This week I review my first Heather Blake book! I know, how did it take me so long? We also have an upcoming interview with her, so stay tuned for that. Read on for a review of the recently released second book in the Wishcraft Mystery series.
Copyright: August 2012 (NAL) 320 pgs
Series: 2nd in Wishcraft Mysteries
Mystery Sub-genre: Paranormal Cozy
Main Characters: Darcy Merriweather, A Wishcrafter (a witch who can grant wishes for others)
Setting: Modern day, Salem Massachusetts
Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review
Darcy and her Aunt Ve run a personal concierge service called "As You Wish". Darcy is hired to clean out a hoarder's house by the daughter, Elodie. Elodie has tried to care for the house ever since her mother disappeared 18 months ago, but it is time to clean out the hoards of stuff and try to move on. Darcy manages to uncover the mother's body in the piles of stuff, and she was definitely murdered. As if that weren't bad enough, Darcy's house is being watched by somebody in the woods, and even gets threatened. All of this on top of Aunt Ve being sick and nothing is helping her get better. With Aunt Ve sick, it falls to Darcy to finish the preparations for Ve and Sylar's wedding fast approaching. But there is somebody who is trying to sabotage the wedding as well. Darcy has plenty to keep her busy, but how will she stay safe?
I enjoyed Darcy, a thirty-something divorcée, and her interactions with the other magical people. I enjoyed her Aunt Ve and younger sister Harper as well. Her growing relationship with Nick moves naturally and without rush. Of course, Nick is a policeman, driving a mini-cooper in a pastel yellow. But he is also a dad, which I did not get to see him as a dad much. Darcy seemed to spend more time with Mimi than Nick. Some whimsical characters are Pepe, a mouse, and Archie, a scarlet macaw who loves movie trivia, who help Darcy. I think a breakout character was Marcus Debrowski, a young Lawcrafter interested in Harper. There were many characters populating the village and at times I wish there had been a cheat-sheet listing the townspeople.
The Enchanted Village of Salem is just that. The magical town has magic rules and an Elder that keeps the rules enforced. This is an entertaining backdrop that adds to the enjoyment. The plot had several things going on that kept the pace and interest up. Everything does get sorted out and explained by the end.
The confrontation with the killer had some great tense moments and was not who I expected. Good job with misdirection. The wrap up was touching and did a great job of making the reader want to return to Enchanted Village.
This is a delightful paranormal cozy with touches of whimsy for a light enjoyable mystery that will even put a smile on your face.
Rating: Near Perfect - Buy two copies: one for you and one for a friend.