Review: Amethyst Witch by Barbra Annino

This book has been on my Kindle lockscreen on and off for several months, and though I wasn’t planning on reading it, I got curious wondering what Stacy was smirking about on the cover, so I gave in. Lockscreen ads work, at least if your book is free in Kindle Unlimited.

What I didn’t realize when I started is that this is one of the most popular series in witch cozy mysteries (which is a surprisingly broad category), to the extent that one of the books was once ranked #1 in the entire Kindle Store. That’s pretty darned impressive, and makes me wish I liked this more than I did.

On the surface there are a huge amount of similarities between this and Amanda M. Lee’s Wicked Witches of the Midwest series: Stacy is a journalist (like Bay Winchester) who comes back home to her small town roots (like Bay) and has an extended family that runs a bed and breakfast business (like Bay.) I don’t think any copying is really going on and these just happen to be the most popular tropes in witch cozies, but it’s still kind of amusing.

The thing that sets this series apart is the humor: it’s very broad, slapstick in places, and there’s a kind of ongoing gag to see how messed up Stacy can get with leaves/mud/flying pancakes and so on. It was a little bit too much for me personally, but I can see how the frequent humorous touches would help endear the book to many readers who are looking for a break from the serious nature of murder mysteries.

As for the mystery itself, I had trouble following it, but that’s pretty typical for me with mysteries: I have trouble keeping track of who-did-what-to-whom and who is probably lying and so on. The end of this one left me particularly befuddled, but that is probably a case of Error Exists Between Kindle and Pillow.

I don’t think I will continue with this series, but if you like witch cozy mysteries at all you should probably give it a shot and see if it’s for you, especially if you pay for a Kindle Unlimited subscription. As for me, I’m going to keep going forward with the Wicked Witches of the Midwest, because I’m about twenty books deep in to that one and like hell am I gonna drop it now.

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