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March 6, 2021

Broomsticks and Board Games by Amy McNulty, Read by Danielle Daly ~ an #Audiobook Review

by Donna Huber

I love all kinds of cozy mysteries but I don't usually read paranormal cozy except around Halloween. This past year I was so busy with other ARCs that I didn't get to do my normal Halloween reading so when I saw the audiobook of Broomsticks and Board Games at Audiobookwork Promotions I decided to give it a try.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free audiobook was provided for an honest review.

Jan 2021; Crimson Fox Publishing; 978-1952667176
audio (7h4m), ebook, print (292 pages); cozy mystery
Broomsticks and Board Games
 is the first book in Amy McNulty's Spooky Games series. I thought this was a fun twist on the cozy mystery genre. There are tons of different kinds of cozies (culinary cozies, cat cozies, library cozies, etc.) but I had not read any game cozies before.

As it is the first book in a series there is quite of bit of setting up the book. The main character is a witch who was cursed at birth. She must do an act of kindness (without using magic) every day before sunset or she starts to turn to stone (why she was cursed wasn't explained). She's also not allowed to leave her small town. Fortunately, she can conjure money (her mother had stashed cash in some magical place - it wasn't really explained where her mother got the money but it seems to be an endless supply) so she doesn't have to hold down a job.  

There are a number of paranormal "creatures" living in this town - Dahlia is the only witch, but there is a pair of vampires, a family of werewolves, and a mummy. There are also regular townspeople and at least some of them know about the paranormal citizens.  McNulty pretty much colors within the lines as far as paranormal legends - the vampires have the typical Transylvania accent and sleep in coffins and witches fly on broomsticks. She does try to put her own spin on things with Dahlia's broom being her familiar. And the mummy isn't a reanimated dead person. The wrappings keep the person from aging.

Dahlia's neighbor has been in declining mental health since his wife died so that this where Dahlia usually does her good deed. But when his son comes to visit she must try to keep the town's secret under wraps. Dahlia seems to be the only paranormal character that is concerned with Cable finding out.

A game similar to Clue (Dahlia's neighbor buys knock off games) is the focus of the plot. It was an interesting plot device but I'm not sure how the author will continue inserting games into the plot of future books without becoming repetitive. Since Dahlia's curse, though we do know who cursed her, and her mother's death isn't fully explained, I assume this will be the ongoing mystery that ties the series together.

The biggest problem I had with the audiobook was the narrator. There was just something about Daly's performance that grated in my ears. I cringed when the audiobook started and hoped that I would soon become accustomed to her voice. Unfortunately, I did not. She does a great job of giving every character a unique accent so it was no problem knowing which character was talking. Yet, it felt more like when a parent read a book to a child and includes voices for the various characters. I've never played with the narration speed controls that Audible provides but I thought about trying to speed it up to see if it would make the narrations more enjoyable. 

If you enjoy paranormal cozies, then I recommend checking out this series - there are already 3 books out in this series, and book 4 comes out this summer. I will keep it in mind for my Halloween reading this year.

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Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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