cover image Booke of the Hidden

Booke of the Hidden

Jeri Westerson. Diversion, $14.99 trade paper (330p) ISBN 978-1-63576-050-7

This cozy paranormal romance pits the titular book and its centuries-old demon guardian against a tea shop owner and a modern coven (whose members search for information on Wiccanpedia). Kylie Strange impulsively moves cross-country to rural Moody Bog, Maine, to open an herb and tea shop. She finds an ancient book hidden in the walls and incautiously opens it, unleashing both a succubus and a mysterious, English-accented figure who counsels her on how to recapture the loose spirit before it destroys her. Fortunately, the local plasterer is also the leader of a small group of witches; unfortunately, the local biker gang is also into its own brand of demon summoning. Westerson (the Crispin Guest medieval noir mysteries) ventures into a supernatural yarn that focuses more on the romantic entanglements of its protagonists than on their specter-hunting skills. The pacing of the novel is slowed by the reluctance of characters to accept unnatural events that readers will move right through. Readers sad about the ending of Charlaine Harris’s Midnight, Texas trilogy will find some consolation in Moody Bog. Agent: Lisa Rodgers, JABberwocky Literary. (Nov.)