Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Trouble With Magic

The Trouble With Magic
Author: Madelyn Alt
Penguin Books, 2006
261 pages

The fascination with the mystery and paranormal genres continues.

I picked up The Trouble With Magic at B&N a few months ago on a whim. It just looked like a fun book, and the description on the back cover indicated that it takes place in a little town called Stony Mill, Indiana (which is supposed to be somewhere in the northeast, near Fort Wayne.) No idea if the author is a Hoosier, but she sure seems to know the culture. The Trouble With Magic is the first in the Bewitching Mystery series, and so far there are five others in paperback. A sixth is coming (in hardback) in January.

Main character Maggie is a likeable young woman who grew up in Stony Mill. She's in her late twenties, and has worked for several years under a horrid boss at a boring accounting firm. One day she decides she's had enough, and she finds herself jobless. Yet only a short time later she falls (literally) into Enchantments Antiques and Fine Gifts, where she's taken in by the elegantly wise and intriguing Felicity. Felicity, it turns out, isn't just an antiques dealer - she's a witch. And just a few hours after they meet, Felicity is accused of a murder.

Maggie knows Felicity isn't guilty, despite the fact that they've just met. As she's drawn into Felicity's world of interesting and diverse characters, Maggie struggles to define her own belief system and begins to recall times in her own life when she had felt drawn to the paranormal. After all, she's always been very empathic, and an above-average listener. She even had an imaginary child when she was growing up, and she hears voices in her apartment. Hmm.

It will be interesting to see how Maggie grows in future books. But first, she has to save Felicity from a town and a police force convinced of her guilt. She also has to hang out with two cute guys. One, Marcus, is a biker dude who hangs out with Felicity and says things like: "Thank Goddess." The other is Tom, hunky police officer. Guess we'll have to keep reading to find out how this goes. After all, this is a required part of the formula.

I'm also looking forward to learning more about some of the other characters, including the N.I.G.H.T.S. group members (especially Alice), Maggie's best friend Steff, and Maggie's Grandpa.

Decent writing, good characters, and some funny situations involving Hoosiers and reruns of the TV show Magnum, P.I. Will definitely read more of these.