Saturday, January 5, 2013

Jenn's Review: A Witch Before Dying

Summary:  Darcy Merriweather is Salem, Massachusetts’ newest resident Wishcrafter—a witch who can grant wishes for others. While Darcy isn’t able to grant wishes for herself, she does possess a certain knack for solving problems—including the occasional murder…

When Darcy is hired by Elodie Keaton to clean up her missing mother’s disorderly home, the Wishcrafter is certainly up for the task. After all, the motto of her Aunt Ve’s personal concierge service As You Wish is “No Job Impossible.” But beneath the piles of old newspapers and knickknacks Darcy discovers something much more disturbing—Patrice Keaton’s body.

Darcy’s determined to give Elodie peace of mind by investigating her mother’s disappearance and death. Patrice was last seen over a year ago after a fight with her Charmcrafter boyfriend. Was her murder a crime of passion? Or were Patrice’s troubles caused by the Anicula, a wish-granting amulet? Now Darcy has to not only find a killer, she has to find the Anicula— before the power of ultimate wish fulfillment falls into the wrong hands…

Review:  I adore Heather Blake's/Heather Webber's books.  They're fun without being overly frivolous.  They're engaging and magical, just like her characters.  (In a lot of ways, her writing reminds me of lighter version Sarah Addison Allen, who I also love.)

I have never been to Salem, so I have no idea if The Enchanted Village I've constructed in my head from the Wishcraft series resembles an actual place, but I must say I love the quaint, charming town in the novels.  Not only do I want to visit, I'd move there!  ( I think that makes me a Seeker... in the Crafter world.)  The residents are all interesting as is their interpersonal relationships.

Darcy has gotten pulled into another crime investigation and Heather Blake has done it in a way that seems completely normal, well, for a Crafter anyway.  It makes sense that fellow Crafter's would trust Darcy more than the police.  I like the way she's laid the groundwork for further investigations too, to keep things from getting too "Cabot Cove-y".    

The plot was plenty twisty and full of surprises.  I thought I had found the culprit early on, but I was completely suckered in by a false trail.  I like how there is a little romance in each novel, but it's fits into the plot and doesn't take over the storyline.  I love getting to know all the townsfolk and it was amazing how quickly all the characters came back to me... and it's been almost a year since I read the first novel.

All in all, if you enjoy Heather Webber's Lucy Valentine series (read it if you haven't!), I think you will enjoy the Wishcraft series she writes under Heather Blake.  I'm going to delve further into her Nina Quinn mystery series this year too.  She is becoming one of those author's who's books I purchase at publication no questions asked.

Final Take:  4.5/5.0

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