Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Serial Killers' Featured Review: The Witch is Dead by Shirley Damsgaard

Want to know more about the idea behind Serial Killers? This post is the place to start.

This month's book is The Witch is Dead the 5th book in the Ophelia and Abby Mystery series by Shirley Damsgaard. I'm the established reader and Odd is new to the series...

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Life is busier than ever for witch Ophelia Jensen. In addition to her day job at the library, she--with the help of her grandmother Abby--is preparing to officially adopt Tink, the young medium she's taken under her wing. So when Ophelia's elderly Aunt Dot, eager for adventure, wants to investigate the murder of a funeral director in the neighboring town, Ophelia tries to say no. But then Tink's dog pulls a skull out of the woods--a skull that may belong to a murder victim.

Finding mysterious bones in the woods isn't the only strange thing that's happened to Tink lately. She's been having visions of ghastly ghosts imploring her for help. But before Ophelia can connect the apparitions with the murder, Tink is kidnapped Ophelia and Abby will have to battle a creepy crematorium owner and an invasion from some modern-day body snatchers to find their protege . . . or else they'll have to hold a seance just to speak to her again.

Odd's Thoughts:
Serial Killer Casualty: Odd had a DNF at 20 pages!

My Thoughts: I don't know if it's really fair to say that I'm "established" with this series because it's been almost 4 years since I last read anything in it and, quite frankly, I remember ... not much of what came before. There was possibly a summer camp. Or maybe it was a beach cottage. Or... a cabin? No, that doesn't seem right. The point I'm trying to make is that I vaguely remember the characters. You know, if I tilt my head and squint. I mean, I did remember that Abby was Ophelia's grandma and Ophelia had rescued Tink from some very bad goings on but beyond that ... *deer in the headlights stare*

So... there's a murder. Ophelia's known for stumbling over dead bodies and, sure enough, bodies start popping up. Skulls and ghostly visitations are flying left and right. Not literally. Ophelia and her grandma have to deal with the pesky Appalachian aunt who never comes down off the mountain and wants some adventure before heading home. Tink disappears! More bodies! Sexy dude from the previous book (or possibly the one before that) that I don't remember at all but now want Ophelia to hook up with!

Fairly enjoyable and nicely gruesome, I probably could have used a refresher course before slipping back into this series. One of the mysteries completely stymied me since I had such a vague recollection of the previous books. Which goes to show you that after 4 years I have no memory. Sad.

Kelly: I actually downgraded my original rating from 4 to 3 stars after this reread (to be honest, if Goodreads allowed half stars it probably would have been downgraded further to a 2.5). I last read this book in 2008 so it's been a while and I had a tough time remembering who was who and why I needed to know them. This made it difficult to get into the flow of the story.

Ophelia acts like she's ANCIENT at times. This makes me laugh because I think she's supposed to be in her early to mid 30s. Clearly that's not old. Amirite?

Odd: Dude, I'm 37. Ophelia was acting like she was 47 and I was guessing the book wanted us to think Cobra kept looking at her and was all OH YEAH.

Hung Jury
In this case, reading previous books in the series seemed to be the tipping point between caring about the characters and not giving a rat's ass. Ophelia's character, especially, lost a lot in the reread and poor Odd didn't care for her AT ALL.

Books in this series
1. Witch Way to Murder
2. Charmed to Death
3. The Trouble with Witches
4. Witch Hunt
5. The Witch is Dead - Paperback | Kindle
6. The Witch's Grave
7. The Seventh Witch

Author Links
| Website | Amazon |


  1. Ha! Thank you for the laugh this morning, ladies.

    1. You must have seen the unedited version. Lol! We decided to remove some of our email exchange on account of Odd not being able to finish the book.

    2. I was giggling over Odd's commentary about what Ophelia needs.

  2. I love your review!

    I am actually on the first book in the series for my book club and really loving it! I think I will stick with it as I love her writing :)

    1. I liked the series as a whole the first time around but it loses something when you step into the 5th book and can't remember a damn thing that came before. Lol! I have the entire series, I may have to go back and reread it.