A savage killing makes Kinsley question if Dorian really is who he says he is… Can she clear his name? What truth will the light of the full moon reveal?
Meri found that it was Kinsley who was suppressing the magic in the area and has broken that but it’s different as we saw in the last book when Thorn was injured. Meri is also growing from the kitten size he had been turned into from his wish.
As this book opens Kinsley is getting coffee at the Brew Station when a crow crashes into the window. It’s disturbing and leaves behind a heaviness to the air a dreariness. She kicks the energy away and heads to her shop across the square. There she’s met by the scent of blueberry scone incense her cousin and new employee Dahlia had ordered. Along with Reggie and Dahlia they ate the breakfast Kinsley brought while waiting for the first tour group to come to the store. They’d just finished when Maura Barlow came in looking for wolfsbane.
The conversation about that and then the request for datura had Kinsley questioning her more thoroughly. Those things aren’t used for anything good, and it appears she intended to use them on her cheating husband. It also leads to quite the threat. She accuses Kinsley of being terrified of her witch side and she needs to overcome that or pass on the leadership to someone who cares more than she seems to.
While Kinsley has much to contemplate, she’s also not feeling well. When she picks up pepto bismol at the pharmacy the pregnancy tests catch her eye, she argues with herself and gets those too. After dinner Thorn knocks the bag with the tests off the counter and Kinsley decides to take them then. Results are one positive and one negative and it’s too late to go get another one.
After a restless night she takes Laney with her to the pharmacy and then takes the tests at her parents. She only does three of the five she bought, and they are all positive. She’s most definitely pregnant. It’s early for work so she takes a drive to sort out everything going through her head, when she reaches the forest preserves the woods calls to her she needs to commune with nature. After parking she gets out and Meri scares her when he jumps out of her bag. He’s not going to let her wander in the woods alone especially not now. They’re not that far up the trail when she sees something in the trail, Meri goes closer to investigate and tells her they need to leave right away, the body had been attacked by something large and Meri suspects supernatural.
This is a favorite scene.
“What is that?” I asked. “Please tell me that’s not what I think it is.”
“Stay there,” Meri commanded. “I’ll check it out.”
I stopped in my tracks, something told me that I should listen to him. He trotted up the trail and looked at the dark shape that was lying in front of us. He sniffed a few times and then turned tail and ran back to me.
“It’s a body,” Meri said. “And we need to go.”
“Well, I need to call it in first. I need to tell Thorn. We can’t just… Leave them here,” I said and waved my hands around like it was obvious why we couldn’t leave.
“No,” Meri said. “We need to go right now.”
“What is it?” I asked.
“You are infuriating,” Meri said. “The body was attacked… By a large animal. Something… Something unnatural. If you are pregnant again, then we don’t know how our magic is going to react. So, we need to get out of here.”
The hair on the back of my neck stood up. Suddenly, I noticed a smell in the air. It was dank and musty. It was almost like wet dog mixed with mud mixed with seawater.
As soon as that smell hit my nostrils, and turned my stomach, I whirled around on my heels. Meri and I made a beeline back down the path. I swore the entire time it sounded like something was behind us, but I didn’t want to slow down enough to turn and look. It would’ve been too hazardous to keep running forward while looking back, so we just kept moving. There were a few times, though, that I swore that the scent got stronger.
Back at the car, I took out my phone to call Thorn. Meri was up on his hind legs with his front paws on the window ledge keeping watch. Occasionally, he’d switch and look out the windshield.
I had to call Thorn four times before he finally picked up. The entire time, Meri kept dashing back and forth between the car’s side windows and the windshield. A few times, he told me just to go, but I kept dialing.
Finally, Thorn picked up. “Hey, babe. I got the text, and it’s great news. But they really need me to focus here. I would’ve called you, but I just couldn’t.”
“It’s not that,” I replied. “That’s not why I called. Thorn, I need to listen to me. I stopped by one of the old nature trails off Highway 77, and a few hundred feet… maybe a quarter-mile onto the trail. I found a body. I don’t know how far it was in actually. I don’t know how far we went.”
“Wait,” Thorn said softly. “You found a body?”
“Yeah, I was out walking trying to get some air, and we found it right on the trail.”
“We?” Thorn asked. “Do you have Laney out there with you?”
“No,” I replied. “I dropped Laney off at my parents’ house. It’s just me and Meri. We were out taking a walk in the woods before I went into work, and I found a body on the trail. Thorn it’s bad. Looks like it was some sort of wild animal attack, except bigger. Meri said that it had to be something supernatural. I don’t know. I was out here trying to get my head together. I wasn’t prepared for this, so I don’t know what to think.”
“Kinsley, you need to leave. You need to take Meri and get out of there. I’ll call my deputies and… Maybe the state police can help us. The county can’t help us right now.”
“Not even for murder?” I asked.
“This accident is bad,” Thorn said. “Hey, is your location within Coventry? Maybe I don’t even have to leave. I could just call it in to the state police.”
“I might be outside Coventry,” I said. “I don’t know if I crossed outside the town line or not. You know how it is out here.”
“I do,” Thorn said. “What I also know is that you need to take that cat and you both go home or go into the shop. I don’t like you sitting out there all alone.”
“I’m not alone. And there are several of these little turnoffs along this highway,” I said. “It would be much easier for you and state police to find the right trail if I wait here.”
“Kinsley…” Thorn started to say.
I interrupted, “The sooner we get off the phone, the sooner you can call it in. I’m staying here, and when you get here I’ll leave.” I had no idea why I was digging my heels in, but something made me want to argue back. Maybe I was just afraid that if I left, another unfortunate hiker would come along and stumble on the body. Or on whatever had killed the victim.
Thorn grumbled, and it softened my mood a little. “Fine, woman. You are the most stubborn…”
“Bye, babe, I love you,” I said and hung up the phone.
“You really are an idiot,” Meri said as soon as I hung up
“Like I said to him,” I responded, “it will be easier for him to find which one of these trails the body is on if we wait here. Plus, we can prevent someone else from walking down the trail. Perhaps ruining the crime scene.”
“Text him the coordinates from your satellite position,” Meri said. “The GPS…”
“We are waiting,” I said. “I could text him the coordinates for the location, but that doesn’t prevent someone else from going down that path.”
“It will be like five minutes, Kinsley. Who will come along?” Meri looked up and down the deserted highway.
“You’re right. It will be like five minutes, so we will sit here. You can get in the trunk if you’re afraid of the big bad wolf.”
“Your hormones are affecting your ability to think,” Meri snarked. “And that big bad wolf thing is far less funny than you know.”
“I’m just tired of… I don’t know. I’m tired of being told what to do,” I said and found myself getting way more irritated than I expected. “Here I am, about to have another baby, and my… people keep telling me what to do. It’s got me so messed up that I even doubted my ability to be a mother to this child. Meri, I am already a mother. I know I can do that.”
“Sorry,” Meri said sheepishly.
“No, don’t be like that,” I said. “I didn’t mean to snap at you.”
“Whatever,” he said and went back to looking out the window.
“Yeah, whatever to you too.”
Bourgeois, Sara. Moon Malediction (Familiar Kitten Mysteries Book 13). Kindle Locations (475-527). Kindle Edition.
Once Thorn arrived Kinsley and Meri leave the scene and bring breakfast to Dorian. There’s a scent of something in his house that Kinsley doesn’t like and makes her suspicious of Dorian. After all, he was once a werewolf. While Dorian and Kinsley prepare to head to the crime scene, Meri is already there doing his own investigating. He does find a clue, but it comes with more questions than answers.
Of course, Thorn has plenty to say about her involvement in an investigation, and even more when she’s investigating with Dorian. Seriously Thorn’s got a problem with being overprotective and Kinsley just isn’t going to take it anymore. Once again, he’s off and running.
I really sympathize with Kinsley. She’s got a lot on her plate and Thorn always seems to make it worse. Even though she’s the one who along with Meri and Dorian seem to be solving the murders around here.
There are plenty of ups and downs as the clues slowly come together adding more than a few twists into play. There’s even a small period of time where Meri is a goat.
I am already reading the next book in this series, somehow, I just can’t stop reading these.
5 Contented Purrs for Sara!
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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.)