Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Charmed Death - Madelyn Alt

A Charmed Death
A Bewitching Mystery
Madelyn Alt
Berkley Prime Crime


Maggie O’Neill has been working at the antiques and gift shop called Enchantments for two and a half months now. In that time, she’s discovered that, even in her little, rural, northern corner of Indiana, there’s a whole different world just beyond this one. It’s the Christmas rush, and Maggie is manning the store with help from teenaged Evie, when a group of high school girls from the “right” side of town arrive. One of them, Amanda Roberson, makes a show of purchasing an antique clock for her mother. She pays cash for the $500 item and still has plenty to spare.

While in the shop, Amanda gets into a verbal altercation with Tara Murphy. Tara, a junior, just arrived in town. Her Goth clothes, makeup, and attitude make her a target for the Mean Girls. She’s also got a natural ability for the Craft, although she disdains what she terms “fluffy bunny pagans.” She clearly relishes the power. Later that evening, Amanda goes missing. Her body is later found in a nearby river. Suspects are few and far between until Maggie happens into the investigation. She’s lived in town all her life, but even she’s surprised that still waters run deep.

This is the second in an entertaining new series. Readers who missed the first book (THE TROUBLE WITH MAGIC 1/06) will have no problems getting up to speed here. Maggie’s introduction to magick and the paranormal continues here, and her reactions and reservations make her a very realistic character. The mystery is woven into the paranormal aspects, and takes some interesting turns before the end. I’m looking forward to more from this author.

Rating: 7 ½
December 2006
ISBN# 0-425-21317-X


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