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A Witch Before Dying: A Wishcraft Mystery by…

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

by Heather Blake

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16413107,120 (4.02)7
Title:A Witch Before Dying: A Wishcraft Mystery
Authors:Heather Blake
Info:Signet (2012), Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:*read, 2012, genre: cozy mystery

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A Witch Before Dying by Heather Blake



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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
The author had a really good idea, but somewhere along the way, with the sabotaging of the wedding that particular part of the story became tedious and fell flat. Yep- you guessed it: - 1 Star!

Darcy (a Wish-Crafter) is asked to clean out the house of Patrice, a hoarder, who has disappeared, by Elodie, Patrice's daughter who has taken over both her mother's Gem shop in the Enchanted Village and her house....

Unbeknownst to Darcy, Patrice owned the most powerful amulet that anyone could own... the Anicula, which would grant anyone's wishes no matter the intent; however if any granted wish was for ill, the Anicula would turn against the wisher.

Six months prior to the disappearance of Patrice the Anicula disappeared and no one has any idea where either are, until, a neighbor innocently (with pure intentions) wishes in front of Darcy to find her missing friend.

Immediately after the wish to find Patrice, a tower of boxes overturns and at the bottom is an old leather trunk, sprung open, with the desiccated remains of Patrice.

No matter the reasoning behind or results of previous wishes, life in the Enchanted Village is beginning to unravel for many of the Crafters as they scramble to uncover the whereabouts of the Anicula.

At the same time, Darcy's Aunt Ve is to be married at the end of the week, but someone is sabotaging the wedding and the groom-to-be is found kissing his long-time secretary, who threatens Darcy. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 8, 2017 |

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 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Heather Blakeprimary authorall editionscalculated
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For my family, who brings the magic to my life.
With much love.
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"it's going to be a horrible job, Darcy."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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