Since I've been on a cozy mystery binge this year, I picked up A Spell of Murder at NetGalley to get me ready for Halloween.

While A Spell of Murder is not set at Halloween, sisters Temerity and Tilda Love are witches. Tilda is an herbalist and purveyor of rare books. Temerity is a psychic of sorts and runs the antique shop that their parents left them. Temerity's gift comes in handy as she can tell the history of an item just by touching it. She also gets called in to help the police from time to time. Unlike in many witchy cozies, the sisters do not hide who they are and actually, Temerity is sought out as an expert in antique provenance. 

The story is set in the Scottish highlands of Lost Maidens Loch which has experienced a number of mysterious disappearances over the years. Some even say the town is haunted.

This is the first book in the Lost Maidens Loch Mystery series. At times though it feels like it is the middle of a series as there are references to past cases Temerity has been involved in. Perhaps there will be a prequel or two, but even if there aren't the references to past events gives the impression that these characters existed before. I know sometimes characters feel like they only existed within the timeframe of the book.  So I thought it was a nice touch that made the characters feel more real.

The mystery at first seems simple and straightforward. A teacher is poisoned at the school. A fellow teacher has been stalking her. However, something doesn't feel right and in a gossipy town like Lost Maidens Loch, it doesn't take long to start seeing the threads of a deceitful web. It leaves the reader guessing who and why until the end. There are enough clues sprinkled throughout that feel like you have solved the mystery right along Temerity and the police. There is a bit of a revel scene at the end to tie up the remaining threads of the murder.

A Spell of Murder is nice first installment. We get to know the characters and the dynamics of the town, setting the stage for fun things in future novels. This series has great potential.  If you are like me and want a Halloween that won't have you reading between your fingers, then definitely pick up this book.

Review will be published at Girl Who Reads -
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I really enjoyed A Spell of Murder. This was the first book I have read by this author and it will not be the last. I am a huge fan of cozy paranormal mysteries, and this author nailed it.
Great characters and a great mystery. I read it in one sitting. 
Hoping there will be another book in this series.
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This is totally a "it's not you, it's me" thing. I keep thinking I like cozy mysteries, but I just don't. I think I used to, and often the blurb sounds so appealing I can't resist, but they just aren't my jam at all. Sorry!
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I loved this book so much! It seriously kept me guessing the entire time!

Temerity Love owns an antique store in Lost Maidens Loch. She is an expert at finding the provenance of antiques because she has a little extra help - she's a witch. When a local school teacher is murdered in the middle of the school day, Temerity teams up with the local investigators to find out who is responsible. 

I thoroughly enjoyed myself while reading this book. I ended up reading it all in one night because I just couldn't put it down. The entire time I was reading it, I was sure that I knew who the murderer was. Of course, my guess kept changing every chapter! The characters are so fleshed out and deep. The setting is wonderful and I almost felt like I was in the little town of Lost Maidens Loch, it was so atmospheric. I loved that Temerity and Tilda were such amazing characters. I also loved that Angus isn't the normal alpha-male police officer. This book was so much fun! I completely enjoyed the beginning to this series and can't wait to see what comes next!
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Great start to a new series. Loved this small town and it’s cast of charters. The Love sisters, Temerity and Tilda, intrigued me from the start.  I enjoyed watching Angus and Temerity work together.  Looking forward to another visit to Lost Maidens Loch.
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In this town of Lost Maiden's Loch is Love’s Curiosities Inc., and its owner, Temerity Love, is sought by experts all over the world for her magical  ability to find lost things and learn about their provenance. When a local school teacher is murdered, the police request her help on finding the murderer.
This is a delightful story, with a great mystery and fun characters.  It makes for great light read.
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