Magic & Murder, written by Annabel Chase, opens to a young single mother just trying to make ends meet. Ember Rose is working as a repo woman in New Jersey to take care of her 10 year old daughter, Marley. Ember is assigned to go to a nicer part of town to take a Maserati. Not realizing that this Maserati belongs to the notorious ‘Jimmy the Lighter’, a member of the mob. Ember narrowly escapes with her life and heads home to be with her daughter and dog. While preparing for bed, there is a knock on the door. The door opens to reveal Jimmy is back, and he doesn’t care that there is a child present. Jimmy tries to set their small apartment on fire. His plans are thwarted when three very good looking people appear out of nowhere and save Ember and Marley. After doing some magic, they inform Ember that they are her cousins and want to bring her to a safe place, Starry Hollow. Ember soon begins to realize that she is a witch and other supernatural beings also exist. While adapting to the new town and its residents, Ember stumbles upon the body of a young girl. This particular young girl was of high importance in the town. To clear her name, and to get a story for her newfound reporting job, Ember must discover who the murderer is.
Magic & Murder was a quick, fun read. I was a bit surprised how well Marley and Ember seemed to cope with the fact that magic and werewolves and vampires existed though. I know that if I saw someone do magic in front of me, I would need more than an hour to deal with it. Marley also seemed to be way more mature than any 10 year old I’ve ever met. I was a voracious reader as a child but I was still a child. Although these two facts bugged me a bit, the story was intriguing enough that I was willing to overlook it. Annabel Chase did a great job describing this mystical town. Even minor characters were full beings with stories of their own and I appreciated that. The murder wrapped up a little too neatly for my liking but as an introductory novel, this was a good one.