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Book Review: The Witch and the Dead by Heather Blake


There are two words that you say everyday, whether you know it or not. Those two words would make Darcy Merriweather's head explode.

"I wish...."

As a Wishcrafter in the Enchanted Village, just outside of Salem, Massachusetts, and a safe haven for modern day witches, Darcy hears those two words from not only other crafters but from mortals who visit.

Sure, Darcy wishes that she could wish, but for her all of her wishes are about to come true as its moving day for her into her freshly renovated house. It's bittersweet for her since she's leaving her Aunt Ve behind (but they're only two houses away) and her one wish is for boyfriend Nick Sawyer and his daughter to move in as well.

The latter wish will happen, but as she's picking up boxes to take down the street, she, her aunt and sister Harper find something hiding behind boxes. A human skeleton.

Not an ordinary skeleton mind you, but the skeleton of Ve's second husband, Miles Babbage who disappeared on their wedding night. For over thirty years it had been hiding behind the boxes and Ve can't remember what happened that fateful night.

Ve tells Darcy and Harper that since she never really went into the garage, she never noticed a smell and if she did, she brushed it off as maybe an animal that had gotten trapped and died.

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While the discovery of the bones gets the village talking, local potion maker Vince Paxton is stirring up a pot of trouble as he's trying to bring sorcery into the village and if he's successful, it can bring in evil. Vince is a Seeker and feels that he is a warlock, but no one will confirm it, plus, his relationship with Starla Sullivan (another Wishcrafter) is coming to an end. Even though she's never told him about her crafts, she could lose her powers if she just confessed to him had he been a mortal.

But again, Vince has another reason for stirring up trouble. He's also found out that he was adopted the day after his birth and he thinks that Miles and Ve are his parents. Of course, Ve would know if she were his mother, but there are a couple of possibilities as to who his birthmother could be.

As Darcy dives into everyone's past she still has to put the pieces together regarding Miles' death and has to keep Ve out of the slammer before the village falls apart.

Although the ending to the last installment had been hinting at something different, this installment was good since there was a lot of things going on and it was a fast read.

The energy is still high and past characters make an appearance, although brief and the story moves along at an even pace. There aren't a lot of distractions and while we know that Nick and Mimi will be moving in with Darcy at the end, the ending (hopefully) sets up the next installment, since there is a dark cloud about to come over the village.

Whether or not the series continues after the next two installments is still a mystery, but these last two endings have definitely taken the series into new territory.

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