A spin-off of Merely Magic, MUST BE MAGIC brings together another witchy Malcolm female and a rather dark, forbidding Ives male.

With her raven hair and lack of special powers, Lady Leila Staines always felt like an outcast among her fair-haired family.

Now a young widow, she is free to do as she pleases and it doesn't matter to her that Dunstan Ives, the famous agricultural expert, is said to have killed his wife. Leila still plans to hire him to help her in her quest for finding her own special gift.

Dunstan plants the flower gardens Leila wants. Flowers she will distill and use for her perfumes. But Leila does possess a gift. She can smell emotions and has visions associated with the scents.

When Leila and Dunstan set out to find his wife's murderer, will Leila's gift put them in a precarious situation?

With Ms. Rice's skill for mixing humor, emotional intensity and sensuality with a touch of the supernatural, MUST BE MAGIC is a highly recommended read and a "keeper." SENSUAL (Aug., 380 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Joan Hammond