Harper & Hattie Magical Mysteries – Stacy M Jones

Rule of Three, Book Three

Five of five stars given

Elaine S Dunham has become unofficial “writer in residence” at Hattie’s Cauldron.  Hattie thinks she seems troubled, frustrated even.  Lanie seems to have lost her connection to her “muse”.  Meantime, there’s a new author in town with an almost identical name – Elayne Susanne Dunham – with her first book pretty well a copy of Lanie’s first book from years ago.

A fresh, inventive tale of writers and plagiarists, revenge and magical mayhem; Jones has populated this small town with great characters – I wish I had an Aunt Hattie – and intriguing stories.  Not your average cozy here, but a story that grabs your attention on several counts and holds it tight.

Jones has an easy writing style.  And while the plot thickens with revenge, the resolutions are not what you’d expect, and that keeps you turning pages!

[Many thanks to the author for the opportunity to read an Advance Reader Copy of this book.  I was not required to, however this is my honest review.  The opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.]

‘*****

Secrets to Tell, Book Two

Five of five stars given

There’s been a murder at Willow House.  Further investigation uncovers a connection to a murder from almost one hundred years ago.  Plus, the Rock City Life photographer disappeared, leaving his girlfriend hurt and alone.  On the grounds of Willow House.  Something in the past definitely has a score to settle.  Harper is determined to find out what’s going on.

In this second entry in the series, Harper is starting to come to terms with her powers.  An acceptance that was long held at bay – and an understanding that these powers are benefits and not to be hidden – is finally coming to the fore and that pleases Aunt Hattie.  Harper is the last in the line of Ryan women, it would be a shame to ignore such a big part of herself and her heritage.

Jones has built a wonderful small town atmosphere in this corner of Little Rock.  I’d be hard pressed if I visited, to not look for Hattie’s Cauldron!  Each volume I open brings a feeling of a visit with friends.

But make no mistake, there is mischief here too, and that’s right up Harper and Hattie’s alley, with help from the ever willing Jackson and Beatrix.

Start this series from the beginning.  Not because it’s necessary to read them that way.  They stand alone well.  But because nestling in with these books is a great way to while away a couple of afternoons, with tea and something sweet, and imagine yourself on the couch at Hattie’s.

GREAT series!!!

‘*****

Saints & Sinners Ball, Book One

Five of five stars given

Hattie is hosting the Mardi Gras Ball!  It promises to be an evening filled with fun.  But Harper, having just arrived at Aunt Hattie’s, would just as soon give it a pass.  And there’s nothing that happens in that evening to change her opinion, especially when Harper is the one who discovers the dead – murdered – body of the city’s Head Prosecutor.

But even against her will, Harper is drawn in to investigate.  It’s obvious to her that the police are dragging their feet.  Enlisting Jackson and Dan to join her, Harper begins her journey to the truth.  That’s not the only journey she’s starting out on.

The First Book in the series, here is where you meet Jones’ amiable, enchanting characters.  Here’s where we start to see the hint of magic that runs through the series.  It’s not overdone.  There’s a realistic spin to all of it that leaves you wondering – maybe hoping – that there really is something magical in our world.

Join me in the Little Rock adventure, I can guarantee you will love every moment!

‘*****

Harper’s Folly, The Prequel

Five of five stars given

“The trouble starts when the magic is lost”

Harper’s life is pretty sweet.  Editor-in-chief of the family’s decades old lifestyle magazine in Manhattan; she’s married to a successful man she loves, and they’ve a beautiful home.  Everything is perfect.

Until it isn’t.  There’s an affair.  There’s something definitely illegal going on at Nick’s business.  The FBI pay her a visit.  Her father is railing on her to not “embarrass the family”.

Playing an integral part in an investigation that she really just fell into, Harper is reeling at the discoveries she’s made. This is the teaser episode in the series.  The prequel that introduces you to some of the characters you will come to know and love.  I read this series a bit backwards – I started with an ARC of Book Three, then continued on to the Prequel then Two and One – so I can say with confidence that they are all great read as standalones.  But don’t.  Jones has a knack for framing even slightly unbelievable events in a way that simply makes them real.  The Ryan women are formidable, and that’s something that shines out right from the first words you read.  I am hooked, I know you will be too!!!

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