It may have been a ghost that led Eleanor Wilde to set up shop in a quaint English village. But now that she’s established herself as the town witch, Ellie’s contentedly casting spells on anyone desperate enough—or gullible enough—to request her mysterious potions…
Selling mystical elixirs and tantalizing tonics is a pretty good way for a fake medium to earn a living. Or at least it’s Ellie’s main source of income—until a villager turns up dead. The cause? Murder by poisoning. And though Ellie’s concoctions don’t include anything worthy of a skull and crossbones, suddenly she’s the prime suspect. Her only recourse is to find the culprit who did do away with Sarah Blackthorne. No one liked the mean old battle-axe. But did anyone hate her enough to kill her?
It’s enough of a mystery to make Ellie hang up her witch’s hat and take millionaire beau Nicholas Hartford up on his offer to keep her afloat. Except Ellie is not the kind of woman to lean on a man—least of all a man she adores but whose place in her life is uncertain. Besides, Ellie’s taken on two young witches-in-training—apprentices if you will—and both of them are convinced a werewolf is the murderer.
Just as Ellie’s wondering if there really is something otherworldly going on, animals suddenly begin to disappear—including her beloved cat, Beast. Now Ellie’s on the warpath to uncover the wicked truth about the people and the place she’s only just begun to call home…
Berry's sparkling sequel to 2018's S ances Are for Suckers finds Eleanor Wilde settled in a cottage in an unnamed village in Sussex, England. The cottage is on the property of the new man in her life, Nicholas Hartford III, who hired her to investigate a ghost at his ancestral estate in the first book. Ellie doesn't really believe in potions and hexes, and she isn't really a witch, but that doesn't stop her from telling people she is and earning her keep by selling spells and potions. When shrewish Sarah Blackthorne is poisoned during a meeting in the church basement and the town's favorite pig is found dead with its heart cut out, the locals suspect Ellie and her witchcraft, until the arrival of an out-of-towner who may be a werewolf. Meanwhile, pets start to disappear, including Ellie's cat. Ellie and Nicholas's blossoming relationship provides counterpoint to the spooky goings-on. Along with quirky characters and a twisty plot, Berry supplies a good foundation for more stories to follow.
The 2nd An Elanore Wilde Mystery
Potions are for Pushovers by Tamera Berry is the second An Eleanor Wilde Mystery. Eleanor “Ellie” Wilde is asked to be on the town fete committee by Rachel Hartford (replace her mother) and, of course, she agrees. At the meeting, Sarah Blackthorn collapses and dies. Inspector Piper stops by the next day to see Ellie because one of her potion bottles was found on the victim who died from poisoning. It was an attraction elixir which was not meant for consumption, but there was nothing that would harm an individual if they did consume it. Unfortunately, Ellie must discontinue making and selling potions until the case is resolved. Ellie has no choice but to investigate to clear her name and save her livelihood. Potions are for Pushovers is the second tale in An Eleanor Wilde Mystery series. It can be read as a standalone for those who have not read Seances are for Suckers. Ellie is putting down roots in the village, and her business is taking off. I like the descriptions of Ellie’s cottage and the charming village. There are a variety of quirky residents. Eleanor is a likeable character who is smart, observant and friendly. She wants to make friends with the residents of the village which is one reason she agrees to be on the fete committee. It is unfortunate that the unlikeable Sarah Blackthorn drops dead and suspicion is cast upon Ellie. Nicholas Hartford III, her boyfriend, is still an enigma at the end of the book. I just want him to share the details of his life, but I believe Nicholas likes being mysterious. Nicholas’s sister, Rachel is kind and has become friends with Ellie along with Annis, the vicar. The mystery had a disagreeable woman as the victim which leads to multiple suspects. While it is not hard to discern the killer’s identity, it is fun following Ellie on her investigation. I like the paranormal element and would like more of it. There is a little gore in this book, but it is minimal. The pacing could have used a little work. I found it lagging at times. Potions are for Pushovers is perfect for those readers who enjoy lighthearted, humorous cozy mysteries with a hint of paranormal. Potions are for Pushovers is a cute paranormal mystery with a pig problem, gossip galore, an irritating inspector, cat conundrum, and a vexatious victim.