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‘The Alchemical Detective: A Riga Hayworth Mystery’ – Book Review

Up until a few months ago, I had no idea what a cozy mystery was. What’s worse is that I have a few friends who write them. (I am a bad friend. *Sigh*)  If you haven’t a clue (Get that? Clue?) of what a cozy mystery is, it is a sub-genre of crime fiction, where the sex and violence are downplayed and the crime occurs in a small community.  (Thank you, Wikipedia.)  Anyway, I decided it was time to read something that was a little lighter than my usual fare of science fiction and fantasy mayhem.

Riga Hayworth is a metaphysical detective who has lost her magical ability, but not her smarts. She and her gargoyle familiar Brigitte are recuperating in Lake Tahoe with her boyfriend Donovan who owns a local casino.  Donovan is besotted with her, but she’s still trying to figure out how much she wants to commit (The world of ghosts and paranormal experiences are not new to him either.); however, their romance gets interrupted by the mysterious death of a local palm reader and Riga’s new job on a reality TV show trying to hunt down the local version of the Loch Ness monster.  It doesn’t help that there are some local fanatics who view her skills as inherently evil. Life gets more complicated when she finds the next victim of what may be a serial killer.

I found the book to be light and enjoyable.  My favorite character was Brigitte, the gargoyle, who had an annoying habit of scratching up the walls and floors of their rental cabin.  Though the book was advertised as being the first in the series, it’s clear once you start reading that it is a continuation of a previous story; however, Ms. Weiss does a very good job of integrating all of the information you need into this story, so I didn’t feel like I missed anything. Her pacing was spot on and the characters just deep enough to care about.  Though I guessed who the bad guy was, there was a nice twist that I didn’t expect. My one quibble is that whoever selected the font for the eBook may need to revisit that choice. It was extremely light and gray which made it difficult to read.

If you are looking for a light, fun read with magic, mayhem, and a touch of murder, this would be a good place to start.

Creative Team: Kirsten Weiss
Publisher:  Misterio Press
Click here to purchase. 


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