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A New Witch in Town*

Paranormal Cozy is Missing Some Pieces

Lorna has inherited an English cottage from an old aunt. She decides to give up her job and no-good fiance in Tennessee and start a new life in England. The cast of quirky characters starts coming around the new place and introducing themselves. Lorna has barely settled in when a murder rocks the sleepy town of Tweed-upon-Slumber. Lorna’s inquisitive nature makes her want to help figure it out.

I was intrigued by the concept of the book. I love a good witchy paranormal cozy mystery. However, I was put off by several elements. There was quite a bit of head hopping, even just for brief moments. Occasionally, the author switched to an omniscient viewpoint, telling us things that the character couldn’t know or wouldn’t know yet. At the very outset, several things just didn’t ring true to me. They are tiny details, but enough to affect my suspension of disbelief. For instance, her aunt has only recently died, but the house is in total disarray with cobwebs, lots of dust everywhere, and rotting furniture. Even if it took Lorna a while to settle her affairs in the States and get to England, this doesn’t seem like it would be accurate; could the place get so bad so quickly. Another tiny quibble was that the author stated that Lorna only was given a small snack on her transatlantic flight; having just done one not too long ago, you usually do get a proper meal.

The book started with a bit of an informational dump about Lorna’s past and all that brought her to claim her inheritance in England. The parade of neighbors didn’t feel quite right either. Cozy mysteries definitely need to have a cast of quirky characters, but we’re not usually introduced to them one right after the other in one setting. Typically, the protagonist will meet someone around town or at an event. It almost felt like an information dump for characters!

Inexplicably, this cozy mystery takes place in the 1990s. I’m not sure why the author felt the need to make it happen that long ago. It was simply jarring when I first read the word “nineties” in relation to time. Before that, I had assumed it was contemporary, so I had to read that line more than once to understand the context of the word and that it’s a story that supposedly takes place twenty years ago.

Because of the odd setup on several points, I can’t fully recommend this book.

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