Review of That Old Witch! by M.Z. Andrews

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Seniors, Phyllis Habernackle and Char Bailey are witches with a problem. Dealing with the recent loss of one of their oldest and dearest college friends, the women discover the dearly departed has bequeathed her estate to them! Unfortunately, she didn’t leave it only to them. She also left it to two other old witches. Decades ago, the five women had been inseparable while together attending the Paranormal Institute for Witches, situated high in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains in cozy, Aspen Falls, Pennsylvania. But thanks to a betrayal no one saw coming, they’ve been feuding ever since.

Now the four witches, along with one geriatric mother, must come together to discover what tore them apart all those years ago and unravel a new mystery that is bigger than any of them could have ever anticipated. Will it pull them closer together? Or will the wedge that kept them apart for decades widen and ruin their friendship forever?

For fans of The Witch Squad Cozy Mystery Series – this new spin-off features an off-beat cast of hilarious witches that will have you laughing out loud. Rejoin old friends, Phyllis, Char, and Vic and meet new friends Loni Hodges and Gwyn and Hazel Prescott. Plus enjoy cameo appearances by some of your favorite characters from The Witch Squad.

 

This is Book 1 in the Coffee Coven Cozy Capers series.

  • Cute cover – check
  • Cute title – check
  • Cute little old ladies – check
  • Witchy theme – check
  • Charming setting – check
  • Perfect book for this cozy mystery lover – sadly, no

 

I’ve had this book on my TBR for quite some time.  I think I saw a more recent release from the series come out and I added the first in series to my list.  When I was compiling my books for the Beat the Backlist Challenge, I added this one.  All my favourite elements were accounted for so I settled in for a cozy read but was disappointed.

Let’s start with the book’s length.  It’s 450+ pages.  I’d say the sweet spot length for a cozy is around 250-300 (including recipes, if any!).  That said, I have no problem with a long cozy once it holds my interest.  This book should have been edited a bit more.  There are dialogues that go on way after the important message has been delivered or a character quirk has been established.  Poor Loni, seems to be a bit batty but the scenes and dialogues meant to show that were too lengthy.

The shifts in POV are clear enough but I still can’t understand the need to move from Phillyis to Gwyn and back.  Or was it Char?  That’s because I found there was not enough differentiation between Phyllis and Char so I kept mixing them up.  Then there was a chapter written from the detective’s POV…

The pacing of the novel is veeerrryyy slow.  There are little scenes that could have been written out or quickly spoken about instead of being included.

But it’s not all bad.  The characters are cute and some of their dialogue is snappy and witty.  The town is a lovely setting both in its description and premise.  This is a town that houses a witch college and the townsfolk are well-aware that witches live amongst them. Some are fine with it, some love it and others think it’s deplorable- makes for good tension at times.

This book has also garnered generally positive reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.  Maybe it’s just me.  I considered trying Book 2, to see if I’d like it better, but when I saw that one is almost 400 pages long, I decided against it.

In general, I’m a pretty easy-going reviewer but this one didn’t do it for me.  With a heavy heart I give this book 2.5/ 5 espresso shots.

2.5 Shots

 

44 thoughts on “Review of That Old Witch! by M.Z. Andrews

Add yours

  1. You are a so gentle a reviewer..this was a fabulous review. You brought in some good points.
    I want to send you the book we were discussing yesterday 😉😉 and make you write a review for it😉😉😂😂
    The question is can I be so mean to you?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. ahh, rats. And that cover is just too much fun, but SOOO agree with you. This isn’t the history of the Crimean wars–it’s a cozy–300-350 pages max. I was so prepared to jump on it, but in the end, I appreciate your honest review and would totally agree with your assessment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shucks; I thought from the cover it would be fun and cute, old ladies shootin’ from ‘da hip. If you noticed those bits I would probably be antsy the whole time and speed reading just to see how it ended. I’ll pass.

    Liked by 1 person

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