When she turned 17, Franny Owens, according to family custom, was summoned from her Manhattan home to the Owens homestead in Massachusetts. It was time for Aunt Isabelle to instruct her in her family heritage – witchcraft. Those who do not enjoy sci-fi or fantasy need not worry, this beautifully written family saga transcends genre. In this prequel to Practical Magic, Hoffman introduces readers to the Owens family whose history dates to colonial era New England and whose powers create fear and suspicion in the community. Over the course of about 50 years, the reader follows Franny and her siblings Jet and Vincent as they deal with who they are and grapple with its affects on their relationships. I found the love stories of the three, particularly Franny and Hay, especially compelling. Readers won’t soon forget these vivid and fully realized characters.
August Snow is an ex-police detective who was fired from the Detroit police department. He was a whistleblower in a scandal that involved a corrupt police department and the mayor. August settled for $12 million dollars and left town for a year. When he returns to Detroit, he settles in his old neighborhood, Mexicantown. (August is half African-American, half Mexican). There he is contacted by a wealthy woman, Eleanor Page, who wants him to investigate her investment bank for suspicious activity. August refuses. What follows is murder, lots of dead bodies and assassins. This is a fast paced debut crime novel with well written characters and unexpected plot twists. Hopefully, this will be a new series.