Book Reviews

Bell, Book, and Scandal (Bedknobs and Broomsticks 3) by Josh Lanyon at JustJoshin Publishing

Genre Gay / Urban Fantasy / Law Enforcement / Magic / Wizards & Witches / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by ParisDude on 21-June-2021

Book Blurb

Black Cats. Black Arts. Black. Mail.


Must a witch break his vows to save his marriage?


Cosmo Saville has never been happier. His adored husband has finally accepted his witchy ways. And in return, his promise to stay out of police business guarantees them a happily ever after. At least, until Cos discovers he might be a pawn in a dangerous game of blackmail…

Police Commissioner John Joseph Galbraith feels relieved that the lies and secrets are over and his marriage is back on track. Especially since he has his hands full with a high-profile suicide and rumors of a city-wide extortion ring. But when he stumbles across his own wicked witch breaking his vow by using magic to play sleuth, John agonizes over old wounds.

With the commissioner’s badge and family in jeopardy, Cosmo feels he has no choice but to use every power in...his power. Even if that dark decision costs him everything he cares about most.

Can the witch expose a dark conspiracy, save John’s career, and return to love’s delicious spell?


Book Review

The further I got in this series, the more it grew on me (even more so with this third installment), so imagine my groans and frantic eye-rolling when, after finishing this book, I realized it was the last one. Trilogy – third book – duh, ParisDude! Luckily, Josh announces at the end that she might be publishing three follow-ups (I virtually hugged her for that all across the Atlantic Ocean and American continent), so I didn’t feel completely like an orphan.

 

This time, the plot starts with Cosmo getting an anonymous letter containing seemingly compromising photos of his intrepid sister-in-law. Faint traces of magic can also be detected on the envelope, which strikes Cosmo as… weird. For once, having learned from past errors, he immediately informs his beloved husband, no-nonsense rugged and handsome Police Commissioner John Galbraith. He also tries to find out via his illustrious mother who could be behind this blackmail letter; he finds the whole incident really troubling, namely because a vast extortion scheme seems to be hitting San Francisco’s high and mighty at the moment. Then things get even weirder—it wouldn’t be Cosmo (and it wouldn’t be Josh Lanyon “pulling the strings” if I dare say so) if the storyline developed in a different direction. Cosmo of course undertakes some nosing around (even though he promised John he wouldn’t), and of course, that course of action backfires as it always does, leading to the accidental death of a suspect (with loads of witnesses, to complicate things even further). And then, Cosmo’s mother is summoned to Paris to answer for her son’s behavior before the leading witches, and Cosmo is at a loss: what should he do now? Well, he does what I thought he’d do right from the start: the perfectly wrong thing. Which leads him into the greatest danger so far…

 

I should be mighty cross with Josh Lanyon (if she weren’t such a sweet woman) because she deprived me of my much-needed beauty sleep. Once more, I should add. I opened this latest (and for-now last) installment of the ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’ trilogy late one evening, took it up the following evening… and then was so caught in the tangles of the plot and the suspense coming in with a vengeance in the middle of the story that I simply couldn’t put it down. Therefore I went to sleep much too late and had to go to work the next morning in a zombie-like state. But it was really worth it because I loved the story. The characters come through as well fleshed-out and relatable, the story progressed with a relentless pace (hence my binge-reading), I was rewarded with the usual witty dialogs I always cherish in Josh’s books, and the lose bits and pieces were taken up and brought to a satisfying finale with a bang.

 

Maybe I could say that the final culprit came as a somewhat “deus ex machina”-ish surprise to me, but I confess that I read the first two books quite a while ago, so that might be my fault. Anyway, as much as I normally dislike this writing ploy, I didn’t mind for a second in this book. Probably because the pieces fell finally into place, and I got an overall view of the situation and all the characters involved. The worldbuilding (when one gets magic in a trilogy, I think one can use that word) was excellent throughout the series, and I noted with satisfaction that all the characters were treated to a nice and natural development, even stubborn, antimagic John, who realizes how much he loves his husband and that therefore he needs to accept him necessarily with all his positive as well as negative sides. I find the couple really endearing in this last book, and the ending… I wanted to hug them with joy.

 

Unconditional recommendation for lovers of well-written suspense with a magical twist. A must for Josh Lanyon fans, it goes without saying.

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author via NetGalley for the purpose of a review.

 

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 204 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 30-March-2021
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link https://www.amazon.com/Bell-Book-Scandal-Bedknobs-Broomsticks-ebook/dp/B088ZGSB87