Bait and Witch

By Julie S., staff reviewer

Do I believe in magic? I wasn’t sure when I began the book whether I could get caught up in the story. I knew anything with the word witch in the title would have unearthly happenings in it, and I wasn’t sure it was my cup of tea.

We meet Josie, who travels to Wilfred, Oregon, after accepting the position of librarian at the Wilford Library, and are immediately thrown into the magic of the mystery. A murder, a quaint town, and a mystery that weaves itself into the story quietly, immersing the reader in the problems of the community. The Wilfred Library is being sold, demolished, and replaced by a fancy resort.

The town of Wilfred may be surprised that their new and maybe temporary librarian has a secret of her own.

Bait and Witch was an enjoyable read. My heart was lighter the more I read. Can a murder mystery do this? Yes, it can. The magic was whimsical and fun. I found myself saying under my breath while reading, “Use your magic, use your magic.” One of the highlights was the way the author described the library, making a reader visualize every part of it, even the land where the library was built.

The characters in the book were believable and not boring but also very down to earth, so it wasn’t over the top with mystical imaginings. Making Rodney, the cat, a main character was genius.

As I was reading, I wasn’t sure the murder part of the mystery was kept in the forefront. In fact, at times I almost forgot about the murder. However, the ending changed my mind. Well crafted, well written, and a fun read.

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Kensington (December 29, 2020)

Librarian Josie Way moved to small-town Oregon to lay low. Instead, thanks to newfound magic abilities—and a killer on the loose—she’s leapt out of the frying pan and into a cauldron of trouble. Josie Way loved working among the Library of Congress’s leather-scented stacks—until she uncovered corruption and made herself a target. As Wilfred, Oregon’s new librarian, Josie can stay undercover until the case goes to court. But life in this little town isn’t as subdued as she expected. The library, housed in a Victorian mansion, is slated to be bulldozed. Still digesting the news that her safe haven is about to become scrap lumber, Josie discovers a body in the woods.

Almost as shocking, Josie learns that she’s descended from a long line of witches—and her powers have suddenly sprung to life. With help from a spoiled alley cat who just may be her familiar, Josie’s thumbing through a catalog of suspects, hoping she can conjure a way to save her library—and her life.

Angela M. Sanders writes the Amazon bestselling Joanna Hayworth Vintage Clothing Mysteries and The Booster Club Capers. Under the pen name Clover Tate, she’s the author of the Kite Shop Mysteries (Berkley), which Romantic Times praised for their “well written wit and intrigue.” Angela’s articles on food, personalities, and perfume have appeared in a variety of magazines, and her monthly newsletters have nearly 2,000 subscribers. She interacts with readers on Facebook and Instagram and is a prominent blogger for Now Smell This, which garners 1.5 million monthly page views. Angela has two cats—one of whom is black of course—a witch’s freckle in her left eye and learned to read tarot cards from a pagan priestess.

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