Friday 31 January 2014

Book ~ "That Old Black Magic" (2014) Mary Jane Clark

From Goodreads ~ Aspiring actress and wedding-cake decorator Piper Donovan has barely arrived in New Orleans to perfect her pastry skills at the renowned French Quarter bakery, Boulangerie Bertrand, when a ghastly murder rocks the magical city. Intrigued by the case, Piper can't help but look for the "Hoodoo Killer" among the faces around her. Could it be the handsome guide eager to give her special private tours? Or the inscrutable jazz musician who plays on historic Royal Street? What about the ratings-starved radio talk-show host? Or even the amiable owner of the local Gris-Gris Bar? 

Though Piper has a full plate decorating cakes for upcoming wedding celebrations, she's also landed an exciting but unnerving role in a movie being shot in the Big Easy. When the murderer strikes again, leaving macabre clues, she thinks she can unmask the killer. But Piper will have to conjure up some old black magic of her own if she hopes to live long enough to reveal the truth.

Piper is a baker and an actress.  She has won a contest to spend some time with Bertrand, a famous baker, in New Orleans.  As soon as she arrives, there is a murder and people suspect it has something to do with voodoo.  A couple days later, there is another murder of a merchant on the same street.  While dealing with this happening around her, she lands a small part in a movie opposite Channing Tatum plus has to bake a couple cakes for an upcoming wedding.

This is the first book I've read by this author and I enjoyed it.  I liked the writing style and the short choppy chapters.  The language and actions are suitable for readers of any age (no swearing or extreme violence).  There were lots of characters who could have been the murderer and you don't find out until the end.  I suspected one of the characters after the second murder victim was discovered and it turned out I was right ... and it made sense and I bought it.

This is the fourth in the Wedding Cake Murders series. Though I hadn't read the first three, it worked okay as a stand alone.  There was just enough info to bring me up to speed with what happened in the first three but didn't give too much away in case I want to read them (which I do).

I'd like to visit New Orleans some day and learned a lot about the culture from this book (like the history of voodoo, why the dead aren't buried in the ground but above ground, how they make room for generations of bodies in one crypt, why funerals are so festive, etc.).  Informative but not text-book boring.

I received a copy of this book at no charge in exchange for my honest review. 

1 comment:

Masshole Mommy said...

Oooh voodoo - now this book sounds interesting!!