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Witch Way to Murder

(Ophelia & Abby Mystery #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  4,264 ratings  ·  307 reviews

Bewitched meets Murder She Wrote in this delightful new cozy mystery series featuring Ophelia Jensen, small town librarian and reluctant psychic, and her grandmother Abby, a benevolent witch. 

Thirty something Ophelia Jensen wants to live a quiet life as a small town librarian. She's created a comfortable existence with her kooky, colorful grandmother Abby, and if it were

Mass Market Paperback, 292 pages
Published August 30th 2005 by Avon
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  4,264 ratings  ·  307 reviews

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Aug 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Given my interest in witches and the impending autumn season, I thought this would be a good kick off to embracing what's to come next. It was a fun quick read and left me curious for more.

At first, Ophelia annoyed me as she treated people very poorly; however, you could tell it wouldn't last. After about 25% of the story, she calms down just enough to be likable and you get to see her relationship with her grandmother Abby, her employee and friend Darci, and her new potential love interest Rick
Lauren  Librarian
Sep 08, 2012 rated it did not like it
As a librarian, I was borderline offended by how the main character was portrayed in this book. It seemed as though librarians just sit around and chat while they're working. She uses her super-librarian skills to solve the murder which is limited to GOOGLING THE ANSWER ON THE INTERNET. Well that's a reliable source of information (fail). Also I found it lame that the character's name was Ophelia. If her parents were true Shakespeare fans, they wouldn't name her after the saddest, most pathetic, ...more
Nov 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Unsatisfying. The main character is a jerk (because trauma!) who uses her special librarian powers to solve the case by really sucking at research. Said case manages to be both nonsensical and predictable, which is quite the trick. The love interest is someone on whom I would have filed a restraining order immediately. I hated him SO MUCH, ugh. (Seriously, the first day he meets her, he is really pushy and obnoxious about wanting to follow her home from work "in case something happens." Like wha ...more
WITCH WAY TO MURDER (Paranormal/Cozy-Iowa-Cont) – Okay
Damsgaard, Shirley – 1st in series
Avon Mystery, 2005- Paperback
Ophelia is the town librarian with psychic abilities, but has repressed her abilities, in spite of the encouragement of her grandmother Abby, descended from Appalachian healers. But when Richard, an attractive stranger, comes to town and dead body turns up, Ophelia begins having very disturbing dreams she can't ignore.
*** This was okay, but not great. It was a little slow. I becam
Mystereity Reviews
Just...meh. I'd give it 1.5 stars if I could. The plot was ok, but I figured it out fairly early in the book. The main character needs to learn spells on How To Get Over It and Not Going To Answer Your Stupid Questions. The reporter isn't very good at his job if he goes around badgering random people for no reason by peppering them with personal questions. The "romance" was forced and clumsier than a virgin nerd at a porn convention. Note to authors: bringing up some event in a character's past ...more
Blodeuedd Finland
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cozymystery
See, I finally did read another cozy mystery ;)

Ophelia is a librarian. She has a haunted past. The townsfolk like her, but avoid her. Her grandmother is a witch, but only Ophelia knows this. Her only friend is a woman working at the library, and they are not even friends in a way.

Yeah, Ophelia really pushed people away. But then a mysterious hot guy shows up. And there are strange things happening in town. And then there is that dead body, and her grandmother telling her that she must solve this
This isn't bad, it just isn't good. And it is impossible to take about way without some spoilers.

The main character, Ophelia, is pretty good, though her reaction about not being touched because her best friend was murdered and she couldn't save him, seems a bit much considering that they were friends only. We are told this because he was gay so no hanky panky. Though, we aren't told much else about him so I wonder how close they actually were.

For a book where the main character gets upset abou
Jan 31, 2010 rated it it was ok
She's a Librarian, a reluctant witch, and there's a black cat on the cover. I really wanted to like this one but I just didn't. There was too long of build-up followed by "where did that come from?" Plus, and perhaps it's an occupational hazard, but I couldn't stop wondering why she had all this time to be doing stuff outside of the library and why is there, like, no programming? This seriously ran through my mind... ...more
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Ophelia and Abby are grandmother and granddaughter. They are also witches, tho the later reluctant and in denial. An instance in their past left Abby’s best friend Brian, dead and is the reason she shuns “the way” she is gifted with. But now the realm is askew, there is a new danger afoot. Fertilizer and anhydrous ammonia are being stolen from farmers. There is a stranger in town who asks too much, looks too hard and plays a bit too unfairly. Then the body shows up.

Abby blames herself for the de
Diane Morasco
Damsgaard delivers the goods w/ her sensational debut, Witch Way to Murder! I want to thank Ms. Damsgaard for creating an intelligent series that is a cut above most cozy debuts.

Kudos to Damsgaard for weaving an enthralling tale of magick & mystery.

Welcome to rural Iowa, where nothing exciting seems to happen & each day merges into the next.

Ophelia Jensen has been a recluse since her best friend was horribly murdered four years ago.

Ophelia doesn't want anyone to know she's psychic & her grandmot
Dec 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
My four-sentence or less take on the plot:Ophelia Jensen is a small-town librarian with some major issues with her family, her paranormal abilities, and her personal relationships. When a mysterious and nosy "chemical salesman" comes to town and a body is found, Ophelia's world is turned upside-down. Ophelia knows she's involved (through her grandmother's visions) and is pulled in to the investigation.

Rating: B

What worked: I'm from Iowa and I can tell the author is from Iowa too. The characters
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've seen lots of negative reviews about this book, specifically on how "angsty" the MC, Ophelia, was and how creepy the main male character acted. I would like to say that while at times it IS overdone on both parts, the story would not have worked as well with both characters being 100% bubbly and bright. Ophelia's angst has to do with past trauma and if Rick hadn't been creepy... well, who would we have had to suspect in the beginning?

I enjoyed the pacing in the book and the side characters w
Apr 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
I've been having a tough time trying to get into this book. The main character is a Witch, but refuses to use her "gift". She's been traumatized by the death of a friend, so she closes herself up. I'm not really liking this book. I'll be glad when I'm done with it. I have several others in the series, but I'm planning on donating them, rather than waste my time reading them. Sigh~~ and we know how much I love reading Witch books. :(

I managed to struggle thru to the end of this book. I won't be
May 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Sharon by: Just found it at the bookstore.
I really enjoyed this book. I'm normally not into anything "witchy" *G*, but this book kept me entertained & I didn't feel the itch to turn to the end to see "Whodunit", as I would if I were bored with it. It's the first in a series of (Ophelia - The Librarian (capitalized for a reason) & Abby - her grandmother). There is a definate paranormal aspect to this series so fans of anything paranormal might enjoy it as well! ...more
Lynn Abbey
Mar 24, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: chick-lit, mystery
I should have been able to read this in a night, maybe two, but it just never came to life. It's not a mystery; the main character don't "solve" anything. Things simply happen to them and then the bad guys explain themselves. The first-person narrative doesn't help: I don't have a problem with "broken" protagonists, but when the broken character is the only POV character, her depression becomes contagious ...more
H.L. Stephens
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the book. It is what I would call a lighthearted that is fun, a bit campy at times and easy to fall into. There are others who criticized the repetition of certain mannerisms of the characters (hands on the hips, etc.) but don't characters reflect real people and don't real people tend to have mannerisms that they repeat? At any rate, the book held my attention and was charming enough that I would like to read the next book. Perfect read for a snowy afternoon. ...more
*my reviews always contain spoilers*

Witch Way to Murder, a novel by Shirley Damsgaard is about the lives of Ophelia Jensen and her grandmother, Abbey; both witches in their own right who hail from many generations of women who practiced the craft. This book is categorized in the "Cozy" genre of mystery, which essentially means a murder mystery with no cursing, no sex, little/no violence, etc etc. I don't take issue with any of those factors, as I don't necessarily find them vital to make an
Firstly, I do not read cozy mysteries and this kind of book usually has me running screaming for the hills. Five books in this series came to me as part of a book trade so I thought the least I could do was to try the first one. And I was pleasantly surprised!

Unlike a few of the reviewers here, I did like Ophelia. She is suffering from the guilt and trauma of her best friend's death where she was unable to use her magic to save him from a killer. Now she has turned away from her magic and closed
Mar 22, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
A good story idea from a first time author. I will read the next one or two in the series to see if her writing matures with experience.

I would have preferred to give it 2 1/2 stars, but since that isn't an option I went ahead and gave it 3 for her effort and excitement.

That being said, here are the reasons I didn't love it:

The backstory came too fast, too early, with too much 'telling'. It wasn't revealed so much as dumped in your lap.

Each sentence was a second in the race to the end. They ten
Sep 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2010
This is the first book in the Ophelia and Abby series. Ophelia is a librarian who is a loner, her grandmother Abby is a witch who has been trying to tell Ophelia that she can't keep denying her gift. Ophelia refuses to believe that she has any sort of gift because whenever she needed it in the past, people have ended up hurt. When a stranger comes to town (Rick) who has a lot of questions for everyone, Ophelia and Abby start to feel nervous. Why is this man here, and why is he asking so many que ...more
David Monroe
A bit of a "by the numbers" first book. It also starts a little "tropish" -- angry and resentful woman wrestling with issues from her past, rejects who and what she is to the near peril and detriment of all around her. Damsgaard does give her characters a vivid interior life - even the tertiary ones. She is also a native of a small town Midwestern rural/farming/bedroom community, and she nails it in this book. I know because I spent 20 years of my life in one. There is safety, comfort and closen ...more
Aug 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, magical, series
I had the first two books of this series on my TBR shelves and decided to pull out the first and see if it was a series I wanted to keep. I liked it, but it contained an interesting twist. The main characters are the grandmother, Abby, who embraces the use of folk magick from her Appalachian heritage, and her daughter, Ophelia, who does not. They hide their gifts from the members of their small Iowa town but Ophelia, the local librarian, is haunted by the murder of her best friend five years ago ...more
Teri Stich
This book is billed as a "Cozy" and that's just what it is. Fun, little, murder mystery with quirkey characters. Unfortunately, it is rather clumsy in sections, the characters and situation not well developed, at times quite unbelievable in their actions and conversations. Olivia is a extremely bitter, down right irritatingly so and the way Rick moved into the story and his overacceptance by the town is not realistic at all! I did enjoy the characters of Abby and Darci, saving graces. Even thoug ...more
CJ - It's only a Paper Moon
It was ok.

There was little character development. When the characters - mainly Ophelia & Rick- weren't 2-D they where cliched, whiny or annoying. The dialogue at times was horrible and wooden or overly blatant (I understood Rick was interested in Ophelia and was teasing her, it didn't need to be said five times by Rick).

Ophelia, the main character, was hard to connect with and at times hard to like. Abby was the better character and easier to connect with but there simply wasn't enough of her.

Dec 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Staci by:
Shelves: 2010-reads
I immediately liked could I not...she's a librarian!! Her grandma Abby is what would be considered as a wise woman, healer, or witch. She is gifted with the sight and tries to use it to keep Ophelia and others safe. Anyway, she is content with her life for the most part until a strange man comes to town asking questions that seems to turn everyone into a suspect. Ophelia doesn't want to use her own natural gifts but finds out that her life may depend on it. I really enjoyed the psy ...more
Wendi (BrokenBinding)

I liked the idea of this book. I liked the main character's assistant. I mostly liked Abby, and I felt like I could or should like Ophelia...but she made it hard. When she wasn't being amusing, witty, and sassy she was whiny, stupidly foolhardy, and wish washy about the one character I truly hated...stalker love interest Rick. He was creepy and arrogant, and read more like a stereotypical villain than a complex multi layered character. His behavior was disgusting. I heard later books ge
Oct 03, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
I can't put my finger on exactly why I didn't enjoy this book -- either the convenient plot twists or the cardboard characters. ...more
Sep 23, 2011 rated it liked it
pretty good book I a looking forward to read the next installment.
Toni N
Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Such a good story that it was a really quick read. Author does a good job with character development. Can't wait to read the next book in this series. ...more
Jun 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: guilty-pleasures
This cute 'cosy mystery' was pure escapism. I will come back to this series of books when I need a break from heavy reading. ...more
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Other books in the series

Ophelia & Abby Mystery (7 books)
  • Charmed to Death (Ophelia & Abby,  #2)
  • The Trouble With Witches (Ophelia & Abby, #3)
  • Witch Hunt (Ophelia & Abby, #4)
  • The Witch Is Dead (Ophelia & Abby, #5)
  • The Witch's Grave (Ophelia & Abby, #6)
  • The Seventh Witch (Ophelia & Abby, #7)

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