(Ophelia & Abby, #5)

Life is busier than ever for witch Ophelia Jensen. In addition to her day job at the library, she—with the help of her grandmother Abby—is preparing to officially adopt Tink, the young medium she's taken under her wing. So when Ophelia's elderly Aunt Dot, eager for adventure, wants to investigate the murder of a funeral director in the neighboring town, Ophelia tries to say no. But then Tink's dog pulls a skull out of the woods—a skull that may belong to a murder victim.

Finding mysterious bones in the woods isn't the only strange thing that's happened to Tink lately. She's been having visions of ghastly ghosts imploring her for help. But before Ophelia can connect the apparitions with the murder, Tink is kidnapped! Ophelia and Abby will have to battle a creepy crematorium owner and an invasion from some modern-day body snatchers to find their protégé . . . or else they'll have to hold a séance just to speak to her again.

The Ophelia and Abby series attempts to embrace quirky characters as it's shining draw. To be honest the elderly Abby never worked for me as a convincing quirky character - there's something about her that can irritate or overwhelm. She's charming and she's wise, but she's a little cliche. We now have an aunt introduced, her sister from the mountains, and even if she is cliche as well, she works much better as a quirky player.

She downright amused me with her eagerness to jump into the crime-solving gig. On the lookout for crime, excitement, and her moonshine drinks, she adds lots of charm. Ophelia is uneven in her relationships still, which is unfortunate. Tink is still a fun introduction that brings a maternal instinct out of Ophelia, who needed another dimension of believability as a character.

The mystery works well not because it is intricately layered, but because it tugs on the heartstrings as we wonder about the characters abilities and what's going on with them, what guilt may rise for Tink, what Ophelia needs to keep discovering about herself to save the day.

When the culprit is revealed, one comes out of the blue, one is obvious. The idea behind it is rather cheesy but the build-up mystery climbing toward it works well enough.

   Book Quotes:

“Ah, yes, tea. Our family's first line of defense when meeting a disaster.”

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