Book Review: The Goodbye Witch by Heather Blake
Saying Goodbye is Never Easy
It's hard to say if the latest installment of The Wishcraft Mysteries really would be considered a mystery. There are elements to it being classified as one, but I think it was more for the series' sake.
In The Goodbye Witch wishcrafter Darcy Merriweather has a lot on her mind which she's not too happy about. The first and foremost thing bothering her is her upcoming birthday, second she has a feeling a good friend of hers is about to pass away and the third is helping to clear her friend, Starla Sullivan of murder.
Starla has been the only one to see her ex-husband fugitive Kyle Chadwick around the Enchanted Village. Kyle's been on the run for two years and his reappearance has startled her. Since she's the only one who can see him, she's afraid for her life as Kyle tried to kill her prior to his arrest.
The Chadwick's were the perfect couple in the village and the residents thought for sure the union would last forever. However, after three months into the marriage, Kyle's behavior began to change and he became very abusive toward Starla. As an emerging artist, his art went from serene to macabre.
On the day Starla first sees him in the town square, she takes pictures of him but when her camera is checked for the said pictures they've all been deleted. Surveillance footage just shows the camera rising by itself. When Darcy discovers his body the next day at Starla's house, Starla becomes the prime suspect, along with her boyfriend Vince.
All evidence points to Starla being the murderer and she waits to be arrested for the murder, but additional surveillance footage shows unnatural activity at Starla's house.
With her mind on the murder, Darcy also has to face the fact that her friend, Mrs. Pennywhistle, is fast approaching death. She hadn't noticed it earlier but within a few days she's come to realize Mrs. Pennywhistle's days are numbered which puts Darcy into denial (which she also tries to do with her birthday).
Author Heather Blake does a good job with this installment and tackles issues such as domestic violence and impending death. Blake also uses a flashback to a previous installment (which was good) but then starts to use it too much for this installment. Something written 20-30 pages ago pops up again as a current flashback which tended to be a little annoying.
As a fan of this series I wasn't satisfied with the somewhat hokey ending and as I said I'm really not sure how to classify this installment. It does make you think about life, death and saying goodbye to loved ones, but I think it would have been much better as a stand alone novel.
After this past winter season, I wonder if Blake herself isn't a "weathercrafter" since there's multiple snowstorms, frigid temperatures and the peacefulness of the season. If she is able to predict the weather, then we need more snow!