In Midsummer Night’s Mischief, Jennifer David Hesse, an environmental law attorney, weaves an engaging tale of romance, magic, and shenanigans involving Keli and her BFF Farrah, coworkers Crenshaw and Pammy, formidable boss Beverly, and a cast of possible love interests, suspects, and residents available to help or hamper Keli and her amateur sleuthing attempts.
Who says a single woman should rely on her wits and intelligence alone when she’s got the Goddess at her disposal? Keli Milanni has a big secret. In addition to practicing law, she is a practicing Wiccan in bucolic Edindale, IL. She’s got her eye on the new hottie in town, Wes Callahan, but is too busy trying to save her job, deflect the unexpected attentions of a coworker, and track down a priceless work of literature to concentrate solely on love spells.
Excerpt: Shielded by two overgrown lilac bushes on either side of the back stoop, the intruder paused for a moment to remove the gloves and stick them in the pockets of a hoodie. How could the old woman be so careless? She hadn’t deserved to own this book, anyway. Maybe no one person should own it. But somebody would want it badly enough to pay big, big money.
The first in a planned series, “Midsummer Night” is one of several events unfolding in the college town where Keli earned her law degree. With the Renaissance Fair and the 12th Annual Literary Convention occurring simultaneously, tracking down the stolen Shakespeare volume for the family of her now deceased client becomes a carnival of mishaps. Keli is a lawyer after all, not an investigator.
As Keli gets closer and closer to the truth, she’ll need to answer several questions. Did her elderly client die of natural causes? Is it possible that someone in her own office is involved? Will she and her firm be held accountable for the value of the priceless artifact? Who is responsible for the ominous warnings she’s been receiving?
And, maybe most importantly, what if the guy she has her heart set on turns out to be the culprit?
Hesse creates a likeable heroine chock full of flaws and charm. She is successful at managing client cases and using herbs and candles to create spells, but makes plenty of mistakes along the way. The magical element isn’t the main focus in this first outing, and the author leaves plenty of room for a heavier dose of it in Keli’s next adventure. The author’s small town of Edindale pulls the reader in, and there are plenty of quirky secondary players to pique our interest in the future.
Avid readers who love books about books will appreciate the focus of Hesse’s amateur investigator in her first big case. For mystery readers, especially cozy lovers, Hesse’s first in the Wiccan Wheel series offers a fresh and spirited take on the form. An entertaining read, with good pacing and a sprinkle of humor, Midsummer Night’s Mischief is a perfect companion for any day of the year.
To learn more about this series, check out the author’s website.