Review: A Dash of Magic by Kathryn Littlewood

Title: A Dash of Magic (The Bliss Bakery #2)
Author: Kathryn Littlewood
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Released: February 12, 2013
Source: author

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Rosemary Bliss will do anything to get back her family’s magical Cookery Booke. That’s why she challenges Aunt Lily to an international baking competition in Paris: If Rose wins, Lily agrees to return the cookery Booke that she stole. If Rose loses…well, the consequences are too ugly to think about. 

But Lily isn’t playing fair–she’s using a magical ingredient to cheat. The only way for Rose to compete is for her to find magical ingredients of her own.

Together with her long-lost grandpa, his sarcastic talking cat, and a turncoat French mouse, Rose and her brothers race around Paris to find essential–and elusive–magical ingredients that will help her outbake–and outmagic–her conniving aunt. She has to win or the Bliss Cookery Booke will be lost to her family forever.

Kathryn Littlewood’s middle-grade novel A Dash of Magic started out perfectly as far as sequels go. There is just enough review of what happened in the first book (Bliss) to refresh the reader’s memory without lingering for too long. After only a couple of pages, we’re off having new adventures!

No detail was left unturned. Why is the cookbook itself needed? Why couldn’t the recipes be copied? Didn’t they have any recipes memorized? Every question that came to my mind was eventually answered.

Littlewood cleverly incorporates historical and cultural facts in an unobtrusive way throughout the novel. And I would venture to say the “Head in the Clouds” chapter is a lighthearted homage to a scene in Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

The first book in the Bliss series really seemed to focus more on the magic itself, and a lot of humor. This second book had those elements, but was far more adventuresome, with some turns I didn’t see coming. The characters have mellowed out a bit, too (in a good way). Bliss was certainly enjoyable, but A Dash of Magic was a page-turner. This sequel did not disappoint.

Plus, there’s a talking cat and a flutist mouse. Enough said. 😉

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.