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The Divination of Celia Connolly


Loved it! 😍

A fantasy-mystery and a search for a serial killer leads a gifted PI on a journey for the answer!

The Divination of Celia Connolly is a well-paced mystery that takes its time to tell readers about the magical society of which the main character Celia is a member. A highly gifted mage who experiments with spells and employs them in her field as a private investigator. She comes across as cold and overconfident in her abilities, though Celia immediately shows she lives up to the hype. One day she is hired to investigate a murder and prove the arrested suspect is innocent, she finds herself chasing after a dangerous serial killer mage. With the help of magic fan lawyer Jacob Jefferson and other connections in the magical community, she'll get this case solved.


Celia is an interesting character as she struck me as a magical scientist at times with her love of creating new spells and her dedication to continuing her knowledge in magic. Probably why her friendship with magic fanboy Jacob comes across so well. They balance each other out in a way. I never imagined a PI and a lawyer partnering up to solve a mystery, but Celia and Jacob make it work as they have both the case and magic in common. Celia has magic while Jacob is interested in anything related to it. Though most of the time Jacob tags alongside Celia and acts as the audience surrogate, he is interesting in his attempts to navigate the magical world. She is dependent on these connections to keep moving forward.


The world Celia lives in is one where magic is out in the open. There's no reason to hide it, which is a compelling take on the usual secret world most fantasy stories take place. The world-building on how modern society would incorporate magic into everyday life, from education to government agencies. It was a captivating take to read, especially the bits of history mentioned throughout the story as to how magic became officially accepted among the general population.


While she does have a detailed life story seeing what would have fleshed it out more is how her life choices caused her to take the path she currently resides. Purcell wrote an engrossing fantasy-mystery story with a world that makes a reader want to dive in and experience. I do hope we see more of Celia and her friends solve more mysteries in this magical world.

Reviewed by

I have a BS in History and Anthropology and a Masters in Library and Information Science. When was working with a library’s Readers’ Advisory Board I wanted to find another way to connect with other book lovers.

About the author

My name is Brian J Purcell. I have a day job as an attorney and a fanatic of sports and movies, as well as a bit of a gamer. I enjoy reading fantasy, science fiction, and mystery thrillers. It all started for me with R.L. Stine's Goosebumps books and Sherlock Holmes. view profile

Published on May 08, 2020

Published by

50000 words

Genre: Mystery & Crime

Reviewed by