Cosmo’s marriage has always existed under a thin veil of mishaps and secrets. First off, it was a love spell that brought him and Police Commissioner John Galbraith together. Then, after Cosmo had seen to it being removed, there was the forgetful spell he cast not once, but twice in order to make sure John had no idea exactly how bent someone was on doing Cosmo harm—as in the dead kind of harm. But the biggest whammy has to be that Cosmo is a pure bred witch—one with powers that he put aside more than two years ago in order to try and live a more normal (read human) life. When that cat comes out of the bag, things go terribly bad for John and Cosmo and that doesn’t even begin to cover who is going around killing wiccans and who may be targeting Cosmo as their next victim.
I Buried a Witch is the second novel in Josh Lanyon’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks series. As it picks up pretty much right after the first, it goes without saying that if you haven’t read Mainly by Moonlight, this novel will not make a great deal of sense. Even for me, someone who loved the first book, it took me a moment to recall all the characters mentioned in these first few chapters and their relationships to each other and Cosmo. However, the author does a good job of jogging the memory with brief recaps here and there, which really helped. The fast pace of this story and how the murderer tied into the existing characters was really quite good. There is no denying that Lanyon writes a solid mystery and often includes a slow burning romance in them that is usually fraught with poor timing, reluctant commitment, and miscommunication. This story, while paranormal, is no exception. I will also say that Lanyon continues to impress me with her foray into a genre that stretches her abilities in many good ways.
I really like Cosmo. He is well-meaning, if not a little foolhardy when it comes to his own safety, and he loves John—so much so that he allows John to begin to mold him into someone he really isn’t all due to the fear that once John discovers he’s a witch, their relationship will implode. He’s not far off the mark with that worry, I must say. But that doesn’t diminish how caring and kind Cosmo is to everyone—even those who mean him harm. No, if this review were only about Cosmo then I could end it here with the sure knowledge that Lanyon has once again created a man who tugs at the heart strings and makes you care, despite being a fictional person. However, the same can’t be said about John who, in my book, doesn’t deserve Cosmo and is pretty insensitive when it comes right down to it.
John wants everything on his terms—including how Cosmo acts. John makes very little attempt to compromise and when he does discover that Cosmo is a witch, it’s like he turns off every emotion that he feels and steels himself against his husband. I suppose it should help that things get resolved somewhat in the end, but I think the future is unlikely to run smoothly in the Galbraith household. And perhaps that is the true talent of this author—that she can create two diametrically opposed characters and make you feel strongly about both. I want to love John—I don’t–but still I want to because Cosmo certainly does.
So maybe this novel, which I didn’t want to like as much as the first, is actually quite good and the conflict in it necessary to make what are admittedly fantastical characters very real and approachable. I think you must decide that for yourself. Until then, I can assure you I am eager to read the final installment in this trilogy and, despite my reservations about John, these two men together are really quite wonderful at bringing out the best in each other.