Hexed Hiss-tory – Nine Lives Magic Book 2 by Danielle Garrett

Hexed Hiss-Tory
Nine Lives Magic Book 2
Danielle Garrett


Have you ever wished your cat could talk to you?
If so, allow my story to be your cautionary tale.

My aunt Lavender is in danger and it’s up to me and my reluctant familiar to save her.

Unfortunately, the sassy cat isn’t big on the whole concept of teamwork.

With no idea where Lavender is and our leads in short supply, we turn to an archivist who might have the answers to our questions. But when he turns up dead under suspicious circumstances, our last glimmer of hope goes dark.

Unless … the secrets to my aunt’s disappearance are tangled up in the famed archivist’s sudden death. The police are quick to write it off as a tragic accident, leaving it up to me and Selene to crack the case and discover his link to Aunt Lavender.

I just hope we aren’t too late.

In the last book we come to the realization that Cora’s Aunt Lavender is not on one of her impromptu trips but that she may actually have been kidnapped and now in danger. Seline wouldn’t have bonded with Cora if she wasn’t in danger of dying herself from being parted from Lavender for so long.

The sheriff is less than helpful in this so Cora and Seline make a point of working slowly through her aunt’s house. It would be a lot easier if the witch hadn’t been such a hoarder.

At least this visit to the house gives a possible lead, the landline phone rings while they are there, and the calling party leaves a message.

According to Seline, Sal is Salvatore Greco, a trustee for the International Magical Library Society and also an archivist for the Arcane Council. Lavender has visited him often while researching her own projects.

A visit to Sal clears up why he was calling Lavender, apparently, she stole a very valuable book from him, he won’t sell it and she either needs to return it or he’s sending Warden Quinton to deal with her. Sal does help to establish what Lavender was researching but doesn’t really help with who might have taken her. Just opens more possibilities.

Seline decides they need more information on what the book looks like, since Clint was there with Cora, he accompanies her to Sal’s home once again. Unfortunately, they find him dead at the foot of the staircase.

Now they have yet another mystery to solve on top of finding Aunt Lavender.

Cora is tentatively beginning a relationship with Clint, but she has to deal with her mother wanting her to go back to her ex, Roger. So not happening, but the woman is determined to get her way. The other problem is Roger wants her back as well.

This is a favorite scene.

It was a quarter to ten when Clint’s BMW pulled into the parking spot nearest Wicked Wicks’ door. I hadn’t been expecting him, and quickly brushed a hand through my still damp hair. I glanced down at Selene. “How do I look?”

“Haggard, worn out, clearly not the first pick at dodgeball or the school dance—”

“Never mind,” I snapped.

I forced a smile as Clint turned and used his shoulder to push open the door, as his hands were full of pastries and coffee.

“Good morning,” he said, stopping long enough to peck me on the lips. His kiss felt warm and wonderful. The smoothness of his recently shaven cheek, the sultry notes of his expensive cologne, and his general manliness combined to make my head spin just a little.

“Good morning. Did you bring me breakfast again? You’ve got to stop doing that.”

“Why?” He asked with a laugh, laying his burdens down on the sales counter.

“Because Spanx can only do so much,” Selene quipped.

I glared at Selene. “You know what? I’m going to enjoy my pastries, and if you say one more nasty thing to me this morning, I’m going to whip you away in a tornado so big you’ll be lucky if you ever come back down again. I hope you like living in the land of Oz.”

Selene scampered off into the stock room. Just in case she got any ideas about returning, I sent a gust of wind after her and slammed the door shut behind the cat’s loping form.

“She knows better than to tempt fate,” I muttered under my breath.

“Hey, don’t sweat what that cat says. You’re a very beautiful woman, Cora.” 

I turned my gaze down toward the floor, feeling my cheeks flush. “You don’t have to say that.”

“Have to?” Clink chuckled and shook his head. “No, there’s no have to about it. I’m just out here stating the facts.”

“Well, then I’m a lucky lady,” I said, looking up through my lashes to meet his eyes. They were dark brown and always seemed to have a little gleam of sparkle in them.

We kissed again, before settling in for our tasty treats. The pastries were delicious, though Clint somehow managed to buy every flavor but my favorite. There was tangy lemon, rich blueberry, and sweet cherry, but no cream cheese. I happen to think cream cheese pastries, when done correctly, are an art form unto themselves, transcending their more mortal kin.

Which isn’t to say that I didn’t demolish the pastries Clint did bring. I’m not saying that at all. The coffee was the perfect contrast, a South American blend with bold, darkly roasted flavor and a hint of cinnamon without any cloying sweetness.

The bitter yet flavorful coffee was a great chaser to the sweet pastries. I was wiping my fingers on a napkin and considering the last swallow in my paper cup when the bells hanging over the front entrance jingled.

Clint and I both glanced up as a good-looking man in his early thirties strolled in. He stood about the same height as Clint, but was easily twenty pounds heavier, all of it muscle and broad shoulders. His expertly manicured beard and rugged sense of style made him look as if he’d stepped off the page of a Cabela’s catalog.

He was my ex-husband, Roger. And he too came bearing gifts.

“Hey, Cora,” he said, barging in, his gaze focused on the packages in his arms more than what was transpiring inside my shop. “I know this is sudden, but I was at Sugar Shack getting some treats, and I remembered how much you loved cream cheese pastries and so I thought, you know, what the heck, why not surprise her—”

He looked up at last and froze dead in his tracks when he saw Clint standing there. Roger’s gaze darted from Clint to my face, to the pastry remnants of our breakfast repast, and back through the whole cycle again.

“Except that you’re already having breakfast, with Clint. Hello, Clint.”

“Hello, Roger,” Clint said, flashing an awkward smile.

I could have died from the awkwardness. It reminded me of the very first night that I’d met Clint. I’d been in the midst of closing up when he stopped in, looking for a gift for his mother. I’d wisely steered him away from the spicy dreams candle he’d been carrying around in his hands, and somewhere along the way, he’d asked me to dinner. And then Roger had waltzed through the door. Awkwardness ensued, and Clint had gone running for the hills before I could give him a definitive answer about his dinner invitation.

What can I say, the man has impeccable timing.

Roger cleared his throat. “Uh, I guess I should have called ahead, huh?” He forced a laugh before depositing the bag on the counter. “Ah, here you go. You two should, um, enjoy those … I’ll just be going.”

“Are you sure you don’t want them?” Clint asked, gesturing at the bag.



“—lactose intolerant,” we both finished, in stereo.

Roger smiled at me. “What she said.”

With a laugh, he headed for the door.

“Thanks for thinking of me,” I told him.

Roger cast one last, longing look over his shoulder before he departed. 

We’d been divorced for eighteen months, and for most of that, had lived in different cities. Different worlds, really, as he’d opted to leave Winterspell and the magic world entirely and strike out into the non-magical world. But when his burgeoning start-up crashed and burned, he’d returned to home, and to my bewilderment, seemed to be under the impression that he and I could pick up where we’d left off. I didn’t want to get romantically entangled with my ex, but there was still a mutual love and respect that made it hard for me to tell him to kick rocks.

“So,” Clint said, opening the bag that Roger left. “Cream cheese is your favorite, huh? I never knew.”

“You never asked,” I blurted. I hadn’t intended it to be mean, but Clint winced. “I mean, I should have just told you. You’re not a mind reader,” I said, smiling to recover the moment. “I mean, unless you are and you just haven’t told me yet.”

“No, you’re right. I should have asked.” He shrugged. “These do look tasty. You want a bite?”

“No, thank you, my tummy is stuffed already. You go right ahead.”

He rolled the top of the bag down again without taking a pastry. “That’s okay. You keep them for tomorrow. I’d bet they’re great after a few minutes in the toaster oven.” He grinned, trying to make the situation feel less awkward. After a second, he checked his watch. “Um … I hate to eat and run, but I need to get going too.”

“Oh yeah? Another big-time business deal?” 

“Not this time. I’m actually meeting with one of the local real estate agents about finding a rental property. Have you heard of the Farrow brothers?”

“Yeah. I think they might be the only real estate agents in Winterspell,” I said with a laugh. “They helped me—er, well, me and Roger, when we bought the—my house.”

Clint nodded. “Right. Well, I’m hoping they can help me out. My mother’s lakeside estate might be four-thousand square feet, but somehow still feels claustrophobic right now.”

I gave a sympathetic nod. Taking care of a dying person had to be one of the hardest, saddest jobs imaginable. I didn’t blame him one bit for wanting a place of his own to get away from it all.

“So, this rental … long- or short-term lease?” I dared to ask.

“We’ll see what they can do,” he said with a half-cocked grin as he raised a hand and left the shop.
Garrett, Danielle. Hexed Hiss-tory: A Nine Lives Magic Mystery. Kindle Locations (1564-1622). Kindle Edition.

Set-ups, too many suspects, romance, scrying and many other things entwine as Cora, Seline and Clint work to solve the death of Sal and find Aunt Lavender.

I certainly didn’t expect who the killer turns out to be, and of course we still have no idea where Aunt Lavender is, in spite of finding a very important clue.

5 Contented Purrs for Danielle!

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From a young age, Danielle Garrett was obsessed with fantastic places and the stories set in them. As a lifelong bookworm, she’s gone on hundreds of adventures through the eyes of wizards, princesses, elves, and some rather wonderful everyday people as well.

Danielle now lives in Oregon and while she travels as often as possible, she wouldn’t call anywhere else home. She shares her life with her husband and their house full of animals, and when not writing, spends her time being a house servant for three extremely spoiled cats.

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