Review: What’s a Witch to Do? by Jennifer Harlow

May 8, 2013 Reviews 0 Comments

Review: What’s a Witch to Do? by Jennifer HarlowWhat’s a Witch to Do? by Jennifer Harlow
Series: A Midnight Magic Mystery #1
Genres: Paranormal Mystery
Published by Midnight Ink on 8 March 2013
Pages: 336
One StarOne StarOne Star


What’s a Witch to Do? is a charming, light novel that has elements of paranormal romance, cozy mystery and urban fantasy. I loved the first two novels in the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigations series and couldn’t wait to rip into this one. It is not necessary to have read those books to fully appreciate this one but they are lots of fun.

Mona McGregor is a very busy woman and just reading the first few pages exhausted me. Not only does she manage an occult shop, she is the High Priestess of a large coven and is raising her sister’s children.  It is an odd situation as although she has given so much of her life to others, very few people are actually willing to step up and help her out when she discovers that one of her own coven wants her dead. Jason, the alpha werewolf, and Lord Thomas, the vampire leader, who are part of a Preternatural Co-Op along with Mona provide her little assistance once they are no longer personally affected. The only one who gives a damn is Adam Blue, Jason’s beta. You can guess where this story leads. Adam is very unusual for a werewolf as although he is protective, strong etc.,  he is quite happy being a beta and following orders. He nominates himself as Mona’s bodyguard but rather than accept his assistance, she often uses him as a nanny for her nieces. Adam quickly develops a relationship with the girls who have distinct ‘mummy issues’. Mona has quite low self-confidence and this is reinforced by those around her who criticise her appearance, attitude and actions. Mona’s self-doubts started to grate as I don’t see how someone who was so in charge of both her life and the people around her could be so tentative.

Mona’s detective skills need brushing up as they were quite amateur. I kept thinking that someone who is one of the strongest witches in the region should be able to whip up a potion to point out the perpetrator or if that was not possible, she could be more discreet in interrogating people. The jump from the climax to the denouement was fairly abrupt and upset the pacing. One minor quibble was the swearing – I have no issues with potty mouth syndrome as long as it fits the context. Mona and others dropping the f-bomb was jarring as it didn’t seem to fit the characters or the style of the novel.

This is a good start to a new aspect of the F.R.E.A.K.S. world. Harlow has a variety of avenues she can explore if she chooses to turn this into a new series. I’d like to know the extent of the nieces’ magical knowledge, what happened to their mother and how much of an upset any children of a witch and werewolf pairing would cause.

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