Cozy Mystery

Meows, Magic & Murder (Lake Forest Witches, 1) by Madison Johns

Image source: Goodreads

Petunia Patterson’s life was turned upside down when she discovered a body in her new neighbor, Noah Becker’s back yard. It’s bad enough that her cat, Pansy, had gotten into his house—especially when Pansy wasn’t a cat at all, but Jeremy Walters, a man she gave a love potion to, which transformed him into a cat. 

Soon Petunia was a person of interest and she teams up with Noah to clear her name when all the evidence points to Petunia. If they don’t figure who the Knitting Needle Killer was, and soon, would she be the one that would have to answer for the crimes? 


Fair warning—this is probably more of a rant than a review.

~ What I Liked About the Book ~

I usually enjoy cozy mysteries because they’re entertaining and easy to read, but I really couldn’t find anything to like about this book. It was a struggle to finish, and I admit to skimming to accomplish the task. At least I got to the end, right?

~ What I Didn’t Like About the Book ~

I was frustrated and annoyed the whole time I was reading this. My initial reaction after turning the last page was, “Well. There’s a few hours of my life I’m never getting back.”

I have never read a book where I just wanted to strangle every single character for opening their mouths, but the worst of the lot was Petunia. God, Petunia was so irritating. Not so much at the beginning, thankfully, but she gradually became more and more so. Her constant whining about her lack of potion-making skills was her worst attribute. She was also pushy and kept trying to stay on the frontline of the investigation even when she was fully aware that no one would talk to her because everyone hated her. Gee, I wonder why.

Petunia’s constant denial about being a witch also irked me. Her defense was, “I’m not a witch. I just make potions.” And this was after having drugged someone with a love potion that accidentally turned him into a cat and giving a frail old lady near-superhuman stamina. The fact that she gave someone a love potion said so much about her character, actually.

She wasn’t the only one who grated on my nerves. Every single character did. Her aunt was a liar despite having no good reason to lie, and her love interest was a questionable character who randomly decided to trust Petunia, the prime suspect, after only a couple of conversations. A lot of the things the townspeople did were also absurd, like their constant need to ostracize Petunia. The author tried too hard to start a pity party for the poor innocent woman everyone hated, aka Petunia.

I’m sorry, but this book was simply horrible. I normally try to look at both the good and the bad when judging a book, but I couldn’t find any redeeming qualities in the characters, the plot, or the ending. There wasn’t even an actual build up to solving the mystery, just a random big reveal at the end.



Meows, Magic & Murder is a poorly written cozy mystery book. I don’t recommend it to anyone.


Amazon | Goodreads

For a complete list of my book reviews, click here.


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