52 Books 2014: Week 25

The Goodbye Witch: Wishcraft Mystery #4
Heather Blake
(mystery, contemporary fantasy)

This is an amusing series. I’ve enjoyed each of the installments so far, in part because Ms. Blake does a good job of letting the heroine investigate without stepping on the toes of the police – and when she does, she gets her hand slapped. In fact, this book does an even better job of letting her investigate… but since part of the fun on that situation is discovering it for yourself, I won’t spoil it.

I also like the way these books give you tidbits to figure out while still saving some surprises for the Big Reveal at the end. It’s great as a mystery reader to solve some things before the main character does, and this book is no different. Granted, I had completely figured someone else in the big “Whodunnit?” question, but I did get some of the details down. (I also figured out the surprise that wasn’t at all related to the mystery, but I suspect you’re supposed to figure that out well before the heroine does.)

One of the things I like about this series is that the spells don’t seem unnecessarily complex. They make sense, and are used in creative ways to take a sensible spell and use it as an accessory to murder. (Or, in the case of THE GOODBYE WITCH, in order to frame someone else for murder.) Spells aren’t an easy out when it comes to investigating, either. Magic is too-often used as a “get out of jail free” card, but not in this series, and I like that.

I also like the use of familiars in this series. I’m curious to see how that will play out, especially with comments Missy makes at the end of the book. (Said comments make me wonder how much longer the series will run, too.) And Archie the parrot is one of my favorite characters in the book. Pepe the mouse is another. I guess all my favorite characters are the familiars.

One interesting thing about this book – the body didn’t show up for longer than I expect in a mystery, and so I had nearly forgotten that it’s a murder mystery series. Though, I suppose it’s never been specifically stated that it’s a murder mystery series, but the rest of the books have all had murders occur pretty early on, so it’s assumed to be so. Anyway, the body does eventually show up. I’ll be curious to see if this continues as a murder mystery series, though, because it could pretty easily transfer into other types of crime, I think. If Ms. Blake wants to take it that way, at any rate.

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