The Trouble With Magic - Madelyn Alt

Maggie O'Neill wanders away from her usual path toward her boring job and falls into (literally) Enchantments, an antique store that is filled with so much more. She befriends it's owner, Felicity Dow, and in a bit of serendipity, she gets fired from her "soul-killing" job only to get hired by Felicity. Unfortunately for Maggie, she discovers two interesting things about her new friend;
  1. Felicity is a witch
  2. She has just been arrested for the murder of her estranged sister.

As a mystery book with a paranormal twist it is a decent read, fairly quick and upbeat, but often times repetitive. The characters are a little dull & flat, but I understand that they get much more defined in the second book.
As far as witchcraft is concerned Ms Alt did not do a commendable job writing of modern pagans and witches in this book. My hope is that she expounds upon her characters in future books. Even if Felicity never describes herself as a modern day Wiccan, she does say she is a witch and while she does mention (several times) the karmic law or law of 3, she comes off flighty and misguided. And even though there are no torch wielding villagers or burnpiles in this small Indiana town, Felicity and Maggie are met with mistrust and skepticism especially during Felicity's arrest. Maggie firsthand experiences the prejudices that modern pagans still have to face and why many still hide in the shadows. There is the occasional reference to Modern Witchcraft and Neo-Pagan figures like Starhawk, Margot Adler, and Dion Fortune. But Alt writes an easy book for outsiders from the Pagan movement to understand and for seasoned magic users to enjoy and relate to.
There aren't any of the theatrical spells and magic battles of such books as the Harry Potter or Charmed, instead there are some scenes where Felicity and her coven commune with spirits and Maggie explores a psychic side of her own. But the magic is very realistic, even anti-climactic, and often described as natural (which it is).

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