Title: Witch Way to Murder
Author: Shirley Damsgaard
ISBN: 9780060793487/ Avon, 2005
Protagonist(s): Librarian Ophelia Jensen and her grandmother Abby
Setting: present-day "Summerset", Iowa
Genre: Cozy Mystery, #1 Ophelia & Abby mystery
First Line: Rising panic clenched my stomach.
Abby is a 73-year-old grandmother whose greenhouses are filled with herbs and flowers. She has acres of woods with No Trespassing signs. She also keeps a very low profile in small town Summerset because... she's a witch. Her 30-something granddaughter, Ophelia Jensen, is a librarian, a hermit, and a doesn't-wannabe witch. She has the talent, but she doesn't use it because she thinks it doesn't work. When a rash of thefts in the area and a handsome stranger appears in town, Ophelia is rudely dragged from her comfort zone and forced to make some tough choices.
Damsgaard's plot, pacing and characterization were all just fine. The problem I had with the book was Ophelia. Since she's the main character, that's quite a problem to have. Her unrelieved grieving over the death of her best friend four years ago, her denial of her abilities and their usefulness all annoyed the pudding out of me. I wanted to get a handful of her neck and yell, "Put on your big girl panties and DEAL WITH IT!"
Thankfully by book's end, Ophelia had come to terms with a few things, and the book ended on a good note for me. Witch Way to Murder went from the first book in a series I had no interest in following to the first book in a series that I want to find out what happens next. Good save, Shirley!
I found this book delightful. In fact, it was my first "cozy". I enjoyed the relationship between Ophelia and her grandmother, Abby and how different Abby is from a 'normal' grandmother. It seems that Ophelia doesn't go out and search for bodies or trouble, it seems to find her. I'm anxious to read the next in the series.
This is the first of the Ophelia And Abby Mysteries. The list, in order is:
1. Witch Way to Murder (2005)
2. Charmed to Death (2006)
3. The Trouble with Witches (2006)
4. Witch Hunt (2007)
I really enjoyed this book and I plan to get the rest of the series. From FantasticFiction.com:
Ophelia Jensen wishes she was just your typical, thirty-something librarian. Unfortunately, she's been burdened with psychic powers -- an unwanted "gift" she considers inconvenient at best and at worst downright dangerous. Her kindly old grandmother Abby, however, has no compunctions about the paranormal, being a practicing witch with unique abilities of her own.
And sometimes the otherworldly arts do come in handy -- like when the arrival of a mysterious, good-looking stranger to their normally tranquil corner of Iowa seems to trigger an epidemic of catastrophes, from the theft of bomb-making materials to a murdered corpse dumped in Abby's backyard.
Luckily Ophelia and Abby are on the case and determined to make things right. But it'll take more than magick to get out of the boiling cauldron of lethal trouble they're about to land themselves in.
Lots of fun. My favorite things about it are the lack of bad words and sex. I prefer the romance, mystery, and paranormal characteristics to the down and dirty details. If you're like me, enjoy a good mystery w/o the gory details, great characters, and lost of actions - You'll Love Ophelia and Abby!
Great book, and wonderful beginning to this series! Ophelia is a single woman, who works as a librarian in a small town. She moved to the town to be closer to her grandmother, Abby, after the murder of her best friend. Abby is clairvoyant and practices white magick, and believes Ophelia to have similar gifts. While Ophelia respects her grandmother's gifts, she would prefer to work within a more practical realm. When strange things in the town start happening, she realizes she may need her gifts after all. Ophelia is an intelligent character, and while this is a cozy mystery, it does have a serious tone to it. I look forward to reading more of the books in this series.
Ophelia Jensen is a librarian in a small town, desperately denying her second sight and trying to keep the town from finding out her grandmother is a witch. But there's problems in town and it looks like someone is running a meth lab. I didn't like this one as much as Abby Cooper Psychic Eye; although it has much the same set of ingredients, the tone is a bit different and I found Ophelia too whiny and reluctant. She did improve some by the end of the book though and since I like the idea behind the series, I'd be willing to try the next one and see if I like Ophelia any better.
Ophelia is a thirty something, single librarian who shuns her psychic abilities and denies her grandmother Abby's benevolent witchcraft. Having "seen" her best friend's death, but unable to warn him that his death was imminent and save him, she escapes the trauma and moves to her grandmother's small town. In spite of her denying her and her grandmother's uncanny abilities, Ophelia is drawn into mysterious events and deaths in her new hometown. A pleasant series.
I really enjoyed this witch-y mystery, though I felt the ending was somewhat telegraphed fairly far ahead---or maybe I'm psychic! I wishlisted the other titles in the series and am looking forward to reading them.
I love reading a series of books. I get into the characters and start to be interested in what happens to them. Ophelia & Abby are two interesting people with interesting lives and backgrounds. I have really enjoyed meeting them and will continue on reading this series.
Loved this book! I'd already read the second book in the series, and wanted to find out more about what had happened to Ophelia i the first book ,since there were references to that one in the second book . Look forward to more in this great series!
Ophelia Jensen is a librarian who has been given psychic powers, which she doesn't want, and tries her best to ignore. Her grandmother Abby is a practicing witch, even though she keeps this fact somewhat secret from the residents of their small town. AFter a stranger comes to town and starts asking probing questions, crimes begin to occur more frequently, including murder.
Ophelia Jensen is a reluctant witch. She wants so badly to be normal but it is in her genes, her grandmother is a witch and it seems like the harder she tries to ignore it, the more the fates shove it in her face. This is a wonderfully funny book with 2 of the most unusual sleuths you will ever meet.
Nancy F. (nanaz) reviewed Witch Way to Murder (Ophelia and Abby #1) on
I liked the fact that one of the characters identifies as a spiritualist/healer, rather than a "witch." Most stories of this type place too much emphasis on the Wiccan religion, so this was a nice change. Ophelia's reluctance to accept her inherited gift is a bit annoying, but maybe she will become less suspicious and more self-reliant as the series
continues. I'm willing to give her another chance!
I liked the story idea, but didnt love it. There just seems to be something missing I guess, not sure what it is, but I did enjoy it. Ophelia seems a bit too relunctant or too held back from her true calling, and fights it too much to allow herself to understand herself. But I really enjoy Abby, she is my type of person!
Cute. Just ok though. Not nearly as good as Kim Harrison's Dead Witch Walking series, Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Series, or Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake Vampire Hunter novels. Also try Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series (witches, sorcerers, ghosts, vampires, werewolves, etc).
5 years ago Ophelia forsaw the murder of her best friend but was unable to prevent it. Now another friend is gone, killed in almost identical fashion. Now Abby and Ophelia may be next on the killer's unless they take matters into their own hands.
Ophelia Jensen wishes she was just your tyical, thirty-something librarian. Unfortunately, she's been burdened with psychic powers--an unwanted "gift" she considers inconvenient at best and at worst downright dangerous. Her kindly old grandmother Abby, however, has no compunctions about the paranormal, being a practicing witch with unique abilities of her own. And sometimes the otherwordly arts do come in handy--like when the arrival of a mysterious, good-looking stranger to their normally tranquil corner of Iowa seems to trigger an epidemic of catastrophes, from the theft of bomb-making materials to a murdered corpse dumped in Abby's backyard. Luckily Ophelia and Abby are on the case and determined to make things right. But it'll take more than magick to get out of the boiling cauldron of lethal trouble they're about to land themselves in.