STRANGE MAGIC (ESSEX WITCHES MYSTERY 1)

PrintE-mail Written by Ian White

Rosie Strange is a benefit fraud inspector who has just inherited her late uncle's witch museum, although Rosie’s got no interest in the place. In fact, when she arrives to check the museum out she’s already determined to sell up and hopefully get a new pair of boots out of the profits. But destiny has other plans for our stalwart heroine. She’s only just met (and been weirdly attracted to but also deeply irritated by) Sam, the museum’s resident witchcraft guru, when Dr. Chin appears and offers them an assignment Rosie cannot refuse: to recover the bones of an executed witch and prevent the death of a possessed boy. It’s a race against time that sends Rosie and Sam dashing around the country, unaware that someone very nasty is clocking their every move and that the bones of the witch – assuming they ever find them – possess unimaginable power. Rosie’s about to receive a terrifying crash course in the occult and her life is going to change forever – assuming, of course, that she and Sam can complete their mission and make it back alive.

Beautifully researched, rippling with humour, tense and scary in all the right places, Strange Magic reads like Dennis Wheatley meets Caitlin Moran; this is smart and sassy writing that takes its subject seriously but isn’t afraid to play in the sandbox for a while, which is a refreshing change from some of the weightier (read: po-faced) witchcraft novels that have been released in recent years. As an origin story it’s not only a great introduction to Rosie Strange (author Syd Moore says there are more Rosie Strange stories in the works, and we hope she makes good on that promise) but it also takes the specifics of the genre seriously while also being great fun to read. Rosie is a gutsy, funny, likeably acerbic heroine, and Sam is a terrific foil. Together, they’re a sexy and engaging double act that could really make this ongoing series something special. And if you ever thought there was a connection between witches and Essex girls, you might find the answer in here too.

If the ending feels a little clichéd we barely noticed, because Moore takes an overly familiar horror movie trope and tweaks it so brilliantly it still feels fresh and exciting. Don’t miss this one. Strange Magic casts a spell that’s irresistible.

STRANGE MAGIC (ESSEX WITCHES MYSTERY 1) / AUTHOR: SYD MOORE / PUBLISHER: ONEWORLD PUBLICATIONS / RELEASE DATE: MAY 4TH


 


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