A faux witch must deal with a putative werewolf.
Since helping the wealthy Hartford family rid their ancient English estate of ghosts and solving a murder (Séances Are for Suckers, 2018), Ellie Wilde has set up shop as an elixir seller and spellcaster in the nearby village. Now that she no longer has to help her sister, who’s passed on but still talks to her, Ellie ekes out a living selling potions whose main ingredient is vodka and refusing the help offered by Nicholas Harford III, whose romantic appeal is one more reason for staying in England. Although her profession makes her efforts to deal herself into village life something of a tough sell, she’s made several friends, including Nicholas’ niece, Rachel; his rather odd mother, Vivian; and Annis, the vicar whose influence keeps Ellie from being totally shunned. When cordially disliked Sarah Blackthorne keels over and dies at a planning meeting for the village fete, Ellie has every reason to be drawn into Inspector Piper’s investigation, since the choice of wolfsbane as the weapon points to her. The discovery of a pig she’d put a spell on that’s ripped to pieces and the disappearance of her own cat make her deeply disturbed but more determined than ever to get to the bottom of it all. She gets help from Rachel and Lenora, the village doctor’s stepdaughter, who’s shadowing Ellie for a school project. One of Lenora’s activities is researching werewolves, and her discoveries make even the deeply skeptical Ellie wonder whether they may actually exist. The case is further complicated when the inspector’s aunt reports that someone’s stolen some wolfsbane from a locked cage in her garden. Although she has no magic powers, Ellie’s very good at reading people, and her skills put her in danger before she comes to a decidedly mundane solution.
A puzzling mystery laced with guile and humor.