Castelmezzano, The Witch is Dead – Adriana Licio

Prequel Book to the Homeswapper’s Mysteries

Five of five stars given

DING DONG the witch is dead . . . but that’s really NOT a good thing!

Dora and Etta have each just recently discovered that after many long years teaching the children of their villages, their government pensions won’t do much towards the traveling they had been looking forward to, in fact, they will barely make ends meet!  While Etta is contemplating selling the old family home – with no family to really care if she does or not – Dora is afraid she’ll have to leave her tiny hole-in-the-wall apartment to find something even tinier and dingier.  With no room for all her flowers!

Top that with Etta’s discovery of a naked dead body – formerly known as the local witch – on her walk through the woods.  Add Dora coming across the gruesome discovery on her own walk from the other direction, and you’ve got the makings of an extraordinary friendship!  Dora and Etta remind me of myself and my roommate.  Me a bit rigid in my “things go where they go”, she with her artsy, airy, loving, and easy way.  And we’re close in age to these ladies too, so that made it even more fun to read!

Determined that the Maresciallo in his haste to be done with it, has arrested the wrong person, the two new friends set out to investigate this murder, while also trying to find solutions to their individual financial straits.  Inventive in both aspects, I had no doubt Etta and Dora would get their culprit.  The devilment they get into along the way had me laughing out loud!

When they resolve their retirement the way I had been rooting for them to, it’s simply the icing on the cake!   But then, Licio always has a way drawing characters that you love right from the outset.

The Prequel book to Licio’s Homeswapper’s Mysteries, The Witch is Dead has all the elements you’ll look for in a new series to get into.  A beautiful setting; it’s Italia after all!  Characters you will find entertaining and want to continue to get to know.  Plus the promise of watching this new duo of sleuths travel all over Europe while getting themselves embroiled in all kinds of adventures along the way.  I’m already waiting impatiently for Book One!

[Though I gratefully received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from the author, I was not required to write a review.  The opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.]

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