Thank you to Tor Books and BookishFirst for an ARC!
CW: murder, abortion, cancer, alcohol abuse, and bullying
For me, this was a case of coverly love that turned into more intrigue when I read the First Look that BookishFirst gave.
Ivy Gamble is a private investigator. Usually, she looks for cheating spouses and other little things like that. But, one day, someone comes knocking on her door. There’s been a murder at a magic school that her twin sister, Tabitha, teaches at. Despite her reservations about magic and the tense relationship the sisters have, Ivy decides to take it.
Let me tell you, this was a fun ride. I haven’t been so absorbed in a mystery in a while! Ivy was a very fun, flawed main character to read from. I loved that there was such a deep past for her that developed more as the story went on. I also loved that it showed a difficult family relationship with so many complicating factors included.
The mystery was also spectacularly woven. There were so many twists and characters that could have done it that I wasn’t sure where to focus my attention on. In the end, I was pleased with what it turned out to be. It was the last thing I expected, too! While I think that some might feel it’s a bit of a lackluster ending, I thought that it really worked for the story. It was hard to read, but it was still something that I enjoyed.
One thing I wish was clear in the book is that it deals with cancer. I might have avoided the book or done a few extra things to mentally guard myself if I had known that. It wasn’t terribly described, but having a family member pass from cancer a month ago, it would have been nice to have that as a warning. It’s a minor critique, but I want it to be clear in my review since I didn’t see it anywhere else.
There are also queer characters in this book! While they’re not exactly main characters, they’re there and I loved reading how seamlessly they were included by the author into the story. No fuss about it, either. It just was the way it was and no one found it odd, which is what I love my queer content as.
Basically, y’all need to pick this book up! It was a very enjoyable read with beautifully flawed characters and a mystery that kept me hooked the whole time. I can’t wait to see what comes from this author next and if these characters will be revisited anytime!
What’s one of your favorite mysteries?
Have you read this? What did you think?