Johanna Parker is an excellent narrator as always, and Bailey Cates has created a quirky coven of colorful characters that are worth spending some rel..Show More »axing hours with. As a cozy mystery, this story doesn't require deep thinking or puzzling. Actually, I think the fun might crumble in the face of too much over-thinking.
If you enjoy baking, the recipes included in the book are available on a pdf at the publisher's website with a code given at the beginning of the recording. I haven't downloaded them yet, but there are a lot of yummy-sounding items at the bakery.
If you enjoy things magical, the basic practices, symbols and herbs discussed are true to tradition as far as my experience. I always wonder about that in a fiction book, so that was a nice discovery.
As far as negatives go, while the female characters are alive and textured, the male characters are flat and fall into stereotypes -- good guy fireman, slimy reporter, cranky detective, thug, nearly invisible husband. Also, since it's the first book in a series, and there are a so many characters, more time is spent introducing people than developing the mystery. I guessed whodunnit within minutes of the murder.
That said, I enjoyed these people enough to listen a second time while I was doing other things around the house, and I will be happy to buy the second book in the series when it comes out in audiobook.
Katie Lightfoot is keeping herself busy. Between working at the bakery and volunteering, she barely has time to see her firefighter boyfriend, Declan...Show More » She's not avoiding Declan, but moreso avoiding her fate and destiny as a witch, and a powerful one at that. However she can't constantly run away from it, especially when her powers are needed to solve the murder of a fellow volunteer at the conservation group.
Charms and Chocolate Chips is the third book in the Magical Bakery Mysteries and I adored the first two books in this series. They combine my love of culinary cozies with paranormal elements just perfectly and often leave me [im]patiently waiting for the next book. I read the first two books in this series, and opted to listen to the latest book as an audiobook.
I like Katie Lightfoot. She's discovering lots of things about herself and her family that she didn't know before. She's only recently learnt that she's a witch and that's a lot to take on - especially when she learns that she's a "catalyst" and might be more powerful than she first thought. She's also taking baby steps with her relationship with Declan, given her previous disaster relationship. Add in another murder and well she's certainly got her hands full. However, what Katie soon discovers is that she can handle more than she thought she could!!
Charms and Chocolate Chips felt like a turning point for Katie. Her mother, who she hasn't spoken to very much since learning that her mother hid from her that Katie's a witch, is in town and it's great to learn more about Katie's family history and putting pieces of her own life's puzzle into place. For the reader we get a hint at exactly how much power Katie has and it's very interesting. I cannot wait to see how her powers progress as the series go on, as I'm sure it's going to be a great magical journey.
Charms and Chocolate Chips was a fantastic listen on audio. I listened while I dug into some holiday baking and it was a fantastic experience. Amy Rubinate was already one of my favorite narrators (based on her narration of The Selection series by Kiera Cass) and I'm so happy to see her narrating this series. She does a fantastic job of telling this story and her narration of Katie and her aunt, Lucy, are simply spot on. I plan to listen to future books in this series on audio.
I highly recommend this series to fans of culinary mysteries and paranormal mysteries. If you are looking for a series to try on audiobook, then definitely pick up the audio version, and Amy Rubinate's narration does not disappoint.