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Monday, January 31, 2022

Book Review: The Raven Spell: A Novel (A Conspiracy of Magic Book 1) by Luanne G. Smith

The Raven Spell: A Novel (A Conspiracy of Magic Book 1) 
by Luanne G. Smith
February 1, 2022
Publisher: 47North
ISBN: 9781542034043
In Victorian England a witch and a detective are on the hunt for a serial killer in an enthralling novel of magic and murder by the Amazon Charts and Washington Post bestselling author of The Vine Witch.

After a nearly fatal blow to the skull, traumatized private detective Ian Cameron is found dazed and confused on a muddy riverbank in Victorian London. Among his effects: a bloodstained business card bearing the name of a master wizard and a curious pocket watch that doesn’t seem to tell time. To retrieve his lost memories, Ian demands answers from Edwina and Mary Blackwood, sister witches with a murky past. But as their secret is slowly unveiled, a dangerous mystery emerges on the darkened streets of London.

To help piece together Ian’s lost time, he and Edwina embark on a journey that will take them from the river foreshore to an East End music hall, and on to a safe house for witches in need of sanctuary from angry mortals. The clues they find suggest a link between a series of gruesome murders, a missing person’s case, and a dreadful suspicion that threatens to tear apart the bonds of sisterhood. As the investigation deepens, could Ian and Edwina be the next to die.

Edwina and Mary Blackwood are sisters, but more than that, they are also witches. Abandoned by their parents and attempting to make a life for themselves in the city, they search the beach for things left by the tide to sell in their shop. Edwina has the gift of finding treasures. 

The sisters find a man, Ian Cameron, lying on the muddy riverbank. Mary, attracted to corpse lights, extracts the man’s for herself. But Ian does not die and now does not remember who he was and why he is in Victorian London, only he had a nearly fatal blow to his skull.

A historical dark fantasy mystery, with a serial killer, magic, and some romance (growing between Edwina and Ian). If you enjoy Penny Dreadful, Carnival Row, and The Nevers, you will enjoy this novel. If you want action, this won’t be that book for you. It is the kind of book for a cold night, with a cup of hot tea nearby to enjoy.

I give The Raven Spell 4 sheep.

Reviewed by Pamela K. Kinney

About the Author:
Luanne G. Smith is the bestselling author of The Vine Witch trilogy and The Raven Spell, the first book in a new gothic witch series set in Victorian London. She's is lucky enough to live in Colorado at the base of the beautiful Rocky Mountains, where she enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, a glass of wine at the end of the day, and finding the magic in everyday life.

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