An anthology of 15 stories whose themes revolve around a magic shop. This is a nice collection as the stories vary greatly.
Susan Sizemore’s Every Little Thing She Does is a cute romance between a mundane and the owner of a not-too-successful magic shop in Scotland. Overtly, the stubborn Amanda pushes, pokes, and prods Trevor into helping her reduce the spiritual activity in her new-to-her home while covertly introducing him to the joys of outside activities.
P. N. Elrod’s Tarnished Linings is a grim introduction to the need to be careful what you wish for when using magic.
Jody Lynn Nye’s For Whom the Bell Tolled is a variation on the “be careful what you wish for” which ends happily. I suppose, in a short story, it is difficult to include much depth, yet I wish that there could have been just a bit more tension. It was just too easy…
India Edghill’s Winter Phoenix was a grim look at the overthrow of the Tsar at the beginning of the 20th century as it played on the Anastasia mystery. I did enjoy the happy ending. The shopping trip was extremely unbelievable and the walnut seemed rather pointless.
Laura Resnick’s Magic Keyboard was a lovely story of belief. Very clever usage of an age-old plot.
ElizaBeth Gilligan’s Off Key is a fun non-romance romance. Such a lovely promise of romantic hope.
Michelle West’s Dime Store Rings was very sweet and very sad…I cried. A story of family love and traditions around the Christmas holidays.
Bradley H. Sinor’s Grails was a fun bit of action. Intriguing characters with a unique way of finding the perfect employee. I’m hoping he’s written a series on this…
Josepha Sherman’s Mightier than the Sword is so very Murphy’s Law personified…I find myself hoping that maybe I can make use of this little trick!
Bill McCay’s Curse of the Itch is certainly unique with a combination of very long-life, a homunculus, a powerful artifact, and a young man’s on again-off again relationship.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Assassin’s Dagger was one of my favorites. What can I say, a shop in France…who wouldn’t love it?? Another unique twist with Abracadabra as the head office with branch magic shops throughout the world has a roaming trouble fixer…with enemies…
Mel Odom’s Serpent of the Lakes is a Native American mythic tale with a unique magic shop as a young warrior fights to save his love.
Gary Braunbeck’s Hand Which Graces is a sad, heartwarming tale of one man’s personal discovery of the power of real magic.
Von Jocks’ Fairest brings a twist to the mirror from Snow White as it helps a young woman determine just where she fits in the workforce.
Rosemary Edghill’s Winter’s Tale is a twist on the Monkey’s Paw story. Not one of my Edghill favorites.