I seldom read two books in a row by the same author, but Shirley Damsgaard caught my attention with her Ophelia and Abby mysteries. The sequel to Witch Way to Murder finds Grandmother Abby leading demonstrations against factory hog farms, while Ophelia continues to fight against her psychic abilities.
However, this time, Ophelia doesn't have much choice. Abby lets her know that she still has work to do to bring her friend Brian's murder case to a conclusion. Brian's murder almost five years earlier caused Ophelia's breakdown and her retreat into herself, because she "saw" the murder, but couldn't prevent it. Ophelia's attendance at a library conference in Iowa City brings her in contact with Detective Henry Comacho, the police detective who always suspected she knew more than she told about Brian's death.
When events take a turn for the worse, it's Ophelia's mother who astutely tells her she's afraid of her psychic gift. This series definitely has its dark side, threats, injury and murder. Readers looking for two appealing characters can't go wrong with Ophelia and Abby, though. The characters are the strength of this fascinating series.
Shirley Damsgaard's new book, The Trouble with Witches, will be released August 29th.
Her web site is: www.shirleydamsgaard.com
Charmed to Death by Shirley Damsgaard. Avon Books, c2006. ISBN 100060793538 (paperback), 288p.
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