Black Arts and Bones – Familiar Magic Mysteries Book 10 by Sara Bourgeois

Black Arts and Bones
Familiar Kitten Mysteries Book 10
Sara Bourgeois


Kinsley and Thorn finally get the date night they’ve been discussing for months.

Except an unexpected issue sends them home early, where they find a distraught young woman on the porch waiting for Kinsley’s return. She’s afraid to go home and begs Kinsley for help.

The woman’s house was never haunted before, but lately, she’s had strange and unusual things happening. Unseen eyes watch her from dark corners, and invisible fingers scratch at the floorboards when she tries to sleep.

It all culminates in the attack that sends her fleeing to Hangman’s House for help. Kinsley can’t bring herself to leave the poor woman hanging, so she agrees to investigate.

After a thorough search, Kinsley thinks she’s found nothing.


The specter appears and leads the women to a shallow grave in the basement.

This book is again in two parts. First let’s remember that magic is at a low, even the ley line isn’t putting out as much. As such, the wards everywhere are not as strong as they once were, so ghosts are more frequent as is the darker magic not used by many except for Kinsley’s Aunt Lilith.

Thorn and Kinsley go out on their first date night since Laney was born, it’s a nice quiet evening, at least until the end. A phone call from her mom has them rushing home, to find a young woman crying on the porch steps. The woman Nora hasn’t slept in a long time and can’t really explain why, except that she thinks her house has a ghost or something. She’s not a witch so Kinsley is limited in what she can say, so invites her inside to discuss the problem.

After getting as many facts as she could Kinsley decides the first thing Nora needs is sleep and sends her home with her mom and dad. In the morning they would deal with whatever is in her house.

At the house the next day, it doesn’t seem like anything is going to happen until it does.

This is a favorite scene.

But the ghost drifted past all of that. She made her way to the door that led to the unfinished utility area of the basement.

We went inside and followed her past the furnace and sump pump. On the other side, we found another door.

“What’s this?” I asked.

“It leads to an unfinished part of the basement,” Nora said.

“We’re in the unfinished part of the basement,” I shot back.

“I guess it’s more of a crawlspace,” she said. “I don’t know. I don’t really go in there.”

“Why did you need a crawlspace under your house if you’ve got both finished and unfinished basement?” I asked.

“It was in the plans for the house, and I didn’t really mind it,” Nora said. “I think it’s because the basement isn’t quite as big as the house above.”

I turned the knob and pushed the door open. Light flooded into the crawlspace from the basement, and it illuminated the room enough for me to see a bulb and chain in the middle. I walked into the room and pulled the chain.

The crawlspace was just another section of unfinished basement with a dirt floor. Its presence made zero sense, and I had to wonder if the builder had just done it to cut corners and costs.

“What about the ghost?” Dad asked as I stood there contemplating the crawlspace.

“Right. The reason we’re here. Why are we here?” I asked the specter.

I didn’t want to speak to her in case she was a demon. Acknowledging them was a sure way to let them into your world, but we’d already followed her down to the basement. That ship had sailed already.

The ghost just remained in the same spot staring at me. Finally, a soft, scratchy whisper came from her direction. “Here,” she said. And then she vanished. The ghost had used up every bit of energy she could draw from to utter that word, and I was sure she wasn’t coming back anytime soon. I’d thought she would have been spent from the night before, but at that point, I was sure there was nothing else she could do. Anger, and perhaps I’d seen a hint of fear too, would only get her so far.

“What does she mean?” Nora asked. “What did she mean by here?”

“I don’t know,” I said, but I walked over to the spot where she’d vanished.

Meri joined me, and we stood there studying the floor for a moment. “The dirt’s different here,” I finally said.

“What do you mean?” Dad asked. He and Thorn joined me at the spot. They both stood there staring at the dirt floor beneath our feet.

“She’s right,” Thorn finally said. “See, it’s raised up just a little higher than the dirt around it. Step back,” he said taking on his authoritative sheriff voice.

“Do you have a shovel?” I asked Nora.

“Out in the garage,” she said.

“Could you go get it?” I asked.

“I should… I don’t know. Should I call for backup?” Thorn asked.

“For what?” I asked. “We don’t know what’s down there yet.”

“Can’t be anything good,” Meri snarked since Nora was out of the room grabbing a shovel.

“I’m going to call it in,” Thorn said.

“Call in what?” I asked. “I don’t know. Something isn’t right, though. I can feel it.”

“We can all feel it,” Dad said. “Just give it a few minutes, son.”

Nora returned shortly after that with the shovel. At that point, Thorn stood off to my side suspiciously watching the hole. He wasn’t a witch, but I didn’t for a second doubt his intuition. He’d always been able to see through the veil that covered Coventry, and that meant Thorn could see things others could not.

My father had wandered out to the bigger unfinished area of the basement, but he returned with Nora. She stood there for a moment looking between us, but it didn’t take long for Thorn to reach out and take the shovel.

“I can do that,” Dad said.

“So can I,” I added.

“Let me,” Thorn said calmly. “It will let me feel like I’m contributing.”

Nora looked puzzled by his statement, but she didn’t say anything about it. Instead, she started to play host. “Does anybody need a drink? It will help me feel like I’m contributing something.”

“I’m probably going to need some water,” Thorn said as he scooped up another shovelful of the dirt.

“Some water would be good,” I said.

“You guys don’t think that ghost is going to come back when I’m away from you, do you?” Nora asked. “I felt a bit creeped out when I was in the garage, but I hadn’t turned the light on, so I’m pretty sure that’s why.”

“I don’t think she’s coming back any time soon… if ever,” Dad said. “But I’ll go up with you to get the water if it will make you feel safer.”

Nora nodded to Dad, and they left to get the water. I turned my attention back to Thorn’s digging. Meri sat right at the edge of the hole peering down into it. You’d have thought he was in Thorn’s way, but he’d somehow managed to position himself in just the right spot.

Thorn didn’t have to dig much farther. Nora walked into the room with two bottles of Fiji water, and she gasped.
She also dropped the bottles, and Dad caught them.

My husband stepped away from the hole he’d just dug and took out his phone. “I can’t get any reception in here. I’ll need to go upstairs. You guys should come with me.”
Bourgeois, Sara. Black Arts & Bones (Familiar Kitten Mysteries Book 10). Kindle Locations (473-520). Kindle Edition.

A few more twists and turns here as Kinsley gets sick and the investigation goes on without her. However, she does in fact become the person to solve it.

The second part of this book starts at Lainey’s birthday party. Kinsley has hired a clown to entertain the children, unfortunately the reaction to him is not what she expected, and neither is the clown. He turned up drunk and she has to fire him. Turns out Thorn isn’t a fan either, and his reasoning is interesting.

Then a clown turns up dead at a local playground. It wasn’t the same clown Kinsley had hired, so there is obviously more than one clown in town.

There’s now a report of a machete wielding clown, and Thorn goes to investigate. In the process he ends up attacked and in the hospital. While Kinsley is signing paperwork, another victim is brought in this one has a balloon tied around his wrist.

Kinsley is also finding that healing is draining her life force which had never happened before. More things that need answers to be sure.

Twists, turns, surprises and so much more as this is solved.

I am starting the next book already.

5 Contented Purrs for Sara!

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Sara Bourgeois

Sara Bourgeois is a Midwesterner through and through. She spends her time writing, reading, herding cats, and standing in her driveway during tornado warnings. (You can’t see them from the basement.)

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