Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"The Witch is Dead" by Shirley Damsgaard

If you enjoy light reading, then the Ophelia & Abby mysteries by Damsgaard are just your cup of tea. I found this author a while back, and am amazed that she's already on her 5th book in this series! They're sort of a tea-cozy/paranormal read; Ophelia and her clan are witches, but most of the body count is staged off-page, nothing too graphic for the reader.

Since we last saw Ophelia, she has proceeded with her legal adoption of Tink, the young teen she rescued a book or two back. Tink, aka Titania, is a medium coming into her own power. Ophelia has been relying on her grandmother, Abby, to help her with Tink; both Ophelia and Abby are psychics, rather than mediums. Still, they have a medium or two in the family, so they do their best to help Tink control her powers and develop them.

Enter Aunt Dot, one of the best "old lady" characters to come along since Stephanie Plum's Grandma Mazur! Dot comes for a visit, and she's a pistol! Around 90 yrs old or so, she doesn't understand why Ophelia and Abby don't tell everyone about their abilities; she has nothing to hide. Then again, she does see and talk to the fairies, something that her Midwest relatives don't want her making public. Or does she really see the fairies? Seems Aunt Dot likes to have a glass or two of wine every day, wine that she and her sister make, wine that has a very "special" ingredient that really gives it a kick! Oh, and Aunt Dot knows all about the "adventures" that Ophelia has had so far and wants to have one of her own!

The mystery itself isn't bad, but it's really the characters that make these little books so enjoyable. I like Ophelia, Abby and Tink, plus some of the other regulars, such as the sheriff and Ophelia's best friend, Darci, but I absolutely LOVED Aunt Dot! I'm hoping to see her again in the next installment; she added some fabulous humor. If you like your mysteries light, and you enjoy a bit of the paranormal, then I would highly recommend picking up one of Damsgaard's books. You wouldn't even have to read these in strict order, but as usual, I'd recommend it!

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