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SPEAK DAGGERS TO HER by Rosemary Edghill

SPEAK DAGGERS TO HER

By Rosemary Edghill

Pub Date: May 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-312-85604-0
Publisher: Forge

 Quite a change of pace from Edghill's Regency romances (Two of a Kind, 1988, etc.): the murder of an aspiring witch. Miriam Seabrook doesn't show up for the TGIF at Chanters Revel, a Greenwich Village herb store, because she's dead. Her friend Bast (``Karen Hightower'' in her mundane life as a designer at Houston Graphics), troubled by a bizarre token--a mummified bird claw- -Miriam was wearing around her neck and by the absence of her athame, a ceremonial knife Bast had given her, decides to investigate. But since ``the way to find out exactly how Miriam Seabrook had died wasn't by asking questions,'' Bast instead hangs around the Serpent's Truth, a ``partisan and trashy'' rival shop; picks up a lead on Baba Yaga, the black coven (in Queens, naturally) Miriam had fallen in with; and attends a meeting in which the Baba Yagas say they killed Miriam because she tried to leave the coven. After that, fans of traditional detective novels should be warned, things get stranger, and much less interesting. Some of the background on modern Wicca (``witchcraft'' to you) is effectively offbeat, though Bast's aggressive homiletics (``environment is just a long word for where-you-are'') make her a sententious bore. A one-of-a-kind entry that could become, uh, a cult classic.