Monday, 17 March 2014

Book Review: Witch Way to Murder by Shirley Damsgaard

Ophelia Jenson wishes she was just your typical librarian instead of being burdened by unwanted psychic powers which she buries to the dismay of Abby, her witch grandmother. Now the arrival of a good looking stranger with lots of questions to ask leads to chaos in the town. Thefts, fires and dead bodies occur and Ophelia is in the middle of it, reluctantly trying to solve the crime while keeping her secrets from everyone. Who is sending her threats? Who is sneaking around her house? Has someone discovered the truth about her and Abby?

My Review:
Firstly, I do not read cozy mysteries and this kind of book usually has me running screaming for the hills. Five books in this series came to me as part of a book trade so I thought the least I could do was to try the first one. And I was pleasantly surprised! Secondly I advise you to avoid reading the Goodreads blurb about the book as it gives away too much of the plot for my liking!

Unlike a few of the reviewers there, I did like Ophelia. She is suffering from the guilt and trauma of her best friend's death where she was unable to use her magic to save him from a killer. Now she has turned away from her magic and closed herself off from others getting close to her. I have sympathy because I know what stress and depression can do to you and I felt for her situation, and it was fun to see her struggle with social situations and crime solving. I loved her grandmother Abby, the witch pensioner who was kind and funny and a bit kooky. I really liked Darci, the blonde bombshell library assistant who is smarter than she lets everyone believe. There were good laughts with her and the gossipy old women who torment Ophelia through the book. They lurk like vultures looking for something to feed on and her irritation with them was understandable! I also enjoyed Darci's master plan which goes horribly wrong and lands Ophelia in trouble again.

I did NOT like the potential love interests Rick and Ned. Ned seems fine until Ophelia won't share information about Rick and he goes all macho and aggressive, insulting her and being an ass. Not what I would consider dating. But Rick was an obnoxious, irritating, vain, slimy, cocky piece of crap who I would cheerfully have kneed in the nuts if he had been harrassing me like that. He was determined to be a giant pain in the butt, asking personal questions, quizzing her about her life and movements, stalking her on a daily basis and refusing to take no for an answer when she wouldn't date him. I despised him. And if you didn't guess his real identity based on his behaviour then you must have fallen asleep during the book! It was dead obvious who he was.

The author does give you plenty of suspects-angry Ned, the slimy politician, the sinister psycho shop owner, obnoxious Rick, the sheriff, the deputy we never see, the guy who hates women's fiction, the drug addict, the skulking quiet brother etc. Come to think of it, all the men in town were weird or dodgy in some way. I did find it easy to guess who was involved but it didn't spoil the story. I did find the reasons for what was going on quite interesting and Ophelia's unwanted visions were a nice touch. I also liked the idea of a witch trying to get answers on the Internet!

This is not a masterpiece of fiction or a scary thriller, nor is it really an all out paranormal mystery as there isn't magic on every page. It is am amusing, entertaining, light fluffy mystery set in a small town with some interesting characters. You could quite easily read this in one day or night and be resonably entertained. Try it if you like cozy mysteries with a paranormal twist.
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png

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