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Putting on the Witch
Retired Witches #3
Joyce and Jim Lavene

October 4, 2016/ ISBN 978-0425268278
Cozy Mystery/Supernatural /Witches, Wizards and Ghosts

Reviewed by Linda Morelli


Joyce and Jim Lavene have written more than forty novels together, including the Retired Witches Spellbook mysteries, the Missing Pieces mysteries, the Renaissance Faire mysteries, the Peggy Lee Garden mysteries, and the Sharyn Howard mysteries.

Magic, mayhem and family squabbles all combine in this amazing paranormal mystery involving a witches’ ball, murder and a fight to be on the Grand Council of Witches.

When Dorothy’s long-missing father, Drago, steps into the witches’ paraphernalia shop run by Molly and Elsie, everyone is surprised. Dorothy’s ghostly mother, Olivia, spent years protecting her daughter from Drago’s evil ways. Drago’s magic is so powerful that even the Grand Council of Witches have banned him.

Brian, Dorothy’s fiancé and a powerful witch in his own right, has joined their coven. Brian and Dorothy still need training, and since the loss of the coven’s spell book, Drago’s sudden arrival only amplifies its absence. Fortunately, Drago leaves confident that his daughter will come to him on her own.

The upcoming birthday bash for Brian hosted by his parents at their castle brightens everyone’s spirits. Molly, Elsie, Dorothy and Brian attend, with Olivia hidden in a bracelet. Unfortunately, Olivia’s not the only entity hidden away: a cat that Dorothy gives Brian for his birthday is a shapeshifter, one Drago uses to piggyback to the event. Then Olivia discovers Makaleigh, one of the oldest council members, hidden behind a couch, dead, and Antonio, a witchfinder from the Spanish Inquisition, arrives to accuse Molly of the act.

Even though I missed the first two releases in this outstanding series, I was quickly hooked on the characters and mystical world created by this wonderful husband and wife team. I laughed at Olivia’s ghostly antics, admired Molly’s ability to convince Antonio that they must use modern methods (fingerprints vs. torture) to discover the murderer’s identity, and the approaches they use to find the killer. I was especially engrossed by the interpersonal relationships between the various characters in this intriguing and highly enjoyable mystery. This beguiling and magical series is one of the most enjoyable I’ve read.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Looking for Mr. Good Witch #2

Reviewed 2016