by Kathleen Costa
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win either an ebook or print copy of Double, Double, Toil and Truffle, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.
All In The Family!
Only a few months ago Caityn Le Fey—after her mother’s tragic accident, in the office of her mother’s lawyer, from a letter—learned that she’d been adopted. Well, the real story is that her mother, American Barbara Le Fey, had found her abandoned on the side of the road, around her neck was an unusual runestone that she still treasures today. Her desire to discover the truth behind this revelation brought her to the little Cotswold village of Tillyhenge; there she discovered she has a real family…a grandmother, an aunt, a cousin. But, the next revelation was more shocking…they are witches, she’s a witch, and her guardian uncle is a six-centuries-old vampire who loves fruit and prone to losing his teeth! She confides in her not-quite-cousin/BFF Pomona, is infatuated with the local tall, dark, and handsome “lord of the manor,” and is apprenticing with her grandmother, learning how to use her new found powers. Like her grandmother, she also seems to be talented in manipulating and making exquisite chocolate masterpieces, but on her own, with a few sidekicks, she is pretty good at investigating strange and murderous occurrences to the frustration of the local CID.
Double, Double, Toil and Truffle earns 5+/5 Hazelnut Truffles…Delicious Fun!
Caitlyn’s magical family has long been shunned, if not bullied, by local villagers who suspect they are witches, even though they don’t really know the truth behind their suspicions. Caitlyn knows her apprentice powers are not a danger (well, there have been a few miscalculations), her grandmother’s chocolate has only been delectably masterful, and her aunt’s medicinal herbal concoctions truly provide remedy for various ailments. So it is shocking to discover that the active resistance by villagers to their only good-intentions magic does not translate to the self-proclaimed witch offering “custom spells and charms.” Minerva Chattox professes to be a descendent of the Pendle witches, but, of course, Aunt Bertha knows, “That woman is not a witch!” batting around words like “…con artist…charlatan.”
An autumn storm has blown into Tillyhenge with all the downpour and thunderous display it can muster. Caitlyn, on a search for the mischievous little kitten Nibs, witnesses the suspected charlatan at work when she accidentally happens upon Minerva and a band of believers, well, more like potential “for a fee” clients, chanting gibberish in the middle of the legend-laden stone circle. While performing one of her “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo!” incantations, a group of detractors arrive bent on protest. One villager, claiming his wife a victim of her witchery, approaches to condemn and threaten her, and Minerva vehemently reminds the group of her powers to “summon death.” Crash. Flash. Boom. The man is struck by lightning….stunned and hospitalized. Ok, that’s going to be hard to pass off as “fake.” Even more so, after Caitlyn eavesdrops on a conversation about a “witch hunter,” Minerva is found dead…possibly in a manner reminiscent of old witch trial torture. Is she and her family in danger of being revealed as legit?
BRILLIANT! H.Y. Hanna has added another entertaining gem to her Bewitched by Chocolate series with this sixth book adding a bit more with some old-fashion witch hunting by disgruntled villagers. Hanna’s writing style is quite an engaging treat with descriptive language, delightful humor, and dialogue that illustrates well the tone and personalities of a marvelous group of characters. The murder mystery is intriguing with several possible reasons to eliminate the “faker” from revenge to jealousy and just plain spite! You’ll be thrilled with all of the this way and that way drama. The side stories also continue to engage with the mystery of the runes, search for the hag stone, Nibs stunted growth, strange illnesses, and the enigmatic and scary Thorn Blackmore all still needing attention. And the budding relationship between Caitlyn and Lord Fitzroy continues to have its interruptions, and questions about whether Fitzroy truly believes Caitlyn’s magical truth. Hanna’s witch and vampire lore is fascinating, too. I love Viktor and the idea that, like bats, there are different “species” of vampires. His fruit bat behaviors add delicious humor; it’s so easy to break his focus if bilberries are nearby. And “fur” friend fans will greatly enjoy the antics of kitten Nibs and her slobbery buddy mastiff Bran.
Newbies! It’s fine to start with the sixth book in the series, I guarantee you will be greatly entertained! However, be aware that through the series Caitlyn’s journey has been rewarding, her magical skill evolves with a few fun hiccups, relationships have seen engaging ups and downs, and clues and details into the ongoing mystery of her birth have been slowly introduced. Check out the whole six-book series HERE! You’ll love it!
I’m an Active Googler! I greatly enjoy googling to discover more information about a cozy theme or references made to a real-life person or event. I am also a longtime fan of the witch and vampire lore, so I was very eager to learn more about the reality behind the Pendle witches mentioned in H.Y. Hanna’s story. I found some fascinating articles on Wikipedia (Pendle witches) and Pendle witches (UK) and The History Press (UK), but I highly recommend the compelling two-episode documentary hosted by historian Suzanne Lipscomb: Witches: A Century of Murder shares the history about the witch trials in Britain during the seventeenth century through documents, transcripts, and dramatic re-enactments. Although no longer on AcornTV where I first saw the program, it appears available on YouTube and Netflix.
Check out other KRL Reviews
KRL 3/18/17 Bewitched by Chocolate Duo #1/#2 & Interview with H.Y. Hanna
KRL 7/15/18 Witch Summer Nights Cream #3 and Interview Update
KRL 9/09/17 Witch Chocolate Bites #4 (renamed Blood, Sweets & Tears) and Excerpt
KRL 8/11/18 Bonbons and Broomsticks #5 and Chocolate Bonbon Recipe
Be a Big Fan!
H.Y. Hanna is the author of my all-time favorite series the nine-book Oxford Tearoom Mystery. The stories, published in all versions: print, eBook, and audio, are engaging and clever with well-developed characters, and a little treat is always included for you to bring the Tearoom into your home. Along with my “tie for first” favorite six-book Bewitched by Chocolate series, she has the marvelously entertaining three-book English Cottage Garden Mystery.
All of her series are in audiobook format giving readers a little extra. They have the delightful voice artistry of narrator Pearl Hewitt who enriches the already engaging story with varied accents, dialects, emotions, and tone. I always say “murder is better with an English accent.”
Bewitch Your Own Magical Treat!
My favorite treat…Truffles can be the most decadent of all the chocolate sweets, and you, too, can “bewitch” your truffle for the Halloween season. For an easy start, this evermine recipe for Halloween Truffles is courtesy of artist and designer Rachel Beyer, whose creative blog, Adventures In Making, is worth a look. Add some crushed hazelnuts and flavors like Nutella or a splash of Amoretto liqueur to make it truly magical!
To enter to win an ebook or print copy of Double, Double, Toil and Truffle, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “deadhead,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 26, 2019. U.S. residents only for the print copy. If entering via comment please include your email address, if entering via email and you want a print copy please include your mailing address-which will only be used for that purpose. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. MAKE SURE TO STATE IF YOU WANT PRINT OR EBOOK.
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 check our our new mystery podcast! The last 2 episodes are both perfect for Halloween listening!
You can use this link to purchase the book from Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:
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.