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Covens and Coffins*

Another Zoe and Crew Paranormal Cozy

I have read several books in this series now, and I always enjoy a trip to Zoe’s magical world. I like that she isn’t an experienced, know-it-all witch as often happens in these paranormal cozy mysteries. In fact, this book starts with a scene of one of her areas of witchy ineptitude: she can’t fly a broom like the other witches. Despite her lacks, she has decided to run for Head Witch because of all the mysterious events she has been involved with previously. All does not run smoothly, of course, when a rival is murdered at a town hall meeting of the candidates just before the election. Zoe becomes a suspect, and she has to use her skills to ferret out the real murderer. In an interesting subplot, some are proposing wand reform (in a way that mirrors gun control in our world).

I like how the author has made this series stand-alone but interrelated, and she gives necessary backstory in tiny bite-sized chunks that are easy to assimilate. Backstory seems to be one of those things that authors quite often trip up on, either giving too little or too much in an info dump. That doesn’t happen here. For those of us who have read previous books, the relationships between Zoe and her friends and her grandma are a delight to watch as the friendships, like with Mallory and Raina, are realistic in showing both closeness and humor, and the familial relationship shows a deep love and understanding. I just like watching Zoe and her peeps interact. I thought that the murder should have happened a little earlier in the context of the story to give a bit more time for the mystery to play out, but it was still a solid read.

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