Genre: paranormal cozy mystery
Darcy Merriweather is Enchanted Village's newest resident Wishcrafter - a witch who can grant wishes for others. But as Darcy prepares a celebration for a magical florist, she discovers that every rose has its thorns...
When magical florist Harriette Harkette decides to throw a lavish eightieth birthday party for herself, she hires Darcy's Aunt Ve's personal concierge service, As You Wish, to plan the soiree. But turning eighty isn't all Harriette is celebrating - the Floracrafter has recently created the midnight black Witching Hour rose, the first all-natural rose of that color.
Darcy works hard on planning an extravagant celebration that will make Harriette feel like the belle of the ball. But when cake delivery boy Michael Healey - a former employee at Harriette's greenhouse - is found dead, the celebration takes a turn. Now Michael's ghost has imprinted on Darcy, meaning that they're bonded until she can untangle the thicket surrounding his murder - and what exactly it has to do with the Witching Hour rose....
Harriette Harkette, a flora crafter, has thrown herself a big girls only black and white themed birthday party for her 80th birthday. Darcy and her Aunt Ve are in charge of the organisation. One of Darcy’s job was to hire a stripper! Which is something she really doesn’t like, and the thought of a young handsome oiled man giving Harriette a stroke, makes her choose an older stripper. Who does not meet any of Harriette’s requirements! Her aunt Ve is also very excited about the stripper and can’t wait for him to show up. She has a big bundle of dollar bills ready!
But when the birthday cake Darcy’s friend and Bake/Wish crafter Evan Sullivan is late, Darcy sets out to investigate as the delivery truck was due an hour ago. When she finds Michael’s body in the bushes near the van, clearly murdered, for her the party is over. But Harriette refuses to postpone or cancel her birthday party, and to hell with what her daughter or friends or the police say. Apparently, the stripper is a big success.
Michael was an Illumicrafter, and everybody liked him, so who wanted him dead? As Michael’s ghost has imprinted on Darcy, she has no choice but to help the police figure out who did it. Especially as they seem to have their eyes set on someone already.
Michael’s sister Amy is also an Illumicrafter, and her grief makes it impossible to hide her glow. Luckily, Pepe and Geoffrey have the solution for that, a cloak that makes her invisible. Darcy takes Amy home with her, to keep her safe and away from reporters and the police who are after her boyfriend Fisk.
Michael used to work for Harriette as a gardener, before she became famous with her black roses. The flower business is cut throat, and Harriette refuses to share her secret with anyone. But all is not well at the Elysian Fields Gardens, the four women who own the greenhouses are not the good friends they appear to be. And when someone tries to frame Harriette, the suspects keep amounting.
With the help of her familiar friends Pepe and Archie, and even the Elder, Darcy sets out to discover the truth behind it all. Darcy’s sister Harper is the new owner of the bookshop, and she wants to hear all the grisly details, she really is into CSI and such. But Harper also has a sixth sense for when danger is near, and her warning helps Darcy safe some lives.
There is a fun second plot, with Darcy’s Aunt Ve, the missing cat Tilda, and the stripper Hot Rod. I really enjoyed those parts a lot.
The romance between Darcy and police chief Nick seems to be progressing nicely, but police officer Glinda Hansel keeps trying to put a wrench in things. And it seems that she is succeeding … especially as she can tell Nick’s daughter Mimi things about her mother, who was one of her best friends when they all lived in the Enchanted Village.
I really loved this book, and this series is one of my favourite paranormal cozy mystery series. Heather Blake has written such a lovely cozy town, filled with all kinds of different crafters (witches), I wish I could go and visit. (Do you hear my wish Darcy?)
The characters and the village are very will written and described, I can just see it all happen in my mind. The story is a perfect blend of action, magic, sleuthing, romance and friendship, it has a nice flow and never gets boring. I love Darcy, she is falling hard for Nick and she loves her new life and discovering new things about her own magic and others. This time she gets help from the Elder, instead of a lecture if she has done something wrong unknowingly. She just fits in.
Aunt Ve is a real mankiller though, she has been married 4 or 5 times already, and is engaged again, but she still has the hots for the stripper! She is a hoot, but also a very caring person.
As always, I love the familiars, especially Pepe and Archie, and finally the secret about Missy is revealed. I can’t want to find out what will happen next.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian