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The Witch and the Dead
A Witchcraft Mystery #7
Heather Blake

Berkley Prime Crime
release / ISBN 978-1101990131
Cozy Paranormal Mystery

Reviewed by Linda Morelli


Darcy Merriweather, a witchcrafter, lives in Salem, Massachusetts, running a business previously owned by her Aunt Ve, who took in Darcy and her sister Harper after their father's death. As the book opens, Darcy is preparing to move to a new home she plans to share with her boyfriend Police Chief Nick Sawyer and his young daughter Mimi. Darcy's just waiting for Nick to pop that "all important" question. Unfortunately, neighbors - and murders - tend to get in the way.

Darcy searches through her Aunt Ve's garage, sorting through her personal items and long forgotten memories, when she's startled to discover a skeleton belonging to Ve's missing second husband, Miles Babbage. It's up to Darcy to discover why Miles disappeared the night after he and Aunt Ve eloped, why Ve can't even remember their wedding, and how he ended up in Ve's garage. Certainly, Miles was a womanizer, a pied piper who attracted women and left behind many broken hearts. Could one of his ex-flames be the killer? Or a jealous boyfriend?

Many of the engaging characters and familiars who have appeared in previous releases in this series return to provide a magical and enchanting mystery. While this book gives enough background to ensure your enjoyment, you might want to start with the first release to get the full sense of this magical village setting, and all the delightful characters Ms. Blake has created that so deftly provide a sense of enchantment and mystery.

The Witch and the Dead is an engrossing mystery with enough red herrings to keep me guessing the identity of the real killer. The true magic of Ms. Blake's novel is the endearing characters and the depth of emotion that they bring about. I laughed many times while reading, but this is one of the few cozies that also had me shedding tears of happiness at the end.

Notes: Heather Blake is the National Bestselling Author of Gone with the Witch in A Witchcraft Mystery series; she also is the author of A Magic Potion Mystery Series.

Reviewed 2016