A Witch Before Dying is the second book in the Wishcraft series that I just discovered a couple of months ago through another blog. I just adore this perfect combination of quirky characters, cozy mystery, and paranormal.
Synopsis from Amazon:
Darcy Merriweather is Salem, Massachusetts’ newest resident Wishcrafter—a witch who can grant wishes for others. While Darcy isn’t able to grant wishes for herself, she does possess a certain knack for solving problems—including the occasional murder…
When Darcy is hired by Elodie Keaton to clean up her missing mother’s disorderly home, the Wishcrafter is certainly up for the task. After all, the motto of her Aunt Ve’s personal concierge service As You Wish is “No Job Impossible.” But beneath the piles of old newspapers and knickknacks Darcy discovers something much more disturbing—Patrice Keaton’s body.
Darcy’s determined to give Elodie peace of mind by investigating her mother’s disappearance and death. Patrice was last seen over a year ago after a fight with her Charmcrafter boyfriend. Was her murder a crime of passion? Or were Patrice’s troubles caused by the Anicula, a wish-granting amulet? Now Darcy has to not only find a killer, she has to find the Anicula— before the power of ultimate wish fulfillment falls into the wrong hands…
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.