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THE WITCH OF MAPLE PARK by Stephanie S. Tolan


by Stephanie S. Tolan

Pub Date: Sept. 21st, 1992
ISBN: 0-688-10581-5
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

After her sobering Plague Year (1990), Tolan returns to lighthearted themes. Casey's friend Mackenzie has psychic ``feelings'': e.g., she has accurately predicted that her mother's helper in a failing catering business will steal money. Now, Mackenzie is concerned that Barnaby, her babysitting charge, will be kidnapped by the ``witch'' she and Casey spy in Maple Park; the elderly woman, who seems to be following them, fuels their suspicions by ordering henbane and devil's claw from a health-food store. Barnaby disappears, and the woman does have him, but she turns out to be an old-fashioned herbalist who eventually helps Mackenzie's mother to a success in gourmet health food. In Casey's down-to-earth narration, her friend is lovably flaky—her belief in crystals and ``visualization'' a reaction to her parents' divorce, but her psychic abilities yet to be disproved. The blend of ancient and contemporary healing arts (along with the witchy touches) leads to some funny altercations; quick pacing makes this a prime candidate for readers, including reluctant ones, who enjoy a frothy mystery. (Fiction. 9-13)