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From My (E)Bookshelf: Aalayfa, Chocolate, Spell

This month I’m once again looking away from my physical shelves and addressing some of the barely started/unfinished books From My [E]Bookshelf. The one thing all three of these books have in common is that I acquired them through NetGalley (this post is not affiliated with NG).

The Hood of Aalayfa | Sylvia Xamanka | Book CoverThe Hood of Aalayfa
Sylvia Xamanka

Book one of the Aalayfan series.

A mysterious and magical alternate reality fantasy that takes place in two realities at once – a world of enchantment and mythology and modern-day London.

Cloaked in the mists of Mesopotamia is the mysterious world of Aalayfa, an alternate reality made of the fragments of Tiamat, the Dragon Mother. It is precisely this world that compels the Soultana of Siduri to cross realities, journeying to find Anatat, a Hood of Aden who serves as a minion to the current queen.

For Anatat, it is not just a matter of loyalty but also of trust as she and the sorceress are pulled below the surface of the desert into the underworld of the Chilala, the desert spirits. It is there that Anatat is intrigued to learn of a parallel self, living in a very different reality where the story of lovers unfolds in modern-day London.

I have started reading this, and although it took me a minute to get used to Sylvia Xamanka’s writing – this author’s prose is the kind to savor and not rush over – I’m enjoying the story so far. It is being archived on Monday, September 16th, so if it sounds interesting to you request it ASAP.

Chocolate House Treason | David Fairer | Book CoverChocolate House Treason 
David Fairer

Covent Garden, January 1708. Widow Trotter has big plans for her recently-inherited coffee house, not suspecting that within days her little kingdom will be caught up in a national drama involving scandal, conspiracy and murder…

Queen Anne’s new “Great Britain” is in crisis. The Queen is mired in a sexual scandal, spies are everywhere, and political disputes are bringing violence and division. The treasonous satirist “Bufo” is public enemy number one and the Ministry is determined to silence him. Drawn into a web of intrigue that reaches from the brothels of Drury Lane to the Court of St James’s, Mary Trotter and her young friends Tom and Will race against time to unravel the political plots, solve two murders, and prevent another.

A week ago I asked for some NetGalley recommendations on Twitter, and An Historian About Town said she was loving this book. I may only have read the prologue at the time of this writing, but the story is already off to an exciting start. Like The Hood of Aalayfa, this book is being archived very soon (September 18th) so I would recommend requesting it now if you’re interested.

A Spell of Murder | Kennedy Kerr | Book CoverA Spell of Murder
(A Lost Maidens Loch Mystery Book #1)

Kennedy Kerr

In the sleepy town of Lost Maidens Loch, people sometimes disappear…

Down a quiet lane in town sits a little shop full of oddities you’d probably miss if you weren’t looking for it. This is Love’s Curiosities Inc., and its owner, Temerity Love, is sought by experts all over the world for her rare and magical gift: the ability to find lost things and learn their stories.

When Lost Maidens’ pretty local school teacher is found murdered by a poisoned cup of tea, a strange antique hand mirror is discovered nearby. Temerity – with the help of witchy sister Tilda, their cats Scylla and Charybdis and the lovingly eccentric local townspeople – is determined to divine the story behind the mirror and its part in Miss Molly Bayliss’ untimely death.

If only grumpy out-of-towner Angus Harley of Lost Maidens Police wasn’t on the scene. Temerity can’t solve the crime without him, but he’s distracting, and in more ways than one. Can this unconventional duo solve the most mysterious murder ever to blight Lost Maidens Loch before the killer strikes again?

A magical and unputdownable whodunnit, perfect for fans of Adele Abbott, Amanda M. Lee and Leighann Dobbs.

I’ll admit that I clicked on this book because of the cover – I find the art incredibly charming. But I also find the witch + mystery + crime + whimsy? combination appealing too; simply put, this book sounds like it will be fun to read. Its archive date is October 3rd, so if you also find it charming there’s a little bit of time to request it.

Were any of these books previously on your radar? Are you interested in any of them now? Let’s chat below.

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