The Seventh Witch: Enjoyable Ophelia & Abby story

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews Shirley Damsgaard Ophelia and Abbey The Seventh WitchThe Seventh Witch by Shirley Damsgaard

In The Seventh Witch (2010), Ophelia and Abby travel to the Appalachians to visit family, and learn that events of decades ago continue to echo through the present. Along the way, Ophelia learns a lot about herself and the future she wants to build.

Unlike previous Ophelia and Abby books, The Seventh Witch is not primarily focused on the “whodunit” aspect. There’s a murder, but the question is not so much who committed the crime but how and why. The question of “how” comes about because there are no obvious signs of foul play, leading Ophelia to wonder whether curses might be more powerful than she realized. Investigating “why” opens up a Pandora’s Box of secrets from the past. Ophelia must discover the truth behind a rift within the family and a feud between her family and another.

Ophelia also examines her life, weighing it against the possible futures she sees when she looks at her grandmother and aunts. She has always pushed people away, but in The Seventh Witch, she begins to wonder whether she really wants to live a solitary life like her Great-Aunt Mary. The reappearance of a man from her past helps bring these musings to the forefront.

I enjoyed The Seventh Witch. It has the kind of tangled-family-history plotline that I just love, and the setting is beautiful. Damsgaard does a great job of describing Ophelia and Abby’s ancestral home. The clearing with the stone circle sounds just as gorgeous as it looks on the cover. And I especially loved the climactic scene involving the seven witches, though it could have been longer.

The Seventh Witch is probably the last Ophelia and Abby book for some time to come, though not necessarily the last one ever. As a stopping point in the series, it works really well. The ending leaves Ophelia in a satisfactory spot, but there are plenty of directions Shirley Damsgaard could still go with the series if she does continue it.

I don’t recommend starting with this one — you’ll be lost — but if you’ve missed some books along the way, like I have, you won’t have much trouble catching up. You also won’t find too many spoilers for the earlier mysteries.

Published in 2010. The Seventh Witch is the seventh installment in Shirley Damsgaard’s Agatha Award-nominated Ophelia and Abby series featuring a small-town librarian with paranormal abilities and her endearingly unapologetic witch grandmother. Combining the best aspects of mystery and fantasy—a sort-of Miss Marple with magic—Damsgaard’s The Seventh Witch is a whodunit with a difference; a delightful diversion for anyone who loves the supernatural charm of Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels or Kim Harrison’s bestselling excursions to The Hollows.

Shirley Damsgaard Ophelia and Abby review 1. Witch Way to Murder 2. Charmed to Death 3. The Trouble with Witches 4. Witch Hunt 5. The Witch Is DeadShirley Damsgaard Ophelia and Abby review 1. Witch Way to Murder 2. Charmed to Death 3. The Trouble with Witches 4. Witch Hunt 5Shirley Damsgaard Ophelia and Abby review 1. Witch Way to Murder 2. Charmed to Death 3. The Trouble with Witches 4. Witch Hunt 5. The Witch Is Dead 6. The Witch's GraveShirley Damsgaard Ophelia and Abby review 1. Witch Way to Murder 2. Charmed to Death 3. The Trouble with Witches 4. Witch Hunt 5. The Witch Is DeadShirley Damsgaard Ophelia and Abby review 1. Witch Way to Murder 2. Charmed to Death 3. The Trouble with Witches 4. Witch Hunt 5. The Witch Is DeadShirley Damsgaard Ophelia and Abby review 1. Witch Way to Murder 2. Charmed to Death 3. The Trouble with Witches 4. Witch Hunt 5. The Witch Is Dead 6. The Witch's GraveShirley Damsgaard Ophelia and Abby review 1. Witch Way to Murder 2. Charmed to Death 3. The Trouble with Witches 4. Witch Hunt 5. The Witch Is Dead 6. The Witch's Grave 7. The Seventh WitchShirley Damsgaard Ophelia and Abby review 1. Witch Way to Murder 2. Charmed to Death 3. The Trouble with Witches 4. Witch Hunt 5. The Witch Is Dead 6. The Witch's Grave 7. The Seventh Witch


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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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