Friday, August 1, 2014

That Old Black Magic

I finished reading That Old Black Magic by Mary Jane Clark yesterday. This is the first book by Clark that I've read. That Old Black Magic is part of a murder mystery series with Piper Donovan, a cake decorator and aspiring actress, as the heroine.

Opening lines: Piper was sipping a cocktail, but she couldn't taste it. Her sights were set on the tattered cloth doll. It was dancing frantically, tangled in yellow police tape. The more the doll jerked, the more snarled up it became until finally, the strangled doll collapsed motionless on the floor.

Piper Donovan is twenty-seven and works at her parents' bakery in New Jersey. Piper travels down to New Orleans right before St Patrick's Day as she's won a contest to "apprentice," for a couple of weeks at Boulangerie Bertrand, a famous bakery located on Royal Street, in the French Quarter. After Piper's arrival, a local merchant is found murdered, strangled and whipped, with signs pointing to voodoo. A local radio host dubs the killer as the Hoodoo Killer. In the midst of all this, Piper gets a two day acting job, which leads to flashbacks of an incident the month before (from the previous book). The Hoodoo Killer doesn't stop at one death, but continues on with more deaths related to voodoo.

I enjoyed reading That Old Black Magic. Though this book is part of a series, it stands alone as a read. It's well written, the plot makes sense, but most of the characters reach only two-dimensional status, which is of course, better than one-dimensional.

The one thing I liked the most about the book is how there are no swear words. It's actually refreshing to read something where the author doesn't constantly take GOD's name in vain, which is the one thing I find the most offensive when reading books.

My only nits is that there were a few pages that the book didn't need. One example: Piper's boyfriend thinks she had PTSD. So he calls a friend and then there's a discussion on PTSD. This is completely unneccesary to the story.

Be prepared! Food is discussed throughout the book, especially bakery items. I craved sweets like there was no tomorrow while reading That Old Black Magic.

I'm linking up to:
Book Beginnings at Rose City Reader

Thanks for stopping by!