Kitchen Magic Witches Academy Series By Anna Celeste Burke: Review/Giveaway

Oct 10, 2020 | 2020 Articles, Fantasy & Fangs, Kathleen Costa, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of Kitchen Magic and a Kitchen Witch Doll, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

Kitchen Magic Witches Academy Series By Anna Celeste Burke

Anna Celeste Burke is one of eight authors writing an installment in the Witches Academy series. Each book showcases an enchanted witch, but different in style, background, and the kind of trouble with which they find themselves entangled. Check out the whole series HERE on Amazon with books releasing now through November from Anna Celeste Burke to Jen Talty, Natalie Ann, Judith Lucci, Suzanne Jenkins, S.R. Mallery, Margaret A. Daly, and Tamara Ferguson.

We [authors] have a shared understanding about the Witches Academy–set in New Orleans, it’s the foremost academy for training witches. There’s not a lot of detail, however, and the idea is for the series to feature different versions of witches. My witch prefers not to make her “lifestyle,” “calling,” “vocation” public which is interesting given how public a life she leads. She doesn’t say why she keeps her status as a witch secret, but she has her reasons. Other witches in the series are more open about their status.

The Foodie Channel idea is tied to my experience as a chef, to the fact that she lives and works in the North Hollywood/Burbank area and I love to have my series in California. Judith Lucci’s book is a mystery, but other authors are writing more straight-up fantasy and/or romance witch stories. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to write a book without humor…I don’t know why I can’t take murder more seriously. Muriel has a co-host, Ophelia, who’s a hoot. Of course, things don’t always go by the script when filming a television food show—especially when there are dark forces at work. In Kitchen Magic, finding the killer of a crew member murdered in the studio where Muriel’s show is filmed, is only part of the story.
—Anna Celeste Burke

Whisk Up Some Magic!
Muriel Bright is a graduate of the Witches’ Academy of Sorcery where she was trained to use “hyper-vigilant observations” and encouraged to become “adept in the healing arts.” Her studies focused on the key elements to better understand the world around her; elements often found at the center of many cultures: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Muriel’s studies also included time and spirit. Her parents died tragically in a car crash, but her mother attended the same academy, so magic is in her DNA. So far, her true identity has been disguised. Her and her friend and cooking show co-host Ophelia Cheval have been dubbed “Coffee and Cream,” but it’s less about their skin colors and more about their personalities. Ophelia oozes with Southern Louisiana charm and Muriel is more sweet and introspective, a need to stay under the radar, somewhat, due to her magical talents. Muriel also has a pair of golden-eyed, black Bombay cats to whom she converses…just one of many stereotypes of which Muriel is not oblivious.

Kitchen Magic earns 5/5 Kitchen Witches…Deliciously Engaging!
It’s MO fun, MO food, MO murder? Muriel Bright is at her best showcasing pancetta-wrapped peach slices (recipe included) for a studio filled with eager fans of her cooking show and bantering with her friend and co-host Ophelia Cheval, but a burned tongue, minor electric shock, and an almost Jerry Springer-type confrontation forces her to “time stretch” and defuse the situation with a few Kitchen Witches hidden under chairs. But, then a snap, crackle, pop…and the studio is sent into darkness. Emergency footlights make it easy for the audience to evacuate, but then a scream! Mimi Banks, the show’s stylist, rushes into the hall. “He’s dead! Josh Curry’s dead.” Of course, murder is highly unusual, but while Muriel is observing the crime scene, she hears a soft cry, feels a hand touch her face, and sees an eerie shadow disappear through the wall. Oh, this is going to be complicated, and she worries her magical talents might be in jeopardy of being revealed publicly.

Magically Delicious! Anna Celeste Burke is a favorite author penning several series I am always eager to read, so a new series…Magic! Witches! Food! The trifecta of themes! This well-written, steady-paced drama has a realistic magical element that make it perfect for cozy fans who love a cup of hocus-pocus. The victim is not without complexities since several women and some debts define the suspect list, but add the suspicious appearance of a phantom figure and one won’t be able to put it down. Using the traditional cozy formula of which I am a big fan, she has the murder occur early in the drama putting the investigation at the center, character introductions are woven throughout, and suspects and “paranormally” motives are revealed slowly, deliberately; just when I thought I’d got it…“abracadabra,” something else pops up. A bit of romance is included, and having it with the investigating detective is more than great, it may be a “fateful coincidence.” Burke’s writing style uses my favorite narrative, first-person, allowing me to enjoy the “I” perspective, and she fills the drama with descriptive language and clever banter to illustrate well the various settings, emotions, sensory elements, and character appearance and personalities. I love Muriel! I love Ophelia! I love the twists in Muriel’s family history! I love Kitchen Magic!

Big Bonus! Although Muriel Bright is a chef on a foodie network, Anna Celeste Burke is also herself a trained chef sans the diploma from the Witches Academy. This passion is one from which readers benefit with added easy-to-follow recipes great for any “magical” occasion: Enchanting Appetizers: Panchetta-Wrapped Peaches with Basil and Aged Balsamic (photo), Sandwich Magic: Garlic Aioli BLTs with Fried Green Tomatoes, Bewitching Main Dishes: Hawaiian Ono with Pineapple Coconut Ginger Salsa; and Spellbinding Desserts: Sweet Potato Bebinca (a type of pudding and a traditional Indo-Portuguese dessert).

Trying something new! Anna Celeste Burke has moved outside her comfort zone to bring fans a little bit of magic

I liked the idea of trying a paranormal book. Even though I trained and worked as a scientist for thirty years, I believe there’s plenty of magic in the world. Lots of it’s tied to the way in which the “real world” works. Crystals run our computers. A solid table isn’t really solid at the atomic level. Time is so subjective, what if we could consciously and deliberately take advantage of it’s pliability? We have lots of talents and abilities that we underutilize—what if we could heighten our senses and improve our powers of observation? There’s lots of interest in the use of herbs, fungi, other natural substances to heal, enhance wellness, extend life, and make our lives more livable–maybe even more magical! The book is a chance to explore some of these themes while feeding people good food, and working in a little romance. Muriel Bright and Detective Harper Maddox are attractive people, good at their jobs, but they’re surprisingly awkward on an interpersonal level. At first, their relationship is built more on mutual curiosity more than romance.
—Anna Celeste Burke

Be a Big Anna Celeste Burke Fan!

USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author [Dr.] Anna Celeste Burke writes many of my favorite series: the soon seven-book Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery series, soon eight-book Georgie Shaw Mystery, four-book Seaview Cottages Mystery, soon four-book Calla Lily Mystery, and soon five-book Corsario Cove Mystery. Each entertaining series offers different aged females with realistic flaws but an endearing strength of character. Each series has a different setting within California from the coast to the desert, but all with the same well-written adventure, humor, and realism.

Facebook – Anna Celeste Burke
Website – Desert Cities Mystery/Anna Celeste Burke
Twitter – aburke59
Sign Up for the Newsletter on her website and receive FREE Gift Gnarly New Year from the Corsario Cove series.

Giveaway: The Kitchen Witch

Along with an eBook copy of Kitchen Magic, one lucky winner will also get a Kitchen Witch. In Anna Celeste Burke’s new book she mentions the prized mascot of her cooking show is a Kitchen Witch. Although the doll has a resemblance to Muriel herself and not the traditional old crone, it is dressed with the more stereotypical costume of a pointy hat and broom. This seems to work in Muriel’s favor since people think of witches in the traditional manner not an everyday woman hosting a cooking show.

Kitchen Witch

The Kitchen Witch is not just cutesy decoration for the Halloween season, it has history and common use. Also known as a “Cottage Witch,” it is not known from what country it originated, but many believe it has early European roots, including references during the Tudor era in England.

“The will of John Crudgington, from Newton, Worfield, Shropshire in England, dated 1599, divides his belongings amongst his wife and three children, “except the cubbard in the halle the witche in the kytchyn which I gyve and bequeathe to Roger my sonne.”

Despite its background questions, the poppet is believed to be a good luck charm capable of “counteracting ill-will directed to the home” along with “inspiring productivity and safety in the kitchen.” A note usually accompanies the witch to explain its purpose:

“The Legendary Secret of Goof-Proof Cooking: The Famous Kitchen Witch. For centuries, Norwegians have hung this good witch in their kitchen. They believe she has the power to keep roasts from burning, pots from boiling over, and sauces from spilling.”

I received a ‘Kitchen Witch” as a wedding shower gift, and it hung proudly in my kitchen for decades spreading its culinary magic. But, it’s been misplaced which just might account for the recent oven fire and burned quiche!

To enter to win an ebook copy of Kitchen Magic along with a Kitchen Witch doll, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, with the subject line “kitchen,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 24, 2020. Only US entries and you must be at least 18 to enter. Please include your mailing address for the doll in case you win. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode went up this week! There will be an episode featuring one of Anna’s books in December.

You can use this link to purchase these book from Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Anna Celeste Burke is great! Count me in!

  2. You have a little magic of your own, Kathleen. Sometimes it’s as if you can read my mind when it comes to grasping the fun I have with the books I write and the reasons behind it. Thanks for another wonderful post. I hope all your readers enjoy all the books in the series, each written by a different author. And, given the early feedback from readers, there just may be another edition of Witches Academy books next year. xx

  3. Loved Anna’s book…..just wish she would do a follow up

  4. Well, you did it again! Another fun series that is full of quirky characters and whodunit mysteries to solve! I can’t wait to see what the next book has for us!! Thanks for the great read!

  5. Sounds like a great book. Looking forward to reading it.

  6. If Anna can write something out
    of her comfort zone, I can tread
    something out of my comfort
    zone. thanks for the chance.

  7. I love reading great mysteries. Kathleen Costa is amazing!

  8. I’m so excited that this new witch based series is out! I adore anything magical, and witches are all about magic and manifesting, and so many other wonderful things that these books will be incredible. Keep up the awesome story telling.

  9. Sounds like a fun read. I’ve had a kitchen witch for decades! I’m an awful cook, so need all the help I can get.


  11. I love Kitchen Witches! Can’t wait to start this book!

  12. We have a winner!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.