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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Be Careful What You Witch For (Family Fortune Mystery #2)

Be Careful What You Witch For - Dawn Eastman

A strong follow-up to the first book Pall In the Family (awful title).

 

Set in a town settled by psychics and run by a town council that sees the tourist value in trying to keep everything as authentic as possible, Be Careful What You Witch For is written in a rather calm style of narrative; not boring, but not frantic or urgent; funny but not hysterical - although I take that one back; there's a scene or two that had me smiling if not laughing out loud.  This second book takes a look at the Wiccan side of things.  I like that the author touches (lightly) on how fine-grained prejudice can be:  the psychics are not at all sure Wiccans are a positive addition to the town.

 

Clyde has settled into Crystal Haven, and she's a likeable protagonist - except - she's still all wrapped up in "I refuse to use my gifts!  They're terrible!  I don't like them so I'm not going to learn how to control them!".  Oh just get over it.  I like my MC's to be strong; really, genuinely strong.  Clyde has it going on on the outside: a former police officer, smart, strong, capable, decisive.  But she's a coward.  Strength doesn't come from denial, it comes from acceptance.  I get that the author is using this as a device for character growth, but that character growth, I think, could have been more interestingly achieved through what happens after the gift is accepted - learning interpretation and that each dream/vision doesn't always portent good OR bad.  In my opinion, there's very little growth in accepting one's gift.  The massive potential happens afterwards.

 

Moving on, the rest of the cast of characters are solid, fleshed out and likeable.  Except Aunt Vi who's just a fool; she's the court jester of the piece and I suppose she could be worse, although she's aggravating enough already.  Clyde brings her 15 year old nephew into a few situations that I suspect would have Child Services showing up, but it's fiction, and I don't care enough for it to matter to me.

 

The plot.  What can I say without giving away spoilers?  Of the two possible plot lines that developed over the course of the story, the author chose the much less plausible and interesting of the two.  I guessed the murderer very early on, although I kept waiting to be surprised by the motive and never was.  I really like where the author is going in terms of Clyde's mother's story though.

 

At the end, this was a good read.  Good setting, characters and story lines; romance but no love triangles.  Clyde's stupid angst and a slightly weak plot cost this book that fifth star, but I'll definitely be looking forward to the 3rd book with anticipation.