The Beechwood Harbor Magic Mysteries Boxed Set

Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
Length: 19 hrs and 46 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (336 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Holly Boldt is a witch with a problem. Make that lots of problems.  

Following her banishment from the supernatural world, she is thrust into a halfway house for paranormal misfits like her. With a warring shifter and vampire roommate and a cantankerous ghost landlady, she's got a full plate.  

Unsurprisingly, she finds solace in the human residents of the small coastal town and begins to feel like maybe - just maybe - she could finally have a normal life. Until her best friend is accused of a murder she didn't commit.  

Holly is forced to use her magic to solve the crime before she loses her friend, not to mention her last shred of sanity!

©2016, 2017 Danielle Garrett (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about The Beechwood Harbor Magic Mysteries Boxed Set

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The Heroine is Not Very Likeable

I simply cringe so many times per book at Holly’s dumb decisions. She lies to her friends and boyfriend a lot and comes off as ditzy often. I like every other recurring character better than the main one. I understand that the series gets better but I do not know if I will continue.....

8 people found this helpful

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Pick a Side

Not a fan of the romance part of the story. Pick one or neither, but quit pining for one while with the other. Gave it until mid way of book 3, but I’m done.

10 people found this helpful

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Great Package to Kick Off a Witchy Series

*Beechwood Harbor Magic Mysteries Boxed Set*

This is the first three volumes of the series and I will try to address each individual novel. I also recommend listening to the first two stories in the Betwixt collection of short stories titled “A Witch of a Day” and “Cats, Bars, and Talking Hats” which take place before this first volume and give you a quick background and set up for this story and cast of characters. This might aid people who feel a little lost about why things start where and how they do. I also highly recommend Garrett’s other series Beechwood Harbor Ghost Mysteries which take place in the same town and discuss some overlapping folks who cross over in the tales. There is also the Touch of Magic Mysteries whose protagonist is friends with the protagonist of this series and that one takes place in Haven, the magical town that the protagonist of this series was banished from. I think Touch of Magic is my least favorite of the series but for those who enjoy knowing the different characters mentioned and different aspects of the same universe you might enjoy. I also want to give the caveat that most cozies and light romances I can comfortably listen to at 1.5X speed, I find the narrators often are speaking crazy slow and so these audible zip right by for me. Amanda Ronconi is great in all the stories for me and she is definitely one of my favorite narrators for this style book.

~Murder’s a Witch~ 4 stars
This contains Chapters 1 through 28 of the audible. I have to say I enjoyed this first story and the set up for this cast of characters. It greatly helped that I had listened to the short prequels I mentioned above as they provided some important information on Holly Boldt has come to be staying at a halfway house for supernaturals in Beechwood Harbor. The house is run by a ghost named Posey, and the other occupants are a flirtatious shifter named Adam, a prissy princess vamp named Lacey, and a mystery occupant who keeps to themselves. Although some of Holly’s background was given in the prequels there remains quite a bit that is left unrevealed. I enjoyed the dynamics between she and her housemates and the set up for the town.

There is an interesting dynamic of having a halfway house for supernaturals placed in the human world and outside of the Haven a town for supernatural. It is shown throughout the story how there are many sups (short for supernaturals) living amongst humans secretly and curious to know how one would safely find their own kind hidden in the population and reach out to them. You also get the set up of the bureaucratic systems known as the SPA (Supernatural Protection Agency).

There is also some on again off again romance threads throughout the story and I did appreciate the main protagonist being sarcastic and more realistic in her responses to people. Though like many cozies there are occasional moments of cringing at the over stepping into investigations and dangers as they are the only one who can crack the case. I enjoyed the humor and characters and the light tone overall. There are twists and turns but these stories are never ones where I am actually trying to ‘figure it out’ as often they reveal information the audience had no way of knowing, I simply enjoy the reveals. There is also a set up for the next book with the introduction of Evangeline, a supernatural soap opera star. Overall a promising beginning for someone who likes light supernatural cozies with humor and flirting but nothing really heavy in romance, steam, or conflict.

~Twice the Witch~ 3.5 Stars
This contains Chapters 29 through 51 of the audible. The is some tension in the story around love triangles between Adam and Holly, Holly’s jealousy/insecurity around Evangeline and Adam’s jealousy/insecurity around Nic (local PI). There are definitely times I find it hard to take up the side of protagonist. She is a busy buddy that often gets involved in things that really aren’t her business and could easily be handled by others, while blowing off and neglecting her personal relationships just as she professes how important they are to her. Her judgments about some of the other characters often feel unfounded, and she criticizes her boyfriend for engaging in behavior that she also does. She lacks insight, struggles to do what it best for her and her relationships and is quite self centered. I do appreciate that she does still tend to turn things over to authorities once things progress so her involvement isn’t as cringe worthy as other cozies I have read. 

I am confused by Holly’s continual engagement in what is apparently an “illegal” potion making business. There is no clear important motivation for her to continue to participate in a practice that she reports has such high stakes. This isn’t developed yet is repeatedly referenced as a threat to the character in volume one, two, and the prequels. It doesn’t make any sense to me that in a world of magical beings there aren’t independent potion makers. Or why she cannot just refer people to get potions legally somewhere else. Or why other magical beings would risk buying illegal potions. The character is so defensive about not wanting to do anything to risk losing her home and yet then repeatedly makes mention of how quickly she would be kicked out if she were caught making potions and no where do they suggest it is hard to get potions necessitating her to be the one to make them. In fact at the end of the story we even see how easy characters can create a legal business where there are magically enhanced tonics sold.

The story overall was pretty good never felt like it was dragging. But I did find some of Holly’s character tendencies more distracting in this volume. She has multiple close people to her try to call out some of her behaviors and she becomes very defensive and is never reflective but as the audience I did not feel sympathy with her I wanted to confront her too. But sometimes we are seeking such a protagonist one who is flawed with human struggles and contradictions. The romance in the story between Adam and Holly falls a little flat for me, feeling more forced and when it is convenient for Holly. She always seems ready to drop Adam if there is a mystery around. Adam almost becomes a two dimensional doormat tolerating Holly’s every whim. I found myself almost wishing the two would just break it off and feel like that is what the author is wanting to keep dangling out there as a plot device for tension.

Speaking of forced plot devices there was a very odd scene after Holly was in a life threatening situation where she then returns home to talk to Adam not about these events that just happened but about her whole backstory. It felt so odd. Overall this volume was not quite as good as the last one and I found myself less invested in the characters. But despite my rants I still do enjoy the world and am curious for the ongoing development.

~Witch Slapped~ 5 Stars
This contains chapter 55 through 79 of the audible. Good Gravy! Thanksgiving at Beechwood Manor a short story from the Betwixt short story collection also takes place before this volume if you are listening in order. But you wouldn’t miss anything if you didn’t listen to that short.

Finally the author provides a detailed explanation of Holly making illegal potions as a side hustle. I was so happy this loop got addressed directly and was given time. It was great world building and allowed me to understand the protagonist more as well as sink into the situation and feel more tension. The manor is visited by Holly’s SPA officer. Not a likable fellow at all, though it is unclear what his beef is with Holly and it is interesting to see his character develop throughout this tale.

Overall I loved this story and really feel like this is the series in a peak stride. The dynamics between characters feels rich and believable, baddies are bad, and when are main character hits her low points the emotion is ratcheted up with every possible thing happening at once. We are introduced to Adam’s parents and there feels like there is more nuance to the relationship between he and Holly with the same struggles still present.

All in all this collection is great for someone jumping into the series and I have already gotten future volumes to keep going in this wonderful little town and all it’s inhabitants.

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bingeable...wait is that even a word?

I absolutely loved it! I binged the first three books in three days! A book a day keeps my sanity sane! haha

2 people found this helpful

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fun mysteries

A bit more into interpersonal drama than I usually prefer, but still very fun stories and characters. the narrator has some repetitive vocalizations, but it was not confusing and did not detract from the stories.

2 people found this helpful

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Great series, great narrator

This set includes the prequel and the first three books. Great value and I really like the narrator. These are clean cozy mysteries. I like the main character. I like the mysteries. I also like how the characters and world develop over the three books. This was worth a credit to me.

2 people found this helpful

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Fun and Entertaining

Great narrator! Love this series! Enjoyable with a wide variety of characters. Always look forward to starting each book.

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New author, worth a credit.

Bought this mainly because of the narrator and because it was a boxed set. Amanda Ronconi's narration is one of my favorites! Not disappointed at all. The boxed set is a good way to check out an author you've never read before. This series is super cute and light, and had enough mystery to keep you wondering. Not sure if going to get any more of the series, but maybe.

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Kept my attention

I’m a housekeeper and rely on interesting audiobooks to get me through the day. Thank you for taking me to a new world with fantastic story telling and stunning performance.

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Nice cozies

Cute and engaging. Well paced. A little world building and light romance. Fun but forgettable.

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  • Katherine Russell
  • 12-21-19

Easy and enjoyable light-hearted stories

Enjoyed these little short stories. Like Amanda Ronconi as a story teller as she changes the voices pretty well

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  • Roobarb
  • 06-12-19

Three times the fun

Loved these books. They were well read as expected by Amanda Ronconi and had a great pace to each of the stories.