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Bell, Book, and Murder: The Bast Mysteries Paperback – August 15, 1998

4.4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Edghill has a chatty, witty style that keeps the action fast-paced. Definitely a new twist to the mystery genre.” ―USA Today

About the Author

Rosemary Edghill is a prolific writer in several genres, under her own name and various pseudonyms. Her Bast books, witty mysteries featuring a Wiccan amateur detective, were collected in Bell, Book, and Murder. She has also written Regency Romances and fantasy novels, including several collaborations with Mercedes Lackey (Spirits White as Lightning and Mad Maudlin) and Andre Norton (Shadow of Albion and Leopard in Exile).

Edghill lives in upstate New York with several cats and several Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, which she shows in obedience competitions.

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Product Details

  • Series: Bast (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books (August 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312867689
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312867683
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #898,109 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kelly (Fantasy Literature) VINE VOICE on July 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
_Speak Daggers to Her_, _The Book of Moons_, and _The Bowl of Night_ are some of the best fiction about modern witches I've seen yet. And the main reason why is the heroine, Bast. In Bast, Rosemary Edghill creates a delightful heroine with a deep belief in the Goddess and magic--and also with a barbed tongue that deftly skewers the politics and foibles of the Pagan community. Even if there had been no plot in these three novels, I would have kept reading just to "listen" to Bast talk. And as an added bonus, there *is* a plot.
_Speak Daggers to Her_: An old friend of Bast's dies of seemingly natural causes in her apartment. Bast discovers that her friend had gotten mixed up in a cult--could this be related?
_The Book of Moons_: Probably my favorite of the three, because of the historical speculation. Several New York Wiccans find their Books of Shadows missing. Then, an obnoxious newbie shows up at a picnic brandishing a book he is certain is the BOS of Mary Queen of Scots. Then someone ends up dead. How are all these things connected? Read on...
_The Bowl of Night_: Bast thought the most confusing part of the Samhain retreat would be sharing a cabin with handsome ceremonial magician Julian. But when a local fundamentalist preacher ends up dead on the campsite, things keep getting weirder...
I'm not sure how well these books work *as mysteries*, since the solution is generally not hard to figure out. I guess I'm just used to the sort of mysteries with 85 red herrings, and no concrete clues until the last two pages, when suddenly the culprit kidnaps the sleuth and reveals the whole plot.
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Format: Paperback
I won't recap all the reviews which tell you that the Bast novels are both unpretentious and Wicca-accurate, but I will agree that that's true. The greatest of these for me, though, is unpretentious; that is, these aren't fantasy nor yet the kind of self-aggrandizement and self-marginalization that sometimes stalk the Wiccan community. And--it's a real pleasure to say this after the last Wiccan murder mystery I had to review--these are WELL WRITTEN. Yes, really! Edgehill knows how to use commas, adjectives, and similar arcana as well as she knows how to cast a circle--and that, my friends, is a rare and beautiful combination. Magic (or, if you prefer, magick) without BS, self-delusion, sentimentality or misuse of the semi-colon--need I say more?
It's true that the mysteries aren't very mysterious, but I don't think they're meant to be (and in real life, of course, the spouse generally *did* do it.) These aren't really books about how to solve mysteries; they're about the ethical dilemmas that come with believing what we pagans say we believe, but often fall down on in practice. They're about our responsibility to act when we see a problem, and the risks that action entails, and the way Wicca both helps and doesn't help us to do it. Anyone who ever said she wanted something beyond Wicca 101: these books are it.
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Format: Paperback
The Pagan world is a refreshing backdrop for a trio of well written mysteries. What is really amazing is how the author guides the reader into the story and the personality of Bast. I find that I feel her confusion, joy, sorrow and fear. In the first book Speak Daggers to Her the murder? stirs Bast's anger. In the second book The Book of Moons Bast is stalked by the killer. Her peril is so real that I found my heart racing. The last novel The Bowl of Night the author gives us a wonderful lesson that just as there are all kinds of Christians, there are all kind of Pagans but fanatics are just as dangerous no matter what their religion. The solution to the mystery broke my heart even though I solved the crime much sooner than Bast.
This is an excellent collection. I hope she write more tales of Lady Bast.
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Format: Paperback
It is really refreshing to see a talented author come out with fresh ideas focusing on the world of Wicca and its followers. "Bell, Book and Murder" is a compilation of three murder mysteries--"Speak Daggers to Her," "Book of Moons," and "The Bowl of Night" set in the hectic world of New York City and featuring a spunky heroine, Bast who just happens to be a Wiccan. With her first novel in the Bast series, Edghill introduced readers to the often hectic life of a New Yorker living her life as best as she can in a world filled with mystery, mahem and magick. Edghill's Bast is a quick witted, savy New Yorker who just happens to be a practitioner of one of the most misunderstood religions in the modern world: Wicca.
Edghill writes with so much enthusiasm and possesses an almost uncanny knack for her characters that when you're reading the Bast mysteries, as they've become to be known, you almost forget that these are works of fiction. The dialogue is fresh, vibrant and exciting and this reviewer loved her scoops on people in the Craft. While the names have been changed to protect the innocent, friends of this reviewer who are a part of the New York Wiccan Community, have provided me with insights and revelations as to the possible identities of her books' real-life counterparts.
This reviewer found the three book series so enjoyable that he can't wait for the next book to come out. When will the next book be released Ms. Edghill? Your loyal Bast fans can't wait!
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