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Strange Magic (Essex Witch Museum Mystery #1)

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  845 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
Rosie Strange doesn't believe in ghosts or witches or magic. No, not at all. It’s no surprise therefore when she inherits the ramshackle Essex Witch Museum, her first thought is to take the money and run.

Still, the museum exerts a curious pull over Rosie. There’s the eccentric academic who bustles in to demand she help in a hunt for old bones, those of the notorious Ursula
Paperback, 400 pages
Published May 4th 2017 by Point Blank
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Pouting Always
May 02, 2017 rated it liked it
After her grandfather dies Rosie inherits the Essex Witch Museum from him even though they were never close. Determined to sell it and pocket the money she heads over to check it out and have a talk with who ever is maintaining the place. While there to talk to the curator Sam she gets interrupted by Professor George Chin who wants them to find the body of a women executed in the 16th century named Ursula Cadence. Initial Rosie wants to decline to do so but then she hears of the commission and d ...more
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a witty and entertaining beginning to the Rosie Strange series. Essex girl and Leytonstone Benefit Fraud investigator, Rosie, has inherited the Essex Witch Museum from her estranged grandfather Septimus about whom she knows little. She arrives intending to sell the place, meeting the crazy Audrey outside, Hecate the cat, and the oddly attractive curator, Sam. As with all the best laid plans, things go haywire when the well known Professor George Chin arrives, sparking a budding bromance ...more
Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
I’m a big fan of book covers, and upon seeing just the proof for Strange Magic, I knew I had to get my hands on it as I love a skull being used in a design. I’ve seen the finished product too, and it is even more beautiful!

Strange Magic focuses on Rosie Strange, who has inherited the Essex Witch Museum. Initially, her first thought is to sell it and go back to her life without a second thought. As we all know though, life is often not that simple. Upon claiming ownership, Rosie and the curator,
Jan 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Strange Magic is a novel that young adults and adults a like can read and enjoy.

I loved the idea of inheriting a museum, especially one to do with witches. Sadly Rosie wants rid and to get back to her everyday life. These plans are delayed though when they end up on a mission to find the bones of a witch.

Rosie is quite a head strong character but I think she meets her match with Sam. Sam is very passionate about his work in the museum and he is determined to change Rosie’s mind as well as help h
May 11, 2018 added it
Shelves: audio, dnf
I couldn't finish this one as it's not for me :(

I love the cover! And thought witches would be interesting but this is not really what I expected and I'm not keen on the interplay between the two main characters.

They fancy each other but also wind each other up - it's a love/hate thing - I know these things happen but I just don't want to read about it.

Made it to 40% but the thought of carrying on with it was putting me off reading.

Sorry, not my cup of tea!
Not bad at all. Lots of strange and interesting characters and the author has a great sense of humor.
Sara (thebookwitchscauldron)
Jun 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
Rating: 1/5 Stars

I might come back to do a proper review for this, but not only did I think that this book was a mess structurally, with a confused, all over the place plot, but it is sprinkled with ableism, fatphobic characterisations, and slut shaming.

This book is bad. Don't waste your time.
Vanessa Wild
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
When Rosie Strange's grandfather dies, she inherits the Essex Witch Museum. As she decides what exactly she is going to do with it, Rosie and the museum's curator, Sam Stone, are approached by a professor who has an odd request - to discover the whereabouts of the remains of a convicted witch from the 16thC, the bones of whom will help with the exorcism of a young boy who has been possessed. It's a tale loosely inspired by Ursula Kemp, a woman who was executed for witchcraft in 1582.

It took me a
When Benefit Fraud investigator Rosie Strange inherits the ramshackle Essex Witch Museum her grandfather Septimus built, she plans to sell it as soon as possible. She doesn't believe in witches and magic, and she's taking a few days off work to get the place in order before she calls the estate agents. Still, she can't help but see the potential in the place, and in the curator, Sam Stone. He's brilliant and sexy, but prickly and annoying.

Rosie barely has time to acclimatize when George Chin, a
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recap - Rosie Strange inherits her Grandfather's witch museum and on a visit to determine how best to shut it down & sell it she gets dragged into a witch hunt with curator Sam Stone. A little boys life hangs in the balance and a witches skeleton is the only cure.

Review - pacey, filled with interesting historical snippets, and the thrill of supernatural horror. I enjoyed all the witch hunt backstory and the theory that the Essex girl is the new hunted witch - interesting stuff. The hauntings
Eve Recinella (Between The Bookends)
I read this AGES ago and totally forgot to write a review. All I remember is that I liked it. *lol*


Rose A
Dec 23, 2017 rated it liked it
An intriguing premise that grew more interesting as I progressed through the book, but marred by a protagonist and narrator I simply couldn't like. This was less to do with Rosie herself than the inner voice she had. It was too subtly and obviously chick lit when the subject matter of the book was more fantasy. Too many descriptions of what characters were wearing and a blatant and unsubtle attempt to show Rosie's attraction to Sam. She grew on me a bit over the course of the book but not enough ...more
Kirsty 📚📖❤️
This is a fun book that takes us on a tour of the South East of England as Rosie Strange and Sam go on a hunt for the missing bones of a 16th century witch. Rosie has inherited the Essex Witch museum from her late grandfather and skeptical of all things spooky and witchy has plans to sell before agreeing to find the missing witch bones to potentially save a young boys life.

There's not a great deal of mystery in it. It's a beach read for those of us that don't read chick-lit. It passes quite quie
Patricia Uttaro
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: magical
"Just because things are strange, Rosie, doesn't mean they're not true." This sentence aptly sums up the premise of this new series from Sydney Moore. We first meet Rosie Strange as she travels to the Essex Witch Museum, which she has inherited from her estranged grandfather, Septimus Strange. As she wanders the moldy museum, she meets the semi-creepy caretaker Bronson and the handsome & quirky curator, Sam Stone. Soon she finds herself smack in the middle of an adventure in which she and Sa ...more
Jul 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I quite enjoyed this book for its witch mythology. However I found that the main character, was often quite childish even though she was a 30 year old woman. I will read the sequel in the hope of more character development that will make me enjoy Rosie's character.
I did really like to read about San, the human encyclopaedia, with a passion for witches but I also had wished there was more insight on his past.
The magic in this book was not an important plot point and the constant scepticism seen i
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
The author has a sweeping and commanding sense of the history of witchcraft which is brought to life in this engaging tale, set in part in the past, and in part in the current day. It’s a fun cozy for people who like a good mystery and who also have a taste for the supernatural. Characters were affecting and believable.
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a fun and quick read, I really liked Rosie as she’s quite an unusual character - feisty and logical. I liked how the novel broke and debunked the stereotype of the ‘Essex Girl’ (and ‘Essex Boy’). There were some editing errors that were a little annoying but that’s not the author’s fault. Enjoyable and interesting!
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
High hopes for this but thought it was badly written, full of ableism, classism and fatphobia, and the main character takes pride in being a Benefit Fraud investigator/class traitor.

2 stars because I did learn a bit about the Essex Witch Trials.
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thank you to the publishers Oneworld Publications and net galley for the arc of the book in return for an honest review.

Review updated 24th April.

I have read books by Syd Moore in the past and was delighted to receive an arc for review purposes.

The book is the first in a new series and introduces the reader to Rosie Strange and Sam Stone. Rosie has inherited the Essex Witch Museum from her estranged Grandfather, and as the book progresses, it seems that this is not all she has inherited. Rosi
Susan Angela Wallace
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Strange Magic by Syd Moore.
Rosie Septimus has inherited a museum from her grandfather. She wants to sell it.
Wow a really enjoyable read with great characters. I loved Rosie. 4*. Tbc on fb.
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A creepy read but well written and full of interesting characters I will look forward to reading the rest of the series. I also loved the explanation at the back of some of the history the novel is based on.
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
When I first saw this book listed on LibraryThing’s monthly giveaway, I was initially enamored by the cover art and found the urban fantasy-sounding plot intriguing. Unfortunately, I found the cover more interesting than its contents.

I felt no initial excitement upon being introduced to Rosie and the museum she inherited, nor did I care about who I assumed would be her potential love interest, and current museum curator with a passion for all things witchcraft, Sam. The two are asked to help rec
Karen Mace
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, netgalley
Any book that has a link to Essex and witches instantly catches my eye, and the stunning cover also helped draw me towards this book and it has been a really enjoyable read and a little surprising too!

This is the story of Rosie Strange who is an Essex girl and benefit fraud investigator, with very little interest in the world of Witchcraft! But her life plan changes somewhat when her Grandfather Septimus leaves her his beloved Essex Witch Museum. Her family was never the closest so she knows ve
Lisa Jenkins
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It was an easy and enjoyable read. However......for someone who generally reads and watches a lot of horror, for some reason parts of this book really gave me the heebie-jeebies. Seems really silly when i think of some of the really well known horror novels i have read that didn't give me the heebie-jeebies, but this one really did freak me out in a good way. I'm looking forward to the next one later on this year.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
There is a great deal to like in this the first in The Essex Witches Series, not least a museum featuring the Tragic History of Essex as a hotbed for witchcraft accusations, and an inheritance from an estranged Grandfather that is not entirely welcomed by both the remaining staff and by the headstrong recipient.

I enjoyed the numerous historical nuggets thrown liberally about to pepper the story with historical authenticity which made the story feel more important to me as a bit of a feminist tha
S. Meredith
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this tale of witchcraft and (definitely not) romance. It was as fast paced as any thriller or detective story, romantically interesting but not mushy, and with enough historical accuracy to make me want to read more. The main character, Rose Strange is definitely someone I'd be glad to have a drink with and I look forward to reading more about her escapades and those of the museum. Lovely read.
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
A few things irked me about this book, early on a silly question about whether someone was on the spectrum as they disagreed with history being the new rock and roll was one, it was unnecessary. However as the story went on I enjoyed it and would read tbe second book. The history of witchcraft was interesting and so was the plot. I enjoyed the dynamic between the two leads.
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
OH MY GOD THE TYPOS!!!!!! also, realistic fantasy books have this tricky part where they have to transition the protagonist from not believing in magic/fearies/vampires/wereturtles etc to believing and interacting with them. in this book the author tries to have the protag still be a skeptic at the end, so for every damn mystical thing the protag makes some realistic explanation for it and it is awful. just distracting my awful. there are a number of other issues as well. however, it was enterta ...more
Antonella Gramola-Sands
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read the book very quickly, could not put it down. I love Syd's writing and her ability of combining mystery and reality. Also in this instance she does not disappoint. I'm looking forward to next instalment of Rosie's adventures. I wish there had been more about Ursula and her tragic story, but I understand that it was long time ago and the information is limited. I also wish that Syd's idea of a Museum of Essex Witches will come true soon.
Strange Magic: Essex Witches 1
Chronological order recommended.

In A Nutshell: Rosie Strange, Benefit Fraud investigator, inherits the Essex Witch Museum which she is going to sell. But a lucrative contract puts that plan on hold. And Rosie's investigative skills are put to the test when she is hired to find the bones of Ursula Cadence, a 16th-century witch. An exciting idea and the story ticks a lot of boxes like detection, mystery, suspense, witches, the occult and even touches of horror. But I
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Other books in the series

Essex Witch Museum Mystery (4 books)
  • Strange Sight (Essex Witch Museum Mystery, #2)
  • Strange Fascination (Essex Witch Museum Mystery, #3)
  • Strange Tombs (Essex Witch Museum Mystery, #4)

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