Small-town librarian Ophelia Jensen is finally starting to embrace her lot as one of the "chosen"--a psychic and folk magick practitioner, a.k.a. a witch. Expert loving guidance from her magickally adept grandmother Abby helps--and adopting Tink, an exceptionally talented teenage medium, has given Ophelia's life new purpose . . . until a brutal murder clouds the sunshine of their days.
Ophelia's co-worker and best friend, Darci, is distraught when her cousin is implicated in the small Iowa town of Summerset's most recent murder--the violent death of a biker. Unfortunately for Darci's cousin, it's her fingerprints all over the murder weapon. She claims she's innocent, but it'll take Ophelia and Abby more than a good incantation or two to get to the bottom of this crime--what with ghosts, crooked cops, secret identities, and a small army of outlaw bikers thrown into this devil's brew.
Four installments into her paranormal mystery series (after The Trouble with Witches), Damsgaard delivers a scattershot whodunit that's more tedious than tricky. When her friend's cousin is charged with murdering a member of a motorcycle gang, librarian and returning heroine Ophelia Jensen reluctantly agrees to use her psychic gifts to help clear the woman. It's no easy case, however: the suspect, Becca, was found in bed with the dead man, her fingerprints all over the knife that killed him. A reading of the runes persuades Ophelia that the answers lie in the victim's past, and soon she's spinning theories and digging into an old crime that may have involved other gang members. At the same time, Ophelia has more personal concerns to deal with, including her foster daughter, budding medium Tink, and her own long-ignored abilities, which she's hoping to hone with the help of her gifted grandmother, Abby. Although the psychic elements are fresh and well handled, the heroine's habit of leaping to erroneous conclusions and brushing off obvious clues may frustrate mystery fans. (June)
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May 29, 2007
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