REVIEW: I Buried a Witch by Josh Lanyon

The Official Description: official description

Just the facts: M/M partnership, Magical Character married to a non-magical, murder mystery, the continuation of series

Cosmo and his Police Commissioner are back on the trail of a killer but secrets have a way of breaking things… and marriages… apart! – Kinzie Things

My thoughts bit: Say hello to the newest installment of the Bedknobs and Broomsticks series. These books are centered on Cosmo and John. Cosmo comes from a long line of powerful witches but he’s chosen to try and live life as a mortal. He hasn’t given up magic but tries to use it as little as possible. John is married to Cosmo (there’s a story there you’ll want to read in the first book) and he is the Police Commissioner.

In this book, I Buried A Witch, another murder has been committed and Cosmo believes it’s linked to a previous murder… and also the magical community. The problem is that Cosmo’s husband doesn’t know he’s a witch. And damn if secrets don’t have a way to getting out when you really don’t want them to.

These books are contemporary, paranormal mysteries. I think the author lists them as romance…. and not to be judgy but I think these have a bit more plot than the usual M/M romance! (I consider that a very good thing.) The interesting thing about this series is that it’s got a significant amount in it about discrimination. Okay, so it’s discrimination against Cosmo being a witch, but it’s very relevant and timely. Cosmo has to hide the fact that he’s a witch from people who are very important in his life. It’s not something he can change, it’s the way he was born. And yet, it’s not accepted by everyone.  At one point in the novel, Cosmo even compares being magical to being gay and says it’s not something he has the ability to change, it’s just a part of who he is. So really, as much as this book is a supernatural mystery… it’s about the way we all want to be accepted for who we are!

Cosmo is definitely my favorite character. He’s an absolute sweetheart in his own fumbling way. He really cares genuinely about people and that comes across very clearly in Lanyon’s writing. Cosmo is on his own path… and is led by his heart. That’s a really difficult road to follow, but I love this character for it. On the other hand, John is pragmatic and serious even though he has a slightly romantic side when it comes to his husband. I sense that there is much more going on in John’s past than Landon has revealed yet, so I’m looking forward to more of his history in a future novel.

The crunch of the novel comes when Cosmo reveals to John that he’s a witch. It’s done without finesse and is poorly timed and has an immediate negative effect on their marriage. John is incensed by the fact that Cosmo kept something so important from him. Of course, it doesn’t take John long to put two and two together and understand that Cosmo has the potential to influence his decisions. The thing is… in the first book, Landon revealed that magic didn’t work on John… but it’s unclear why. Does John have a secret history of his own? What’s hurt him in the past so much that trust is difficult for him?

I like the structure of the magical world in this series. Although witches have a great deal of power and ability, they are almost aloof when it comes to mortals. To me, that seems an accurate way of depicting witches! Cosmo is different because he’s interested in the mundane life of mortals and doesn’t want to live the same life as his ancestors. But he sure is different from many of his kind! There is interesting interplay between the magical folk and the mortals. It will be interesting to see which direction Landon goes with it.

I also saw that by entering into a relationsihp under false pretenses, I had ceded all power to John. Ours had never truly been a relationship of equals. Knowing what I did, fearing that his love was not strong enough to withstand much pressure, I’d backed away from trying to assert myself, from being honest, from being me. And honesty being the foundation of intimacy, how strong had the bonds been between us?

For a book of this genre, I Buried a Witch has some heavy-hitting themes. What if you have secrets in your relationship? Are you truly in love with someone if you don’t know the core of who they are? Is honesty always the best policy? Is it ever possible to rebuild broken trust?

This is a really good series. My only criticism of this book was that it felt a little rushed to me. I’m definitely on board for whatever remains in this series!

Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) Dishonesty, bigotry in terms of lifestyle (antimagic), descriptions of murders, attempted murder, vivid description of near-drowning.

Readalikes: Other stories that are similar or give the same feel.

Links: Goodreads // The Author //

I received an ARC of I Buried A Witch by Josh Lanyon  via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

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