Charmed to Death by Shirley Damsgaard

(Ophelia & Abby, Book #2)

Ophelia Jensen's good witch granny Abigail revels in her paranormal powers. But Ophelia never asked for her bothersome psychic abilities -- especially since they proved worthless when the thirty-something librarian's best friend Brian was murdered by a still-unknown assailant.

Now, five years later, another friend is gone, killed in almost identical fashion. Even dear old Abby isn't safe, distracted as she is by her fight to prevent a massive, mega-polluting pig-farming operation from invading their small Iowa town. And Ophelia can't count on her snarling, scoffing nemesis, police detective Henry Comacho, to get the job done, so she'll have to take matters into her own hands. Because a common thread to the crimes -- and a possible next victim -- is suddenly becoming troublingly apparent . . . and it's Ophelia Jensen herself!

It's been over a year since I read the first one - I was excited to continue the series, so ordered the next several in the series. For some reason took awhile to start it, though. Will keep on with the series but my enthusiasm is dampered a little. As with a lot of series, it may spruce back up again though. Let's hope!

I love the concept - small town witch librarian who is slowly coming into her powers, aided by her quirky grandmother, in a cozy mystery setting where she keeps stumbling on dead bodies and has to solve the crimes to prevent herself from being sucked in and killed.

Book two takes to solving an old murder that plagued her since book one, where in her past a friend was murdered. Answers are finally here, and they're depressing. Ophelia has come out of her shell and is allowing friends and dates now, unlike her stubborn demeanor in the first book where she refused to stop being a hermit and meet people.

The mystery is a good one, but I started suspecting the villain because there weren't enough culprits left that would be likely. Comancho was a fun character - I hope he returns in the future, has a charm and animal magnetism about him.

As with a lot of cozies, the writing is too simple, too juvenile, at times. The dialogue goes from flowing smoothly to seeming silly. It's all a little unrealistic with the writing tone and characters aren't sketched out enough yet - especially Ophelia's overreactions with her emotions, particularly where her grandmother is concerned.

I'm hoping the third improves - the concept for the series is fun.

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