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Review of Grave Mistake (Hedgewitch for Hire #1)

Blurb: When you pull up stakes, make sure you don’t get stabbed in the back.

Self-taught in the arcane arts, hedgewitch Selena Marx is comfortable doing divination for West Los Angeles’ anxiety-ridden housewives, lawyers, and aspiring actresses. Her biggest challenge? Avoiding Lucien Dumond, leader of the Greater Los Angeles Necromancers’ Guild, who views her as fresh meat to add to his harem of slavishly devoted groupies.

Selena’s not interested in the slimy, celebrity-schmoozing sorcerer, but nobody turns Lucien down without consequences. When he threatens to fit her with magical cement shoes and drop her off the Santa Monica Pier, Selena’s Tarot cards point her to Globe, Arizona, for a new home, a new shop, and a cursed pet cat.

Just as she’s settling in and meeting the locals — including Calvin Standingbear, hunky chief of the San Ramon Apache tribal police — Lucien tracks her down…and promptly disappears. When his body turns up on tribal lands, it’s up to Calvin to investigate. Starting with Selena.

And when one of Lucien’s acolytes is killed, traces of dark magic and cryptic warnings from the spirits send Selena and Calvin in a race against time — before a too-close-for-comfort evil cuts her own life short.

Review: Selena Marx needs to get out of LA. As a self-taught hedgewitch, she doesn't like to answer to anyone else, but when she hears Lucien Dumond is going to retaliate for thinking she nabbed one of his clients, she knows it isn't safe to stay. She ends up in Globe, Arizona and opens a small shop. It's a brand new start and it's looking good, except when Lucien shows up and then is suddenly murdered. Selena is at the top of the suspect list. While the local Apache tribal police chief, Calvin Standingbear is patient and hunky, Selena knows she has to find the murderer soon or she could be next.

This is the first book in the fun paranormal romance series, Hedgewitch for Hire. It's a great start to the series with Selena getting a fresh start in a small desert town. She has a wide variety of psychic and witchy powers, but they are all utility rather than blast you away magic. It can be a bit annoying how naive she is at times, and she's not young, but she has a good focus and a big heart. I love it that Archie the human cursed to be a cat has found her, and I really want to know more about him. Calvin is the perfect complement to Selena, and I love how he isn't skeptical or puts her down for her beliefs. There's tension between them, but it's slow rising and fits just perfect for the story. Lucien is detestable, but I know he's meant to be! It has the feel of a cozy mystery, and while I guessed one part of the twist, I didn't see the other coming.

You can find Christine Pope on her site and buy the book here.

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