Sunday, June 12, 2022

Review: Spirits and Sourdough by Bailey Cates

by Bailey Cates
Release Date: January 4, 2022
2022 Berkley Books
Kindle Edition; 288 Pages
ISBN: 978-0593099247
ASIN: B08M386JM1
Audiobook: B09L58PP3D
Genre: Fiction / Cozy / Paranormal
Source: Review copy from publisher
3.75 / 5 Stars
Hedgewitch Katie Lightfoot works at the Honeybee Bakery in Savannah, and she's always up for investigating her adopted home's rich supernatural history. That's why she's taking a ghost tour for the very first time. But when the psychic tour guide tells Katie that she's being followed by the ghost of a recently murdered woman, Katie realizes she met the victim earlier that day, just before she died. She knows she must bring the killer to justice.
 My Thoughts
Spirits and Sourdough is the next entry in the Magical Bakery Mystery Book Series, and I enjoyed it quite a bit.  I actually started this on my Kindle and then the publisher sent me the Audiobook version, so I switched to that format, and enjoyed it a lot, so I finished it that way.  I have really enjoyed seeing how much Katie has grown over the books and is learning so much about her gifts and her powers.  The friendships in this book are heartwarming and I always enjoy learning new things about the secondary characters as well as the main characters.
The solid thing about this book is the characters.  The author doesn't just focus on Katie, but spends time developing her secondary characters as well as introducing new ones to the friendship group which is always nice to see.  I have enjoyed Katie's journey throughout the series and how she has learned to use her magic more confidently; this means also learning to work around stubborn characters such as Detective Quinn when he wants to know how she knows so much about his cases.  You always have to have someone who is suspicious of what you do, but I am glad Katie wasn't necessarily at odd with Quinn in this book.  It was a nice change of pace and honestly, I don't know why there always has to be someone who is suspicious of someone else's \gifts' in books or why the plot has to include that element in it.  

The murder aspect of this book was a bit lacking, and it did slow down the overall pace of the book as the author did not make it a central part of the plot.  There was a lot going on in this book, which was not the problem as I enjoy multiple plots and multiple aspects to a book as long as they all thread together in the end, but I felt like the author wasn't quite sure on which thread to really focus and sort of switched back and forth realizing something had not yet been solved.  This meant the actual mystery took a back seat quite a bit and to be honest, when things did go back to it, I got bored as it wasn't all that interesting.  Predictable, yes.  Interesting, no.   However, the rest of the story was engaging and I was glad to see the author put some focus on the issue with Connell and Declan as I was hoping that would get resolved in this book.  

Spirits and Sourdough was a solid entry in this series, but I did find the murder mystery aspect somewhat lacking. Although there was a lot going, I don't feel like it distracted from the overall book, and as always, I love the baking aspect of the book with some yummy recipes mentioned.  The author's writing style has a way of drawing you into the Katie's world and although the mystery was weak, the rest of the story is...well, magical.  It is very evident the author has put a lot of thought into both the world building and character development, and it is this that keeps me coming back to this series.