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A Witch Before Dying: A Wishcraft Mystery (edition 2012)

by Heather Blake

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11412105,887 (4.07)6
Member:snazz
Title:A Witch Before Dying: A Wishcraft Mystery
Authors:Heather Blake
Info:Signet (2012), Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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A Witch Before Dying by Heather Blake

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ENTRIES TO MOVE LATER:

he Enchanted Village (a fictional themed neighborhood), Salem, Massachusetts, USA
As You Wish Victorian house & shop, The Enchanted Village
The Charmory Victorian house & shop, The Enchanted Village
the Keaton Cape Cod house, at the end of Incantation Circle, near Enchanted Trail

Darcy Merriweather (middle name aunt, Wishcrafter, works for her aunt, divorced from)
Ve Delvany (Velma, Darcy's aunt, Wishcrafter, owner of As You Wish, a personal concierge service)
Harper Merriweather (Darcy's 7-years-younger sister, Wishcrafter, owner of Spellbound Books)
Nick Sawyer (Halfcrafter, Enchanted Village police chief & talented woodworker)
Mimi Sawyer (Demetria, Wishcrafter, Nick's 12-yr-old daughter by his late Wish/halfcrafter wife, Melina)
Missy (Miss Demeanor, Darcy's light gray and white Schoodle, half mini schnauzer, half teacup poodle)
Tilda (Ve's Himalayan cat)
Higgins (Nick's Saint Bernard)

Elodie Keaton (owner, The Charmony gem & jewelry shop, Cross-Crafter: weak Wishcrafter from dad, stronger Geocrafter from mom)
Patrice Keaton (widow of Geer, Elodie's missing mother, owner of the Anicula amulet)
Connor Merrick (Geocrafter, Elodie's fiance)
Yvonne Merrick (Halfcrafter, Connor's mother)
Roger Merrick (Halfcrafter, former Geocrafter, Connor's father)
Sylar Dewitt (optometrist, owner of the Third Eye Optometry Office, village council chairman -- the grand hoo-ha to Harper -- about to become Ve's husband #5)
Starla Sullivan (Crosscrafter - Wishcrafter & Bakecrafter, owner, Hocus-Pocus Photography, Darcy's friend)
Evan Sullivan (Crosscrafter - Bakecrafter & Wishcrafter. owner, Gingerbread Shack bakery, Starla's gay twin)
Twink (Starla's bichon frise - Evan calls him 'the Beast')
Mrs. P (Mrs. Pennywhistle, Vaporcrafter, elderly spitfire)
Jonathan Wilkens (Foodcrafter, owner of the Sorceror's Stove restaurant)
Zoey Wilkens (Jonathan's wife)
Marcus Debrowski (Lawcrafter, village lawyer, interested in Harper)
Andreus Woodshall (Charmcrafter, Roving Stones director, handsome in light, scary in shadow, Yvonne calls him 'Mr. Macabre')
Archie (Archibald, familiar, the Elder's majordomo, a former London dress designer, town historian)
Godfrey Baleaux (Cloakcrafter, owner, Bewitching Boutique, Pepe is the familiar, Ve's 3rd ex-husband)
Vincent Paxton (Seeker, owner of Lotions and Potions)
Glinda Hansel (Enchanted Village police)
Dorothy Hansel (Broomcrafter, Glinda's mother, Sylar's assistant)
Cherise Goodwin (Curecrafter, mother of Dennis, Ve's old friend)

the Crafts Elder (don't break the rules!)
unnamed technician from the medical examiner's office
the Peeper Creeper (the neighborhood Peeping Tom)
Terry Goodwin (Terrence, CPA, Archie's roommate, Ve's next-door neighbor, Ve & Cherise's ex-husband, Dennis' father)
Lazarus Woodshall (son of Andreus, running Upala Roving Stones stall)
unnamed health inspector
Harmony Atchinson (owner, the Pixie Cottage)
Angela Curtis (a villager)
Colleen Curtis (Angela's daughter)
an orange tabby and kittens
Uie (Pumpkin Pie, Harper's new kitten is the color of that pie)

In light of the fire, we packed up all necessary items (Ve's lipstick, the dog and cat food, my stash of peppermint patties) and moved out. (chapter 23)
  JalenV | Jun 27, 2016 |
In the first book, we meet Darcy, her sister Harper, Aunt Ve, and the town "regulars." Each character is unique and has their own story and I find that in the second book, I enjoyed getting to know them better as their roles within the Enchanted Village became clearer. All of the characters are engaging or quirky in a way that makes you feel connected to them, human or non-human. The magical setting only adds to the charm of the people living there. As I read, I am fondly reminded of old shows such as Bewitched or Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

I also enjoyed the gradual developing relationship between Darcy and Nick. Throwing them together right away would have, in my opinion, ruined the story. I enjoyed the way they kept meeting during the investigations. Darcy investigating on her own, and Nick always finding her in the wrong place at the wrong time also added humor to the story. Nothing was forced between them and as Darcy began to build a relationship with his daughter Mimi, the romance developed naturally. Even at the end of this story, we can infer that they are together but nothing has officially been established, leaving the reader something else to look forward to in the next story.

The main problem in the story was of course, the murder. However, we also had to solve the mystery of the peeper creeper, Aunt Ve's unusual sickness, and the missing amulet. All of these flowed together nicely as the book moved toward the ending. A few creative twists kept me guessing until the very end but the author wrapped it all up well and the pieces fell together perfectly. A Witch Before Dying was a fun read and I will definitely be picking up the next one soon.
( )
  Lagnella | Mar 4, 2016 |
The second Wishcraft mystery. The first few chapters were a little infodumpy, giving too many details from the previous book, including some that were spoilerish. After that the book smoothed out, and was fun to read. I'll probably look for more books in the series. ( )
  SylviaC | Dec 23, 2015 |
The Good: I absolutely love this series. The books are light, fun and utterly magical. The mystery was really interesting - a missing hoarder, found dead under a pile of her junk. presumably killed for a magical amulet. With the world building out of the way, this book focused a lot more on the people and I really loved seeing a more in depth look at the town, its residents and their abilities. Darcy is a very likable character, who you naturally root for. Unlike too many other cozy mysteries heroines, she has a real reason to be involved in the investigations, making it that much easier to be sucked into the story instead of constantly wondering why anyone even talks to her.

The Bad: Aunt Ve's illness didn't work for me. It was transparent and irked me every time it came up in the story. It was a not particularly important subplot that I would have rather not been included in the story. As complaints go, it's extremely minor but it was the only thing that kept the book from being perfect. ( )
  TequilaReader | Nov 19, 2015 |
A WITCH BEFORE DYING is the second book in Heather Blake’s Wishcraft Mystery series which is set in a magical neighborhood of Salem, Massachusetts. Ms. Blake’s “witchy” cozy mysteries are a delight to read, and this one was no exception.

The mystery in this book was very good. It was complex with interwoven plot lines, and I was kept guessing until the very end. Wishcrafter Darcy Merriweather has her hands full when she’s hired to clean out a missing hoarder’s house, and she finds the dead body of the woman buried under all the junk. It was like an episode of Hoarders gone horribly wrong! Since it’s obvious foul play was involved and the woman’s dangerous magical amulet is missing, the daughter of the victim hires Darcy to find the killer. Though not an official private investigator (yet), Darcy is clever and has a knack for solving mysteries.

No big secrets of the Enchanted Village are revealed in this book, though we do get to know more characters – crafters, half-crafters, and a few who are just passing through. New relationships bloom, and old ones are severed. I especially loved seeing Darcy and Mimi’s bond grow stronger. Mimi is Darcy’s potential boyfriend’s daughter. Sweet! Like in the last book, the familiars Archie the macaw and Pepe the mouse were too funny.

This was an enjoyable read with unique characters, just the right about of woo woo, and a strong mystery that takes center stage. I give it 4.5 stars! ( )
  bookofsecrets | Apr 19, 2014 |
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COPYRIGHT PAGE NOTICES (for the Mass Market Paperback Edition):

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials. in violation the author's rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

PUBLISHER'S NOTE:
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.

If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as 'unsold and destroyed' to the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this 'stripped book.'

First printing, August 2012

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When she discovers the dead body of Elodie Keaton's missing mother, Wishcrafter Darcy Merriweather, a witch who can grant wishes for others, must not only find a killer, but the Anicula--a wish-granting amulet--before it falls into the wrong hands.

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