Review: A Hive of Secrets and Spells

Secret letters, stolen jewels, storm clouds, and your girlfriend pops the question! Thank goodness her family has been kidnapped before you have to answer.


It has been a few months since you have seen Heather and Sinéad. Heather is visiting Sinéad and they are enjoying their time together, when mysterious events start to happen. At first the ladies do not absorb the impact of the happenings as they are just experiencing life together. Sinéad likes it so much she asks Heather to move in with her, which throws her into a tither. From then on the mysterious events seem to bloom into bigger objects. The culmination being the appearance and kidnapping of Sinéad’s family that she has never met. 

This leads the two leadies to Sinéad’s brother, Cian, who joins them on their quest to find out who is behind the threats. No one is telling the truth and a split forms between Sinéad and Heather as to the road best travelled. Both ladies have different ideas and not just on the case. The path to success in freeing Sinéad’s family and the happily ever after might take more than witchery or sorcery can do.


Heather stared at the wall in front of her, eyes unfocused. She was sure she’d done nothing wrong, but the heavy lead in her stomach turned over rapidly, making her question everything about those blurred few days. Out of the corner of her eye, the rain cloud thundered harder than ever. With the timing of its dramatic antics, it was almost as if it had known what was coming, though Heather wasn’t sure how it could.

Had it predicted this? The spell she designed shouldn’t be able to predict anything. And anyway, why did it still act as though something bad hid around the corner? After Roger Branson’s call, nothing worse could come of today.

Then she looked over and saw Sinéad frozen in horror, staring down at a sheet of paper in her hand. It didn’t look as though she’d heard any of Heather’s conversation, which at least explained why she hadn’t been demanding Heather pass her the phone so she could unleash her outrage.

“What is it?” she asked, reaching out to rest a hand on her girlfriend’s knee.

“It’s a letter,” Sinéad said slowly.

Heather resisted the urge to poke fun at her for stating the obvious. Something was very wrong.

“It says they’ve been taken, I’m being watched, and I need to meet with him so we can work together before it’s too late.” Her voice caught on the words with a faint edge of panic that didn’t suit her.

“Who’s been taken?” Heather asked, fear rising in her chest. Her hands shook where they pressed against Sinéad’s knee, but she wasn’t sure which of the two of them was causing it. “Who do you need to meet with?”

Who could worry Sinéad so much? Sinéad’s close friends were few and far between, and as an orphan, she had no family to worry about.

“My parents.” Sinéad looked up, her eyes wide and startled. “And I need to meet my brother.”

Behind them, the rain cloud shattered in a crack of lightning two foot tall, then disappeared.

If this is what a “cozy mystery” is – then sign me up for more Ellen Jane! I loved Heather and Sinéad. I think Cian is a hoot and holler and I definitely think the introduction of his family is going to bring a great secondary cast of characters for the future. I do not think we have heard the last of Mr. Branson. There is something very fishy there. I automatically adored Ms. Watley. I do not think I have been this excited about secondary characters since G.R. Browda and Gloria Morris’ crew. 

As for Heather and Sinéad, I confess I have not read book one of their romance and I need to before I can write a full commentary on it. I will say at this point, it seems a little shaky. They both seem to go into themselves when there is an issue and not communicate very well.

The mystery does make up for the lack of romance though. It had twists and turns and I did not guess the murderer. Or should I say I did not guess the entire plot which makes it an excellent mystery. I am definitely going back to get cozy with Ellen Jane.

I received an ARC of this book from A Novel Take Promotions and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.

Rating: 4 out of 5.


Publisher: 25 October 2019
Series: Cupcakes and Sorcery #2


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