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Author: Bella Falls
Publisher: Evermore Press
Series: Southern Charms Mystery
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Cozy Mystery
Rating: 4 Stars
Medium: Audio Book

Favorite line from the book:
“I swear, you don’t go looking for trouble. You hunt it down, tackle it to the ground and claim it as yours.”  ~ Mason

Moonshine & Magic is the first in a cozy mystery series that takes place in Honeysuckle Hollow – a town full of the magically inclined. It starts off as we follow Charli Goodwin as she comes home after being away for a while, and while she didn’t really seem to tell most where she was going we do find out it was so she could better learn her magic. Though, she left behind not just her family but a fiance she turned down as well, which makes her nervous about the homecoming she’ll receive.

Potential spoilers ahead.

As a whole, I really enjoyed this book. With Charli coming home it was a good introduction into the world Charli lived in, Honeysuckle Hollow, and how things worked both for humans and for the magical community. Honeysuckle Hollow is a special town, in that it’s made up entirely of the magical community. Humans who accidentally start to cross into its borders are given a sleep spell and settled somewhere far away so they don’t actually make it into town. It’s kind of interesting to have a whole town that’s carefully tucked away so that it can be a safe haven for the magical community.

On her first night back, Charli has the unfortunate pleasure of both walking into her ex-fiance proposing to her cousin but then ending the night finding her uncle dead. Even worse, she’s tied to the death curse he’d weaved on himself, which means that she needs to find out who killed him so the curse can settle on the rightful person and fast.

I enjoyed the world-building of the book and the magic system – including that magic users, of all kinds be they witch or vampire, tend to have a particular thing they’re good at that usually travels down the bloodlines. I actually really liked that while she was under the death curse and striving to figure out who killed her uncle that the curse actually did affect her. It weakened her, it was made worse by using her magic or by being touched by other magic, which slowed her down and made her rely on some help from both the new warden (detective), named Mason, in town as well as a wolf shifter, Dash, in town.

I will say, she kept making the distinction whenever Mason called Dash a werewolf, that he wasn’t a werewolf, he was a Wolf Shifter, without any context to us, the reader, for what the difference might actually be. So I’d have loved a little more context into why the two are very different. Because there was a reference to something happening in Mason’s past that’s tied to werewolves and thus gives him a bias against them – so clearly they’re technically two separate creatures? But I’m not entirely sure what the difference is because while she’s quick to correct him, I didn’t really get a reason why or how they’re different.

While I saw a little of the whodunit when we meet him originally on the night of Charli’s homecoming, I do like that the mystery was stretched out because it’s not just about the whodunit but the why as well that is important and I like how they weaved the why in. As well, who might have had a hand in helping or being involved. I think the wrap-up at the end was handled well also, and liked the conclusion of the book.

Currently, I’m curious if this is going to end up with her picking one of the two men interested in her (technically three since her ex isn’t over her but she’s firmly put him in the rearview mirror with a conversation at the end of the book) or if this will slide into more of a shared/reverse harem ish kind of playout since we currently have both Mason and Dash interested in her and she’s interested in both of them at the moment. We’ll find out because I do plan to continue this series.