I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie We're Canning Demons! by Christiana Miller
Genres: Paranormal Fantasy, Mystery, Cozy
Published by HekaRose Publishing on January 8, 2018
Source: my own shelves
Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She's Dead, Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie We're In Trouble!, Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie We're Kidnapping Cupid!, "A Tale of (Two) 3 Witches"
Fourth in the Toad Witch Mysteries cozy paranormal mystery series revolving around Mara Stephens and her gay housemate, Gus — both witches.
It’s all about being alone . . . without family. It probably explains why Mara has latched onto Paul. And I do love what Nick tells Mara. ‘Cause I just don’t understand what Mara sees in Paul. He’s so self-oriented. She’s gotta be desperate for him, since we learn all about him from Mara’s perspective in first person protagonist point-of-view.
Hmm, it seems even the baby has radar for the bad guys!
Gus is a fun guy with a very loose set of morals. It ticks me off that he’s the one who dragged Mara into this rescue mission and then he abandons her to feather his own nest. As for those thefts from his brother . . . oy.
That Silvio . . . Ick. I know, I know, there really are people like this. I just don’t have to like it. Gotta wonder if Emily knows what he’s really like.
I want the cottage!! What a fun treat that self-protecting home has for Mara!
It’s an action-packed plot with escapes, chases, and more with some definite characters with a reasonable pace. It is a fun read, but I gotta say there is some crazy writing in here that could use some hooking up. Yep. That includes a few loose threads.
I think Miller is too concerned with creating quirky characters that she’s forgotten to focus on connecting events and making sense of the whacky goings-on.
The story is a good start . . . and tells us why witches don’t fly in planes . . .
Mama Lua’s store is under attack — and she has a family emergency in New Orleans!
They owe her! And with a heaping helping of guilt, Gus talks Mara — plus a skull — into flying out to Los Angeles.
The very pregnant Mara Stephens is struggling to find a job while her flamboyant housemate and best friend, Gus Andrakis, keeps her on a very healthy diet. Apollo and Aramis are Mara’s two Dobes. The deceased Aunt Tillie who lives in a skull on the mantlepiece refers to the two as the Witchy Menace. Lord Grundleshanks is the spirit of Gus’ toad who’ll become Grundle-Z. Adelaide “Adele” was Mara’s mother.
Devil’s Point, Wisconsin, is . . .
. . . situated on a portal to the Otherworld. And, yep, it’s still winter — as Gus has ticked off the Winter Queen. Ruby’s Diner makes the best sundaes. Daryl is Ruby’s sweetheart of a husband. J.J., a stoner, has been planting weed in Mara’s garden. Paul is the nincompoop, Mara’s off-again/on-again boyfriend who’s an idiot. Yeah, I’m tellin’ ya how I really feel *grin*.
Mama Lua, the Voodoo Queen, runs the Crooked Pantry. The voodoo gods include Chango, Child Alegba, and Orisha. Pip Squeak is the horny homunculus.
Gus’ family includes his parents (Arturo and Eleni), grandmother, younger sister Lorelei, and brother, Sergeant Nick Andrakis, who’s on the LAPD — his gift is finding things. Mara used to date Nick. Gran was born in England, met Gerald Gardner (the father of Wicca) in Madeira, and married a Greek witch her second time around. Gran’s tackling life again as Hotlove692 — with StudMuffin, a.k.a. Walter. Julie is Nick’s crime scene photographer.
Francisco “Frank” is a homeless guy who hangs around the Crooked Pantry. Lenny was the landlord of the apartment building where Mara used to live. Mrs Lasio had been the narrow-minded, intolerant building manager. The Reverend Richard Carson is quite the intolerant preacher. Gavin “Vin” Vestry appears to be Mara’s half-brother whom Aunt Tillie doesn’t want her to find. Morte d’Evil is part of Vin’s posse. In 1968, Lisa Huebner had been the official L.A. witch. The Hollywood Forever Cemetery has a special event planned. Lily Montrose is the new full owner of Demon Hollow, after Ophelia sold her, her half. The Great Goddess is run by Cornelia and Fred.
Emily is a client of Mama Lua’s with a critter problem. Silvio is her boyfriend. The Empusa is a nasty demon.
Lisette and Lucien had possessed Mara and Paul in Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She’s Dead, 1.
The Cover and Title
The cover is a night scene with the sky a gradation from black to a turquoise outline around the black silhouettes of a lit-up house with a belfry, tombstones, and a few trees up on the hill. The curly-haired Mara is wearing a fuchsia tank top and knee-length yoga pants — and she’s not pregnant! She’s standing on the left in a semi-profile with her hands on her hips and a knee cocked. Lord Grundleshanks is wearing a purple witch’s hat and sits atop a yellow-lidded jar full of red, ick, something. Nope. Don’t wanna go there. Between His Lordship and Mara is a sad-looking skull with flames for eyes and a mist of stars twinkling upwards. The title is at the top and split into five lines: the top line is a pale blue; the second line is white, and the last three lines are yellow. At the bottom, beneath Mara’s shoes and Grundleshanks’ jar is the author’s name in white All the text has a black outline.
The title is a good tip on how to deal with them Empusas when Somebody Tell[s] Aunt Tillie We’re Canning Demons!