Looking for Mr. Good Witch By Joyce & Jim Lavene: Review/Guest Post/Giveaway

Oct 24, 2015 | 2015 Articles, Cynthia Chow, Fantasy & Fangs, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Cynthia Chow

Editor’s Note: It is with a heavy heart that I share that the mystery community has lost a very important member this week with the passing of Joyce Lavene. While I never had the chance to meet her and Jim in person, we’ve been chatting on Facebook for years. She was a great lady and will be greatly missed.

Just recently she sent me a guest post about writing paranormal mysteries that we have posted here and it is my pleasure to share it with all of you, along with a review of their new book Looking For Mr. Good Witch. Details on how to win a copy of the book at the end of this post, along with a link to purchase it.

Looking for Mr. Good Witch: A Retired Witch Mystery By Joyce and Jim Lavene
Review by Cynthia Chow

When their powers began to wane, the three witches—Molly, Elsie, and Olivia—planned to find their successors and retire to Boca Raton. Olivia’s murder only slightly stalled their progress, as the rediscovery of her daughter has Olivia refusing to pass on to the other side now that they are reunited. While Molly and Elise still need to find their replacements and recover their stolen spell book, the truly alarming news comes from Cassandra, an ancient Herald of the Grand Council of Witches. It seems that someone is murdering male witches in a manner that could only possibly have been conducted by a magical being. book

A water witch herself, Molly Renard faces a crisis even more critical to her future. Olivia’s murder forced Molly to let her “mundane” Wilmington police detective husband in on the secret existence of witches, and her own status as a witch. It’s a secret that the Grand Council protects at all costs, and should they discover Joe Renard’s knowledge they would wipe out his memories–and possibly his mind as well. The need to protect her family is what has Molly agreeing to help the mysterious Bone Man find his lost wife whether she wants to be found or not.

This very magical mystery by prolific authors Joyce and Jim Lavene weighs heavily on the paranormal without sacrificing very human drama. Refreshingly, when Joe’s ex-partner, who also happens to be his long-ago ex-wife, returns to help with the serial murder investigations Molly reacts very maturely and without jealous rage or anxiety.

The Lavenes have created a fascinating mythology of witches within the North Carolina port city, as while they have become a very cloistered coven justifiably protective of their existence, it has led to a prejudice towards ghosts and the non-magical population. The friendship between the three witches, and their newest member Dorothy, is the highlight of this series that sprinkles in a vast amount of good humor along with very dire threats. Once again the authors have created a reliably entertaining series with charming characters that hurtles to a surprising and extremely satisfying conclusion.

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

Cape Fear: a good spot to write mysteries!

By Joyce and Jim Lavene, from the Retired Witches Mysteries

We don’t live in the Wilmington/Cape Fear area but we have a great love of the place, visiting several times a year. It’s difficult to explain. It’s the ambiance of it, and the history that you can feel on every street. And of course – the love of pirates!


Joyce & Jim

The name Cape Fear originally comes from the 1585 expedition to the area of Sir Richard Grenville. On his way to Roanoke Island, his ship was stranded and the crew feared for their lives in the rough waters. The name stuck and made it one of the oldest surviving English place names in this country.

The name persisted when pirates began to ply the waters of the Atlantic. People began to fear them more than the waters which also received the nickname Graveyard of the Atlantic. Pirates were so persistent that the English hired privateer bodyguards to protect their ships and citizens. The Spanish sailed with extra ships weighed down by heavy cannons to keep pirates away.


The Cotton Exchange photo is where the witches’ shop is located in the Lavene’s books

One of the most feared and best known pirates of his day was Blackbeard. His fearsome appearance scared many stalwart soldiers into throwing down their weapons and running away. In Wilmington, which was one of the largest cities of its day, citizens dug passages under their houses where they could hide from pirate raids and store their valuables. Just the mention of pirates was enough to make the good people shiver.

You can still walk the cobblestones where Blackbeard strode in his hobnail boots and visit the taverns where he told his tales of the high seas. The Cape Fear River has seen its share of mysteries. A good place for witches, don’t you think?

To enter to win a copy of Looking for Mr. Good Witch, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Good Witch,” 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.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

Click on this link to purchase this book:


  1. Joyce Lavene was an amazing writer her adventures Wisk you away from your trouble’s and into the mysterious. She will be missed.

  2. I, too have sadness in my heart due to the passing of Joyce Lavene. I have yet to read any of Joyce and Jim’s books, but, I have heard so many wonderful things about their writings that I certainly will add some to my to-be-read list.
    Thank you for the intro and review of Looking for Mr. Good Witch.
    Sandy in So. CA

  3. Joyce was an amazing and her passing has left me so very sad. She will be missed so much.

  4. I loved Spell Booked and am eagerly anticipating reading the next installment of the retired witches series. bskts4unme@hotmail.com

  5. very interesting entry, will order this book next. also gave insight into Wilmington and will have to visit. thanks

  6. I was shocked and sadden by the news of Joyce’s passing, and she will be missed by so many people. She was always a sweetheart.

    This book sounds like a delightful cozy with a witch/magical theme. I have always been a fan of fantasy so I am looking forward to reading this book. Thank you for the giveaway.

  7. RIP Joyce. I suppose it’s because I’ve lived inland all my life that I always thought the ‘adventure’ in the US was colonial / pioneer / Old West, and not so much on the coast. Silly me.

  8. I was so very sorry to hear about Joyce’s death — I loved her and her husband’s books! Thanks for offering this one!

  9. I was so sad to hear about Joyce’s passing. My heart goes out to her family and friends. I loved Spellbook, the first in the Retired Witches series. Thank you for offering there latest one.
    jillybeans41@gmail dot com

  10. I was so saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Joyce. I loved her daily facebook postings and her wonderful books. Rip, Joyce.

  11. We lost a great writer and wonderful person. I just love the book by Joyce and Jim Lavene. I am looking forward to reading Looking for Mr. Good Witch. It looks like it will be another winner! Thank you for a chance to win!

  12. So sad to hear of Joyce Lavene’s passing! My heart goes out to her husband Jim and all her family and friends! Such a loss! Have been a fan of their series A MISSING PIECES MYSTERY from the beginning! Again, sorry for the loss of a wonderful author that will certainly be missed in more ways than one! R.I.P. Joyce!

  13. I love this series and this was a great review. Thanks for the chance to win.

  14. I never had the pleasure of meeting Joyce in person, but I have shared many of Joyce & Jim’s books on my blog. I was happy to get to know Joyce through their wonderful books. Anytime I shared one of their books on my blog, Joyce took time out of her busy day to comment on my posts, converse with other commentors, and share my posts on social media. The cozy world definitely lost someone special. My heart goes out to Jim and all of Joyce’s family. I loved the first book in this series and am looking forward to reading this one.

  15. Joyce was an amazing talent. So sorry to hear of her passing.
    Thank you for the giveaway chance. The book sounds good!

  16. Love their books would love to win on

  17. Sorry to hear about Joyce. Would love to win your book.

  18. We have a winner
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher


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