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Witch Hunt

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Abbey is not looking forward to moving with her parents into a run-down old house in Massachusetts, where a teenage girl lived 300 years ago until she was hanged for being a witch. Then Abbey meets a pair of time-travelers and finds herself hurtling back in time. Abbey will meet the teenage witch and try to save her from the hangman's noose.

255 pages, Paperback

First published March 1, 1995

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About the author

Wendy Corsi Staub

98 books1,595 followers
New York Times bestseller Wendy Corsi Staub is the award-winning author of more than ninety novels, best known for the single title psychological suspense novels she writes under her own name. Those books and the women’s fiction written under the pseudonym Wendy Markham have also appeared on the USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookscan bestseller lists.

Her current standalone suspense novel, THE OTHER FAMILY, is about a picture-perfect family that that moves into a picture-perfect house. But not everything is as it seems, and the page-turner concludes “with a wallop of a twist,” according to #1 New York Times bestselling author Harlan Coben.

Her critically acclaimed Lily Dale traditional mystery series centers around a widowed single mom—and skeptic—who moves to a town populated by spiritualists who talk to the dead. Titles include NINE LIVES; SOMETHING BURIED, SOMETHING BLUE; DEAD OF WINTER; and PROSE AND CONS, with a fifth book under contract.

Wendy has written five suspense trilogies for HarperCollins/William Morrow. The most recent, The Foundlings (LITTLE GIRL LOST, DEAD SILENCE, and THE BUTCHER’S DAUGHTER), spans fifty years in the life of a woman left as a newborn in a Harlem church, now an investigative genealogist helping others uncover their biological roots while still searching for her own.

Written as Wendy Markham, Wendy’s novel HELLO, IT’S ME was a recent Hallmark television movie starring Kellie Martin. Her short story “Cat Got Your Tongue” appeared in R.L. Stine’s MWA middle grade anthology SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN and her short story “The Elephant in the Room” is included in the Anthony Award-nominated inaugural anthology SHATTERING GLASS.

A three-time finalist for the Simon and Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award, she’s won an RWA Rita Award, an RT Award for Career Achievement in Suspense, the 2007 RWA-NYC Golden Apple Award for Lifetime Achievement, and five WLA Washington Irving Prizes for Fiction.

She previously published a dozen adult suspense novels with Kensington Books and the critically-acclaimed young adult paranormal series “Lily Dale” (Walker/Bloomsbury). Earlier in her career, she published a broad range of genres under her own name and pseudonyms, and was a co-author/ghostwriter for several celebrities.

Raised in Dunkirk, NY, Wendy graduated from SUNY Fredonia and launched a publishing career in New York City. She was Associate Editor at Silhouette Books before selling her first novel in 1992. Married with two sons, she lives in the NYC suburbs. An active supporter of the American Cancer Society, she was a featured speaker at Northern Westchester’s 2015 Relay for Life and 2012 National Spokesperson for the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation. She has fostered for various animal rescue organizations.

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5 stars
52 (34%)
4 stars
48 (31%)
3 stars
44 (28%)
2 stars
3 (1%)
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5 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 20 of 20 reviews
Profile Image for Nia Imani.
Author 4 books5 followers
April 2, 2009
This was the first book I ever read by Wendy Corsi Staub and it's still my favorite!!! I love the story! It kept me interested, as it mixed time travel with history and even threw in some romance (which is always a major plus for me). I've read this book at least 3 times and I would definitely recommend it to everyone!
Profile Image for Marisa.
21 reviews15 followers
April 5, 2017
Checked out when she named the slave Jemima.
111 reviews3 followers
May 9, 2020
Perfect 90s book nostalgia - time travel, witchcraft, little romance, family and friend relationships; reminded me of oh so many books i read as a kid. Definitely some cringe worthy depictions of POC in 90s fashion though.
240 reviews3 followers
December 7, 2012
I got this from the library a few years ago and loved it,but it wasn't there anymore when I went to check it out again.I got a cheap copy off Amazon and found that I still love it,although it is a little bit more young adultish (yeah,I make up my own words) than I remembered.I wish they would re-release it again.
Profile Image for Lexi.
30 reviews
December 15, 2010
i loved this book it was exciting and was alot of what salem mass was like back then i just loved this book
24 reviews
May 6, 2015
Loved this book!

What a wonderful read. Great plot, interesting weave of history. Perfect ending with enough of a twist to keep all ages engaged
Profile Image for Courtney Gruenholz.
Author 10 books6 followers
April 24, 2023
The cover alone caught my attention so bright and pink that text is hard to miss!

Books about witches, wichcraft, the witch trials of Salem...I'm a sucker for all of those so I figured I would give this book a read.

It could be set in the 1990s when it was written but it actually takes place in 1963 so that is kind of interesting and it actually has a lot to do with the plot. Most of it is given to us on the back of the book in the blurb.

First of all, Abbey's last name is Harmon and not Hanover.

Second, Seacliffe is the name of the town. With an "e" on the end like "olde".

Third, it takes half of the book to get to the actual plot that is described there.

Those points made the story is all teen drama at first.

The family lives in New York City and Abbey's father inherits the house through the death of a relative. They will spend the summer fixing up the house to sell it.

Abbey doesn't like being pulled away from her best friend and boyfriend for the summer or being stuck in Massachusetts in a creepy old house in a town that lives for its Puritan heritage. Probably because a teenage girl was accused of witchcraft in 1693 and hanged in the old town square.

She lived in the house where it is said to be haunted by not only her ghost out of anger but that of the slave woman who was said to have bewitched her into practicing the dark arts. Felicity Crane's father found out and killed the woman and was said to have buried her body under the floorboards.

Yeah...I wouldn't want to stay there all summer either.

The family who lives next door has a daughter Abbey's age named Katie and her older brother Riley.

Their last name is Kennedy and even though Abbey is true blue to her boyfriend, she can't help but find Riley handsome and they flirt making fun of each other's accents. Katie is a very sweet but annoying person and she tells Abbey her brother is a known flirt with girls.

There's no harm in flirting, Abbey. She also has developed a crush on one of The Beatles because her pen pal in England, Siobahn, has sent her one of their records. Abbey is a Ringo girl and she loves accents so she clearly has a type.

Abbey's brothers, Peter and Paul, constantly want to go around town with their parents as they search for things from the hardware store. Teenage Abbey is creeped out by the house but always finds an excuse to stay home because who wants to hang out with their parents and little brothers...even in 1963 when there is a handsome boy next door?

That is when Abbey ends up meeting Zachariah, a young man in her house when she is alone!

Abbey tackles him down to ask who he is and he is dressed in old clothing and talks in an English accent with ye olde flair. He says he is from 1693.

Not long after, a girl with very pale hair breaks into the house and tries to stab Abbey with a meat cleaver. Learning town history since arriving, Abbey thinks it is Felicity Crane at first but soon discovers it is a girl named Elspeth.

Now we have a love triangle from the past thrown in with all of Abbey's teen drama which is sort of interesting. You can kind of tell where most of the plot goes with this storyline: changing history if you could, would you...can you?

It's witchy time travel and romance but it's done in a way where it is not hokey or corny and we don't have "fish out of water" silliness. It is done in all seriousness with more of the comedy at the beginning in Abbey's snarky teenager narration.

The outcome we get is poignant. I would have given the book five stars but how it shifts in tone is strangely off-putting. Almost like two different books getting tangled up into each other.

It's the first book I have ever read by Staub but so far I do like her style of writing. I can stand by recommending it to anyone curious enough that Witch Hunt is a really good read.
Profile Image for Erica Leigh.
560 reviews36 followers
May 11, 2022
A plucky teen from the 1960s thinks she’s going to a weird small town puritan festival but accidentally gets involved in a 17th century time-travel love triangle instead.

Also she gets accused of witchcraft.

Not really a thriller (and not witchy either), but it’s still fun! Really enjoyed the characters and writing in this one, lots of funny dialogue and plenty of Beatles references in case you didn’t know it was the 60s.
Profile Image for M. Allen.
Author 14 books21 followers
August 2, 2021
I've spent years trying to remember the name of this book and I just found it on my bookshelf among the many volumes I read voraciously as a child. It is one of the striking examples from YA horror of how a house can become a character. Horror novelists are better at weaving buildings as integral character than most. My applause to Wendy Corsi Staub for leaving such an impression on me.
42 reviews
January 13, 2021
Read it years ago, reading again

I love this book! Couldn't remember title at first. When I did, I looked everywhere, but ended up reading it on Kindle.
Profile Image for Dawn  McNutt.
7 reviews6 followers
May 14, 2020
Unexpected Pleasure

For some reason I thought she only wrote crime and historical crime and modern mysteries and was delighted by the very fictional element of the special closet. Entertaining, fast read.
Profile Image for Eden.
1,109 reviews88 followers
August 3, 2015
Abby has always wanted to go away somewhere for the summer. But, not to Seacliffe, a town in Massachusetts. Abby and her parents move into an old house there that her parents will remodel to sell.

But Abby isn't happy being there. As much as she wanted to get away, she'd much rather be back in New York.

The summer turns out not to be as boring as Abby thought it would be. In fact, a lot of unbelievable things happen.

Abby finds out that time traveling is real, and somehow she has to help save the teenage girl that lived in her house 300 years ago.

The story was interesting. But, for most of the book I had a hard time connecting with the main character. It's not that she was a bad character, but I guess you could say she was immature. And I honestly couldn't stand her parents.

The book did get better though. And the last 100 pages or so, it seemed that Abby wasn't so immature anymore. She became a better character that I did begin to connect with somewhat.

I enjoyed the story and how it was history mixed with time traveling. Not a great book, but it turned out to be better than I originally thought it would
5,239 reviews23 followers
February 1, 2016
The story takes place in the sixties. Abbey goes with her parents and two brothers to temporarily live in an old house given to them by relatives. The plan is to fix the house up, then sell it.

It turns out the house is very old and very spooky looking. It smells, and everything in it is really old.

She meets Katie and finds out that a girl that lived in the house Abbey is staying in was executed during the Salem Witch Trials as a witch.

Later she runs into a guy who thinks that it's 1693 rather than 1963 (the story being set in the sixties.) She finds out about his history, and the history of Felciity Crane who was hung for witchcraft, and the fact that, somehow, she could project people through time.

Then there's a series of adventures involving time-traveling, insane witch hunters, and a more-than-insane jealous girl. Abbey's own life is in danger, both from the witch-hunters and the insane jealous girl.

This is a really good book. There's a reason it takes place in 1963 which involves time-traveling by getting one's numbers out of order.

Definitely another good book by Wendy Corsi Staub.
May 8, 2015
After a long break from reading, I finally went to my library and picked up this book. It was actually really good! It is a story about the witch trials (the only part of History that ever captured my attention) and has time travel in it too. I read the book very fast so it was good enough that I couldn't put it down for too long. I finished it in two days! Anyway, the book was a little different for me because I wasn't loving the main character too much (but it's a different style of writing than I'm used to) and I could guess what was going to happen at times, which is why I'm only rating it four stars. The ending of the book was wonderful! I'm still in love with it. If you haven't read the epilogue than you really should. All-in-all, I'm glad I picked up this book and I would recommend it.
Profile Image for Connie T..
949 reviews4 followers
August 26, 2016
Abby is not happy when she discovers she has to spend her summer in the sleepy coastal town of Seacliffe. Then things begin to get interesting when Riley and Zachariah enter the picture. I'm a sucker for time travel books (in this case between 1960s and 1690s) and those dealing with witchcraft. The touch of romance adds to the appeal.

Note: It was listed as a horror story on the spine of my copy. There was nothing horrific about this story. Some suspense, some might say a thriller, but definitely not horror.
Profile Image for Denise.
1,772 reviews24 followers
August 29, 2014
'Lodestone: (Witch-Hunt) was a fantastic read. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. The storyline was well written and well thought out. I liked how this story played out. The descriptive scenes and scenery were very good. The adventure throughout was intriguing. I truly enjoyed reading this book. The characters were well defined and the lead, Sabrina, was a strong young woman that grew as a healer with a mission. The mythological aspect was awesome, very creative. This book is a great add to your tbr list.
Profile Image for Top Cat =^_^=.
64 reviews
January 19, 2016
This was a pretty good book. It is more aimed for teens than adults, though I still found it rather enjoyable. Finished it in one day so if you get a chance to read it or have a teenage daughter I recommend giving it a try. Book is about time traveling, courage, and determination to do what one feels is right. The understanding of the danger of fear in groups and the damage that such fear can cause on innocent people.
Profile Image for Michelle.
184 reviews9 followers
October 13, 2009
This was one of her early books. It was okay but not as good as newer ones.
Profile Image for Sara.
500 reviews8 followers
July 18, 2017
I read this book so much when I was younger that it literally fell apart. I even duct taped it back together once. It makes me sad the cheapest copies on Amazon are near $50.
Displaying 1 - 20 of 20 reviews

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