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Thursday, February 16, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Bell, Book & Candlemas (A Wiccan Wheel Mystery #2) by Jennifer David Hesse

Bell, Book & Candlemas (A Wiccan Wheel Mystery #2)
by Jennifer David Hesse (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 352 pages
Published December 27th 2016 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

Goodreads synopsis:
A new year has barely begun and Edindale, Illinois, family law attorney Keli Milanni already has her hands full at work. But her private practice--as a Wiccan--may cause her worlds to collide... 
   The Wiccan holiday of Candlemas is right around the corner, but when vandals target New Age gift shop Moonstone Treasures, the mood is far from festive. Frightening threats and accusations of witchcraft aimed at the owner have some Wiccan patrons calling it a hate crime. And when things escalate to murder, the community turns to Keli... 
   As a friend and customer, Keli wants to help. But there's one problem: she's fiercely private about her religion. How can she stop the harassment, not to mention catch a killer, while keeping her faith hidden from her colleagues, clients, and her promising--and long awaited--new boyfriend? At a time meant to banish darkness, will Keli have to choose between risking the spotlight and keeping her beliefs locked in the proverbial broom closet? Or will she call on her deepest convictions to conjure the perfect path?...


4 stars

Keli Milanni is not the typical heroine of a book series. She is a lawyer, yes, but she is also a Wiccan who practices her religion regularly. So, she knows all about tarot cards, and pagan symbols and rituals. And this is good because they really needed her expertise in this story. Keli finds herself in the middle of a mystery when he local new age shop, Moonstone Treasures, is vandalized with the word “witch”. What, are we in the dark ages?

Keli is a solitary Wicca, which means she does not belong to a coven (group) of witches. She takes her religion very seriously, but keeps it to herself. Not many know of her Wiccan ways, even her best friend, Farrah. So, when multiple businesses get burglarized, Keli finds herself more drawn into the mystery.

This book was fast-paced and really kept my attention. The background of the heroine was one I hadn’t seen in books before an that made this unique and a refreshing change from the norm. People are scared of what they don’t know and Keli’s religion won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. There is a stigma and fear attached to anything new age and I applaud the author for having the courage to goo this unconventional route.

I would be interested in seeing future books get more into her Wiccan ways and maybe introduce oracle or tarot cards more fully since those readings have seemed to boom on YouTube in the last few years.

I would definitely recommend this book. The author writes a flowing, easy-to-read text and creates captivating, thought provoking characters that everyone will remember.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from NetGalley in return for an honest review. I thank NetGally, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

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