Hex at a House Party – From the Back Cover
Twenty-six-year-old witch Alma may be a failed demon hunter, but she’s never lacked magical ability—just an Incurable Inability to kill. Recovering from defending her small town from a recent supernatural attack, Alma has sworn off working for the Protectorate, the witch governing body, to devote herself to learning and teaching the old ways of magic—without hurting anyone.
But soon she’s drawn out of her cozy house in the redwoods to investigate a high-society witch at a week-long house party on the remote coast north of San Francisco. When the party turns deadly, she’s forced to summon old powers and new, make allies she might not be able to trust, and face a shocking truth about her own identity. And maybe—if she can survive long enough—unmask a killer.
Hex at a House Party – My Review
This is the second book in the Sonoma Witches series and continues where it left off in Dead Witch on A Bridge. If you’re new to the series, you can read the review here.
Without giving away too many spoilers, this book has it all: friendship, chemistry, tension, blackmail, and murder.
I loved to see the friendship between Alma and Birdie deepen while Birdie learns to explore and control her magic. To everyone’s relief, the friendly neighborhood changeling, Seth has survived his touch and go situation from the end of book one ( no spoilers for those who have yet to read it!). His survival though came at a steep price that’ll keep him close to Alma. He’s alive as long as he doesn’t go too far from his home. I can’t complain, and I hope to see more of him in the next book. The chemistry between the characters is undeniable strong, and we get a glimpse of the reason behind it. I also think the banter between him and Alma is endearing and makes me want to read more. Here’s a taste:
I got as far as San Francisco before I began to die a slow, painful death.”
“Are you sure it wasn’t the high cost of living?” I laughed nervously. He didn’t join in. “Sorry.
In this installment, Alma is sent to a house party to spy on the witches on behalf of the protectorate. Most of the action takes place at the house party and follows the classic patterns of a murder mystery. Alma has to work around a web of lies, and everyone has secrets to hide. I loved how it kept me guessing at every turn.
When Alma learns disturbing facts about her ancestry, she runs back to Seth, hoping he knows more. Their brief exchange is, as always tongue in cheek.
“I’ve always found you irresistible,” Seth said blandly. “Didn’t know why.”
I said, “Gee, thanks,” and felt my face get warm.
“You’re cute, obviously, but I always find myself wanting to climb into your lap and purr. That’s kind of bad. Demons take advantage. My lake mother told me so.
In the end, I never would have guessed who the killer was or their motivation. Well played Gretchen, well played! I’m looking forward to the sequel!