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Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Carts

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With the Summer Sea Carnival visiting the enchanted island of Bijou Mer, Imogen jumps at the chance to help run the royal bakery booth. It’ll get her out of the palace and allow her to continue avoiding her feelings for a certain engaged prince. Imogen’s plans to lay low are shattered when the world-famous necromancer, Madame Zerna, is found dead, sawed in half on the dark With the Summer Sea Carnival visiting the enchanted island of Bijou Mer, Imogen jumps at the chance to help run the royal bakery booth. It’ll get her out of the palace and allow her to continue avoiding her feelings for a certain engaged prince. Imogen’s plans to lay low are shattered when the world-famous necromancer, Madame Zerna, is found dead, sawed in half on the dark magician’s table and Imogen’s friend Rhonda is caught red-handed. With incriminating evidence piling up against Rhonda, Zerna’s rival, Imogen promises to help clear her name by finding the real murderer. But between running the booth, encouraging Maple as she struggles to lead as head baker, and taking spell lessons from the friendly strong man, Imogen’s got her hands full. And it’s no easier getting information from the evasive dark magician or Madame Zerna’s secretive assistant. Even Rhonda’s hiding something. With the Night of the Dead fast approaching, and Rhonda headed for a maximum security witch prison, Imogen races to unearth the real killer in time to save her friend. But in a mysterious carnival where nothing’s as it seems, will Imogen have the magical powers to keep from being on the chopping block herself?


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With the Summer Sea Carnival visiting the enchanted island of Bijou Mer, Imogen jumps at the chance to help run the royal bakery booth. It’ll get her out of the palace and allow her to continue avoiding her feelings for a certain engaged prince. Imogen’s plans to lay low are shattered when the world-famous necromancer, Madame Zerna, is found dead, sawed in half on the dark With the Summer Sea Carnival visiting the enchanted island of Bijou Mer, Imogen jumps at the chance to help run the royal bakery booth. It’ll get her out of the palace and allow her to continue avoiding her feelings for a certain engaged prince. Imogen’s plans to lay low are shattered when the world-famous necromancer, Madame Zerna, is found dead, sawed in half on the dark magician’s table and Imogen’s friend Rhonda is caught red-handed. With incriminating evidence piling up against Rhonda, Zerna’s rival, Imogen promises to help clear her name by finding the real murderer. But between running the booth, encouraging Maple as she struggles to lead as head baker, and taking spell lessons from the friendly strong man, Imogen’s got her hands full. And it’s no easier getting information from the evasive dark magician or Madame Zerna’s secretive assistant. Even Rhonda’s hiding something. With the Night of the Dead fast approaching, and Rhonda headed for a maximum security witch prison, Imogen races to unearth the real killer in time to save her friend. But in a mysterious carnival where nothing’s as it seems, will Imogen have the magical powers to keep from being on the chopping block herself?

30 review for Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Carts

  1. 5 out of 5

    James

    Another great cozy mystery from Erin Johnson with the second book, Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Carts, in the Spells & Caramels series. After I read the first book last year, I downloaded the second and third to read in between other ARCs and thrillers I had set for January and February. I need to balance the light and heavy, or I get bored/frustrated with too much of the same thing. It seems this series continues to deliver on quality, imagination and humor. I recommend it for anyone interested in Another great cozy mystery from Erin Johnson with the second book, Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Carts, in the Spells & Caramels series. After I read the first book last year, I downloaded the second and third to read in between other ARCs and thrillers I had set for January and February. I need to balance the light and heavy, or I get bored/frustrated with too much of the same thing. It seems this series continues to deliver on quality, imagination and humor. I recommend it for anyone interested in cozy mysteries, witches and cooking. Imogen is new to the magic world, trying to learn how to cast spells and stay away from the prince in her new mystery land. He's engaged, she's nervous and there seems to be murders happening all the time a war goes on with the Badlands Army. In this edition, a carnival is in town, but when a seer is murdered, a rival is arrested for the crime. Imogen's certain her friend Rhonda wasn't the culprit -- and fights to prove it, all the while meeting different carnival folk and learning how to practice magic. In the end, she unearths the true killer when she makes a connection with the dead during an annual creepy ritual. My favorite part of this series is the imagination behind all the characters, setting and actions. It's clear the author has built an entire world before writing the books, as it takes depth and design to architect this layer of intricacy in a story. Information about Imogen's background is kept minimal, as I'm sure that will be a focus of a future book, but when you learn things, you learn them quickly! Between vampires, shifters, and swallows, there's an entire structure to the world of witches and wizards. Add in Imogen's role as an assistant to the royal baker in the palace, she's constantly in the middle of situations where she is always out of her element. It's a great break from contemporary fiction, full of quirky but lovable characters, that leaves you wanting more. I enjoy the series and will definitely keep reading it in 2018. Charming. Vivid. Comforting.

  2. 5 out of 5

    ✨ Gramy ✨

    .. Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Carts (Spells & Caramels #2) by Erin Johnson (Goodreads Author) Pages: 300 This is the second installment in the Spells and Caramels series by Erin Johnson, which is a strangely abnormal paranormal mystery that I am still trying to determine if I am interested in continuing or not. It has its positive attributes and then there are some negative aspects as well. With the Summer Sea Carnival visiting the enchanted island of Bijou Mer, Imogen jumps at the chance to help ru .. Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Carts (Spells & Caramels #2) by Erin Johnson (Goodreads Author) Pages: 300 This is the second installment in the Spells and Caramels series by Erin Johnson, which is a strangely abnormal paranormal mystery that I am still trying to determine if I am interested in continuing or not. It has its positive attributes and then there are some negative aspects as well. With the Summer Sea Carnival visiting the enchanted island of Bijou Mer, Imogen jumps at the chance to help run the royal bakery booth. It’ll get her out of the palace and allow her to continue avoiding her feelings for a certain engaged prince. Imogen’s plans to lay low are shattered when the world-famous necromancer, Madame Zerna, is found dead, sawed in half on the dark magician’s table and Imogen’s friend Rhonda is caught red-handed. With incriminating evidence piling up against Rhonda, Zerna’s rival, Imogen promises to help clear her name by finding the real murderer. But between running the booth, encouraging Maple as she struggles to lead as head baker, and taking spell lessons from the friendly strong man, Imogen’s got her hands full. And it’s no easier getting information from the evasive dark magician or Madame Zerna’s secretive assistant. Even Rhonda’s hiding something. This is a stand-alone book, clean and wholesome, and it provides a H.E.A. that encompasses the events in this installment. With the Night of the Dead fast approaching and Rhonda headed for a maximum security witch prison, Imogen races to unearth the real killer in time to save her friend. But in a mysterious carnival where nothing’s as it seems, will Imogen have the magical powers to keep from being on the chopping block herself? So, all in all for those that like this genre, I would recommend this read. This was available through the Amazon Kindle Unlimited program. ..

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gemma

    I loved reading this series, now I'm listening to the audio books. They are brilliantly well done, I love iggys voice so much. Its been great going back over the series again, the impressions really match the character I had pictured from the books. Really recommend these audio books.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Imogen jumped at the chance to run the royal bakery booth at the summer sea carnival on Bijou Mer, if only to take her away from the royal duties and the Prince. Maple was learning to be head baker and was one of Imogen’s closest friends, so they had each other’s backs. While Iggy and Sam kept things running smoothly. But when Madame Zerna was found dead, Rhonda was arrested for her murder and other strange events kept happening, Imogen knew she had to find the killer before it was too late for Imogen jumped at the chance to run the royal bakery booth at the summer sea carnival on Bijou Mer, if only to take her away from the royal duties and the Prince. Maple was learning to be head baker and was one of Imogen’s closest friends, so they had each other’s backs. While Iggy and Sam kept things running smoothly. But when Madame Zerna was found dead, Rhonda was arrested for her murder and other strange events kept happening, Imogen knew she had to find the killer before it was too late for everyone – including herself. Black Arts, Tarts and Gypsy Carts is the 2nd in the Spells & Caramels Cozy Mystery series by Erin Johnson and it was light, fun and entertaining. Imogen is learning her magic – she’s actually human – and has little confidence in her abilities. Though it seems when she really needs the magic help, it shocks her and happens! Recommended.

  5. 5 out of 5

    ☼♎ Carmen the Bootyshaker Temptress ☼♎

    Rating 3.5 stars While Imogen is trying to learn magic she finds herself in another murder. Even though she tries her best to stay out of trouble it doesn't help but she does a good job of getting information that may get her in trouble and she learns a few tricks too.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews

    This series really caught my attention with the first book - Seashells, Spells & Caramels. The series is a cross between our world and a magical world. Imogen is a fascinating character because I try and imagine myself in her shoes - never knowing that I had magical powers and how to learn how to harness those powers and use them properly. Plus being in a land that has normal human tourists but is filled with various magical people and beings. But Imogen takes it all in stride. With this book, no This series really caught my attention with the first book - Seashells, Spells & Caramels. The series is a cross between our world and a magical world. Imogen is a fascinating character because I try and imagine myself in her shoes - never knowing that I had magical powers and how to learn how to harness those powers and use them properly. Plus being in a land that has normal human tourists but is filled with various magical people and beings. But Imogen takes it all in stride. With this book, not everyone/everything is as it seems. There were some things that I figured out but how they were revealed was intriguing. I can't spill too much otherwise it will give away some of the ending! I do wonder if Imogen and Hank (Prince Harry) might get together at some point. Yes he is engaged to someone else BUT there is such a connection. Is it because they are both swallows or is there more to the chemistry they have together? This is a fun series - it might be because I don't read a lot of magical/paranormal type books, but I think it is also the light feel to the story and it is not intense like some books might come across.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    4.5 rounded up. I loved this book and even tho' it doesn't quite have that extra pizzazz to put it up to a 5-star rating, it's a solid 4.5 in my opinion. I adore the characters in this series. Imogen, Maple, Iggy, and Hank have all become almost like friends to me and I really care about what happens to them and how they react to situations. Imogen's a little too impulsive for my personal taste, but she at least does slow down and think sometimes, just not all the time. I still love her though. I 4.5 rounded up. I loved this book and even tho' it doesn't quite have that extra pizzazz to put it up to a 5-star rating, it's a solid 4.5 in my opinion. I adore the characters in this series. Imogen, Maple, Iggy, and Hank have all become almost like friends to me and I really care about what happens to them and how they react to situations. Imogen's a little too impulsive for my personal taste, but she at least does slow down and think sometimes, just not all the time. I still love her though. I love her enthusiasm and her intelligence. She's a good friend to Maple and Iggy as well. The setting of Bijou Mer is great. I love the descriptions of the area and buildings. Ms. Johnson does a nice job of discussing the settings without going overboard with her descriptions. I'm able to easily imagine the carnival grounds, the cemetery they visit, etc. The plot line moves along steadily.  There were two villains. One I knew from the start. The other wasn't quite as obvious and I was actually disappointed because I had liked the character a lot and hated to see him as a villain. All in all, it's a fantastic installment in the series and I highly recommend it! I do recommend starting with the first book, Seashells, Spells, and Caramels as there is backstory that you need to understand. You can find my review for that book here.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Angela James

    Eek! I love a good mystery and this book did not disappoint! Magic and mayhem are a constant part of Imogen's new life and she's always smack dab in the middle of all the chaos and adventure. Never a dull moment and highly entertaining. I can not wait to see what's in store in her future. #NotSoPatientlyWaitingOnTheNextBook lol This authors book have quickly become a new addiction! One click now!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lyssa Sue Shaffer

    Yum Tasty treats and brain food too! A fine mystery set before the members of the royal bakers. A lovely event leading up to their local version of Samhain. The fall festival when the walls between the worlds thin and we can share a meal with our recent dead at a graveside picnic. Once again murder is afoot and the head constable is not the curious sort... grr.. bad constable no biscuit. Never fear Imogen is here with her trusty tribe of friends.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Binegar-Foster

    This second book in the series was even better than the first. Oh my gosh Iggy totally cracks me up. I love the dynamic between Imogen and Hank. I am looking forward to seeing what is next in book 3. I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    Cute story with engaging characters (especially Iggy the Flame). I felt the romance (flirting) was a little too prominent for my tastes. Overall, an entertaining story full of magic and action. I will post my complete review soon.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Micky Cox

    If you haven't started listening to this series, you absolutely should. The author weaves a wonderful story wrought with underlying mysteries and conflicts, friendships and more while the narrator does a magnificent job of bringing it all to vivid life! This second book in the series finds Imogene attempting to learn how to control her magic, baking in the royal kitchen and avoiding a prince all while once again being thrust into the midst of a murder that needs solved.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lola

    After reading book 1 I couldn't wait to return to this fun and magical series and a few days later I started book 2. Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Carts is just as fun as book 1, I flew through this book and enjoyed every page of it. It's such a fun series, filled with magic and mystery, great characters and a hint of romance. This book nicely combines both the paranormal and mystery elements into an engaging story. I like how the mystery is a bit different from most cozy mysteries. Yes someone dies After reading book 1 I couldn't wait to return to this fun and magical series and a few days later I started book 2. Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Carts is just as fun as book 1, I flew through this book and enjoyed every page of it. It's such a fun series, filled with magic and mystery, great characters and a hint of romance. This book nicely combines both the paranormal and mystery elements into an engaging story. I like how the mystery is a bit different from most cozy mysteries. Yes someone dies and the main character searches for the culprit, but it's all just a bit different. Which is great! And the paranormal touches, magic and fun setting really add something to the series. I liked the mystery aspect of this book, I had figured some things were going on or something wasn't quite right with something, but not predict fully what exactly. I did predict a few things, but not all the details and it was still great to see things come to light and the reasons behind things. I wasn't sure why the murderer was and was surprised when that came to light, but it did make sense. The pacing is also a bit different than normal cozy mysteries, the murder isn't directly at the start and after the murder gets solved there are a few more chapters to wrap things up. And there is a lot of magic and paranormal things involved everywhere, it's woven so nicely into the story it's completely part of it. I liked reading about Imogen learning to control her magic a bit more, we learn more about the magical world and there's a carnival! And maple is now the royal baker and there are some great side plot lines involving her and the other side characters. Iggy is still one of my favorite characters and there were some great scenes involving him. It was a joy to read this book. I can't say it enough, but this book is so much fun to read. And while it touches upon some issues like murder and some others it keeps having this light tone. I like how it has both a paranormal feel and a strong focus on the mystery as well. And the whole city and the carnival in this book were fun to read about. There isn't much progressing with the romance in this book. Imogen meets another male she becomes close with, but I am glad it never felt like it was going in the direction of a love triangle, which was nice. She really only wants to be friends with Edward. However I still didn't like Edward. I did like the few scenes with hank, but I just wished we got to see more of Imogen and Hank together. To summarize: This book was just as much fun as book 1. I flew through the book and wanted to keep reading. The blend of paranormal and mystery is so well done and really works here. The mystery was a good one, I had predicted a few things, but not all the details and it was great to see everything play out and come to light. I like how the pacing and events of the book don't follow the typical progressing of a cozy mystery, the slightly different pace really works. The characters are great to read about and I liked seeing more of Maple, Iggy and some new characters. There are some fun plot lines involving the bakery and the carnival. I didn't really like Edward, but I was glad it never felt like it was turning into a love triangle. There isn't much romance in this book and I hope we get more of Hank and Imogen together in next book. I am looking forward to starting book 3 soon!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stacie Haden

    It feels like you're reading a book meant for a 13 year old girl, but sometimes you want to read a book that feels like it's meant for a 13 year old girl.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nina Silva

    And the fun continues over in Bijou Mer. I love it when an author creates a world that makes my travel bug act up.  I would love to explore the island of Bijou Mer in the day and would adore the opportunity to resist the bells and stay on the island after dark to mingle with the magic folk. My favourite characters are all back to entertain.  Iggy, the flame, is slightly less surly but most comical, Maple is as sweet as ever but trying to assert herself, Hank is caught between two worlds and Imogen And the fun continues over in Bijou Mer. I love it when an author creates a world that makes my travel bug act up.  I would love to explore the island of Bijou Mer in the day and would adore the opportunity to resist the bells and stay on the island after dark to mingle with the magic folk. My favourite characters are all back to entertain.  Iggy, the flame, is slightly less surly but most comical, Maple is as sweet as ever but trying to assert herself, Hank is caught between two worlds and Imogen is still finding her way within her new reality.  We also have a chance to catch up with zany Rhonda and Francis and the efficient Amelia.  The bakery staff are introduced and one of them becomes a focal character. The mystery of Madam Zerna’s death is well-plotted.  There are several clues laid out but be careful, some of them will lead down the wrong path.  I did not see that resolution coming. The pacing of the story is interesting as there are three story arcs playing out.  We have the murder, a suspect in the murder has his own story to explore and there’s one last bit I can’t talk about for fear of being spoilery.  Just know, there’s a lot going on! I figured out the second story quickly.  For the third issue, I’m quite positive I know where that’s going but future books will reveal if I’m right. The love interest: Oh my goodness, talk about slow boil! I both love it and hate it at the same time.  My excitement for that relationship to blossom is immense.  Erin is certainly reeling me in with this one. The Badlands Army continues to infringe on the peace of the Water Kingdom.  I cannot wait to see how that plays out and how Imogen will factor in. I cannot wait to move on to Book 3, which has skyrocketed up my TBR. Just got to get through a couple more review requests and then I’m in!  I highly recommend this series.  But do read it in order to get the best enjoyment.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Robbins

    For complete review check out my blog at https://booksaplentybookreviews.blogs... For complete review check out my blog at https://booksaplentybookreviews.blogs...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jo King

    Yes! Fun, sassy, sweet jaunt through a magical land. Characters are lovable (and hate-able for the villains). A nice book for an afternoon read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karen (BaronessBookTrove)

    What better way to avoid a prince then working at the Palace’s bake tent at the Summer Sea Carnival? In Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Carts by Erin Johnson, the fun-loving and sometimes sassy characters from Seashells, Spells, & Caramels are back in the second installment of this brand-new cozy mystery series. Of course, along with the characters, we all know and love will have to deal with a crazy new mystery. They even find out a lot more than they bargained for. My favorite character would still h What better way to avoid a prince then working at the Palace’s bake tent at the Summer Sea Carnival? In Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Carts by Erin Johnson, the fun-loving and sometimes sassy characters from Seashells, Spells, & Caramels are back in the second installment of this brand-new cozy mystery series. Of course, along with the characters, we all know and love will have to deal with a crazy new mystery. They even find out a lot more than they bargained for. My favorite character would still have to be the main character. Imogen Banks. She’s still such as sassy and friendly person ever. Especially with being thrown into a new world after earning a spot in the Palace as a baker. What I like about this book: That despite Imogen’s protests, to herself, she still really does like Hank/Prince Harry. Imogen’s stubbornness really shows through. When she is dealing with Hank/Prince Harry trying to get her to take magic lessons. Trying to solve the mysteries, in the book, without endangering her friends who want to protect her. I did like how she found a loophole to getting someone to help her learn her magic. The one thing I have to say that I like the most is the sayings they say in Bijou Mer. Like “Sea snakes” – everyone. Or “When the fog clears” – Maple White. I also like the subtle hints of perhaps two love triangles may be or start going on between some of the characters. What I didn’t like about this book: What I didn’t like was how stubborn and cruel Inspector Bon can be once he thinks he figured out the mystery without really doing much with trying to solve the mystery. Inspector Bon also has never liked Imogen anyways. Another thing I don’t like is how everyone thinks they know the correct way to help Imogen with her magic. When it’s apparent no one does. Except for maybe Hank/Prince Harry. What I am curious about: Is who Imogen’s real family? Will she learn who she fully is? Why Horace, leader of the Badland Army, wants her so badly? Five Stars Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Carts by Erin Johnson is a great book that I devoured in a day. I so didn’t want to put it down for any reason but I had to so that I could eat or give attention to my cat. This book is getting five stars and I’m recommending it to anyone that likes paranormal mixed with a cozy mystery. Anyways until the next time enjoy this review brought to you by Baroness’ Book Trove. If you would like to read more reviews like this one please go to baronessbooktrove.com

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie Dale Keck

    Kindle Unlimited, again, if they had half stars would have been a 4 1/2 because there are parts that contradict other parts plus some things which I saw coming, way back before came out in story line, but read a LOT of cozies so...and with all the same issues as book 1, dropping this one to 4 as well. With the Summer Sea Carnival visiting the enchanted island of Bijou Mer, Imogen jumps at the chance to help run the royal bakery booth. It’ll get her out of the palace and allow her to continue avoi Kindle Unlimited, again, if they had half stars would have been a 4 1/2 because there are parts that contradict other parts plus some things which I saw coming, way back before came out in story line, but read a LOT of cozies so...and with all the same issues as book 1, dropping this one to 4 as well. With the Summer Sea Carnival visiting the enchanted island of Bijou Mer, Imogen jumps at the chance to help run the royal bakery booth. It’ll get her out of the palace and allow her to continue avoiding her feelings for a certain engaged prince. Imogen’s plans to lay low are shattered when the world-famous necromancer, Madame Zerna, is found dead, sawed in half on the dark magician’s table and Imogen’s friend Rhonda is caught red-handed. With incriminating evidence piling up against Rhonda, Zerna’s rival, Imogen promises to help clear her name by finding the real murderer. But between running the booth, encouraging Maple as she struggles to lead as head baker, and taking spell lessons from the friendly strong man, Imogen’s got her hands full. And it’s no easier getting information from the evasive dark magician or Madame Zerna’s secretive assistant. Even Rhonda’s hiding something. With the Night of the Dead fast approaching, and Rhonda headed for a maximum security witch prison, Imogen races to unearth the real killer in time to save her friend. But in a mysterious carnival where nothing’s as it seems, will Imogen have the magical powers to keep from being on the chopping block herself? Seashells, Spells & Caramels: A Cozy Witch Mystery Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Carts Mermaid Fins, Winds and Rolling Pins {Nov} Book 4 {Dec}

  20. 5 out of 5

    Charles Ray

    The Summer Sea Carnival is coming to the magical island of Bijou Mer, and Prince Harry has decided that it would be nice if the royal bakery had a booth at this year’s festivities. Imogen Banks, witch-in-training and master baker, jumps at the chance to help run the booth, in order to avoid Prince Harry—Hank to her—because of her strong feelings for her being all complicated by the fact that he’s engaged to be married . . . to someone else. Things quickly get out of hand when the famed necromance The Summer Sea Carnival is coming to the magical island of Bijou Mer, and Prince Harry has decided that it would be nice if the royal bakery had a booth at this year’s festivities. Imogen Banks, witch-in-training and master baker, jumps at the chance to help run the booth, in order to avoid Prince Harry—Hank to her—because of her strong feelings for her being all complicated by the fact that he’s engaged to be married . . . to someone else. Things quickly get out of hand when the famed necromancer, Madame Zerna, is found sawed in half in the magician’s tent, and her arch-rival, Rhonda, is found standing over the body with a bloody saw in her hand. Rhonda appeals to Imogen for help, and having previously been wrongfully accused, Imogen understands her friend’s dilemma and decides to tey and clear her name. In Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Carts by Erin Johnson it’s always darkest before the dawn, and only slightly overcast afterwards. You’ll fall in love with Imogen and most of her friends, especially Iggy, the irreverent flame who helps her bake some of the most amazing dishes, and you’ll roundly boo the villains—as soon as you figure out just who they are. Johnson has a way of masking the bad guy (or gal) until the very last minute, so the reader is as surprised as Imogen when the mask comes off. This is book 2 in what is quickly becoming my favorite mystery series. I received a free copy of this book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    Imogen has started working at the royal bakery with her friend Maple and her fire Iggy, but it will not take long before they will be involved again in a threatening mystery. Of course, one of her friends will be the first suspect and Imogen will have to run to discover the truth before it's too late. This book has brought our loved characters from the first book series to an interesting new adventure; Maple, Sam, Iggy, Hank... and with more humour, magic and delightful pastries we will be transp Imogen has started working at the royal bakery with her friend Maple and her fire Iggy, but it will not take long before they will be involved again in a threatening mystery. Of course, one of her friends will be the first suspect and Imogen will have to run to discover the truth before it's too late. This book has brought our loved characters from the first book series to an interesting new adventure; Maple, Sam, Iggy, Hank... and with more humour, magic and delightful pastries we will be transported to a world where everything is possible, even murder. I have to say I enjoyed more this book than the previous one, the book is more centred in the investigation (that it's a quite original case) and we already know the characters, so the relation between them grows and gets more complex, of course. Let me say that spending a day with Imogen will never be boring, but be prepared to see murder always! I am still not sure what the Badlands Army wants or what they really do, apart from killing and abducting people, of course. And I can't wait to know what they really moves them. Of course we can not forget Hank, the engaged future king that makes Imogen feel butterflies every time she sees him... will they start a fire with the sparks between them? Be prepared to talk to ghosts, zombies and mouthwatering cakes, ready?

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kitty Galore

    *THIS BOOK WAS GIVEN TO ME IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW* In book 2 of the series, we find Imogen working along side her friend Maple in the Royal bakery and still avoiding Hank. Imogen and the gang decide to work a bakery booth at the carnival that visits Bijou Mer. Soon after things go left and Imogen is once again playing detective to clear Rhonda, the seers, name. Amongst all the commotion, Imogen finds someone to start teaching her how to use her powers as a swallow. In my opinion, book 2 *THIS BOOK WAS GIVEN TO ME IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW* In book 2 of the series, we find Imogen working along side her friend Maple in the Royal bakery and still avoiding Hank. Imogen and the gang decide to work a bakery booth at the carnival that visits Bijou Mer. Soon after things go left and Imogen is once again playing detective to clear Rhonda, the seers, name. Amongst all the commotion, Imogen finds someone to start teaching her how to use her powers as a swallow. In my opinion, book 2 was even better than book 1. I could definitely see the growth of the storyline and characters. Where book one lacked alot of the mystery aspect of the story book 2 did not disappoint. The book held my interest from beginning to end. There were some shockers that I didnt see coming which is always a plus and I like how even after Imogen solved the case things weren't as cut an dry as we would have thought making for a real good ending! I hope in the next book we get to learn more of Imogen's magical background and also more from her and Hank! And I just have to say I love Iggy, her fire flame and friend! I recommend this series to anyone that is a fan of cozy mysteries!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Frances

    I really enjoyed reading Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Carts. Hank/Harry, Maple, Sam, and Iggy are so much fun and each bring a different dynamic to Imogen's story When we last saw them Imogen, Maple, Sam and Iggy won their places in the royal bakery. So we get to see the trials and tribulations of becoming the new royal baker and staff. When the Summer Sea Carnival comes to town it brings with it all kinds of surprises for Imogen, including another murder mystery. Imogen being plucked out of the human I really enjoyed reading Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Carts. Hank/Harry, Maple, Sam, and Iggy are so much fun and each bring a different dynamic to Imogen's story When we last saw them Imogen, Maple, Sam and Iggy won their places in the royal bakery. So we get to see the trials and tribulations of becoming the new royal baker and staff. When the Summer Sea Carnival comes to town it brings with it all kinds of surprises for Imogen, including another murder mystery. Imogen being plucked out of the human realm and being flung into a magical realm she didn't even know existed is really entertaining. As if her trying to navigate her surroundings as well as trying to learn all about her magic and working in the Royal bakery isn't enough, she gets herself caught up is trying to help Rhonda get out of being accused for Madam Z's murder. I really enjoyed each layer in this book. There are a few mysteries that I figured out pretty early on, however the way they are revealed was worth the wait. I can't wait for book 3!!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sabetha | Aconite Cafe

    Imogen, Maple, Sam and Iggy are back for another adventure! This is the second book in the series, but it is stand alone for the most part. By reading the first you will get more in depth information on the world Erin has created, and the characters but this book will stand alone if it is the first you are picking up. Compared to book 1, this one reads more like a journal entry if that makes sense? There are more dives into Imogens head than the last book. It does continue the story arc started Imogen, Maple, Sam and Iggy are back for another adventure! This is the second book in the series, but it is stand alone for the most part. By reading the first you will get more in depth information on the world Erin has created, and the characters but this book will stand alone if it is the first you are picking up. Compared to book 1, this one reads more like a journal entry if that makes sense? There are more dives into Imogens head than the last book. It does continue the story arc started in book one, while having it's own investigative adventure. I love that there is an over arcing problem that won't be solved but will continue to burden Imogen instead of the book wrapping up peachy keen. Erin does a fabulous job of world building, I love the magical world she has created within our own and can't wait to discover more about the different kingdoms and how the world politics operate.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Diane ~Firefly~

    A carnival is in town and they set up a baker's tent and then need to clear a friend from a murder charge. What I enjoyed: * Imogen is pretty cool, I'd like to be her friend. She finds a tutor this time, is trying to avoid the prince, investigating a murder all while working a bakery booth. * Iggy, the magical flame is so sarcastic, but sweet underneath * Maple is coming into her own, but remains an amazing friend * The mystery was really good (view spoiler)[and unique with it being a suicide (hide s A carnival is in town and they set up a baker's tent and then need to clear a friend from a murder charge. What I enjoyed: * Imogen is pretty cool, I'd like to be her friend. She finds a tutor this time, is trying to avoid the prince, investigating a murder all while working a bakery booth. * Iggy, the magical flame is so sarcastic, but sweet underneath * Maple is coming into her own, but remains an amazing friend * The mystery was really good (view spoiler)[and unique with it being a suicide (hide spoiler)] What could have been better: * Imogen was a bit slow on the uptake this time (view spoiler)[as she should have realized Riga was dead sooner (or at least a puppet). (hide spoiler)] * (view spoiler)[I was surprised that the strongman was Horace, although I was expecting him to be part of the rebellion based on things he said. And I love how he is like the establishment villainizes him but then casually mentions he killed the person he is imitating. (hide spoiler)]

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dianthaa

    The second book takes off where the first left off. There’s continuity and growth to the characters’ relationships we know. This one takes place at a carnival fair, so for me at least, the creepy factor is automatically up. The murder is much more gruesome and the investigation kicks off in full force. The plot thickens considerably and conspiracy is afoot, seems generally more mystery focussed, probably because book one had a lot of scene setting to cover. Also towards the end it’s clear that the The second book takes off where the first left off. There’s continuity and growth to the characters’ relationships we know. This one takes place at a carnival fair, so for me at least, the creepy factor is automatically up. The murder is much more gruesome and the investigation kicks off in full force. The plot thickens considerably and conspiracy is afoot, seems generally more mystery focussed, probably because book one had a lot of scene setting to cover. Also towards the end it’s clear that there’s more to everything that meets the eye and I think there’ll be a bigger overarching mystery through the series. Baking is sounds delicious in this one too. The only reason I’ve put off book 3 is because I’m really trying to get back to my usual weight before my seaside holiday and these books have caused random baking at my house.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bobbi

    This book is such fun. Loved the characters from the first book and they are even more fun in this book. The town (or kingdom) is easy to imagine due to the artful way the book is written. The story is great fun and full of surprises. Had to keep reading to see what would happen next. Highly recommend this book to all cozy mystery lovers. Sure to entertain, this paperback was a real treat.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Arlene Arredondo

    This tale keeps getting better and better. Love the characters and funny situations. There are some grim components that are well balanced with a dash of humor. The characters are well developed and unique in their own way. Can wait to see what's next.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Janis Hill

    I would like to thank the author Erin Johnson for gifting me with a free electronic copy of this book. She has done so only because I enjoyed the first book in this series and I can assure you this is still my own open and honest opinion and not something I’ve been paid (or bartered a book) to say. Okay, so we know I am a lover of cosy crime with a bit of the supernatural… so being gifted ‘Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Carts’ (along with books 3 to 5 in this series) simply for really enjoying the fir I would like to thank the author Erin Johnson for gifting me with a free electronic copy of this book. She has done so only because I enjoyed the first book in this series and I can assure you this is still my own open and honest opinion and not something I’ve been paid (or bartered a book) to say. Okay, so we know I am a lover of cosy crime with a bit of the supernatural… so being gifted ‘Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Carts’ (along with books 3 to 5 in this series) simply for really enjoying the first book ‘Seashells, Spells & Caramels’ was like buying a piece of chocolate cake, enjoying so much I compliment the baker… and get given the rest of the cake as a thank you. Yup, I really do like this series and will be posting my reviews of the other books I’ve read soon. And, for those who think I am cheap and never buy books for myself, I’ve bought the rest of the series (there are 10 books in all). Yup, I REALLY like this series ‘Spells & Caramels’. Okay, back to book two in the series – ‘Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Carts’ takes place just weeks after the first book ‘Seashells, Spells & Caramels’. Imogen (main character) is settling down into her new magical life and loving being a baker. There, that’s enough of a blurb from me. This book is still world building the series, while also carrying a new whodunit and undercurrent sub-plot. And it carries them all in a perfect balance. A bit of padding it out with world and character building, a little sub-plot that will grow throughout the series (I only know this as I’ve just finished book 6) and a rather well thought out whodunit. And, as much as I guessed the how and why early on, I found the scenes set as the reveals (there was more than one) really nicely done. It was like I’d glanced briefly at a black and white image (figured it out), only to have the real, full colour, place revealed to me by Ms Johnson as the book progressed. So I may have had an idea as to what it was all about, but needed her creativity to bring it to life. And, as much as I am usually an anti “magic” and “wizards” person – yes, I don’t like Harry Potter *gasp* - I liked this magical world. There was just something about it that shows it’s not all sparkles and making everything perfect. That magic doesn’t suddenly make you the popular, talented star of everything… In the ‘Spells & Caramels’ world magic is just something you do to get on with your day. No different than using a mobile phone, internet, blender, etc. This series makes magic seem less… magical… and more normal and usual. I know that sounds weird, but it does. I guess what I’m trying to say is that ‘Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Carts’ is a perfectly balanced cosy with its raw emotions of love and loss, its mystery of “who are they really”, the grunge of real life being hard, and that tinge of brewing romance and unrequited love that makes any cosy a GREAT read. The magic is just the garnish to set this book, and series, apart from others. ‘Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Carts’ is filled with believable characters, a protagonist you can connect with, a setting that is familiar and magical all at the same time and a gruesome murder to remind you why you’re reading it. A fun read. ;-) Formatting and the usual book nerd stuff – It was formatted perfectly to Kindle, no complaints from me there. And no major clangers or copy edit trip ups spring to mind. Would I recommend this book to others? Yes I would. Though I would be telling them to read book one, ‘Seashells, Spells & Caramels’, first. Otherwise you’re doing yourself, and the author, a great injustice. Lovers of cosy crime/ mystery thrillers set in places that are close to our own reality… but with a twist – you will enjoy this book. Lovers of supernatural cosy crime – you will enjoy this book. Would I buy this book for myself? I would have, if I’d not been gifted a copy. As said, I’m slowly making my way through the ‘Spells & Caramels’ series right now and have run out of books given to me for free so have been buying the rest of them. They are affordable (none of that outlandishly, overpriced eBook madness happening here) and they are enjoyable. In summary: A good second book in a potentially excellent series, the world building and continued spinning of suspense and mystery is fabulous.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sapphyria

    Black Arts, Tarts, & Gypsy Carts is a great second book in Erin Johnson's Spells & Caramels cozy mystery series. Imogen has taken her place in the royal bakery next to Maple, the royal baker. When Prince Harry suggests the team set up a baking tent at the upcoming carnival, Maple jumps at the chance. Imogen is also excited because between the end of book one and the beginning of this book, she's done everything she can to avoid Prince Harry, and this will help her in her quest of Prince avoidanc Black Arts, Tarts, & Gypsy Carts is a great second book in Erin Johnson's Spells & Caramels cozy mystery series. Imogen has taken her place in the royal bakery next to Maple, the royal baker. When Prince Harry suggests the team set up a baking tent at the upcoming carnival, Maple jumps at the chance. Imogen is also excited because between the end of book one and the beginning of this book, she's done everything she can to avoid Prince Harry, and this will help her in her quest of Prince avoidance. She even agrees to learn about her powers from one of the carnival attractions instead of Prince Harry. Avoiding Prince Harry is the least of her problems though. When Madame Zerna, a bigwig necromancer comes to town to put on shows during the carnival, their resident seer, Rhonda starts acting strangely. Things escalate when Madame Zerna is found dead and Rhonda is implicated. Imogene struggles to find out exactly what happened in order to keep Rhonda out of prison because no one is talking including Madame Zerna's assistant or the dark arts magician or his assistant that Imogene and Maple saw Madame Zerna confronting previously. Imogen is a fun, caring, and interesting character. She has embraced the magic she was born into even if she still doesn't truly know how to harness or use the magic. Maple is having a rough time fitting into the role of head baker and she has some pretty insubordinate assistants. Imogene is a wonderful friend to Maple as she desperately attempts to make her way. I love the dynamics between Imogene and Prince Harry. They are cute together. And Iggy is the best! He's mouthy but after the misunderstandings in the beginning of book 1, Iggy and Imogen have a great relationship. I enjoyed the second book in this cozy mystery series and found the setting and characters to be interesting, and at times, exciting. There is more character development in this book than in the first one and I enjoyed getting to know everyone better. The world building is interesting and I found myself completely engaged in the story. There were some twists and turns in the quest to catch the killer. There are multiple threads woven through Black Arts, Tarts, and Gypsy Carts and I was surprised by a couple of them. The book was fast paced and easy to follow. I love the potential love story and hope we get to see it grow in the upcoming books. I voluntarily reviewed this book.

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