by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of the post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to order it from Amazon.
For over four-hundred years the Warren family of witches have helped their town of Evenfall, Connecticut, but Brynn Warren lost her ability to communicate with ghosts after the devastating death of her beloved husband. The tragedy of an appropriately named widow-maker heart attack was compounded by the loss of her powers, but she was able to regain them by solving a murder that occurred in her family’s B&B. It looks like that was just the start of her appeal for ghosts seeking justice, as the spirit of the late and now cranky Mort Sweete has just landed in front of her. Despite Brynn’s declarations that her gifts are to guide spirits to the other side and not to help her be an amateur detective, Mort insists that he was poisoned and wants justice. Helping Mort will at least give Brynn an excuse to stay out of the Ivywood Hollow Bed-and-Breakfast, where her aunts Izzy and Nora are determined that their niece find a new love despite her protests.
Even though Brynn has now recovered her gift as a witch of the dead, Mort refuses to let her act as a mediary between him and his friends or even with his wife. As a result, Brynn must again do a shoe-leather investigation tracking down the poison that may have been placed in the candy maker’s last bite of chocolate. A handsome gardener with a cultivated collection of lethal plants, a former business partner and his ambitious wife, and Mort’s own literally explosive temperament will all challenge Brynn as she attempts to prevent another sweet death and avoid Aunt Izzy’s attempts at matchmaking.
This second in the series by one of my favorite authors continues to mix a smattering of witchcraft with a small-town practical investigation. While Brynn adamantly declares that she is done with love after having lost her True Love, her aunts and uncle refute that through their own tragic but rewarding tales. The twist of their telling one another’s and not their own only emphasizes the bittersweetness of their stories, especially when it comes with their need to have Brynn move on even if they can’t.
Providing lots of moral support and maybe a few clues are the B&B’s Maine Coon Faustus and a crow named Dog, the latter of whom indeed behaves more like man’s best friend than an ominous avian. Brynn’s love of her town and her family is obvious through the lovingly detailed descriptions of their inn, the surrounding land, and their unique abilities. Acerbic Evanora Warren can bloom flowers and control them with just a few words, while optimistic Izzy bends people’s wills through her cooking. While so many in Ivywood Hollow share histories of lost loves and tragic romances, a sense of hope prevails strong enough to break down the nearly insurmountable walls around Brynn’s protective heart. Compelling tales of love, magical interference, and adorable animal companions make this a riveting mystery solved by a vulnerable, but growing stronger by the day, and appealing heroine.
To enter to win a copy of When the Crow’s Away, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “crow,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 14, 2022. U.S. residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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