Book Reviews & Giveaway: Witch City Mystery Series #1-3 (Caught Dead Handed, Tails, You Lose & Look Both Ways) by Carol J Perry

Posted November 10, 2015 by Melissa in Book Review, Giveaway | 30 Comments

Book Reviews & Giveaway: Witch City Mystery Series #1-3 (Caught Dead Handed, Tails, You Lose & Look Both Ways) by Carol J Perry

Caught Dead Handed

Book Reviews & Giveaway: Witch City Mystery Series #1-3 (Caught Dead Handed, Tails, You Lose & Look Both Ways) by Carol J PerryTitle: Caught Dead Handed
Series: Witch City Mystery #1
Author: Carol J Perry
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: September 2nd 2014
Target Audience: Adult
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Paranormal
Length: 416 Pages
Source: My Personal Bookshelf
Format: eBook
Find It: Goodreads
Buy It: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
My Rating:

She's not a psychic--she just plays one on TV.

Most folks associate the city of Salem, Massachusetts with witches, but for Lee Barrett, it's home. This October she's returned to her hometown--where her beloved Aunt Ibby still lives--to interview for a job as a reporter at WICH-TV. But the only opening is for a call-in psychic to host the late night horror movies. It seems the previous host, Ariel Constellation, never saw her own murder coming.

Lee reluctantly takes the job, but when she starts seeing real events in the obsidian ball she's using as a prop, she wonders if she might really have psychic abilities. To make things even spookier, it's starting to look like Ariel may have been an actual practicing witch--especially when O'Ryan, the cat Lee and Aunt Ibby inherited from her, exhibits some strange powers of his own. With Halloween fast approaching, Lee must focus on unmasking a killer--or her career as a psychic may be very short lived. . .

My Thoughts

Between that cover and the synopsis, I was hooked before even picking the first in the Witch City Mystery series up. That can be a recipe for disaster, but in this case I was happy that my instincts did not steer me wrong!

Three reasons I loved Caught Dead Handed

  • SALEM – Need I say more? I lived in Salem for quite some time and that city (which really has a New England small town feel) will forever hold a special place in my heart. If a book is set in Salem it almost guarantees that I’ll pick it up and most likely love it! The fact that the author,  Carol J Perry, hails from Salem gives Caught Dead Handed an authenticity that I loved…though of course this is fiction and there were times that I was just shaking my head about building locations and distances…why would you take a cab somewhere that you could walk??
  • CATS – O’Ryan/Orion makes this story. I love that he gets a prominent role and not just a walk on part. He is a true witch’s cat and does his part to help Lee solve the mystery.
  • WITCHES – Of course, what is October (or any time for that matter) in Salem without witches? I love that Perry really gives the reader a taste of the real Salem and real witches.  We see the good, the bad, the fake and the real and it puts it all in great perspective.

Tails, You Lose

Book Reviews & Giveaway: Witch City Mystery Series #1-3 (Caught Dead Handed, Tails, You Lose & Look Both Ways) by Carol J PerryTitle: Tails, You Lose
Series: Witch City Mystery #2
Author: Carol J Perry
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: March 31st 2015
Target Audience: Adult
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Paranormal
Length: 352 Pages
Source: My Personal Bookshelf
Format: eBook
Find It: Goodreads
Buy It: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
My Rating:

Her instincts may be killer--but can she catch one this wicked?

After losing her job as a TV psychic, Lee Barrett has decided to volunteer her talents as an instructor at the Tabitha Trumbull Academy of the Arts--known as "The Tabby"--in her hometown of Salem, Massachusetts. But when the school's handyman turns up dead under seemingly inexplicable circumstances on Christmas night, Lee's clairvoyant capabilities begin bubbling to the surface once again.

The Tabby is housed in the long-vacant Trumbull's Department Store. As Lee and her intrepid students begin work on a documentary charting the store's history, they unravel a century of family secrets, deathbed whispers--and a mysterious labyrinth of tunnels hidden right below the streets of Salem. Even the witches in town are spooked, and when Lee begins seeing visions in the large black patent leather pump in her classroom, she's certain something evil is afoot. But ghosts in the store's attic are the least of her worries with a killer on the loose. . .

My Thoughts

Another fun edition in the Witch Mystery Series, Tails, You Lose may actually be even better that Caught Dead Handed. I love first books in series…that whole getting to know you honeymoon period with new characters and places. Tails, You Lose did a great job of building on the first in the series.

Lee grows as a character.

I love how much more we get to know her and her personality.  We know her back story and her insecurities and can really feel her personal struggle with acknowledging and accepting and even using her special talents.

The budding relationship with Pete, the police detective and her struggles to keep her abilities a secret add extra dimension to the story. The relationship moves nice and slowly and it feels very grownup and real.

Cats make everything better!

O’Ryan lends his help as usual (with an assist from all the neighborhood cats) and makes me wonder why every book doesn’t have cats!

We also get to know Lee’s Aunt Ibby even better…and who wouldn’t love a partially retired reference librarian who organizes her home library by Dewey decimal system.

Look Both Ways

Book Reviews & Giveaway: Witch City Mystery Series #1-3 (Caught Dead Handed, Tails, You Lose & Look Both Ways) by Carol J PerryTitle: Look Both Ways
Series: Witch City Mystery #3
Author: Carol J Perry
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: October 27th 2015
Target Audience: Adult
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Paranormal
Length: 352 Pages
Source: Publisher
Format: eARC
Find It: Goodreads
Buy It: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
My Rating:

In Salem, Massachusetts, there are secret everywhere--even in the furniture. . .

When Lee Barrett spots the same style oak bureau she once had as a child on the WICH-TV show, Shopping Salem, she rushes to the antiques shop and buys the piece. Just like the beloved bureau she lost in a fire, this one has secret compartments. It also comes with an intriguing history--it was purchased in an estate sale from a home where a famous local murder took place.

The day after the bureau is delivered, Lee returns to the antiques shop and finds the owner dead. The police suspect the shop owner's unscrupulous business partner, but Lee wonders if the murder is connected to her new furniture. At least part of the answer may be revealed through a mirror in the bureau, tarnished and blackened, allowing Lee to tap into her psychic visions. Using this bureau of investigation, Lee may be able to furnish her policeman beau with the evidence needed to catch the killer--before the next one to be shut up is her. . .

My Thoughts

Look Both Ways, the third in the charming Witch City Mystery series doesn’t disappoint. We have all the expected charm of New England, old Victorians, cats, witches, antiques, and retired librarians that we have come to expect from this series.

I can’t say enough about how much I love the atmosphere that Perry creates in these books. Some readers may find the details pedantic (and perhaps a bit too “chick lit”) for their taste, but I love being able to see, feel, smell and taste the world that is being created.

I loved watching Lee struggle with how to move forward in her relationship with Pete while keeping such a huge secret. Trust and honesty are key in any relationship and she starts buckling a bit under the strain of not being able to tell Pete how she’s figuring out certain aspects of the puzzle. And more importantly as she starts to embrace this part of herself, she knows that she will need him to be able to do the same in order for their relationship to move forward.

As with the previous two books, Look Both Ways is a “traditional” paranormal cozy…lots of possible suspects, too many coincidences, plenty of red herrings and maybe a bit too obvious of a conclusion, but none of that take away from the great writing, characters, setting and charm that this series holds.

I can’t wait for Book 4 in the Witch City Mystery series!

 

If you enjoyed these reviews, please consider liking them on Amazon: Caught Dead Handed | Tails, You Lose | Look Both Ways.

 

Giveaway

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About Carol J Perry

Carol Perry

Carol J. Perry knew as a child that she wanted to be a writer. A voracious reader, whose list for Santa consisted mostly of book titles, she never lost sight of that goal. While living in Florida, Carol was on assignment for Southern Travel Magazine, preparing an article on the world’s tallest sand castle which was being built near her home. That combination of events inspired her first young adult novel, Sand Castle Summer. That book was soon followed by half a dozen more. Always an avid reader of mysteries, Carol Perry’s debut mystery novel is set in Salem and involves a mysterious cat, several witches and some strange Halloween happenings. Appropriately enough, this Salem-born author celebrates her birthday on Halloween eve!

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30 responses to “Book Reviews & Giveaway: Witch City Mystery Series #1-3 (Caught Dead Handed, Tails, You Lose & Look Both Ways) by Carol J Perry

    • Melissa

      Oh come on…it’s cute! LOLOL

      PS. Shame on you for never visiting Salem! There are so many great things to see and do there: The House of Seven gables, the Salem Maritime National Historic Site & the Friendship etc!

  1. Kathleen Costa

    I love the themes of these books, and am a big fan! Thanks for the review and thoughts, plus a great giveaway!

  2. Witchy mystery books are all the rage the last couple of years. I’m amazed at how fast authors are churning these little gems out. I wish I could write that quickly. Salem is on my bucket list to visit. I’m sure you have to book early for hotels and tours, especially around Halloween. But what an awesome place to be!
    Patricia @ Lady with Books recently posted…Owl Crate October 2015My Profile

  3. Just ordered Caught Dead Handed via your Amazon link. I’m looking forward to starting this series.

    I’m new to your blog and look forward to following along.

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