Mermaids and Meringue by Danielle Garrett
Although it’s been a while between releases, Mermaids and Meringue picks up just after the conclusion of the previous title, Grimoires and Gingerbread, on New Year’s Eve, and Rosella is getting ready for a date with monster-hunter Orion. However, when Ella discovers that the party-prop mermaids are being mistreated and that a human girl may have been cursed into a mermaid, she and Orion ditch their plans and are on the case.
One of the things I love most about Ms. Garrnett’s writing is her attention to detail. Every story, every scene, the narrator paints a picture of sights, sounds, and smells. This is so effective for the audiobook format, bringing the setting and story to life.
The mystery of the mermaids takes Ella and Orion on an adventure outside of Winterspell, to Seattle. I enjoyed seeing Ella discover more about her abilities to talk with animals and mystical creatures. This mystery was more cozy than the first book, and very much in the wheelhouse of the author. It progressed nicely, and overall, the story is a good mix of personal growth/relationship and mystery/adventure.
Speaking of personal growth, Ella continues to internally debate if she should stay in Winterspell or leave again. She weighs pros and cons and thinks earnestly about how she feels. She struggles to reconnect with her childhood best friends, and I appreciate that we see the ramifications of Ella’s absence. I also like that Ella wants to figure out her life before jumping into a relationship, especially because she’s not sure if she’ll be staying in town. However, I did wish that she would have shared some of this with Orion. Or even Matty or her sisters.
Narration: The story is shared in the first person POV of heroine Ella, who is in a much better place than the start of the first book, but still unsure of who she is and her place in the world. Those familiar with Ms. Ronconi’s work will recognize her upbeat cadence. She’s got a friendly, girl-next-door quality that suits Ella. She keeps the story moving with a steady flow. She alters her voice for dialogue, making it obvious different characters are speaking, but not always enough to be distinct. Her male characters are generally deeper, but not overly different from each other.
Overall, I really enjoy Ms. Garrnett’s cozies. They continue to provide a delightful story with a good balance, lots of detail, quaint settings, enjoyable characters with forward growth. Although there can be a few bumps (this time there seems to be a continuity error in one scene), I know what I’m getting, and I love her formula – it works.
About the Book:
It’s a new year in Winterspell…and a new mystery.
I’ve always wanted to meet a mermaid, but when I finally get my chance on New Year’s Eve, the circumstances are far darker than I’d imagined. One of the mermaids isn’t what she appears to be, and if I don’t find a way to break the spell, she will never be herself again.
With strange magic in the air and a dangerous force lurking in the shadows, I have to find the truth and keep myself from being the next one to wind up caught in the sorcerer’s web.
Author: Danielle Garrett
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Series: Sugar Shack Witch Mysteries #2
Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Audiobook Release Date: January 28, 2022
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Length: 5 hrs; 52 mins
Source: Tantor Audio
Audio Speed: 1.25x
Audible/Amazon (affilate link)
Reviews in the Series:
Sprinkles and Sea Serpents by Danielle Garrett (Sugar Shack Witch Mysteries #1) – Audiobook Review
Grimoires and Gingerbread by Danielle Garrett (Sugar Shack Witch Mysteries #1.5) – Audiobook Review