Was it Magic or Murder?

Renegade Magic
Rebecca York (GoodReads Author)
Kindle edition, 83 pages, May 1, 2017, Pronoun

GoodReads Summary:  
In the high desert pueblo, the old beliefs have never died. And when witchcraft can be the only explanation for murder, Luke, Tom and Rico, former renegades, must step up to save their people and the women they love.

Part 1: Luke

In the first novella of the series, Luke Cordova is devastated when the man who saved him from life as an outcast is murdered. He’s determined to find out who killed his uncle Joe Cordova. At first, he will accept no help from Ashley Donaldson, a woman who was born on the pueblo and came back to find her roots. But she’s just as strong willed as Luke and just as beholding to Joe, and when the two of them unite to track a killer with magic powers, the heat that’s been smoldering between ignites into flames.

Renegade Magic: Luke…Tom…Rico…each of these compelling stories ends with an HEA for the hero and heroine. But only the full set will finally get to the bottom of the murder mystery. Be sure to read them all!

The eARC of Luke was provided by Pronoun and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, for which I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:   
I'd like to be able to give half stars, in this case, I'd have given Luke three and a half. I liked the story, though it was short. I'm not a fan of novellas due to their brevity. I like my stories long. I did find it interesting that each book is a complete romance, but the mystery isn't complete until you read all three books. Another writer's technique I'm not really enamored of, as most of you know. In addition to long books, I like them complete. It's one thing to build a series over time with stories and characters that are complex and complete. It's totally another thing to use cliffhangers and such to string books together. That's not quite the case here, but you still don't solve the mystery without reading all three books.

The characters in the story are well written and developed quite well so that they have depth and relate well. I hope they appear in the next two books to mature a bit, but as these are novellas, probably not. The characters for the next two books are already introduced and interesting. And there are plenty of unanswered questions left from the first book to get things going for the murder of Joe. Why is Joe's painting locked up in the hotel? Did he see too much? Is that disagreeable cop dirty? Is there a witch involved? Or is it a straight murder?

Well, Luke and Ashley have done their part in book one. In book two, it'll be Tom's part as a lawyer. And book three will belong to Rico, the artist and gallery owner. So, if you enjoy Native American mysteries, try this one out and see if you can figure out who done it before the end of the third book. Luke, book one of Renegade Magic is due out May 1, 2017.