A Witch Before Dying by Heather Blake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Darcy Merriweather, Wishcrafter and sole remaining healthy employee of her aunt's private concierge service, As You Wish, has just been hired to clean out Patrice Keaton's house so her daughter Elodie can sell it. Patrice has been missing for a year and a half, and Elodie can no longer afford to maintain both her mother's house & business. She warns Darcy that it'll be a big job--Patrice was a hoarder--but neither one expect that one of the first things Darcy uncovers will be Patrice's dessicated body.
The more Darcy digs through the debris, the more she uncovers a complicated web of wishes and secrets. At the heart of it all is the Anicula, a charm that both mortals and Crafters (as the witches prefer to be called) alike can use to make unlimited wishes. It's a power coveted by many, and Darcy has her hands full determining who might want it enough to kill for it.
To top it all off, Darcy must complete her investigation while simultaneously dealing with her aunt's imminent wedding, which seems to have been cursed, so many things are going wrong, and the Peeper Creeper who's been watching Darcy from the woods and breaking into homes all over town.
The second installment of the Wishcraft Mystery series does not disappoint. It's light, fun, and a fast read full of quirky characters you'd love to know in real life. Well, perhaps not the creepy Andreus Woodshall, who looks normal in the daylight and scary in the shadows. But definitely handsome police chief Nick Sawyer and his spunky daughter Mimi, Darcy herself, feisty Mrs. Pennywhistle, and the "familiars," Archie the macaw and Pepe the mouse.
For readers' advisors: story doorway, with character a distant second. No sex or on-screen violence, no bad language.
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