Book Review: Magic Lessons

Title: Magic Lessons
Author: Alice Hoffman

In an unforgettable novel that traces a centuries-old curse to its source, beloved author Alice Hoffman unveils the story of Maria Owens, accused of witchcraft in Salem, and matriarch of a line of the amazing Owens women and men featured in Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic.

Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she’s abandoned in a snowy field in rural England as a baby. Under the care of Hannah Owens, Maria learns about the “Unnamed Arts.” Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift and she teaches the girl all she knows. It is here that she learns her first important lesson: Always love someone who will love you back.

When Maria is abandoned by the man who has declared his love for her, she follows him to Salem, Massachusetts. Here she invokes the curse that will haunt her family. And it’s here that she learns the rules of magic and the lesson that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Love is the only thing that matters.

Magic Lessons is a celebration of life and love and a showcase of Alice Hoffman’s masterful storytelling.

My Review

Oh my! If you liked Practical Magic or The Rules of Magic then this is the very beginning of the Owens line of witches. As per normal, Alice Hoffman did a wonderful job portraying her characters and the story line is superb. I could barely put it down. As I said before this book starts the whole Owens line and explains why they are love cursed and why they are witches.

As a lover of witchcraft and stories about them this one fulfilled all my hopes. I have enjoyed The Rules of Magic and Practical Magic so I was not surprised that I enjoyed this one. The love that Maria followed only to be abandoned with her daughter. The life they had to make for themselves, everything they went through made them the women and witches they were. You even come to realize that the curse was not meant the way that future books tell it and that Maria comes to regret the curse but it is one thing that can not be reversed and that brings emotions into the reading.

The love between Maria and her daughter, Faith, is amazing. Though Faith goes into the dark magic, Maria is there to help her realize that she does not need to use the dark magic but at the same time I do not blame her one bit. For the abuse and betrayal Faith went through as a child in Salem left a dark hole in her that she tried to fill.

With the characters, story line, and the elements that Alice Hoffman always manages to put into her books, this one is no different. I recommend you read this one. It does not matter if you have read the Owens book in order or out of order they can stand on their own.


I received this book from Net Galley for this review.

Book Review: Secrets of a Serial Killer

Title: Secrets of a Serial Killer
Author: Rosie Walker

An edge-of-your-seat serial killer thriller that you won’t be able to put down!
There it is: fear. It’s crawling all over her face and in her eyes, like a swarm of insects, and it’s all because of him.

A serial killer has been terrorizing Lancaster for decades, longer than should ever have been possible. The police are baffled, eluded at every turn by the killer whose victims span generations. Speculation is rife among the true crime forums; is someone passing on their gruesome trade?

Every local mother’s worst nightmare has become Helen Summerton’s reality; he’s taken her daughter, Zoe. As the clock runs down so do her chances of survival. Can Helen unearth the secrets of the killer before it’s too late?

A gripping serial killer thriller that you won’t be able to put down.

My Review

First off let me say I adore the cover of the book. You would never imagine what the book is about, other then the title, but the cover image and design.

Next let’s dig into the book. The story line and different plot points were amazing. My main problem is that antagonist needed a bit more back story. Once we find out the true antagonist, to me at least, leaves a bit to be desired but the way the book ends makes me think that there might be another one coming and if that is the case then I can see why it was left a bit disjointed. Otherwise the characters were well developed and you could really feel the emotions from them. I would like to know a bit more about Helen and Tony’s failed marriage. Was it Mr. X case that broke their marriage or something else.

I also loved how Alfie played an important role in finding and protecting Zoe and the kids. It not a normal thing for an author to give a part in the book to the pets other then just as pets. It was refreshing to see a author do this.

The story kept you guessing until the very end and to my dismay it finished on a cliffhanger which means I really want to know what happens next. I will be looking for the next book from this author and hopefully it will be a continuing of the antagonist’s story line.


I received this book from Net Galley for this review.

Book Review: Her Husband’s Grave

Title: Her Husband’s Grave
Author: P L Kane

Criminal psychologist Robyn Adams is at breaking point after a previous case resulted in an attempt on her own life. But as she sits in the car about to head home, her phone rings. It’s Robyn’s cousin, Vicky Carter, who she hasn’t seen or heard from in years.

Vicky’s voice cracks down the phone. Her husband, Simon, has been found buried on Golden Sands beach. Desperate to help and determined not to let her last case get the better of her, Robyn returns to the coastal village where she spent summers with Vicky as a child.

Robyn knows that she has let Vicky down in the past and is set on making up for lost time. Throwing herself into the case, she combs through evidence, intent on discovering a lead that will help the local police.

But there is clearly someone who wants Robyn gone. She is convinced someone is watching her and when she begins to receive threatening notes, Robyn knows that she could be risking her life…

But Robyn won’t leave again – she owes it to Vicky to stay.

My Review

This book was an interesting read to be sure. In the start I thought it was quite a bit like William Graham & Hannibal Lector in the tv series Hannibal but it went completely away from that feeling. The characters were well written & the story line followed the character development.

I loved how the heroine, Robyn Adams, is completely damaged & is trying to heal and not let anyone know how damaged she is. Yet she comes to the call of family and does her best even when Vicky (her cousin) finds out the dark secret that Robyn holds. Even then she continues to push her limits of what she can mentally and emotionally handle just to find the culprit of the murder of Vicky’s husband.

With the local law enforcement against her, her mental and emotional status Robyn Adams is a kick butt woman that goes after her suspect with an undying drive. I recommend this book even if you do not normally enjoy this genre of book.


I received this book from Net Galley for this review.