by Lorie Lewis Ham
At the end of the review are instructions on how to enter to win a copy of Bruja Brouhaha & a video interview with Rochelle from Left Coast Crime.
Bruja Brouhaha features Bay area psychologist Liz Cooper, who considers herself to be a very rational and pragmatic person. As an interesting contrast, she is dating Professor Nick Garfield who studies the occult. In this book, the couple attends the sixtieth wedding anniversary celebration of Paco and Lucia Rojas, practitioners of the Santeria religion who own Botanica Rojas where they grow herbs for spells.
In the midst of the celebration, Paco is called outside to meet someone and ends up dead, along with a local gang member. The police assume Paco was an innocent bystander, but as the plot unravels, Liz and Nick aren’t so sure. Lucia is a Santeria Priestess and in her grief places a hex on the community, holding them responsible for Paco’s death. The community begins to have bad luck and blames it on Lucia calling her a witch.
In their concern for Lucia, Liz and Nick try to find out what really happened. They uncover some unexpected twists along the way and Liz ends up finding her own life in danger. To add to her stress, Liz finds herself being evicted from the apartment she loves and torn between her pushy mother trying to get her to move closer to her, and Nick wanting her to move in–which she’s not sure she’s ready for yet.
This is the second book in the series, the first was Who Do, Voodoo?, and I look forward to the next one. Liz and Nick have great chemistry and the setting is unusual, which I really like with the current ocean of cozies out there now. Despite the darkness of some of the subject matter, this book is light and fun and provides an enjoyable, well-plotted mystery.
Interview with Rochelle Staab:
To enter to win an e-book copy of Bruja Brouhaha, simply email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Bruja”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 6, 2012. U.S. residents only.
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