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4.6 out of 5 stars
Hex Marks the Spot (Bewitching Mysteries, No. 3)
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The third installment of "The Bewitching Series" is the best one thus far. The mystery itself does not dominate the book but allows Maggie room for personal growth. The only negative that I could give the book would be that the main mystery starts off strongly in the first few chapters, but we don't hear about it again until much later. We also get to see a side mystery with Stony Mill's library ghost, Boiler Room Bertie, which was interesting as it helped to develop some minor characters.

Overall, the real story is Maggie's burgeoning belief in the paranormal, which mirrors her personal growth & has been a delight to follow throughout the series. She seriously questions her feelings for two romantic interests in this book, which is a twist that I did not see coming in previous books. When I started this series, I did not expect the books to have so much heart, but Maggie's personal journey has made "The Bewitching Series" a worthwhile read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
Madelyn Alt has come across a winning combination with characters who are magic on the pages as well as a delight to read.
Stony Mill, Indiana...In mainstream Indiana there are all types of folks.
Nice folks, and murderers...
Maggie O'Neill found a wonderful job at Enchantments - a store that has many things - antiques, books, crystals, New Age things - The owner of Enchantments, Liss Dow, is a practicing witch - Maggie finds she has gifts that are blossoming in this environment -
Her sometime boyfriend, Tom, is a cop in Stony Mill, and he is as not too thrilled to have Maggie delve into the paranormal - He reminds me of the ROTC guy in Animal House - that's my visual picture of him. Although Maggie and Tom have been going out for some months, the relationship isn't blooming - There is Liss' friend the hunky and most sexy Marcus...he is in Liss' group and Maggie thinks that Mark and a considerably older Liss are an item - so to Maggie, Marcus is forbidden territory...at least in the romance department.
This outing has a dark feel to it - As Liss and Maggie go to a fair, they see an ornate armoire, that surprisingly was made by a very 'unplain' Amish man, Luc...when Luc is brutally murdered, and strange markings are found, the group of friends associated with Enchantments go in and try to decipher the mystery -
This is a delightful series that educates the reader in alternative religions, that there are people who practise wonderful rites that celebrate the earth and are good people who do good things.
This book moves the characters forward in interesting directions - and Alt has created well rounded characters that you care about and want to read more about.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Hex Marks the Spot" was like catching up with a dear friend -- our time together flew by, and was over far too soon. The development of the characters and romance(s?) is every bit as fascinating as the actual mystery of Luc Metzger's death. I do wonder if we will see his widow, Hester, in any future books.

Although it is helpful to have read the previous two books by Ms. Alt, "Hex Marks the Spot" can easily be read as a stand-alone volume. The death of Luc Metzger offers an interesting look into the Amish society. Why he had been killed, and by whom, is not at all what I would had thought at the very beginning of the book...and I appreciate being led astray before given an opportunity to solve the mystery on my own.

Cannot wait for the next one!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 30, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
We join Maggie O'Neill back in Indiana, in the mystical gift and antique shop Enchantments, where she works for a witch, Felicity Dow aka Liss. And Liss really is a witch - a practicing witch in an established community that is blithely aware of the paranormal happenings around them. At least, most of them seem to be immune, but many are starting to notice the increase in crime and accidents that are plaguing the community. When a local Amish craftsman is found dead next to his bicycle with his head bashed in, residents are shocked. Not only was this gentle and talented man killed, but his was the third murder in six months in their small community. Are there supernatural forces at play, or has the town simply run out of luck?

Maggie is quite excited to be attending the annual craft fair put on by the county. Normally Liss attends alone, but this year Maggie is getting a break from running the store to help find some new merchandise. While browsing, they visit the stall of an Amish woodworker they are friends with, and Liss falls in love with an armoire decorated with patterns and bright colors not normally seen on the shaker style furniture normally produced. The armoire had been donated to the auction taking place later that day, so the two women plan to attend in hopes of winning. But the armoire's decoration is credited to another Amish craftsman, Luc Metzger; one like Maggie has never before seen. His craft work is just a beautiful as the man himself, an uncommon trait among the simple Amish people whose faith is foremost in their community. And when the ladies' man is found dead after supposedly doing `one more job' to help earn money for a farm for his wife and children, Maggie can't help but wonder where he'd been.

Maggie and hunky friend Marcus come upon the nighttime scene of buggies that have discovered the body on a darkened stretch of road, and Maggie has to decide whether or not she is comfortable with the paranormal side of her life in order to help discover why there was a strange hex tacked to a tree not far from the body - on Amish property. Maggie's sometime boyfriend, Tom the detective, is also having a difficult time with the peculiar aspects of the crime, but mostly with Maggie's involvement with people he considers questionable because they are not considered mainstream. So we are able to follow Maggie's personal journey into unfamiliar territory that is considered taboo to her Catholic religious background, and also her journey on how to trust her heart and instincts.

I am really enjoying the Bewitching series by Alt. We are seeing characters develop with the paranormal aspect - especially some who are new to the subject or fear reprisal if outed, which I think are normal reactions people would have in real life. The cozy series is engaging, and there is enough mystery to keep you guessing throughout the story. I eagerly await the next in the series, but I have one question: How does Abel charge his cell phone?
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I highly enjoyed this book. She continues to successfully develop the relationships of all the characters within the book, and I'm glad to finally see things heating up with Marcus. I could definitely see the attraction starting in the second book.

As for the murder mystery portion of this book, it was interesting to see how she illustrated the different Amish cultures; and how the culture clashes created another obstacle to solving the case.

All in all, I have enjoyed all of the books in the series, but I'll have to agree that they just keep getting better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2008
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
This series just gets better and better. Ms Alt's writing is easy to read, the mystery satisfying, and the 'witchy' part a delight. From my own research into the Wiccan/Pagan philosophy, I found that aspect of this book to be both accurate and convincing. Maggie O'Neil seems to breathe real life and have an actual heartbeat. I'm looking forward to her next adventure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The third installment in the Bewitching Mysteries series was definitely my favorite thus far. Maggie is finally growing as a character and even though I rate Ms. Alt's book at a nonstop 4, it doesn't seem like a sort of half-hearted chick lit to me. This book's storyline was much more involved and rounded.

Winter has come and gone, with two murders under it's belt, in Stony Mill Indiana. It;s the opening day of the country fermer's market/craft bazaar and the main item of interest in the auction is a gorgeous hand carved cabinet made by Eli Yoder (You've met him before) and his newly acquired assistant, Luc Metzger. After the auction, when the handsome Amish craftsman, Luc, turns up dead, Stony Mill now has another murder to it's credit.

Hex Marks the Spot, again to it's credit, deals a lot with the character's personal lives as well as the story and I am grateful for that. I feel like in other stories, except for Felicity Dow, the character's were lacking some in that aspect. Maggie's attraction to Marcus, even though she is quasi-dating Tom, heats up as they exchange a very passionate kiss. The problem is, no matter how Maggie says she loves Liss, her employer and dear friend, at the time she thinks Marcus is Felicity's boyfriend. That was a little disturbing.

Boiler Room Bertie, the library's resident ghost, also makes an appearance in this book. In fact, the side story going on along with the murder investigation, is investigating him. His back story is explained and you finally find out who he is and his history there, which much to my surprise was more interesting than I had first thought.

Back to Luc Metzger; the Amish in the area have been victims of random violence, so of course that is where the police have been focused in their investigation. Maggie, however, takes a different route getting a feeling that the answer my lay with Hester Metzger, Luc's wife. The investigation into Luc's murder isn't the whole book, just actually a small part as the author tried to cram in a lot of different elements in just a little over 200 pages. However, be that as it may, the book is not a disappointment in the slightest nor is it a whirlwind of confusion.

The book also still has all the same elements of Paganism some of the readers have come to love and expect. A lot of the clues found have to deal with Folk Magick and symbolism, so there is a new element brought into the mix just for the sake of the storyline which is really sort of interesting. All in all, the whole book is really good and I don't have many complaints about this one at all.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 29, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the third book in the Bewitching Mystery series by Madelyn Alt, following The Trouble With Magic (Bewitching Mystery, Book 1) and A Charmed Death (Bewitching Mystery, Book 2). Actually, I have liked each book in turn better than the one before it, and I think that is a great sign of things to come with this series!

Maggie loves her job in a nice gift store in a small town in northwestern Indiana. The store is called Enchantments, and not only carries charming gifts, but is also a local center for Wiccans and others interested in the paranormal. Since it is in a conservative area, this can lead to tension with some of the other townspeople from time to time.

In this novel, Maggie and her boss Felicity, go to a big craft fair where they meet a handsome Amish craftsman named Luc. Luc soon thereafter turns up murdered, with a strange magik symbol near his body. Maggie and her friends decide to investigate.

This book is a bit darker than the previous two - a crime against an Amish person is pretty disturbing, given their peaceful philosophy and close knit communities.

Maggie shows quite a bit of character development in this book - she has to start to comes to terms with herself and her own abilities.

I am really looking forward to any books to come in this series!
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on November 24, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As in the previous book in this series, the solving of the murder is not the main focus of our main character, Maggie O’Neill. Therefore, it is not the main focus of the novel. Based on that knowledge, many die-hard mystery/thriller readers will probably dismiss this work as weak or boring. It is anything but.

Now, Maggie does solve the murder, but that occurs almost as a sideline to her main objective – to come to grips with the knowledge that she is an empath. At this point, three months since the conclusion of the previous book, she is living in profound fear of this ability.

The intense emotions of someone physically in her presence can cause her to black out without warning, which is dangerous to life and limb. She often has an intuitive insight into the motivations behind whatever words are being spoken in her presence, a knowledge that can be fearsome and depressing if those motivations are less than altruistic.

However, her empathic abilities are not restricted to the living. She can also sense the energy signatures projected by the spirits of the deceased. And in a small town of small minds, expressing that knowledge publically is socially and physically dangerous.

But the most immediate cause of her fear is the incident in the previous novel where she instinctively called upon those spirits to help her when it seemed that her death by murder was imminent. They did help her – by killing her attacker. Now, not only is she afraid of the implications of being part of the Otherworld, she is afraid of herself.

The murder of an Amish friend’s employee becomes the catalyst for dealing with her fears and accepting her abilities – she simply cannot go back to what she thought she was. And as is true of real life as well as fictionalized life, pushing forward in one area affects other areas also, particularly her relationships with Tom, Marcus and her mother.

The author has crafted a novel of suspense – criminal suspense, psychological suspense, paranormal suspense and romantic suspense. The work is not hot and steamy nor is it filled with shoot-em-up action on every third page. But it moves along at a pace where the reader can absorb the clues, make judgments, and build up a fine sense of worry over whether all will be well in the end.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Taking us back once again to northeast Indiana, Hex Marks the Spot is the third in the Bewitching Mystery series. When a master woodcrafter and member of the Amish faith turns up dead, Maggie feels she has to check things out. She had met the dead man, Luc, at a craft show/auction along with his wife. Even though Maggie has heard some rumors about Luc's roving eye, it is beyond comprehension for Maggie that anyone would want to kill a peaceful Amish man.

It appears that some sort of witchcraft is involved when it is discovered that Luc's body was found near a hex mark. As a witch herself, Maggie is aware of most of the paranormal community in her area but is there more? Already involved in investigating more local hauntings, a murder investigation just adds to the spice in her life. Speaking of spice, the involvement with her sometimes boyfriend Tom is also a factor in this book. Previously, he has been suspicious and leery of the witchy part of Maggie's life but seems to be warming to the subject this time around. As more details come to light, Maggie wonders if the hex symbol really meant anything or if it was only there to throw the police off the right track. The eventual confrontation with the killer is a shocker not only for the entire community but also for Maggie. For Maggie, it really shakes up her view of the world.

Hex Marks the Spot is a continuation of a very pleasurable series. I've grown attached to the characters and look forward to each book so that I may track their development. While not a typical paranormal book filled with vampires or shifters, this is a wonderful para-light series and I am eager to read the next in the series.

Reviewed at Bitten by Books Paranormal Fiction Review Site by Becky
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