In the Wick of Time by Valona JonesIn the Wick of Time by Valona Jones
Series: Magic Candle Shop Mystery #2
Published by Crooked Lane Books on October 17, 2023
Source: Won
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Paranormal
Format: Hardcover
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Tabby Winslow will help her twin sister Sage with anything and everything—and that includes putting out the flames of suspicion when Sage’s boss is found murdered in this magical mystery, perfect for fans of Amanda Flower and Sofie Kelly.

December in Savannah, Georgia, is a sight to behold. With all the festivities—including the traditional riverfront luminary display during the boat parade—twin sisters Tabby and Sage Winslow are busier than ever setting up for the big celebration. But that isn’t the only thing on the sisters’ minds. Both Sage and her fellow employee Mary Nicole are vying for the sought-after assistant manager job at the plant nursery. But when Loren Lee, their boss, is found dead, and Sage becomes the police’s favorite suspect, both Winslow girls know that they’ll need more than a flicker of magic and their sisterhood to solve the murder and clear Sage’s name.

Soon, Tabby realizes that this is just one of the many problems they have. If being a suspect for murder wasn’t enough, there are more magical problems that they have to fix: Sage’s boyfriend is having a paranormal experience of his own he can’t control, there’s an energy vampire searching for his supposedly lost cousin, and oh—every time Tabby hiccups, she turns completely invisible. The suspect list grows with each day and it seems everyone has a reason or a connection to Loren Lee.

Tabby and Sage are burning the candle at both ends—but will it be enough to keep their friends safe and find this killer? Or will they be burned by their efforts?

I really wanted to like In the Wick of Time. it has so many good points – good setting, Christmas, quirky characters, even a bit of magic, but it was just lacking for me.

Tabby and Sage are not women I want to hang out with. Well, Tabby maybe, at least she seem semi-sensible most of the time. Sage, however is selfish and whiny.

The magic in this world was a little confusing. Tabby and Sage are energy users, I think, but other people cast spells and enchantments. Apparently the cops know magic exists, but Tabby’s boyfriend doesn’t – or maybe he does, I’m not sure. There was also one scene between an energy vampire and Sage that made me uncomfortable and wasn’t really dealt with.

The mystery itself was fine, even if the killer’s motive was pretty weak. I don’t think I’ll pick up any more in the series.

About Valona Jones

Valona Jones writes paranormal cozy mysteries set in Southern locales. Her work blends mystery and the unexplained, along with a sprinkle of romance. A former scientist, she’s drawn to the study of personal energy. She sharpened her people-watching skills as a lifelong introvert and thankfully had a bank vault full of personal observations when she began to write fiction. Valona Jones is a pen name for author Maggie Toussaint. She’s a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She lives in coastal Georgia, where time and tide wait for no one.

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