Review: Bait and Witch (Book #1: Witch Way Librarian Mysteries) by Angela M. Sanders

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Josie Way loved working among the Library of Congress’s leather-scented stacks—until she uncovered corruption and made herself a target. As Wilfred, Oregon’s new librarian, Josie can stay undercover until the case goes to court. But life in this little town isn’t as subdued as she expected. The library, housed in a a Victorian mansion, is slated to be bulldozed. Still digesting the news that her safe haven is about to become scrap lumber, Josie discovers a body in the woods . . .

Almost as shocking, Josie learns that she’s descended from a long line of witches—and her powers have suddenly sprung to life. With help from a spoiled alley cat who just may be her familiar, Josie’s thumbing through a catalog of suspects, hoping she can conjure a way to save her library—and her life. . .

Source: NetGally and Purchase Rating: 4½/5 stars

Some people go their whole lives without every seeing the kind of trouble Josie Way has found herself in.  Thanks to an ill-timed lunch in her secret place, Josie is now on the run from a powerful corporation with a very long reach.  She’s landed herself in a very small town in Oregon heading up a small library that is apparently on the verge of being shut down.  With no real job prospects, no confidence in returning home, and some weird new sensations going on, Josie isn’t at all sure what her future looks like.

Wilfred, Oregon isn’t at all what Josie expected.  They library is in a beautifully constructed old family home with a load of history, the town is small and relatively tight-knit, and the landscape surrounding the town is unlike anything Josie has ever seen.  What’s more, since she arrived in Wilfred, Josie seems to be able to communicate with the books in the library, a skill she certainly has never had before. 

Though settling into any new location is awkward, Josie’s is particularly awkward given the uncertain future of the library she was hired to run.  In short order, Josie decides to fight for her new library even if it means going up against some of the town’s heavy hitters.  With the books on her side and a group of loyal patrons, Josie is sure they can save the library.  Of course, she’s only going to get to enjoy the saving if she survives the fixers that have been sent to shut her up.

In this midst of all the other turmoil, Josie must also try to understand why she can suddenly hear books talk, why everything around here appears, smells, and tastes better than anything every has before, and why the local “stray” cat seems to have attached himself to her.  There’s got to be an explanation, but none of the books seem to have the answers.  To find the information she needs and wants, Josie is going to have to rattle some family cages. 

The Bottom Line:  Oh!  This is a book I am so excited to have read and sad I put it off for so long.  I was into this book from the very beginning and didn’t give up until I finished the whole thing.  I found every aspect of this book – plot, characters, setting, etc. – to be wonderfully fun, suitably quirky, and just the right level of everything for a proper cozy mystery.  Mixing a bit of the paranormal with a cozy mystery is always a fine idea and I can’t wait for rounds two, three, four, five . . . . well, you get the idea 😊

Goodreads | Amazon | Audible | Paperback

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