Book Review: Spelling the Tea by Erin Johnson

Spelling the Tea
by Erin Johnson
Indie Author: Yes
Kindle Unlimited: Yes
Publication Date: 01.27.21

Genres: 
Cozy Mystery
Witches, Vampires

Page Count: 186 Pages

Synopsis:

In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.

But when the Eastwood sisters–James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna–join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote-and perhaps not even to live-the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.

There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.
 

Sabetha's Review:

5/5

For anyone that is reading the reviews wondering if the cover moving from illustrated to ‘real people’ is signifying that the series will be less cozy you can find that answer here.

For me, if I had seen this ‘real people’ cover in the wild not knowing who Erin Johnson was, I wouldn’t have picked up it. Aside from not liking the style, I have always thought these ‘shocked someone poked me expression real people covers’ signaled paranormal women’s fiction or an urban fantasy spin on the cozy genre, not the typical cozy genre I read. Erin is one of my favorite cozy mysteries authors of all time, so her name on the book is what told me to give it a chance.

Yup, I’m a cover judger. *hangs head in shame* Just wanted to throw that out there in case anyone else was judging these type of covers as I do.



If you haven’t read an Erin Johnson mystery, you’re in for a treat. She is a master of twists. I love the complexity that she gives her series. With the series long plot line, tied into a case that is complex and uses the full world to explore as the sleuth searches for the culprit. It’s hard not fall head first into her worlds.

This is an excellent start to a series, Minnie shows us so much potential and I’m excited to see which paths she takes. From the vampire’s council, to the hints of her joining a coven. There is unlimited options for adventure and mystery.

The city of Bath is described like something out of a fairy tale. Well researched and well utilized in the story. Some books set in beautiful places will only touch on the location, like “look how cool this book is, it’s set in a destination” but Erin does a great job of really grounding you in the city, and brings it to life as if it is more than just an average city but a living part of the story. This aspect alone makes me super excited to dive into future books.

Minnie is relatable, and raw, her struggles with her current predicament were given to us in an honest, believable manner. I felt for her from the first few pages of the story. I don’t want to give away spoilers, but her personal struggles in this book have me excited to watch her personal growth journey as a witch, and a person. Her divorce has been a mixed bag for her, but I’m pulling for it to end up being the best thing that ever happened to her life.

We also get introduced to what I assume will make up Minnie’s circle, unlike other mysteries, Minnie is currently the sole female in a cast of attractive guys. (The non paranormal tea shop workers, vampire owner, vampire friend, and the cop.) I’m not sure if this is signaling love triangle -ew- or leaving room for a coven of women dynamics, but I already have my love interest team picked out and am hoping for no triangles. (again no spoilers here!)

I love that this series is going to be set in the world of non paranormal, so we can explore how open Minnie is allowed to be, and who knows about what aspects of her life. Gives another layer of complexity to the story, and I am excited to discover how it’s handled.

From Spells and Caramels to Spelling the Tea Erin’s style becomes more defined and this book really shows her true poetic way with words. If you love cozies, you’ll appreciate typical tropes with a fresh take on world building and execution.

Note: Clean read.

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