Book 1 in the Witchless in Seattle series
Author Dakota Cassidy
Narrated by Hollie Jackson
Published by Tantor Media
Publication date Jun 21, 2016
Running time 7 hrs
Audiobook provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Hello. My name is Stevie Cartwright, and I’ve been witchless for thirty days.
If only there was a support group for down-on-their-luck ex-witches who’ve had their powers slapped right out of them (literally). Just as I was licking my wounds after returning to my hometown of Ebenezer Falls, Washington, and navigating my suddenly non-magical existence with the help of my familiar, Belfry, things got sticky.
Enter an ex-spy and newly departed spirit named Winterbottom, who’s infiltrated my life with his sexy British accent and a couple of requests . . .
Thanks to Belfry’s successful attempt to use me as a human antenna to the afterlife, I can somehow hear Win. I should be ecstatic; helping departed souls used to be my witch specialty. It’s like I got the teensiest piece of my old life back. Except Win’s dropped me right at a dead woman’s feet . . . https://tantor.com/witch-slapped-dakota-cassidy.html
This story features witty dialogue in a first person narrative. It also features a cottonball bat (see picture below).
The story starts off with Stevie and her bat familiar, Belfry, trying to figure out life without magic. The only problem is that she still hears from the dead through Belfry. When she discovers a body, she becomes a suspect in the mysterious death with only her bat-friend and the ghost trying to help her solve the mystery.
I did find the story cute; but as with the other story by Cassidy I read, THE ACCIDENTAL DRAGON, I found the story inconsistent. At one point they discuss Baba Yaga taking her powers and closer to the end they discuss her having lost them another way. Also, if she no longer has powers, how does she talk to her familar or to a ghost? When they enter a shop wherein they find a dead body she can smell herbs, a cologne and other subtleties, but not the dead body?
There is some real suspense that really could have gone either way. The friendship that develops between Stevie and the ghost, Her Majesty’s late spy, Winterbottom is charming.
The narrator does a great job with the English accent, but the way she reads the story sometimes sounds like she is reading a picture book to children. Sometimes, I cannot tell whether a character is a child or a woman, as in the case of the dead person’s granddaughter. She gives the bat a very high, squeaky voice.
I find the characters fun, or scary, depending on who they are, and I enjoy the aforementioned witty dialogue. The general plot is fun, but the details occasionally feel sloppy. Several story lines set up the next book rather neatly; but they are such that their resolution would effectively end the series. And, who can resist a fluffy, white talking bat?
Is something still a cozy mystery if there is quite a lot of violence?
If you like a paranormal mystery where the characters and plot are better than the mystery part then this might be great for you!