by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of Look Both Ways, along with a link to purchase the book.
After her television show as a television psychic was cancelled, Lee Bartlett began her life over by returning home to live with her aunt in Salem, Massachusetts. An opportunity to teach television production at the Tabitha Trumbull Academy of the Arts has given her a path toward a new career, and a fire at her Aunt Isobel Russell’s home has Lee rebuilding from scratch in their renovated upstairs apartment. So when they see a bureau identical to that of Lee’s childhood being featured on a local televised shopping network, Lee immediately heads off to buy it at Tolliver’s Antiques and Uniques. The beautiful piece does contain the same six hidden compartments of Lee’s lost bureau, but it also is unexpectedly accessorized by a tragic history of last being owned by a murdered heiress, Helena Trent.
While that notorious murder concluded with the arrest of her second husband Tommy Trent, a new mystery arises when Lee returns to Tolliver’s only to find the body of its owner, Shea Tolliver. Lee’s boyfriend Detective Pete Mondello rightfully worries that she may now also be in danger, as she is also now the owner of a bureau associated with Helena Trent’s missing pink diamond. Lee herself is far more concerned with understanding the visions of Helena Trent she’s begun seeing, although for once they are not terrifying predictions of death and pain. A scryer whose “gift” caused her to see her parents’ death when she was only a child, that trauma has Lee fearing her visions more than accepting them. Lee’s aunt and fellow witch River North attempt to counsel Lee into accepting her powers, but being unable to share this secret with Pete is proving to be a huge stumbling block in their relationship.
A distraction arrives when Lee volunteers to be the property manager for her school’s summer theater program. Not only does this assignment to acquire antique set props ease her way into look further into the life and activities of Shea Tolliver and Helena Trent, it also conveniently allows Lee to do some much-needed shopping to fill her empty apartment. Guided by her growing powers, River’s on-the-point tarot card readings, and a reference book on dreams, Lee begins to understand a mystery that leads back to clues hidden in the bureau’s compartments.
Lee’s truly magical extended family proves to be as charming as this town of Salem. Humor and practicality help Lee cope with this new realm of magic, and the genuine likability of the town’s residents ensure that readers will similarly enjoy Salem.
The author uses Lee’s visions sparingly to enhance the plot, but when combined with her intelligence, she’s propelled toward solving the murders. Her tabby O’Ryan is the most enchanting aspect of this series, as not only does this former familiar of a witch bring an ample amount of humor with his silent commentary, his presence helps to calm Lee as she struggles with her insights. This third of the Witch City mystery series continues to entertain by blending the paranormal with a deftly-crafted story.
To enter to win a copy of Look Both Ways, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Look,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 31, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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