• The Raven Spell

  • A Novel (A Conspiracy of Magic, Book 1)
  • By: Luanne G. Smith
  • Narrated by: Susannah Jones
  • Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (1,097 ratings)

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The Raven Spell

By: Luanne G. Smith
Narrated by: Susannah Jones
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Publisher's Summary

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?

©2022 Luanne G. Smith (P)2021 Brilliance Publishing , Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“This fun, atmospheric outing is ideal for fans of C. L. Polk’s Kingston Cycle.”Publishers Weekly

“Smith wraps up the plot neatly while leaving a clear hook to entice delighted readers back for the next book.”Booklist 

What listeners say about The Raven Spell

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Too gruesome for my sensibilities

The book is well-written and performed well. but the storyline and descriptions were unexpectedly gruesome.

36 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Continuous storytelling

Luanne G. Smith’s world of Magic folk feels very complete. The vine witch series set establishments, rules, and that there are a variety: witches, sorcerers, gin, fey, etc. living amongst mortals. Reading on with the new series fits in with what you know and gives you a universe of its own.

This book leaves questions unanswered hopefully to be answered in the sequel.

18 people found this helpful

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Good not wow!

Very solid book . Not amazing in my opinion but good story , dragged out a bit , very low fantasy.

14 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Where’s the raven?

This was hard to get into. The first 8 or 9 chapters were nothing but repetitive plot settings. We don’t fine anything about the “raven” aspect until the last 4 chapters of the book! Lots of unanswered questions, too. The characters were underdeveloped and quite boring. It seems there may be a sequel? But I’m not interested enough to find out what happens

12 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A fabulous book and a wonderful narrator!

Edwina and Mary Blackwood own a store in which they sell a mish-mash of various objects that they scavenged in evening and night-time walks. The two sisters had moved to the city of London with their father as a way to hide their status as witches in the large city. Since then, their father has voluntarily disappeared, leaving no way to contact him. While both sisters have strange compulsions with their witch powers, it is Mary's ability to take a person's memories that tends to cause more problems than others.

Despite that, the two sisters have been able to hide their witchery thus far. But recently, there have been brutal murders in the sisters and one of the people from whom Mary took their memories turns out to not only not die, but also to be a private investigator in town for a missing person's case. Edwina begins helping Ian, the private investigator, out of guilt for Mary having taken his memories; as the two investigate his missing person's case - starting at the beginning as Ian no longer remembered what he had already learned - the two of them find evidence that seems to link the missing person's case to the string of brutal murders. Will the two of them be able to solve the missing person's case before they become a victim of the serial killer? And just how is Mary connected?

I absolutely loved this mystery story with magic. Listening to this story reminded me of the Sherlock Holmes stories that I read as a kid. But this was even better because of the addition of magic. Smith's writing and Jones' narration were so good that I was pulled right into the story, experiencing Edwina's guilt and anxiety, her curiosity and concern, right along with her. When Ian begins to incorporate the memories from the bauble that Edwina returned to him, I couldn't help but struggle with the memories right along with him. In short, the writing was absolutely marvelous, and the narration brought the book to the next level.

I will definitely be reading and/or listening to the next book, and I only wish that I didn't have to wait until October to do so. LOL.

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Witches, pixies, ghosts and murder

All my favorite things in one book! Victorian Era London setting with a witchy "Scotland yard" in the mix.
It may have taken me a few chapters to really get hooked but by the middle I couldn't hit the pause.
Great voices provided by the narration.
I will really look forward to seeing the next book.
A definite recommendation for anyone seeking a magical murder mystery and then some.

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Truly great reading!!!

I loved this book. I'm loving all Luanne G Smith. I first came across her book The Vine Witch on Netgalley. I was lucky enough to get a copy for a review. I read it so fast. I finished all 3 books in that series. I already pre-ordered the second book in this series and I can't wait for it!!! The narrator was wonderful. I finished this book in 2 days. In only 2 sessions. I love the realism in her stories and yet there is plenty of magic. I always feel like I could step right into the place the book is taking place in at anytime. Luanne is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. Please keep it up. Her books are fun, easy, reads that still pull me in and make me feel for the characters. I would highly recommend taking a chance on this book.

7 people found this helpful

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Grimore not Grimwha @Susanna Jones. Pronunciation.

The reader should really be familiar with the articles in the story so
they can enunciate the particulars of the story. The story is very interesting
and what a treat it is to have someone read to me. I feel like royalty.
The detective is found by two sister witches who are shunned by most
of the village. Thinking he was on the edge of death. the one sister took
his memories. But he does not die and is left hollow to the sister's horror.

5 people found this helpful

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Excellent Witchy Mystery!

If you love stories about witches, sisters, or murder mysteries then look no further than this beautifully written story about the Blackwood sisters and the Brick Lane Slasher!

Set in Victorian London with the perfect narrator, I really enjoyed this surprising and sometimes disturbing story of fraternal twin sisters whose gifts are a bit singular even within their community of witches.

Throw in a dash of romance and an ending I didn’t see coming and you have yourself another well-crafted story from one of my favorite authors!

And the fact that you can read AND listen for free on Kindle Unlimited just made it all the better! I’m looking forward to the sequel!

5 people found this helpful

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Excellent story, well told, twists at every turn

Luanne's gifted story-telling has gotten even better than her very creative Vine Witch series. Her characters are more fully developed and feel real. This world could be the same as that of her previous tales, and just a dimension away from our own. Thankfully, this Raven tale doesn't end with "Never more" but a promise of more to come with its exciting cliffhanger at the end. I'm looking forward to the rest of this exciting tale.

4 people found this helpful

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  • GeraniumCat
  • 11-18-22

Wrong narrator

Why would you use an American voice for a book set in Victorian London? It creates such a dissonant sensation that I gave up - the atmosphere was just completely wrong, and I couldn't get into the story at all.
Very disappointing.

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  • Vixanne
  • 05-31-22

Brilliant!

This is the first book I have read by Luanne G Smith and I really enjoyed it and will be seeking out more titles! Very well written, engaging characters, good plot twists & very well narrated!

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  • Valdo
  • 03-12-22

Thank you

Something different but I couldn't stop listening or reading = thank you Luanne G Smith and Susannah Jones for a delightful experience.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Yasmin A.
  • 02-15-22

Performance definitely ruined the story for me!

The story in itself was not bad; but it wasn't amazing. It felt a bit repetitive in places, with length emphasis put on points that were obvious. But I enjoyed it well enough.

That being said, the performance of this book really ruined it for me, and irked me throughout. An American accent to read a London based book was irritating, but not nearly as much as the fact that the reader couldn't pronounce very very simple words such as 'shone' and 'rifiling.' In addition, there was a really bad Scottish accent put on for a good few of the main characters, which at times sounded Russian. It was very unnecessary, and made the overall experience very irritating.

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  • Hilda
  • 02-13-22

fascinating story

totally loved this book, it's supernatural potency was infectious and left me unable to pause as I wanted to know more!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • D. A. Steele
  • 02-04-22

Good story, great characters, poor narration

This is a favourite author of mine with what looks like a new series of books. The story is good, the characters were developed within the writing and I’m really looking forward to hearing more from this series. However, the narration lets the book down. The narrator is American (in accent), the two English witches would have had regional accents in the time the book is set and the Scottish accents would also have been regional. The Scottish accents were poor, I have not figured out what accent Hob is supposed to but as an old Elf surely that would be an old regional Scottish accent. Getting the right narrator will be important for the development of key characters in audio. Poor narration can kill a book, the narration in this book was just about acceptable. Having said that, I loved the story, I listened straight through and didn’t want it to end. I look forward to the next book in this series.

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  • Ashley Clarke
  • 11-10-22

Dark and Witchy

This was delightfully darker than expected; all the running around alleys and backstreets of Victorian London chasing a murderer gave me Jack the Ripper vibes. The magic system was interesting as was the murder mystery and I love Smith's blend of history and witchery, it's a huge part of what I loved so much in her previous books. I have two main complaints. Though the search for George is what lands Ian in the mud, and I enjoyed his father Henry's character, George's subplot felt like it took such a back seat in the end as to feel superfluous. I needed things to either be more entwined than they were or to have George erased altogether and Sir Henry brought into the story another way. Secondly I feel like our characters are just a touch flat. It's a shorter novel and the murder mystery and memory loss plots move it along at a good pace so I feel like there was room for a bit more character development even if it might have slowed things down a touch. All and all enjoyed it though and I'm looking forward to the next one.
Excellent Narration as always.

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  • Rebeca B.
  • 04-28-22

Enchanting

Set loosely in London at the turn of the century. Mystery and adventure as a killer is on the loose, such as Jack the Ripper. A story of witches and ghosts , of lonelinesses in uniqueness. Enchanting in its performance. Absolutely loved the twists and turns as well as the perfect performance of Miss Jones. Can’t wait for The Raven Song.