Title: Mainly by Moonlight
Series: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: Book One
Author: Josh Lanyon
Length: 222 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Murder Mystery, Fantasy
At a Glance: If you’re expecting a gritty, hardboiled murder mystery here, you’re in for a big disappointment. Mainly by Moonlight is a cozy mystery with a side of relationship angst and lots of loose ends, but is a promising start to a fun -verse.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Can a witch avoid a murder rap without revealing the supernatural truth?
Cosmo Saville guiltily hides a paranormal secret from his soon-to-be husband. And if he can’t undo a powerful love spell, uncertainty threatens his nuptial magic. But when he’s arrested for allegedly killing a longtime rival, he could spend his honeymoon behind bars…
Police Commissioner John Joseph Galbraith never believed in love until Cosmo came along. Falling head over heels for the elegant antiques dealer is an enchantment he never wants to break. So when all fingers point to Cosmo’s guilt, John struggles to believe what his heart is telling him.
As Cosmo searches for the real killer among the arcane aristocracy, John warns him to leave it to the police. But with an unseen enemy threatening to expose Cosmo’s true nature, the couple’s blissful future could shatter like a broken charm.
Can Cosmo find the lost grimoire, clear his name and keep John’s love alive, or will black magic “rune” their wedding bells?
Review: What? Josh Lanyon has written a cozy murder mystery with a hint of magic and a smidge of insta-love, you ask? Yup, she has, and it’s a good bit of fun.
Written in the first person, Cosmo Saville tells his story in a conversational way, and I liked the style for its authenticity. Much like sitting across the table from a friend and listening to them talk about what’s been happening in their life, Cosmo gets ahead of himself, backtracks to catch us up and fill in blanks, and gives us the facts and necessary details to keep us interested in the telling. Cos doesn’t embellish or exaggerate. There’s no need to, really, because he’s the prime suspect in a murder and, moreover, the man he’s about to marry—a scant two weeks after meeting him—also happens to be the Police Commissioner. That alone was more than enough to bait the hook and keep me reading on to find out where Cos would end up and to see if he’d get his happy beginning. Especially after it’s revealed that John was under the influence of a Love Spell when he’d popped the question.
Cos and John’s first meeting was hardly a love-at-first-sight moment, it wasn’t even a lust at first sight moment, which is what made their quickie engagement all the more surprising. The anxiety Cos feels once it’s discovered that John may not love him but rather, might have only proposed because of the enchantment John was under is a source of a lot of anxiety, making this not only a cozy mystery but a cozy romance as well. Will they or won’t they get married once the spell is lifted is a considerable and consistent source of doubt for Cosmo. He’s unsure if John is truly, honestly, and deeply in love, or if it’s all an illusion that will dissipate as surely as the spell. There are so many more questions and secrets to overcome as well, not the least of which is that John doesn’t know his fiancé is a witch who is next in line to inherit the throne. But Cos is committed to avoiding that fate. It only remains to be seen if he’ll succeed.
That the series itself is entitled Bedknobs and Broomsticks drew me to it, and I enjoyed catching some of the references to television shows here and there which endeared Mainly by Moonlight to me all the more. This first book in the series has a certain charm to it, and it leaves just enough loose ends for the next book to explore and fill in, including more mysteries to solve. There are plenty of characters to get to know better too, most especially including John, who is an enigma at this point—there’s just something about him that makes him a bit different from the other unmagical folks. John and Cosmo are both still works-in-progress, actually, but the forecast for their future happiness appears to be mostly lovestruck with a good chance of uh-oh.
If you’re expecting a gritty, hardboiled murder mystery here, you’re in for a big disappointment. If you’re a completionist who needs all the answers and development to be laid bare in the first book of a series, guess what? Yes, disappointment. Mainly by Moonlight is a promising opener to further explore the magic of this -verse, though, and to gain some insight into its characters, not to mention their need to catch a killer, and I enjoyed it for that.
You can buy Mainly by Moonlight here:
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