Jan. 25th, 2017

chez_jae: (Books)
Late this afternoon, I finished reading The Witch is Dead by Shirley Damsgaard. It's part of her "Ophelia and Abby" mystery series.

Abby's elderly Aunt Dot comes for a visit, bringing the wisdom of Appalachian witches and faeries to exasperate Ophelia and charm her ward, Tink. The man who helps Dot deplane leaves Tink with an "icky" feeling, and when he is later murdered in his own funeral home, Tink blames herself, thinking she could have prevented his death, had she simply warned him.

Things get more complicated when Tink's dog finds a skull while Ophelia and Tink are at a campsite, and Tink blurts out that she's being punished for Mr Buchanan's death. Now, the sheriff is asking questions, the townspeople think Tink knows more about the murder than they do, and Ophelia is afraid for her ward's safety.

Complicating matters for Ophelia is dotty Aunt Dot, whom she and Abby are trying to stifle while she's visiting. Also, Ophelia's friend and co-worker, Darci, wants to take college classes, which necessitates Ophelia having to hire part-time help at the library. Then, Darci drags Ophelia to a speed-dating event, and the man she meets there seems charming at first, but he soon puts Ophelia off with his forward behavior. When Tink disappears, Ophelia is left with trying to solve the murder of Mr Buchanan, even though the runes are telling her that Tink's disappearance is the result of lies and secrets from her past.

So much going on in the story! Aunt Dot was only too eager to get involved in an "adventure" with Ophelia and Abby, much to their chagrin, and when Tink vanishes, Dot keeps insisting that the faeries guarding her say she's okay. In the meantime, Darci is jealous of and vexed with Gert, the new library employee, and a man from Ophelia's past reappears just when she needs a friend.

Favorite line: A sound suspiciously like that of a sob came out of my mouth. I'd been drunk under the table by a ninety-one-year-old woman.

Fast-paced, at turns funny, angsty and creepy. I figured some things out, and others caught me by surprise. Good book, five stars:

*****

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chez_jae

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