Hexes and Honey Buns by Danielle Garrett
Picking up a few weeks or so after the conclusion of the previous title, Hexes and Honey Buns finds Rosella working for the Winterspell Gazette and searching for her next big story. She receives an email from Marigold Prince, a prisoner convicted of killing her husband. She maintains she’s innocent and asks for Rosella’s help after reading her piece on the mermaid trafficking ring.
Using her investigative skills, Rosella starts looking into Marigold’s case. This gives her purpose, while keeping her from worrying about Orion, who is on a secret case for the Order. Ella continues to debate with herself the merits of staying in Winterspell and her long-distance relationship with Orion. I am enjoying this series because we see Ella grow a bit in each book. She’s not stagnating, but rather making decisions and moving forward. She’s also learning to seek counsel from her family and friends.
I enjoyed the whodunit mystery and following Ella as she interviews witnesses and pieces together the events leading up to Marigold’s late husband’s death. The mystery is smart, although in typical cozy fashion, the bad guy spills all when confronted. One of the things I love most about Ms. Garrett’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.
I was a little frustrated with a couple aspects of Hexes and Honey Buns. The first involves a small subplot that is raised but then dropped. If there is no follow-through, then it should have been edited out. The second is the relationship between Ella’s family and her nasty cousin, Chloe. Chloe and her mom are just horribly mean to Ella and her sisters, and I just don’t see the need for it. I cringed every time Chloe made an appearance and would prefer her character to go away or evolve.
Narration: The story is shared in the first person POV of heroine Ella. Ms. Ronconi performs with an upbeat cadence, using a friendly, girl-next-door quality that suits Ella. She keeps the story moving with a steady flow. She alters her voice for each character’s dialogue based on gender, age, and species (when called for), making it obvious different characters are speaking. Her male characters are generally deeper.
Overall, I really enjoy Ms. Garrett’s cozies. They continue to provide a delightful story with a good balance of mystery and personal relationships, lots of detail, quaint settings, and enjoyable characters. Although there can be a few bumps, I know what I’m getting, and I love her formula.
About the Book:
The pen is mightier than the sword – but what’s a witch to do when she has writer’s block?
After landing my first official journalist job I thought the ideas would be spilling out faster than I could type. But it turns out life in the shadow of my debut piece is a little…make that a lot, harder than I expected.
So, when a convicted murderer reaches out begging for help in proving her innocence, I jump at the chance to dig into another investigation.
The only problem? This trail is ice cold.
I don’t want to give up on a good story, or let down a witch desperate for my help, but I’m not sure where to turn and I’m running out of time.
Will my last ditch effort pan out, or will I be forced to give my editor a blank page?
Author: Danielle Garrett
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Series: Sugar Shack Witch Mysteries #3
Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery, romantic elements
Audiobook Release Date: December 27, 2022
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Length: 5 hr; 42 mins
Source: Tantor Audio
Audio Speed: 1.35x
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
Mermaids and Meringue by Danielle Garrett (Sugar Shack Witch Mysteries #2) – Audiobook Review
Sugar Cookies and Sirens by Danielle Garrett (Sugar Shack Witch Mysteries #2.5) – Audiobook Review