Sunday, January 27, 2008

A witch librarian sleuth - what's not to like?

I had never heard of this book, but when I read Stephanie's review of it a couple months ago, I thought it sounded like fun. After all, I love mysteries and books about witches, and I'm a librarian, so how could I resist?

Ophelia is a librarian who has moved to small-town Summerset, where her grandmother lives. After Ophelia lost a loved one in a tragedy she blames herself for not somehow being able to prevent, she turned her back on her past and her heritage as the granddaughter of a witch. Abby, Ophelia's grandmother, is a wise woman, but Ophelia can't see any use in following that path, since it let her down when she needed it most, and now she buries herself in her job at the library, enjoying her grandmother's company but keeping everyone else at a nice, safe comfortable distance.

But when a Rick Davis, a handsome stranger comes to town, stirring things up and asking all kind of nosy questions, Ophelia's safe little world starts to shake on its foundations. Abby warns that Ophelia is in danger, and she will have to confront the situation, because there is no running away from what's to come. When Rick and Ophelia literally stumble across a dead body, Ophelia finds herself drawn into a mystery that it seems only she can solve.

I found myself growing a bit impatient with Ophelia's refusal to accept her gift of sight or her grandmother's advice, and she was so prickly and rude to people that she almost lost my sympathy a few times. But the other characters, particularly Abby as well as the irrepressible Darci, who works at the library, tempered Ophelia's personality and made me see her through their more loving eyes. Rick was a bit of a problem as well - despite Ophelia's telling him to get lost on several occasions, he pretty much ignored that because he could tell she was attracted to him. I'm a firm believer in "no means no" and would have respected him more had he kept his distance and managed to gain her affections in a different way. And it was also a bit irritating that Ophelia's idea of doing research consisted solely of Google searches on the Internet. What kind of librarian are you? I kept wondering!

But still, it was a fun read, and the mystery was solid, with lots of twist and turns and surprises along the way. I always enjoy a little paranormal spice thrown into a mystery, and Abby's predictions and Ophelia's visions served nicely to ratchet up the tension. This was an entertaining start to a promising series, and I definitely intend to check into the further adventures of Ophelia and Abby.

Books (to date) in the Ophelia and Abby mystery series:
  1. Witch Way to Murder
  2. Charmed to Death
  3. The Trouble with Witches
  4. Witch Hunt
  5. The Witch is Dead
Witch Way to Murder by Shirley Damsgaard (Avon Books, 2005)

Other blog reviews:
Stephanie's Confessions of a Book-a-holic


  1. Oh sounds good! I love witches and magic too. I'll have to mention this as a possible group read for my WitchNovels online reading group.

  2. Now there's a very specific reading group - I love it! :-) Luckily with all the fun books being published along those lines, you won't be running out of reading material any time soon.

  3. This sounds like fun. I love the cover, I love things about witches and libraries are always fun so what's not to enjoy!

  4. I know we're not supposed to judge a book by the cover, but I often do! I love the cover as well, and if you're up for a light, entertaining mystery, you'll enjoy this one.


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