Series: A Wishcraft Mystery #1
Genres: Paranormal Mystery
Published by Signet on 3 January 2012
It Takes a Witch is an enchanting cozy paranormal mystery that centres on sisters Darcy and Harper Merriweather and their Aunt Ve. Darcy and Harper have just learned that they are spell-casters and so they have the power to grant wishes for other people. They decide to move to the touristy Enchanted Village, Salem, Massachusetts – where other witches hang out under the noses of humans – and help Aunt Ve with the family business. A murder occurs and suspicion falls on Sylar, Aunt Ve’s partner. Darcy decides to investigate even though it pulls her away from learning the tricks of the trade and threatens a burgeoning relationship with single dad cop Nick Sawyer.
I really loved the villagers – at times more than our main character. The concept of Crafters was very cool. Crafters were born with a special affinity e.g. Floracrafters are good at growing flowers, Wishcrafters can grant wishes etc. I was with Blake up until she introduced…Lawcrafters. Hmm. When children are the product of two Crafters with different skills, one will be dominant. Crafters are pretty sneaky about hiding their skills not only from humans but also each other. There are some very strict rules they have to follow regarding their Craft and in the case of Wishcrafters, they cannot grant their own wishes. We also meet familiars who were formerly Crafters and turned into animals when they died e.g. Pepe the mouse who is also a tailor. There are so many characters thrown at the reader that it can get confusing at times. The characters go out of their way to be so friendly towards Darcy and Harper, I was initially suspicious of their motives – how jaded of me – and thought they were all in on the murder a la Murder on the Orient Express. Nope, it turns out that Enchanted Village is just full of very nice people. Darcy’s relationship with Nick is a fairly stock standard cozy affair at the moment but I have high hopes it will develop into something more.
The plot worked even though Darcy solved it without her magic. I know it would have killed the concept of the book but why didn’t someone who knew she was investigating just wish in front of her that the murderer would be found? The victim was not that nice a person (at least by Enchanted Village standards) and so perhaps no one really cared. They were far more concerned about the pickpocket and the effect it would have on the tourism industry than a murder. Pragmatism this time round at least won through. I also really would have loved Aunt Ve to give her nieces a crash course in their Craft so they weren’t bumbling about trying to figure it out.
This is a really engaging mystery with some delightful characters in a whimsical setting. The mystery is well executed and it is an easy read. Not sold yet? The paperback edition I bought has glitter stuck to the cover.