Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Trouble with Witches by Shirley Damsgaard

This is the third in the Ophelia and Abby series. Ophelia is a reluctant witch dealing with her powers while Abby is her grandmother, guiding her along. The trouble with this book is it moves a tad slow and the end is so fast and contrite, if I would've blinked, I would've missed it. The girl who disappeared, suddenly reappears with no plausible explanation of where she'd been all this time. There's also an extraneous body in the story because I think the author wanted a murder so she killed off an unimportant secondary character, which no one in the town really cared about and (again) no plausible reason for his murder unless it was to throw suspicion on the person the town already didn't like. I believe a third of the book could've been cut without damage to plot. The majority of the characters have already been developed in previous books and less then a handful of characters are new. Abby and Darci (their friend) are already established, but Ophelia needs a lot of growing to do and it really doesn't happen in this book. If the series continues in this fashion, I might have to drop it, which is a shame because there's so few good paranormal mysteries out there.

The story starts off with Ophelia giving her Detective friend, Comacho, a bad reading on a missing person who she predicts is dead. I'm assuming this is plot for a future story, but who's to say. The next day or later that night, she gets a call from her reporter friend, Rick (she met him in the first book) who wants her and Abby to investigate the disappearance of Brandi, the daughter of a couple Rick during tracking down his next story, a cult on the lookout for psychics. Ophelia doesn't want to go, but Abby agrees on the spot. Darci pouts about not going, but shows up later in the story. Evidently, females lack the Common Sense Gene in this series, even Abby shows signs of a weak or sporadic case of Common Sense. They meet the couple in charge of the compound, Juliet and Jason Finch, Winnie, their helper, and Tink, Juliet's niece and Walks Quietly, the local reclusive, secretive Indian. Some bad things happen to Ophelia, Abby worries and chastises Ophelia, Darci gets her adventure, and the case gets solved. Ophelia further complicates her life by agreeing to foster Tink because Abby think it will help Ophelia take control of her destiny.

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