The Trouble With Witches: A lot of fun

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsmurder fantasy book review Shirley Damsgaard Ophelia And Abby 3. The Trouble with WitchesThe Trouble With Witches by Shirley Damsgaard

After reading Witch Way to Murder, I found myself craving another Ophelia and Abby mystery and went to the library for my “fix.” They didn’t have book two, Charmed to Death, but they did have book three, The Trouble With Witches. I decided, what the heck, you can usually read these cozy mystery series out of order anyway. Often, authors will only allude vaguely to events of previous books in case you’re reading them out of sequence.

Well, I figured out pretty quickly that Shirley Damsgaard doesn’t do that. I have now thoroughly spoiled myself for Charmed to Death until enough time passes that I forget the killer’s name. But The Trouble With Witches was a lot of fun anyway. The plot revolves around Ophelia and Abby’s investigation of a psychic-research organization that may or may not be a cult responsible for the disappearance of a teenage girl.

Whatever happened in Charmed to Death must have been good for Ophelia. She still has trouble sometimes making herself be sociable, but she’s not the rude, standoffish Ophelia of Witch Way to Murder. She lets more people past her armor now and it makes her more interesting (and much less irritating).

If there’s anything about Ophelia that bugged me this time around, it’s that sometimes she needed a good whack with the clue stick. She’s sometimes incredibly oblivious when the plot needs her to be. [SPOILER. Highlight the text if you want to read it:] There are two characters who, it’s said time and time again, have exactly the same outlandish hair color. Yet when Ophelia finds a dead body with hair of that color, she jumps to the conclusion that Person A is dead when it’s just as likely that Person B is the one who bit the dust.

The central red herring, though, works really well; I was suspicious of the wrong person until the very end. [END SPOILER]

I’ll be reading more in this series, even if I do need to wait a while before backtracking to Charmed to Death!

Ophelia And Abby — (2005-2009) Publisher: Bewitched meets Murder She Wrote in this delightful new cozy mystery series featuring Ophelia Jensen, small town librarian and reluctant psychic, and her grandmother Abby, a benevolent witch. 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.

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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