“Three stars: A bakery cozy with plenty of good eats.
Katie is ready for a fresh new start. Her heart needs to mend after a broken engagement. When Aunt Lucy and Uncle Ben decided to open a bakery in Savannah, Katie jumped at the chance to help out. She has spent the last few years working long hours as an assistant manager in a bakery, so she is more than prepared to help start The Honeybee Bakery. Just when things are looking sunny side up right before the grand opening, a rather nasty woman, who has a great deal of clout, is murdered right in front of the bakery. The worst part is that she and Uncle Ben had been arguing right before she was found dead, and now Uncle Ben is the prime suspect. Katie is determined to help clear Uncle Ben's name and save the bakery. What she doesn't know is that her Aunt Lucy has a few magical secrets to share. Can Katie save her uncle and The Honeybee Baker?
What I Liked:
*I enjoy cozy mysteries set in sweet shoppes and bakeries the most. I was happy to settle into the charming confines of The Honeybee Bakery. The delicious sweet treats served up daily made my mouth water and I wanted desperately to head there and spend an afternoon sipping coffee, chomping down treats and reading eclectic books from the book corner. I was happy to find two yummy recipes at the end of the book that I will have to try!
*I adored Mungo the little Cairn Terrier who shows up at Katie's door. He is a special magical dog and he ends up being Katie's familiar. He was super cute, and he just made me smile!
*I liked the inclusion of witches and magic into the book. Katie comes from a line of witches and is unaware of her hereditary magic until her aunt clues her in. From that point on, there are plenty of spells and magic. I liked learning about all the witchy stuff. If you like your cozy mysteries to have a dash of magic, this is a good one to try.
*I appreciated that there was plenty of mystery and I enjoyed unraveling the clues to help catch the killer. There were several suspects and motives and it was fun guessing who the culprit was.
*I was relieved that the majority of the story lines wrapped up neatly. The murderer is caught and many wrongs are righted. There were not a bunch of lingering questions. I always appreciate when I get a neat resolution.
And The Not So Much:
*I didn't like that this book tried to include a love triangle. I personally didn't really feel drawn to either of the male suitors, and I hated that the two were enemies. There was too many scenes where the two prospective love interests would meet and Katie would be caught in the middle of their long time feud. These scenes felt like a lot of male posturing and chest beating I was not a fan of this at all!
*A great deal of time is spent focusing on the witchcraft and the murder mystery and at times, it felt like a bit of information overload when it came to both of these topics.
*This lacked a bit of cozy for me. I would have loved more discussions on baking and recipes, and more time spent in the bakery. I was pleased that there were two delicious recipes at the end, one for peanut butter chocolate brownies and cheese scones, but I am selfish and I would have loved a couple of more, like the cornmeal maple donuts!
*This is a small quibble, but I was looking forward to all the Southern charm of the Savannah setting and I was disappointed that the city itself was not a bigger part. In fact, this book could have been set anywhere because there is very little discussion on Savannah. I am a big fan of cozy mysteries that incorporate the town/city as a major part of the book, and sadly that was not the case with this book.
*Even though I liked Katie, at times, I thought her character got a bit obnoxious and too pushy. She was always sticking her nose into police business and being chastised for it, and I thought that her uncovering some of the clues was a bit unbelievable, but that is the formula for a cozy mystery so I should expect it.
Brownies and Broomsticks was a pleasant introduction to a new bakery cozy series. It also has just a pinch of magic. It was a quick read and everything wrapped up neatly. Beware that there is a bit of a love triangle. If you are looking for a light, sweet read for summer check this out.
"Change is inevitable, they say. Struggle is optional. Your life's path deviates from what you intend. Whether you like it or not. Whether you fight it or not. Whether your heart breaks or not. "
"I'd held my whole life----that fate was what you made it. That people control their own destiny. And that even if they can't always control the things that happen to them, they get to decide their own reactions."
I borrowed a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
Posted@Rainy Day Ramblings.
“I enjoyed this light reading. Tale of our heroin, a pretty young baker, who finds out she's a witch and solves murders & mysteries with her witchy aunt & friends. ”ColleenR wrote this review Sunday, February 24, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I really enjoyed this book and if the future installments can keep up the story lines and the great characters to the level of this first one, I will definitely keep reading. This could be a new favourite series for me!
Katie Lightfoot is in a rut. She hated her job at a bakery in Ohio where she wasn't getting to use what she learned in pastry school at all, and she's just been dumped by her fiance, whom she thought was going to be her happily ever after.
So when Katie's aunt and uncle in Savannah invite Katie to come and be their partner in opening their new bakery, she jumps at the chance. But once she arrives and plans for the bakery are underway, Katie realizes something is odd with her aunt. When aunt Lucy tells Katie that she's a witch, and that Katie is too, Katie is not only shocked but skeptical.
Before long however, things start happening that convince Katie that she does indeed have powers. But before she can do much about exploring and learning about her witchy powers, uncle Ben is accused of murdering the nasty woman who was a thorn in everyone's side. Of course uncle Ben didn't kill her, but the police aren't willing to take Katie's word for it. So she decides to investigate on her own.
Along the way, Katie realizes she's developing feelings for both hunky fireman Declan, and male witch Steve, which is one complication. She also has to continue learning about her magic, and keep the baked goods flowing at the Honeybee bakery. All while figuring out who killed the nasty woman and why.
I love that Katie was never told she was a witch because her parents who are also witches, didn't want her treated as an outcast. So she grew up feeling like she was different but not understanding why. So although she's powerful, she doesn't have the confidence about herself yet which makes her endearing. But she's also spunky and smart and determined, as proved by her determination to investigate the murder even when it puts her in danger.
The romantic triangle being set up between Katie and Declan and Steve is interesting and could offer lots of possibilities in future books. There is an adorable cairn terrier familiar, there are lots of mouth-watering baked goods - with recipes at the end, and there's a fun combination between the witchy stuff and the mystery solving.
I really enjoyed this and am looking forward to the next book to see what happens to Katie next!”
“Entertaining first novel in the Magical Bakery series; Katie Lightfoot relocates to Savannah, Georgia to open the Honeybee Bakery with her aunt and uncle and gets more than she bargained for when she learns something about her family, herself, and the people she meets. Looking forward to the second book in the series.”JONI214 wrote this review Saturday, February 23, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I always think I am going to tire of foodie cozies...and then I read one like BROWNIES AND BROOMSTICKS and know that I am being silly. I love foodie cozies. I get hungry and I want to find the places where the books take place. I'd love to work at this particular bakery with Katie Lightfoot and her aunt.
The paranormal aspect is mellow with Katie discovering her abilities as a witch with her aunt's guidance.
I love that there are two intriguing men in Katie's life now. Three if you count Mungo the pup that invites himself into Katie's home and life. Usually there's only one man and things go from there. This time there are two men and they don't like each other much. But they both dig Katie.
Then there's the murder almost immediately in the story. No one is going to miss the victim and everyone wants to help the accused shown as innocent.
Super fun and I can't wait to read the next one.”
“In Cates mystery novel, baker Katie Lightfoot is thrilled when her aunt and uncle open a bakery in Savannah and invite her to join them in the venture. While working at the Honeybee Bakery, Katie can’t help but notice that her Aunt Lucy tends to add fresh herbs to her recipes and soon learns that her aunt is in fact, a witch.
When Uncle Ben is accused of murder, Katie joins forces with a mysterious reporter, a handsome firefighter and her Aunt Lucy as they set out determined to solve the crime and save Ben.
Katie is a charming amateur sleuth who also bakes as she learns the art of magic in Savannah, Georgia. With a great plot and interesting characters, this book makes a wonderful debut novel in the A Magical Bakery Mystery series.
“Cozy mystery about a girl (Katie) who moves from Akron to Savannah and discovers she a witch. She gets involved in a murder and had to give the police the clues to get her uncle off. A little slow in the middle but enjoyable. I like the recipes. I'm going to try them. ”Sheila G wrote this review Tuesday, October 23, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“An enjoyable read but run of the mill mystery with a touch of witchcraft and spells and desserts. I was drawn to the book by the cover. I am not a fan of mysteries and it was hard to finish this book because I just wasn't interested. I really enjoyed the characters however, and basic storyline which revolved around a woman moving to Georgia to open a bakery with her aunt and uncle. I loved reading about all the stuff they baked and made. I was very disappointed to only find 2 recipes in the back of the book when there were a ton of great desserts that I hoped to find.”Erika T wrote this review Monday, October 15, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I felt that I was right in the midst of Katie's new life in Savannah. I wanted to curl up on her new couch and nibble on one of the amazing concoctions from the Honeybee Bakery. The characters were delightful and the plot moved forward at a pace that was steady and kept me entertained. I can only hope that the next one comes out on schedule in November!”Mary Ann Giasson wrote this review Monday, October 8, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I've learned not to expect a whole lot from the cozy mysteries I pick up randomly at Target. They usually suck really hard. I mean, you've got to suspend a lot of belief in the cozy mystery genre, but the ones I've been picking have really tried my patience.
But I was surprised with this one. True, it's totally fluff. That's what a cozy mystery is, after all. But I rather enjoyed this one. The magic aspect of it was nice. She didn't go from totally non-belief to belief in the span of a few pages like I've seen some times. I didn't quite get the attraction to Steve. Is Quinn going to be a 3rd love interest for her? They seemed to have way more chemistry than she and Steve. I'll definitely read more of these if I come across them.”