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Murder's a Witch: A Beechwood Harbor Magic Mystery (Beechwood Harbor Magic Mysteries) (Volume 1) Paperback – September 14, 2017
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
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Holly Boldt is a witch with a problem. She has been banished to a halfway house in Oregon and has to make her way in the human world. Her landlord is a ghost and her roommates a shifter and a vampire who have also been banished. When her boss is murdered she has to figure it out to help her human friend.
I liked the concept and the execution. For the most part well written and well plotted. Some humor, some pathos. Nice assortment of fairly quirky characters and as the first in the series this book does a good job of giving you a picture of the setting. The author seems to understand the mechanics of good storytelling.
As a newcomer to what is becoming a crowded field (Witch Mysteries) Danielle has done a good job of staking her claim to this genre. I hope the next books in the series will be as well done as the first. That is always the question when you commit to a new author and a new series. I look forward to the next book in the series.
FYI there is a link in the book for a free prequel which explains how Holly came to be in the predicament she is in.
Holly Bolt is not your normal Witch. She has been banished to Beechwood Harbor. I found Holly to be a delightful character with a mysterious past. I am wonder why Holly is banished. I did read another reviews review and they mentioned a prequel that explains this, so I’ll have to go and find it.
All the secondary characters were amusing and fun. It’s a great cast that includes a shifter, a vampire and a ghost plus a pesky P.I..
Their is a possible love interest or two, but this is not a romance book. It’s a mystery. A murder occurs, a friend is the main suspect, and Holly has a desire to find the true culprit to help her friend out.
Murder’s a Witch is a light magical mystery full of twists and turns. I’m curious to see what happens next with this cast of characters.
Rated: 4 Stars
Apart from that, it was a pretty classic cozy mystery.
While there were references to the alternate supernatural communities, there was not much about them, nor why the supernaturals (a witch, a vampire- who is always called a "vampiress" which annoyed me- a shapeshifter, etc.) were exiled. and how that would be better than dealing with them internally, since secrecy about the existence of the supernaturals is a high priority. That did not cohere well. The magic and its system was incredibly vague, unless cute names for potions adequately substitute for a realized context.
My main problem, though, was with the writing. Not only was it reliably ungrammatical- using "I" when "me" would have been correct, for example- but the characters grimaced their way through far too much dialog: they didn't "say", they giggled, or whined, or- even worse- smirked.
Smirking is unpleasant. These characters smirked a LOT. Smirking implies a "neener-neener" attitude that is not attractive- and it's way too easy to overuse, as Garrett does here, making her characters look like smug nasties.
OK as a mystery; bad at world-building; probably adequate on character; bad on grammar and tone.