I made a pledge to read more light-hearted books this year and then this next book I’m about to review landed on my doorstep. Thank you, Charlie Laidlaw, it certainly made me smile.
Love Potions and Other Calamities by Charlie Laidlaw
Love Potions and Other Calamities is a comic tale of love and unintended consequences. Rosie McLeod, pub proprietor and a gifted herbalist of local renown, is thirty-nine and holding, but only just. The talons of her fortieth birthday are in her back and her bloody, bloody husband hasn’t laid a lustful hand on her for months.
Rosie sets out to discover if her husband is having an affair, using deductive powers based solely on the careful preparation of plants and herbs. But as her well-laid plans entirely fall apart, the sighting of a large black cat sets off another chain of events.
Rosie now realises that a psychopath is on the loose – and that she’s been selected as his next victim.
If the blurb hasn’t given you enough reasons to pick up a copy of Love Potions and Other Calamities, I’m going to give you some more.
The characters were great. So, so witty and the type of laid-back, authentic people you are sure to find in a small Scottish village. I especially liked Rosie. She had such a big heart and represented many of the worries middle-aged women have as they grow older. However, there were cases in which I didn’t like how Rosie was portrayed that went too far down the stereotypical path: the crazy wife suspecting the husband of cheating and nearly losing her mind to catch him out. And, of course, the husband was bewildered as to why his wife was acting this way. Rosie was such a refreshing and nice character, she didn’t need this layer to her, especially to the extent where it sometimes overtook how fabulous she was.
If I’ve said this once I’ve said it a hundred times: I love when I learn things via fiction. By reading Love Potions and Other Calamities, I’ve learned a lot about herbology and the history of witches in Scotland. That’s not to say that this book is all about witchcraft. It’s not. It’s just a small part woven into a bigger story.
Love Potions and Other Calamities is different from many of the books in the market, like all of Charlie Laidlaw’s books are. It is a mystery with a humorous side that introduces you to wonderful characters while also providing a history lesson. Not in as complex a way as it sounds. No, this is an easy read that you will gobble up in no time.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.