Review: Witch Way to Murder

Title: Witch Way to Murder
Author: Shirley Damsgaard
Place/s visited:

  • Summerset, Iowa

I was quite excited to read this one as it presented a great, new opportunity for me to enjoy a new book. The story had a slow start but the action and mystery sure did pick up right towards the later part of the novel.

Ophelia Jensen is a librarian at a small public library in Summerset, Iowa. Unbeknownst to other residents, Ophelia and her grandma Abby possess psychic gifts although Ophelia is quite adamant about not using it after it had seemed to fail her by not preventing her friend Brian’s murder when she was still working at the University of Iowa.

Fast forward four years, her talents started manifesting again following a murder whose victim Ophelia and one of the other main characters, Rick, found. What ensued was a bizarre mix of petty crimes and incidents which dropped hints and clues here and there leading towards the big finish, some romance, which, although quite obvious, did not develop that naturally to my taste, some humor provided by the protagonist’s sidekick, Darci, and a quite satisfactory ending.

The mystery in itself was a bit convoluted although the author tried her best to tie things up at the end. While I like that Ophelia did finally want to move past her reticence and reluctance in using her gifts, there were times when she was just a tad irritating in insisting on locking away her potential. Her moments of helplessness were quite maddening, too. Rick, on the other hand, while described as charming by the author, was just annoying at the start after dogging Ophelia and the others with his questions. He later mellowed and started redeeming himself in my eyes. Trust me, it took a really long time before I started to be okay with him. Haha!

My favorite characters would have to be Darci and Abby. Though they weren’t as fleshed out as Ophelia in characterization, they’ve more than made up for it with their spunk, wit and humor.

For my final notes, I would gladly return to Summerset and revisit these characters but that may take a while as I have decided to explore other books for the Paranormal Reading Challenge 2017. (I have just updated the list of what books I’ll be reading and reviewing for that particular challenge so you might want to check that out. ^_^)

If you’re into witches and cozy murder mysteries, then Witch Way to Murder is a good choice to pass the time especially on a cold, rainy afternoon like we’re having in Cebu today. 🙂

Verdict: A light carry-on luggage / a fun start to a new series; okay enough while waiting for your flight to be called for boarding

I’m reviewing this book as part of the Paranormal Reading Challenge 2017.
Sign-ups open throughout the year–!

Book image owned by the author and publisher.
Original image of the world map from
All other images in this post are copyrighted by The Traveling Reader, 2017.

The A-Z Reading Challenge

Islandhopper or Ihop introduced a new reading challenge on meant especially for those who are guilty of hoarding books yet can’t find time to read (was she talking about me? hehe).
One rule is that for every letter in the alphabet, you have to pick one author that you haven’t read yet and get to know him/her. And you have to finish everything on your list in a year’s time.
Sounds cool, right? I know you want to join in on the fun so click here. 😀

my author picks

I miss some letters, you say? Well, that’s because I’m forbidden to acquire more books until we could get our house in order. 😦
In a few weeks, we would be moving temporarily somewhere else and most of my books are safely stowed in a box ready to be hauled as soon as we have to go. The books mentioned above are the only ones I have within easy reach. But I still have a year anyway to complete this challenge so who knows? I might be able to find the “missing” authors just in time. 🙂

Ihop blogs about this here.
You can check out I Flip Pages from my sidebar under La Book-aracha.

Image above features fonts downloaded from various internet sources.
Collage © Pachuvachuva, 2010.

To join said challenge, please register on Shelfari first by clicking on here.


Movie fans, please hold on to yours seats and don’t go rushing to the nearest theater as this is not a movie. Nope. This is hardly a third sequel of some B-grade horror film but a rather a new book reading challenge that I’m rather excited to join in after seeing this on xicanti at livejournal. Big thanks to Memory who posted this one on her blog as she couldn’t wait to get started.

R.I.P. or R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril is an annual reading challenge hosted by Carl V. Anderson of Now on its fourth run, the challenge still remains true to its very essence — to promote the love of reading. As Carl put it:

My goal as host of the R.I.P. IV Challenge is to provide you with the opportunity to read some great books, share your thoughts on them with others, and perhaps make some new acquaintances along the way.

the official RIP IV banner by carl of
The official RIP IV banner. Artwork by Carl of

The Challenge

It’s so easy that you would ace this blindfolded (well, not really as you need your eyes open to read but you get my point. 😉 )

  1. Have fun reading.
  2. The theme revolves around mystery, suspense, thriller, dark fantasy, gothic, horror, and the supernatural. Your reading pool may feature any books/materials in any of those genres. However, so as not to put off people who barely have time to read yet want to join, Carl created mini challenges:

    RIP IV-peril the first

    Peril the First:
    Read four books of any length, from any subgenre of scary stories that you choose.

    RIP IV- peril the second

    Peril the Second:
    Read two books of any length, from any subgenre of scary stories that you choose.

    RIP IV-peril the third

    Peril the Third:
    Read one book of any length, from any of the subgenres listed earlier in the post.

  3. Share that fun with others.
    You can either include your name on Carl’s list or send your reviews to the official R.I.P. IV Review Site.

This challenge is open from September 1st to October 31st so plenty of time to read, read, read (the fact that it’s in time for the Halloween makes this even more fun! 😀 ) . I have not yet decided on what I should include in my reading pool but for sure there will be Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Might swing by Booksale before my flight today to get a copy if they have one. 🙂

Visit to get more info on the challenge and some freebies and giveaways. ^_^
The angel image was taken using Chen’s Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS3 during the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo event at CICC during the meet-up with Blooey, and edited for the purpose of this post. This is my take on the RIP IV challenge. *wink*

The official RIP IV Challenge and Peril banners are property of Carl and and are used only to make this post even more interesting. Thanks, Carl! 😉

Read Your Way Around the World

This is a re-post of the original content on Gobal Voices Online.


global voices book challenge read your way around the world

April 23 is UNESCO World Book Day – and just because the Global Voices team loves blogs, doesn’t mean we have forgotten other forms of the written word! In fact, because we think reading literature is such an enjoyable way to learn about another culture, we have a fun challenge for all Global Voices contributors and readers, and bloggers everywhere.

The Global Voices Book Challenge is as follows:

1) Read a book during the next month from a country whose literature you have never read anything of before.

2) Write a blog post about it during the week of April 23.

UPDATE: Tag your posts with #gvbook09 so we can find your posts.

If you would like to know what you should be reading from Vietnam, Bolivia, Mozambique or New Zealand, or any other country, just ask in the comments below! Someone is sure to give you suggestions.

And if you have any recommendations for any must-read works from your own country, please leave a comment too.

Once you have read your book (and written a post!) let us know – we’d love to discover what you learned on your literary expedition.

Feel free to use the images to spread the word of the Global Voices Book Challenge!