Caught Dead Handed—Psychics, Witches, and Murder in Salem

Caught Dead Handed by Carol J. Perry A Witch City Mystery book cover
Caught Dead Handed by Carol J. Perry

Caught Dead Handed by Carol J. Perry is the first in the Witch City Mystery series. Told from the first person point of view of Lee Barrett, we follow her as she returns home to Salem, Massachusetts and becomes a TV psychic—and finds out she just might by psychic for real.

1—The Mystery

Lee gets her new job at WHICH-TV as host of Nightshades, where she introduces old movies and tv shows and takes calls from viewers, after the previous host, Ariel Constellation, gets killed. There’s another murder in town too and Lee is convinced they’re connected. What’s more, she’s started to see visions in Ariel’s obsidian ball. She’s also adopted Ariel’s cat—and witch’s familiar—O’Ryan.

The mystery was decent, but I did figure it out a good bit before Lee did. For the last quarter of the book I wanted to yell at her—MAJOR SPOILER—that Janice and Willie were the same person—END MAJOR SPOILER.

2—The Other Stuff

Most of the time was taken up with Lee’s job and discovering her psychic abilities. It was interesting to see how the TV station worked, at least a little. There was also a romance beginning between Lee and Detective Pete Mondello but it didn’t take up too much time.

3—The Characters

I liked Lee. She’s a young widow but she’s learning to move on with her life. I also liked Lee’s Aunt Libby, a tech savvy former librarian with a ton of Facebook contacts all over the world, including a member of New Scotland Yard, which comes in handy. Pete alternates between no-nonsense cop and love-interest. Then there’s the crew at the TV station. Marty, who runs the cameras. Mr. Doan, who owns the place, and his wife. Rhonda, the receptionist and general substitute for whoever is out. George, the photographer and other cameraperson, and his sister Janice, who screens Lee’s calls. There’s also River North, a young witch and psychic who befriends Lee.

Conclusion

Caught Dead Handed was a decent book but I don’t think I’ll be picking up the next one. It was fun but it just didn’t grab me as a have-to-have.

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