Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Review: Witch Way to Murder
Witch Way to Murder by Shirley Damsgaard 3 stars
Book description: Thirty something Ophelia Jensen wants to live a quiet life as a small town librarian. She's created a comfortable existence with her kooky, colorful grandmother Abby, and if it were up to her, they could live out their days—along with Ophelia's dog Lady and cat Queenie—in peace and quiet. But, to Ophelia's dismay, she and Abby aren't a typical grandmother/granddaughter duo. She possesses psychic powers, and Abby is a kindly witch. And while Ophelia would do anything to dismiss her gift—harboring terrible guilt after her best friend was killed and she was unable to stop it—threatening events keep popping up, forcing her to tap into her powers of intuition. To make matters worse, a strange—yet devastatingly attractive—man is hanging around Ophelia's library, and no matter how many times she tells him she's sworn off men forever, he persists. Soon this handsome newcomer reveals he's following a lead on a local drug ring, and then a dead body shows up right in Abby's backyard. And much as Ophelia would like to put away her spells forever, she and Abby must use their special powers to keep themselves, and others, out of harm's way.
First paragraph (after the prologue): "I felt someone watching me as I put the returned books away. My hackles stood up and my skin tingled. I sighed and shook my head. My instincts told me it was Mr. Carroll, one of our oldest patrons, all in a twist and wanting to pounce on me about our latest book selections. He treated the library as his personal domain and me as his personal slave. He was not one of my favorites."
My thoughts: This is my second book in the Every Month is a Holiday Challenge - February is Library Lovers' Month. I am certainly one of those, so I picked a book with a librarian as the central character. And she's a witch, to boot! I wish I was a librarian/witch... I promise I'd use my powers for mostly good. I can think of a bunch of troublemakers that I'd hext, for the good of the library.
As you can see from the first paragraph, Ophelia shares my dislike of patrons. :-) She leaves the perkiness to her assistant, Darci, while she does paperwork and research in the library's basement. There were lots of great library moments in the book - I particularly enjoyed the discussion of a patron who made a fuss about the latest Nora Roberts book because it was "too smutty."
Abby was a the quintessential perfect grandma, plus, magic powers! She was wise and loving, but didn't let Ophelia get away with hiding her feelings or closing herself off and for a 73 year-old lady, she was plenty tough.
The mystery was a pretty good one - despite having a lot of them on my TBR list, I'm not really a mystery person and not really into the "cozies." But there were twists and turns and, combined with Ophelia's mysterious and chilling visions, it was a good read.