Saturday, July 31, 2021

Review: A Spell of Murder by Clea Simon


About the Book

Paranormal, Cozy Mystery


Polis Books

Release Date
December 11, 2018

Synopsis from Goodreads:

“It’s Harriet’s fault. It’s always her fault, not that she’ll ever admit it.” So begins A Spell of Murder: A Witch Cats of Cambridge mystery, the first in a new cozy series that mixes feline fiction with a touch of the paranormal, and a little romance as well.

Becca, newly single and newly unemployed, wants to believe she has psychic powers. With nothing but time – and a desire for empowerment – she’s studying to become a witch. What she doesn’t know is that her three cats – Harriet, Laurel, and Clara – are the ones with the real power. And when Harriet – “a cream-colored longhair with more fur than commonsense” – conjures a pillow for her own comfort, Becca believes her spells are finally working. Could that be why Trent, the coven’s devilishly handsome leader, has been showing her special attention? Or why Suzanne, a longtime coven member, draws her aside to share a secret – a confidence that may lead to murder?

My Review

Rebecca “Becca” Colwin has quite a bit on her plate.  She just broke up with her boyfriend, Jeff, and she recently found herself without a job.  She has much free time so she joins a Wiccan coven and studies on becoming a witch.  She is convinced she has psychic powers.

However, Becca’s three sister cats are the ones with the powers.  When one of them conjures a pillow to lie on, Becca is convinced one of her own spells worked.  She doesn’t know it, but her three cats are watching over her at all times.

When a fellow coven member turns up dead, Becca is thought to be the prime suspect.  She is determined to prove her innocence and her kitties are just as determined to help her.

This is a clever paranormal, cozy mystery and the first in the Witch Cats of Cambridge series.  For me, the main stars are the three sister cats - Harriet, Laurel and Clara.  Clara follows Becca around at all times to protect her while the other two cats are a bit older and aren’t quite as worried.  The dialogue between the cats - they don’t speak to the humans - is clever, witty and exactly what I would expect cats to say.  They had me laughing and smiling throughout the book.  

The storyline is intriguing and there are a few different potential suspects.  I was on the wrong track which made the ending that much more surprising for me.

I’m looking forward to reading more in this series.  If book one is anything to go by, it should be a great ride.

For reading challenges:

The Purrfect Reading Challenge 2021
What An Animal Reading Challenge 2021
Literary Escapes Reading Challenge 2021 (Massachusetts)
The Backlist Reading Challenge 2021

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a free Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.


  1. That looks good. The kitty on the cover reminds me of my Angel Lucy. XO

  2. The fact that the cats have the power made me laugh. This sounds like a fun read!


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