Magic bureau of investigation covers

Book Review: Magical Bureau of Investigation series, by Albany Walker

I picked up a copy of Albany Walker’s Homecoming Homicide as an Amazon freebie and then bought Creeping it Real and Perfectly Wicked.

Magic bureau of investigation covers

“Hey Frankie, we need ya.”

One phone call, five words, and I’m back in the town I swore I’d never return to.

Hill Crest Library smelled bad, and it wasn’t just the corpse in front of me causing it. The once beautiful building had fallen into disrepair over the past few years.

Belinda the new librarian was doing her best to clean it up, but a dead body wasn’t helping matters.

Dad needs help to solve the murder, so that’s what I’m here to do, then get out of town before anyone even knows I’m back

The case should be easy for an MBI agent, even a newly minted one like me, but before I can check into the hotel my three reasons for leaving, corner in the lobby.

My life just got a lot more complicated.

my review

This review covers all three books.

Honestly, I liked this series. But I wanted to like it a lot more than I did; I could have liked it a lot more than I did. It is mostly a series of magical investigation bureau mysteries (almost bordering on cozy mysteries) with a poly second-chance romance subplot. I liked the mysteries. I liked the romantic subplot. I really liked the way the men had an important relationship between themselves. The problem is that the subplot is too much plot for a subplot, and as a subplot, doesn’t get the attention it needs. This means that the reader is left feeling unsatisfied by it. There were a lot of conversations that needed to happen that just didn’t, a lot of groveling and forgiveness that needed to be on-page and just wasn’t, etc. It left the books feeling lopsided and ill-weighted.

The reason I didn’t rate it higher than I did, though, is for a single big reason (and this is a spoiler, be warned). The basic premise is that Frankie and her guys had an “oops” misunderstanding while casting a spell as teens and then, despite being inseparable since they were children (and one being a freaking empath, another reading magical intent), and as a result, she ran away. But she only went 45 minutes away, they knew where she was (secretly checked on her once a month), and she knew where they were (in her hometown with everything and everyone she loved). And I’m supposed to believe, as a reader, that, despite missing one another, they all went somewhere between 5 and 10 years (the exact time is not stated, but long enough to start and finish university, go through bureau training, and get ensconced in careers) none of them ever even tried to make contact. She never had reason to visit home? None of that is even magical bureau of investigation photoremotely believable, especially with the way the men structure their lives around the assumption that she’d be back at some point. That’s the foundation of the book, and it is shaky at best. I tried to suspend disbelief, but it was a struggle. It’s simply that unbelievable and undermined the entire plot.

Despite all of that, I liked the characters and world a lot. I’d be willing to read more of Walker’s work.

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