Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones
Star rating: ★★★☆ ☆ 3/5 stars
Format: ebook galley
Summary: When Annis learns of the death of her father it changes her and her aunt’s lives. No longer do they have his money to support them so they must find the means of supporting themselves. Annis discovers her magical talent for sewing glamours into clothing and tries to convince her aunt to let her use these talents.
Review: I wanted to like this book a whole lot more than I did. It has a lot of things that should make me enjoy this book thourghly. It’s set in the regency era, has magic and also spies. One would think that’s the recipe for a great story. And while, yes, there were a lot of parts I liked it fell short. The main problem was that for huge chunks of the story, nothing at all seemed to happen.
I like the characters, I especially love how many women there are in this book and how powerful they are. The female centered aspect of this book is pretty cool, there are some men but they don’t show up very often. But the plot moves so slowly and it feels like by the time you get to the end that you’ve only just been introduced to the beginning of a story. It ends just as things seem to start happening, which is kind of frustrating.
I like that there isn’t really a romance in this. There’s a little flirting but Annis doesn’t have time for romance and it’s not her focus. Which was different and cool to see in a historical fiction, a lot of Regency books I’ve read seem to center around romance.
A cool thing the author did was make small nods to other books set in this time period, using other characters as background characters. Like when Annis picks up her father’s trunk it’s from Faber Shipping, referencing the Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer. It’s some cool homage to authors that came before her and I liked it because it wasn’t overdone. Just small Hingis you easily could miss if you don’t know the characters.
I like how flawed the main character is and how slow she is as well. It’s nice to have characters that aren’t perfect.
There is a lot of good potential here but it’s bogged down by a lot of non-action or not moving the plot forward. I think if there was a sequel I would probably read it but I don’t think this is a book I would reread.
Recommendation: It’s a pretty cool historical novel but if you’re looking for a fast paced plot then I would seek something else.