BOOKED FOR MURDER ~ Cozy Paranormal Mystery


 Nancy Drew has nothing on amateur sleuth Mercy Brew!

 A bewitching bookstore. A tome of secrets. And a crime-solving witch.
After inheriting a magical bookshop and an obnoxious black cat, Mercy Brew moves to Hemlock Hills, California with her French bulldog. For a bibliophile witch, it’s a dream come true.

Unfortunately, the bookstore also comes with a mystery to solve. 

When Mercy discovers that her eccentric aunt was murdered and an irate coven member turns up dead, she knows trouble is brewing. Especially, when Mercy becomes the prime suspect in the crimes, and both casualties seem to be linked to an ominous, mystically sealed book.

With help from a gorgeous werewolf and two quirky witches, Mercy sets out to uncover the truth. But in a seaside town where a cauldron of secrets is bubbling to the surface, Mercy could be the killer’s next target.
🔎 ☾~✯~☽ ☾~✯~☽ ☾~✯~☽ 🔍

It was after midnight when a hard rap shook the door. The jarring sound resonated throughout the quiet loft like an angry fist demanding admittance. 

Startled, I jolted upright in bed. The paperback I’d been reading fell from my hands and landed on the floor with a thud. My fawn-colored French bulldog, jumped up from her spot on the mattress and started barking. 

The knocking ceased.

“Shush, Tricksy.” I rubbed her furry back. “It’s just someone at the door, silly dog.”

Hmmm. Someone at the door in the middle of the night. 

With my pulse thrumming, I tiptoed to the entrance of the loft with Tricksy following close at my heels. Moonlight sliced through the blinds on the windows like a dull knife, casting eerie shadows on the beige carpeted floor. I peeked through the blinds at the landing and staircase that hugged the side of the garage. The backyard and balcony were empty except for a lone package on the stoop.

A little late for Amazon Prime to deliver.

“Hello? Who is it?”


My witchy awareness didn’t prickle with forewarning, so I unlocked the door. An entrance light shone on a parcel with my name it and no other information. My heartrate returned to a normal rhythm. Stepping onto the landing in my oversized T-shirt and leggings with thick, white socks, I picked up the package. It felt bulky and heavy in my hand.
I shut the door and moved over to the bed. My gaze roamed over the furnished loft that I lived in over a garage. The constricted space only had enough room for a bed, armchair, TV tray, and nightstand, with a tiny bathroom. Piles of boxes leaned haphazardly against one wall.

Like a kid unwrapping a birthday present, I tore off the plain brown wrapping. Inside was a letter and a leather-bound hardback, the size of a diary. The gold lettering engraved on the front of the cover read, Secreta, the Latin word for secrets.

The tome quivered in my hands like a living, breathing entity. I tucked a strand of dark-purple hair behind my ear with one hand, and dropped the creepy book on the bed to read the letter.

Dear Mercy,

We haven’t seen each other in ages, but I know you’re good at keeping secrets. The night you caught me snooping through the neighbor’s trash and never tattled was when I realized you could be trusted with my most sacred possessions.

However, with the Secreta comes a word of warning…keep the book safe and trust no one. Your life might depend on it!

Strength, magic, and fairy dust,
Aunt Agatha

“Huh,” I said to the dog. “Not much of an explanation, but the book does come with an ominous disclaimer.”

I often spoke to my dog as if she understood me, and most of the time, I think she did. I treated Tricksy like a person, and I’d read that conversing with your fur-babies was totally normal. The wonderful thing about dogs was that we learned to understand each other, even though we didn’t speak the same language. It was only non-pet owners who looked at me strangely. 

On the bed, the Secreta was humming with supernatural energy and whispering melodic words that I couldn’t decipher, as if encouraging me to unseal the book and spill forth its secrets.

“Should I open it?”

Tricksy barked twice.

“Okay. But you’re getting awfully bossy,” I teased and tried to pry the book open. 

A lock attached to the cover kept it closed tight and a purple glow encased it with a protective barrier. Placing my hand on the cover, I summoned my bibliomancy powers. Tricksy sat beside me and intensified my magic. Familiars were psychically bonded to their witches and assisted them with strengthening their abilities. The room filled with the fragrant traces of my magic: sparkling blackcurrant, soft white musk, and aromatic amber.

An electrical discharge zapped my skin. “Ouch!” I shook out my hand. 

The Secreta had been magically sealed to keep the pages concealed. Now I was wildly curious about what it contained. 

“What do you think’s inside, Tricksy? Forbidden potions? Dangerous spells? Secret rituals?”

No response from my dog. 

The cell phone resting on the nightstand trilled. The digital alarm clock read: twelve-thirty. 

Bell, book, and candle! Now what?

Setting the Secreta aside, I snatched up the phone and grumbled, “Someone better have died.”

“I need to speak to Mercy Brew, please,” the caller said. He sounded like an elderly gentleman.

“This is she, and it’s awfully late to be calling—”

“This is Everett Bathory, Agatha Brew’s attorney. I regret to inform you that your aunt has passed away.”

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