Caught Dead Handed (A Witch City Mystery) by Carol J. Perry

Caught Dead Handed

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

When Maralee’s race car driving husband is killed in an automobile accident, Maralee decides to return to Salem, Massachusetts where she was raised by her Aunt Ibby. While staying with her aunt, Maralee hopes to land a job as an investigative reporter, but when she shows up for her interview, she discovers the position has already been filled. However, fate intervenes in an odd way. As Maralee returns to her car, she is hears what sounds like a cell phone ringing. Following the sound, she discovers the very dead body of the television station’s late night movie host and resident psychic. As horrifying as it was to find the body, the fact is the station now needs a permanent replacement for the former late night host. Maralee, who’s professional name is Lee Barrett, is in town and available so she lands the job. The only problem is, Lee knows nothing about the occult and is definitely not psychic-or so she thought.

I was a bit skeptical when I first picked this book up thinking that it would be either be a cutsey “good witch’ tale or ridiculously hokey. It is neither. Ms Perry has launched a wonderful new series deemed the “Witch City Mysteries,” and with Caught Dead Handed has introduced a very believable set of characters led by the protagonist Lee Barrett. Her Aunt Ibby and the cat O’Ryan make great companions for Lee. I would hope that in future books the protagonist is called either Lee or Maralee in the entire book. It’s a little confusing having with both names used.

The plot was well done with an interesting twist involving a couple of characters. However I suspect most readers figured out the twist way before it was revealed and therefore figured out who the murderer was well before the end of the book. But that’s okay in this case as the book set up the series quite nicely. I look forward to the next Witch City Mystery.

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