The Good the Bad and the Witchy by Heather Blake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Book #3 in the Wishcraft Mystery series starts off with a boisterous birthday bash for Harriette, an eighty-year-old "floracrafter," (a witch whose magical specialty is flowers), complete with her signature black roses and an aging stripper. The party is just getting going when Darcy Merriweather discovers the recently murdered corpse of the young man who'd come to deliver the birthday cake. Michael's ghost attaches itself to Darcy, urging her to help him find his killer, but Darcy's snooping puts her in conflict with Nick, her police chief boyfriend, because it gives the jealous Glinda ammunition she can use to threaten the couple.
Ms. Blake does such a good job of weaving together subplots and building 3-dimensional characters--better than many, if not most, cozy mystery authors. That's why my rating for this one is 4 stars, even though I often wonder why someone doesn't just wish to discover the murderer--Darcy is a Wishcrafter, after all, and I don't recall any stated laws of wishcraft she'd be violating. Perhaps Ms. Blake will explain that in a future book? Then again, if wishing solved the murders, these books would be VERY short.
I finally realized what I am picturing in my head when I read descriptions of the Enchanted Village: the set of Gilmore Girls but with a magical theme. Makes me wish it were a real place.
For readers' advisors: story & character doorways are both strong, and setting is secondary. No sex, bad language, or on-screen violence.
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