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Strange Magic

(Essex Witch Museum Mystery #1)

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  1,769 ratings  ·  221 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 June 13th 2017 by Point Blank (first published May 4th 2017)
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Average rating 3.48  · 
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 ·  1,769 ratings  ·  221 reviews

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Always Pouting
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
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
Mar 26, 2017 rated it liked it
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,
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!
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.
Not bad at all. Lots of strange and interesting characters and the author has a great sense of humor.
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
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
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
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, po
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
The Sassy Bookworm
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this AGES ago and totally forgot to write a review. All I remember is that I liked it. *lol*


J Wren
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
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.
Maja Ingrid
Mar 25, 2020 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: urban-fantasy
DNF:ing at page 85

I'm really not clicking with the writing or with Rosie. It tries to be witty and quirky but comes of as cringe and awkward. Lots of small info-dumps here and there and the writing has as case of tell-not-show. It's told in first person point of view, something I'm not fond of at all, because when it's done badly it's done badly and it's just awkward.

I'm bit sad I didn't like it because I adore the covers of this series and I like British urban fantasy.
Kirsty ❤️
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
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 Sam mu ...more
Gayle Noble
Rosie Strange inherits the Essex Witch Museum when her grandfather dies. Turning up to view the place with the intention of selling it, Rosie and Sam, the curator of the museum, get pulled into the mystery of the final resting place of Ursula Cadence, a woman accused of witchcraft and executed centuries ago.

The plot itself was interesting and I would have given if 4 stars, if not for the fact that I absolutely hated the main character. Rosie is a benefit fraud investigator, something that you a
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-books
Rosie Strange has just inherited the Essex Witch Museum, and he first inclination is to sell it and run for the hills. But on her first visit an academic shows up to demand that she and the curator, Sam Stone, search for the bones of Ursula Cadence, a witch put to death hundreds of years before.

Rosie agrees to help after they are offered money if they are successful. Finding herself and Sam embroiled in a most peculiar centuries-old mystery, Rosie is quickly expelled from her comfort zone, wher
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 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
Full of editing mistakes, clunky exposition and inconsistent characterisation, with an especially irritating main character. And then has the gall to not resolve anything but set up for sequels. A clumsy book. Avoid.
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
Sue 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.
Apr 20, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
DNF an hour into the audiobook. I’m all for unlikeable characters but Rosie was just tedious. Also the scene where she pretends to be a welfare officer just smacks of privilege and snobbery.
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Could it be I found a new favourite series?
Sep 19, 2021 rated it it was ok
It was ok but I didnt feel much actually happened...
Oct 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnc
Let me just preface this with the fact I only got halfway through, I found what I read of this story disjointed and scattered even as the mystery and path to solving it was presented to the characters on a silver platter. I prefer my thirty-year-old characters not to act like they're the worst kind of thirteen-year-olds and the shoe-horned in political agendas that have no bearing on plot or character whatsoever repeatedly only dragged me out of the story. The romance was rushed and forced, I fe ...more
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Before embarking on a career in education, Syd worked extensively in the publishing industry, fronting Channel 4’s book programme, Pulp. She was the founding editor of Level 4, an arts and culture magazine, and is co-creator of Super Strumps, the game that reclaims female stereotypes.

Syd has also been a go go dancer, backing singer, subbuteo maker, children’s entertainer and performance poet, She

Other books in the series

Essex Witch Museum Mystery (5 books)
  • Strange Sight (Essex Witch Museum Mystery, #2)
  • Strange Fascination (Essex Witch Museum Mystery, #3)
  • Strange Tombs (Essex Witch Museum Mystery, #4)
  • Strange Tricks (Essex Witch Museum Mystery, #6)

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