Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Potions Eleven (Fair Witch Sisters #2), by Christy Murphy

Christy Murphy, November 2018

Joy and Didi Fair survived their trial before the witches' High Council, but they are not yet cleared of the suspicion of possibly being too susceptible to the dark side of magic. They're pursuing their new career as private detectives, but they need to be really careful, and they've mostly been taking trademark cases referred to them from Didi's former employer.

Then Joy, perhaps unwisely, decides that in order to practice their magic and gain greater control of it, they should have wands. They head off to the other side to do some shopping, and they meet Evelyn Carson Barber, famous actress, relatively secret witch.

Evelyn wants them to find her stolen book of spells, discreetly, before her carelessness in failing to secure it becomes common knowledge. Well, common knowledge in the witch community. She doesn't want her reputation damaged.

What she doesn't tell them at first is that there is dark magic apparently on the rise, and it started after her book was stolen. Evelyn wants her book back; she'd also be happy to see any blame for the dark magic fall on the Fair sisters, rather than her.

What follows is a struggle to figure out what's really going on, even as the sisters continue to struggle with mastering their magic, and their relationships with their familiars evolve. The actual theft of the book was captured on Evelyn's security cameras. Four high school students broke in; one of them snuck off from the other three and made a beeline to where Evelyn had hidden her book.

So, why did this teenager want the book? How did he even know about it?

And who is driving the creepy white van the kids sometimes ride in?

At first, they keep amassing more and more facts, but nothing is coming together. And while they're doing more with their magic, it still tends to work in unexpected and sometimes undesirable ways. Are the sisters risking damning themselves in the eyes of the Council, even as they try to help their client?

Oh, and one of Joy's most reliable bits of magic, other than the "seeing future death" thing, what she calls her "Jedi mind trick," turns out to have some serious pitfalls.

For all the potential dire consequences for the sisters, this is basically a light, fun, enjoyable mystery. Recommended.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the author, and am reviewing it voluntarily.