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Middlewitch Mayhem by Heather Parker

September 20, 2011

Middlewitch Mayhem by Heather Parker

Just because Alicia Meldrew is a witch doesn’t mean that everything in her life is double, double, toil and trouble. Then again, trouble does have a way of finding her over and over again, even in the cozy little town of Middlewitch.

Alicia is starting to settle down with her new husband and a baby on the way, but little things like demon possession and mis-cast time spells keep getting in the way. Still, lake monsters, vampires (the bad kind, because you can’t generalize, you know), and vengeful enemies are no match for her, especially with the support of family and friends.

With the community coming together to help her, her cats Domino and Tango dispensing wisdom each in their own way, and her husband James even doing a little bit of magic himself, Alicia can manage just about anything. Except possibly getting along with her mother-in-law…

Full Disclosure: Thanks to the lovely folks at Drollerie Press for sending a review copy of Middlewitch Mayhem my way. My humblest apologies for the extended wait.

Middlewitch Mayhem is a thoroughly charming collection of short stories all revolving around Middlewitch, a town named to honor it’s protector, a sometimes flighty-but never jealous, she’ll have you know-white witch, Alicia Meldrew. The book is very light and full of whimsey, filled with eccentric and ultimately likeable characters that stick with you even after the last page.

I think what charmed me so much about Alicia is just how flawed and human she is, but it’s all played for giggles. Her sporadic thoughts and magic hyjinx had me in stitches as I read. The humor hit all the right notes with me, I think it’s the first book that’s made me laugh all the way through intentionally! I can only imagine Ms. Parker has a fantastic sense of humor, seeing as how skillfully she peppered her novel with it. Because writing humor is damned hard work, let me tell you!

And honestly, how was I not going to like a story with talking cats? I admit to being horribly biased when I say Dom and Tango were my favorite characters.

Each chapter presents a new problem for Alicia to tackle (and sometimes her own magic makes things worse), I loved how Ms. Parker gave our heroine problems from the most mundane to the most horrifying yet still made each story engaging. I had a hard time exiting the PDF screen. I kept wanting to see what other troubles Alicia would get herself into and what clever ways she would think up to get out of them.

Unfortunately I did have one very negative reaction to certain racial terminology…but I found it very off putting considering the theme of the book is one of acceptance. However, when I consider the character that used it, I believe it’s an extension of his (that character’s) own bigotry and not an extension of Ms. Parker’s personal feelings. The character did not use the word as a weapon against anyone, in fact it was aimed at himself, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t forewarn readers about it.

You can purchase Middlewitch Mayhem from Drollerie Press, and Amazon.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 20, 2011 2:41 pm

    Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to review my book, Middlewitch Mayhem! Delighted you enjoyed it and understood the humour. I always worry that this may not cross boundaries, so very glad it made you laugh all the way through! The cats are based on my own two cats, Domino and Tango, adopted as feral kittens several years ago.

    Just wanted to add, re the last point, very sorry if the terminology you refer to might upset someone. I don’t know what this is, but would hate anyone to think it could be meant racially. In my non-writing life, I worked for twenty years for an educational charity dedicated to fighting racism and I believe passionately in tolerance – I try to encourage this in everything I write. SO sorry if I have inadvertently used a word which might cause offence to anyone.

    Thank you again for a very thoughtful, full, and supportive review. It really is appreciated!
    Heather Parker

    • Soleil Noir permalink*
      September 21, 2011 12:52 pm

      Ms. Parker, thank you kindly for stopping by!

      I tend to give authors the benefit of the doubt and decided to look at it more as the character’s (twas the Vicar, and he was referring to himself) own bigotry and not an extension of the author’s personal feelings. I realize now that it does not come across that way in the review so I shall tidy it up a bit.

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