“It’s Harriet’s fault. It’s always her fault, not that she’ll ever admit it.” So begins A Spell of Murder: A Witch Cats of Cambridge mystery, the first in a new cozy series that mixes feline fiction with a touch of the paranormal, and a little romance as well.
Becca, newly single and newly unemployed, wants to believe she has psychic powers. With nothing but time – and a desire for empowerment – she’s studying to become a witch. What she doesn’t know is that her three cats – Harriet, Laurel, and Clara – are the ones with the real power. And when Harriet – “a cream-colored longhair with more fur than commonsense” – conjures a pillow for her own comfort, Becca believes her spells are finally working. Could that be why Trent, the coven’s devilishly handsome leader, has been showing her special attention? Or why Suzanne, a longtime coven member, draws her aside to share a secret – a confidence that may lead to murder?
Set in Cambridge, Mass., this delightful series launch from Simon (World Enough) introduces three talking cats littermates Clara, Harriet, and Laurel and their 26-year-old human, Becca Colwin, who has recently lost her job as a researcher for the local historical society due to "budget cutbacks and the advances in technology." Becca rightly interprets this to mean that "they can get an intern to do a Google search." Her self-esteem has plummeted, so she's ripe to respond to a flyer advertising an opening for "Witches: New and In Training." Convinced she has psychic powers, Becca joins the coven, but none of the women, nor their lone warlock, has any aptitude for performing magical spells. When one coven member is murdered, the police regard Becca as a person of interest. Clara, with the reluctant help of her sisters, steps in surreptitiously to help Becca solve the crime. You don't have to be a cat lover to appreciate this paranormal cozy's witty observations, entertaining dialogue, and astute characterizations.