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Wicked By Any Other Name
by Linda Wisdom
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Third in the Jazz Tremaine very funny, paranormal romance series revolving around this feisty witch and her friends (actually it’s one of those series that started as an urban fantasy per my own definition and now, it’s evolving). The action in this story centers on the two witch friends who live up at Moonstone Lake.
This was cute, but not as funny as the first two. I did enjoy the plug Wisdom gave Vicki Lewis Thompson’s Nerd series.
It was clear fairly early on who the real culprits were, however, Wisdom did draw the drama out by leaving us ignorant of the reasons and real identities. In some respects, it was a bit tedious to plow through trying to find out the who. Events certainly heated up at the end; now I am curious as to how things shake down amongst the villagers, especially after the events here in Wicked.
Ooops…it’s a lawsuit that brings wizard lawyer Trevor Barnes to Moonstone Lake. Only he’s acting for that bitchy Carrie Anderson. The one who drives her husbands away in droves. Luckily, wizard lawyers can fraternize with the enemy — a damned good thing since Trev and Stasi each see a circle of dancing hearts around each other’s heads. Oooeee, that date they go on…ummm-hmmmm.
Unfortunately, Carrie doesn’t see it that way and the rumors are rampaging through town and the shunning slowly builds. Almost at the same rate as the nasty action going on at the lake itself. Action that even first-class wizard spells can’t protect. Then the ghosts themselves are scared and the attacks begin.
Stasi Romanov is a sweet, peacemaking witch whose shop sells gorgeous lingerie while Blair‘s shop, Blast From the Past, specializes in “authentic retro items” — stuff that she or her sister witches have decided they no longer want. The girls’ shops are side by side and they live above them. Horace is their eight-inch, peeping tom gargoyle.
Jazz Tremaine and Nick, Krebs and his vampire sweetie Letiticia, and Irma and Sirius drive up to the lake to spend Samhain with Blair and Stasi. The Librarian, Uncle Peredur, turns out to have an unexpected link to Trevor. Eurydice is on the Witches’ Council and was one of the witches who banished those naughty witches all those centuries ago.
Inhabitants of Moonstone Lake include:
Carrie Anderson is human, technically. Every one of her previous husbands would probably testify that she is a witch…just not in the Jazz Tremaine sense! Now husband #4 has run off on her and she’s suing. Trevor Barnes is the never-lost-a-case wizard retained by Carrie. Hey, it was a low moment in his life! General Mae is his secretary/assistant/surrogate mother/pain-in-the ass who knows everything.
Mrs. Benedict makes the most incredible baked goods although her nose is out of joint over the new bakery that just opened, Fresh Baked Goods, and run by the siblings Poppy, Reed, and his twin sister Rhetta Palmer. Floyd Pierce is the mayor, but it’s his wife, Agnes, who really runs everything. And everybody. Jake Harrison is the town handyman and enjoying teasing Blair just a bit too much about her unrequited passion together with his secret life. Ginny Chao runs her ancestors’ Sit ‘N Eat café.
Fergus is a 17-year-old ghost who keeps popping up in the girls’ apartment with problems. It’s tricky, ’cause Fergus is quite shy…
The Cover and Title
The cover is consistent with the two previous ones with its cartoonish effect of Stasi standing outside on a deck with a snow-covered background,. She’s holding skis in one hand and the cat in the other (I think the cat is supposed to be Horace?) and wearing pink ski pants with yellow moons and a very fitted black top with a V plunging way down. A cute witch’s hat tops it all.
The title is rather ambiguous. It could refer to Stasi’s, um, illicit spelling, but my preference is to apply it to Carrie’s machinations, just plain Wicked By Any Other Name.