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She's not a psychic--she just plays one on TV. Most folks associate the city of Salem, Massachusetts with witches, but for Lee Barrett, it's home. This October she's returned to her hometown--where her beloved Aunt Ibby still lives--to interview for a job as a reporter at WICH-TV. But the only opening is for a call-in psychic to host the late night horror movies. It seems t She's not a psychic--she just plays one on TV. Most folks associate the city of Salem, Massachusetts with witches, but for Lee Barrett, it's home. This October she's returned to her hometown--where her beloved Aunt Ibby still lives--to interview for a job as a reporter at WICH-TV. But the only opening is for a call-in psychic to host the late night horror movies. It seems the previous host, Ariel Constellation, never saw her own murder coming. Lee reluctantly takes the job, but when she starts seeing real events in the obsidian ball she's using as a prop, she wonders if she might really have psychic abilities. To make things even spookier, it's starting to look like Ariel may have been an actual practicing witch--especially when O'Ryan, the cat Lee and Aunt Ibby inherited from her, exhibits some strange powers of his own. With Halloween fast approaching, Lee must focus on unmasking a killer--or her career as a psychic may be very short lived. . .


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She's not a psychic--she just plays one on TV. Most folks associate the city of Salem, Massachusetts with witches, but for Lee Barrett, it's home. This October she's returned to her hometown--where her beloved Aunt Ibby still lives--to interview for a job as a reporter at WICH-TV. But the only opening is for a call-in psychic to host the late night horror movies. It seems t She's not a psychic--she just plays one on TV. Most folks associate the city of Salem, Massachusetts with witches, but for Lee Barrett, it's home. This October she's returned to her hometown--where her beloved Aunt Ibby still lives--to interview for a job as a reporter at WICH-TV. But the only opening is for a call-in psychic to host the late night horror movies. It seems the previous host, Ariel Constellation, never saw her own murder coming. Lee reluctantly takes the job, but when she starts seeing real events in the obsidian ball she's using as a prop, she wonders if she might really have psychic abilities. To make things even spookier, it's starting to look like Ariel may have been an actual practicing witch--especially when O'Ryan, the cat Lee and Aunt Ibby inherited from her, exhibits some strange powers of his own. With Halloween fast approaching, Lee must focus on unmasking a killer--or her career as a psychic may be very short lived. . .

30 review for Caught Dead Handed

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Morin

    I think this is one of the best books I've read! As a cozy mystery reader, there are many different styles to choose from. I happen to be a huge fan of anything that includes witches, Salem and cats. This book combines all three of my favorite things and the author's words flow so seamlessly that I had a difficult time putting this one down. Lee Barrett returns to Salem, Massachusetts after the death of her husband. She seems quite comfortable returning to her childhood home, back to her roots, an I think this is one of the best books I've read! As a cozy mystery reader, there are many different styles to choose from. I happen to be a huge fan of anything that includes witches, Salem and cats. This book combines all three of my favorite things and the author's words flow so seamlessly that I had a difficult time putting this one down. Lee Barrett returns to Salem, Massachusetts after the death of her husband. She seems quite comfortable returning to her childhood home, back to her roots, and back to her Aunt Ibby, who raised her after the tragic death of her parents. Lee is looking for a change and her upcoming interview with WICH-TV as investigative reporter is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, things don't go as planned and the job doesn't quite pan out. She is offered another job and although it's not what she envisioned for herself, it's still a step in the right direction. Before Lee can say abracadabra, she is embroiled in a crazy murder and channeling her inner psychic powers as Crystal Moon. This book is fun, well written and the plot is intriguing. I can't wait to read the next one.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Evie

    I really wanted to like this book; I'm from Tampa and there was both the nostalgia factor and the desire to support a fellow Floridian motivating me to press on to the end, but I just can't. First off, the book is way too predictable. It's almost as if Perry stopped just short of neon flashing signs that read "LOVE INTEREST" and "MURDERER" above specific characters' heads. In the vein of problematic writing, why set it in Salem if you aren't going to employ some of the richness of the setting an I really wanted to like this book; I'm from Tampa and there was both the nostalgia factor and the desire to support a fellow Floridian motivating me to press on to the end, but I just can't. First off, the book is way too predictable. It's almost as if Perry stopped just short of neon flashing signs that read "LOVE INTEREST" and "MURDERER" above specific characters' heads. In the vein of problematic writing, why set it in Salem if you aren't going to employ some of the richness of the setting and character of the residents? You have to really sell it if you're going to employ such an overused location, and she didn't. Similarly, why even bother giving the main character any magical abilities if they're little more than footnotes in the story? All of that could be forgiven, though, because it IS a First in Series, and sometimes authors need to grow into their writing. However, as far as social sensitivity goes, this book is a HOT. DAMN. MESS. Why is Perry using the word "g*psy" when we know it's a racial slur? Why is the antagonist a transphobic stereotype? Why is mental illness being used as the M.O.? I really hope this isn't something that continues on in Perry's books. I hope she's aware of how much harm she causes to the Romani and LGBT communities, and to people with mental illness, by perpetuating ignorance.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jody McGrath

    This was a typical cozy with a slight paranormal flair. It stars Lee Barret who has come home to Salem after her NASCAR husband was killed in a car accident. It has been awhile but she just felt she needed to go home. She had high hopes of becoming an actress, but weathergirl is about as far as she has gotten. she moves in with her aunt and ends up as a job as a late night horror movie host on a local TV channel pretending to be a psychic, after she finds the old psychics body. Of course sleuthi This was a typical cozy with a slight paranormal flair. It stars Lee Barret who has come home to Salem after her NASCAR husband was killed in a car accident. It has been awhile but she just felt she needed to go home. She had high hopes of becoming an actress, but weathergirl is about as far as she has gotten. she moves in with her aunt and ends up as a job as a late night horror movie host on a local TV channel pretending to be a psychic, after she finds the old psychics body. Of course sleuthing is involved, a handsome cop, plenty of suspects, and just maybe some real magic! I ended up really liking this mystery even though the mystery portion of the book was ridiculously easy. I mean I solved it in the first quarter of the book. After that the author was like screaming clues at the readers. It was almost like she was writing the mystery clues for a chapter book. That part aside, I liked the characters. I thought most of them had some depth to them. The cop could use a little more fleshing out. He was a tad cardboardish. It was a really fast read and I am looking forward to the next in the series.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cameron Chaney

    This was a fun little cozy mystery for the Halloween season. It's your typical cozy formula about a woman who returns to her small town after being away in the big city for many years, only to be caught up in a murder mystery. Cliched, yes, but if you're picking out a cozy mystery to read, odds are that's what you're in the mood for. I was. The only thing different about the formula is that the small town is actually Salem, Massachusetts, which makes it even better. I was surprised by the heavier This was a fun little cozy mystery for the Halloween season. It's your typical cozy formula about a woman who returns to her small town after being away in the big city for many years, only to be caught up in a murder mystery. Cliched, yes, but if you're picking out a cozy mystery to read, odds are that's what you're in the mood for. I was. The only thing different about the formula is that the small town is actually Salem, Massachusetts, which makes it even better. I was surprised by the heavier taboo moments of this book, but overall it was fairly light. I just wanted a little more magic and Halloween involved. Also, more exploration of the town. In the end, I give this 3.5 stars and I will be reading the next book in the series.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shelley Pearson

    Ughhhhhhhhh I wanted something light and fun and I liked the whole tv-psychic thing and reading about Lee learning about tarot and discovering her own powers, BUT whyyyyyy(view spoiler)[ did the killer have to be a trans woman? And plus someone with DID. Aren't those two groups who are demonized enough? As soon as we learned that Sarge had two sons, I was like "oh great one of them grew up to be Janice and she's obviously the killer." So boring and rude. And Lee was so clueless, like it never oc Ughhhhhhhhh I wanted something light and fun and I liked the whole tv-psychic thing and reading about Lee learning about tarot and discovering her own powers, BUT whyyyyyy(view spoiler)[ did the killer have to be a trans woman? And plus someone with DID. Aren't those two groups who are demonized enough? As soon as we learned that Sarge had two sons, I was like "oh great one of them grew up to be Janice and she's obviously the killer." So boring and rude. And Lee was so clueless, like it never occurred to her that Willie and Janice could be the same person. Dumbass (hide spoiler)] . One book in this series is enough for me.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Vera

    I was so sucked into this book and couldn't put it down until I figured out who the murderer was. Then I got frustrated with the author for cultural insensitivity and for perpetuating dangerous stereotypes. (view spoiler)[ The killer is an emotionally disturbed transgender woman. (hide spoiler)] Other reviews have been more eloquent about this issue. I'm disappointed. I was so sucked into this book and couldn't put it down until I figured out who the murderer was. Then I got frustrated with the author for cultural insensitivity and for perpetuating dangerous stereotypes. (view spoiler)[ The killer is an emotionally disturbed transgender woman. (hide spoiler)] Other reviews have been more eloquent about this issue. I'm disappointed.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    Lee Barrett has come home to Salem, Massachusetts with her sights set on a reporter's job at WICH-TV. When she shows up for her job interview, not only has the position already been filled, but she discovers the station's late-night psychic, Ariel Constellation, dead in Salem Harbor. Instead of a news anchor job, she finds herself filling the dead psychic's job -- introducing late night cheesy horror movies, and answering calls from viewers looking for psychic advice. She becomes Crystal Moon fo Lee Barrett has come home to Salem, Massachusetts with her sights set on a reporter's job at WICH-TV. When she shows up for her job interview, not only has the position already been filled, but she discovers the station's late-night psychic, Ariel Constellation, dead in Salem Harbor. Instead of a news anchor job, she finds herself filling the dead psychic's job -- introducing late night cheesy horror movies, and answering calls from viewers looking for psychic advice. She becomes Crystal Moon for the show, Nightshades. When another body is discovered and strange things start happening around the station, Lee becomes an amateur sleuth to discover the identity of the killer. Caught Dead Handed is the first book in the Witch City Mystery series. There are 3 books in the series so far. This book was a fun read! I love cozy mysteries, especially ones with cats. The main character, Lee, not only fills Ariel Constellation's job, but adopts her cat as well. The cat's name is Orion, which Lee changes to O'Ryan. The plot is a nice mix of mystery and humor. I liked the main character. She doesn't take herself too seriously. I mean how can you take yourself seriously when your job is to dress up in a gypsy costume and pretend to be psychic? The twist in the plot wasn't a big surprise. I had it figured out a few chapters before it was revealed. But that didn't impede my enjoyment of the book. The writing, plot, and characters were all well done, maintaining my interest all the way to the end. I did feel that things wrapped up rather hurriedly at the end, but I can't fault a 400+ page cozy for moving too quickly. The pacing was very well done. I just felt the wrap-up was handled a bit too fast, with the mystery solved just a few pages from the end, without much information on what happened afterwards. But, I guess all of that is in book 2.....which I will, of course, be reading. It doesn't take a psychic to figure that one out! My 2020 re-read of this book: I listened to this story in audio format. The audio is about six hours long, narrated by C.S.E. Cooney. She has a pleasant voice and reads at a good pace. The plot is cute and fun. I can't imagine being a late night horror host, but the main character, Lee, really rises to the occasion and gives it her best! This is definitely a great autumn/Halloween listen. I'm kicking off my season of all things witchy, scary and creepy with this cozy series. I'm definitely reading through all the books this time! One thing I find annoying about Scribd -- this audio book on Scribd is the Abridged format. I didn't realize it until I got to the end. It seemed impossible that a 400+ page cozy could be read in six hours! I compared the running time with the same audio book on Audible. Scribd - 6 hours. Audible - 8 hrs 52 minutes. I do not want to listen to audio books with 3 hours of the plot yanked out of them!! Several plot points I remembered from my first reading of the book are missing.....grrrrrr. I'm on my 30-day free trial of Scribd. Not listing whether the audio books are abridged or unabridged, (and most audio cozy mysteries on the site appear to be abridged) may just be a deal breaker. I still have a few days to make up my mind......but the abridged issue has me leaning towards cancelling.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne

    Loved, loved, loved O’Ryan…he’s the main character. Okay, maybe he’s not but he was my main and favorite character…he’s the dead psychic’s familiar cat :) After Lee Barrett finds the host of a call-in psychic show dead, she and her Aunt Ibby somehow wind up adopting O’Ryan. Or maybe O’Ryan adopts them. That’s how it usually goes with cats :) Lee’s goal is to be a news reporter at WICH-TV, but the job goes to someone else. Instead, Lee is offered the call-in psychic job to replace the murdered psy Loved, loved, loved O’Ryan…he’s the main character. Okay, maybe he’s not but he was my main and favorite character…he’s the dead psychic’s familiar cat :) After Lee Barrett finds the host of a call-in psychic show dead, she and her Aunt Ibby somehow wind up adopting O’Ryan. Or maybe O’Ryan adopts them. That’s how it usually goes with cats :) Lee’s goal is to be a news reporter at WICH-TV, but the job goes to someone else. Instead, Lee is offered the call-in psychic job to replace the murdered psychic. This is not at all what Lee wants or has any experience with, but a job is a job and it’s a way to get her foot in the door at WICH-TV. It’s not long before Lee realizes she just might have some psychic abilities after all when she sees visions in an obsidian ball. Strange and scary things start happening at the TV station and it doesn’t help knowing a murderer is on the loose. Lee and her aunt do some investigating on their own and begin to discover things aren’t as they seem. They need to find the killer before the killer finds them. Like I said before, the kitty is my favorite character but I did enjoy the others as well. Lee and her aunt are wonderful, strong characters. The author brings her entire cast to life on each page. The storyline kept me guessing, but I slowly began to realize what was happening. It wasn’t until close to the end when it all started coming together for me. This is a captivating, exciting and intriguing plot. Definitely a must read series for me. I can’t wait to read the second one and revisit O’Ryan, Lee and Aunt Ibby. Excellent start to a series.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    This was my second reading of this first book in the Witch City mysteries. It was such a delight to reread. It was still as fresh, charming and enjoyable as it was the first time. With a great set of characters of Lee (Marilee), Aunt Ibby, O'Ryan and Detective Pete Mondello. In a well plotted and written mystery that will keep you turning the pages from start to finish. If you have not tried this series yet...they are well worth reading. If you like the review and would like to read my other revie This was my second reading of this first book in the Witch City mysteries. It was such a delight to reread. It was still as fresh, charming and enjoyable as it was the first time. With a great set of characters of Lee (Marilee), Aunt Ibby, O'Ryan and Detective Pete Mondello. In a well plotted and written mystery that will keep you turning the pages from start to finish. If you have not tried this series yet...they are well worth reading. If you like the review and would like to read my other reviews on books I have read, visit my blog at www.finalchapterreadersgroup.wordpres...... like, comment and follow.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    2.5 stars Review to come

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alysa H.

    I received this book through Goodreads First Reads. I really liked the heroine of this book. Lee Barrett is a smart, level-headed adult whose behavior in odd situations is refreshingly realistic (so much so that it actually seems like inconsistent characterization when it takes Lee nearly all of this 400 page book to solve the crime that a good chunk of readers will have worked out pretty early on). The writing carried me along and was never bad, though it was generally prosaic. I was entertained I received this book through Goodreads First Reads. I really liked the heroine of this book. Lee Barrett is a smart, level-headed adult whose behavior in odd situations is refreshingly realistic (so much so that it actually seems like inconsistent characterization when it takes Lee nearly all of this 400 page book to solve the crime that a good chunk of readers will have worked out pretty early on). The writing carried me along and was never bad, though it was generally prosaic. I was entertained enough. Unfortunately, I had issues with other aspects of this book. The Salem set-up was never really used to full advantage. The author is from Salem, but this story could pretty much have taken place anywhere. The attempts to link it to specifically to its Salem location consisted almost entirely of weird B-plot suggestions regarding the 17th Century Salem witch trials that ultimately didn't amount to much and were actually a little bit off-putting. (In fact the paranormal elements in this book are so super-duper light, I'd argue that it's basically just a "cozy mystery".) I also found it odd that although heroine Lee lived in Salem for most of her life, moving away only after graduate school and coming back about half a dozen years later after her husband's death -- they lived in Tampa, also like the author, and part of the book is totally randomly set there too! -- that Lee does not seem to know a single person there besides her Aunt Ibby. Would she really remember no one? Would no one remember her? But here is my MAIN problem:(view spoiler)[The resolution of the murder mystery is some seriously outdated and hideously transphobic stuff! The killer is a woman, who used to be a man, who developed dissociative identity disorder because of childhood sexual abuse, and that's why she got a sex change, but now her original boy personality is back to KILL AGAIN!!! Seriously, anyone who's ever seen a Giallo film, or read widely in the pulp genre, or even seen Color of Night in the early 1990s will see this coming a mile away, and will probably spend most of the novel as I did: wondering when Lee would figure it out, and hoping I would be completely wrong and there would some other twist that would save us all from depictions of a a murderous trans*person. Sadly, my hopes were dashed. (hide spoiler)]

  12. 4 out of 5

    Quenya

    I really enjoyed this book. Some of that may be to the fact I had listened to a couple of very disappointing books for this one. The mystery was interesting and the flow of the book was fast-paced. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and settings for the book and it setup the future series very well. I enjoyed all the characters in the book. Which is surprising for me because there is usually at least one character that annoys me. I liked the main characters of Lee and her aunt, the police I really enjoyed this book. Some of that may be to the fact I had listened to a couple of very disappointing books for this one. The mystery was interesting and the flow of the book was fast-paced. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and settings for the book and it setup the future series very well. I enjoyed all the characters in the book. Which is surprising for me because there is usually at least one character that annoys me. I liked the main characters of Lee and her aunt, the police and all of the supporting characters at the television station. The book lost a star in rating because the last quarter of the book was pointless. The solution was obvious to everyone but it appeared the author needed to make the book last longer. The author accomplished this by having all the characters lose their intelligence and just basically ignore all the clues. It was not needed and made the book drag on way too long. Also the finale was a little anti-climactic. The narrator was really good especially when Lee was “On-Air” as her TV persona.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    I wanted to try some cozy mystery because it seems like it would be easy, relaxing entertainment, and I chose this one because it had some SFF elements, so was more in my normal area of interest. This started out meeting my expectations, with simple, but amusing characterizations, setting and plot, but quickly devolved into a ball of problematic tropes that need to be yeeted into the sun. (view spoiler)[There were Romani slurs and cultural appropriation, cartoonish representation of Wiccans, and I wanted to try some cozy mystery because it seems like it would be easy, relaxing entertainment, and I chose this one because it had some SFF elements, so was more in my normal area of interest. This started out meeting my expectations, with simple, but amusing characterizations, setting and plot, but quickly devolved into a ball of problematic tropes that need to be yeeted into the sun. (view spoiler)[There were Romani slurs and cultural appropriation, cartoonish representation of Wiccans, and a mentally ill, trans woman murderer. Jesus! Who wrote this? J.K. Rowling? (hide spoiler)] I hadn't payed attention to when this was written and thought maybe this could be forgiven a little bit as being an older book and of its time. Nope. Published in 2014. On top of all that, you would have to have the mentation of a brick to not solve the mystery by the 50% mark so it was a pretty big letdown on that front too. I do not recommend this book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Daisy

    How grossly inappropriate for a cozy mystery to use dissociative personality disorder and childhood sexual abuse as the solution to the whodunit.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kim Galla

    Loved this! Curious as to what path Lee will take.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Booth

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. WTHeck?! Okay, I read a LOT of cozy mysteries, but if you couldn’t figure out who the killer is a little more than halfway through the book then you are either 8 years old or have an IQ of 65 and just don’t get foreshadowing and hits with a sledge hammer. Seriously, you could edit out a quarter of this book or at least stop beating the reader to death with blinding slaps in the face with the clues so that you have no choice but to figure it out WAY before the end and then have to wait for everyo WTHeck?! Okay, I read a LOT of cozy mysteries, but if you couldn’t figure out who the killer is a little more than halfway through the book then you are either 8 years old or have an IQ of 65 and just don’t get foreshadowing and hits with a sledge hammer. Seriously, you could edit out a quarter of this book or at least stop beating the reader to death with blinding slaps in the face with the clues so that you have no choice but to figure it out WAY before the end and then have to wait for everyone else to get on board. I figured that it had to be a serious red herring it was so obvious, but no. Our heroine misses hints that were metaphorically handed to her on a platter which was then used to whack her over the head and she STILL didn’t get it. She was supposed to be really smart too! I would have given the book 4 stars but feel it was more of a 2 star tale because after you guess the killer and much of the motivation, you have to see more and more hints beating you to death with the conclusion for another 40% of the book. You can’t believe that the protagonist isn’t getting it. When there wasn’t a surprise ending after having had the killer revealed so obviously I found myself a bit annoyed. I did like the characters and a loved the cat, but this got lost in the fact that the author thought I was too dumb to figure it out for myself so she drowned me in clues and this ticked me off enough to take away all the positives of the story. Maybe the next one, if I read it, will be better, but don’t make it so easy an 8 year old could solve it. It’s nice to be able to figure out the ending but not so quickly and so easily. I guess I am so annoyed because the writing is basically pretty good and it had so much potential to be a good little mystery. If this is the authors first work, I hope she gained a little more faith in the readers to get her clues because if she does that, I’d definitely read her again. I just got tired of waiting until everyone in the story came to the conclusion I was well aware of 3/5ths into the story.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amy (libraryofamy)

    This was easy and fun. I guessed the big twist pretty early on, but I enjoyed the setting and the secondary plots. Definitely a cozy mystery! Will probably pick up the sequel sometime soon.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    A pleasant contemporary, somewhat cozy mystery set mainly in Salem, Massachusetts. We spent our vacation there two years ago, and I wasn't able to visualize the beautiful town we fell in love with based on the author's descriptions. Although she does mention some of the key historical events and sites, it might be that later books in the series would capture it a bit better, for this reader at least. It was a lengthy book and I guessed the identity of the killer at page 285, so getting to the en A pleasant contemporary, somewhat cozy mystery set mainly in Salem, Massachusetts. We spent our vacation there two years ago, and I wasn't able to visualize the beautiful town we fell in love with based on the author's descriptions. Although she does mention some of the key historical events and sites, it might be that later books in the series would capture it a bit better, for this reader at least. It was a lengthy book and I guessed the identity of the killer at page 285, so getting to the end from there was a bit of a slog. Still, the likable characters, especially Lee and her Aunt Ibby, made it worth finishing, although the end was a bit darker than usual for a cozy. 2 1/2 stars, rounded up to 3.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dakota

    took forever, I really couldnt get into it. and at one point youre pretty much just waiting for Lee to figure things out ... for someone who has been on tv and lived in Salem in Florida I couldnt understand how Lee could not think of the possibility.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Michelle

    Due to this being a book club read, I cannot really give it a full review until after the 27th when we meet to discuss it [and where I will, once again, be very unpopular]. I CAN tell you that I didn't really like this book much - I didn't like the language, I didn't like the vulgarity and there were aspects of the story that I cannot discuss here that rubbed me the wrong way only because I had a friend in a similar situation so I knew of it first-hand and I felt the author tried to be more sens Due to this being a book club read, I cannot really give it a full review until after the 27th when we meet to discuss it [and where I will, once again, be very unpopular]. I CAN tell you that I didn't really like this book much - I didn't like the language, I didn't like the vulgarity and there were aspects of the story that I cannot discuss here that rubbed me the wrong way only because I had a friend in a similar situation so I knew of it first-hand and I felt the author tried to be more sensational rather than sympathetic. I know that is so very vague, but there you are. There WERE aspects of the book that I did enjoy - the Salem background for one, Aunt Ibby for two and the rest would also be spoilers so my lips are now sealed. Or fingers. Or whatever. I will say the narrator for this book led to a lot of the negativity surrounding this read - a friend of mine was reading it as well and was able to both listen AND read the book book and had a much difference experience once she was able to dump the audiobook. Because I was unable to do that and had to listen to the WHOLE BLOODY BOOK [and can we talk about how this book was easily 200 pages too long and about 2 hours too long in audio], it really made me NOT like this book. Meh. What a horrible narrator. Ugh. Perhaps after book club I will come back and update this. Or maybe I won't. We will see.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

    Between that cover and the synopsis, I was hooked before even picking the first in the Witch City Mystery series up. That can be a recipe for disaster, but in this case I was happy that my instincts did not steer me wrong! Three reasons I loved Caught Dead Handed SALEM – Need I say more? I lived in Salem for quite some time and that city (which really has a New England small town feel) will forever hold a special place in my heart. If a book is set in Salem it almost guarantees that I’ll pick it u Between that cover and the synopsis, I was hooked before even picking the first in the Witch City Mystery series up. That can be a recipe for disaster, but in this case I was happy that my instincts did not steer me wrong! Three reasons I loved Caught Dead Handed SALEM – Need I say more? I lived in Salem for quite some time and that city (which really has a New England small town feel) will forever hold a special place in my heart. If a book is set in Salem it almost guarantees that I’ll pick it up and most likely love it! The fact that the author, Carol J Perry, hails from Salem gives Caught Dead Handed an authenticity that I loved…though of course this is fiction and there were times that I was just shaking my head about building locations and distances…why would you take a cab somewhere that you could walk?? CATS – O’Ryan/Orion makes this story. I love that he gets a prominent role and not just a walk on part. He is a true witch’s cat and does his part to help Lee solve the mystery. WITCHES – Of course, what is October (or any time for that matter) in Salem without witches? I love that Perry really gives the reader a taste of the real Salem and real witches. We see the good, the bad, the fake and the real and it puts it all in great perspective.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    The city full of witches, ghosts, crystal ball, crystal necklaces, a dead psychic, a psychic cat named Orion but changed to O’Ryan, poisoned cat food, a slashed woman, tarot card readings, tea leaf readings and the Witch’s Ball brew together to make this book a very intriguing and interesting story. Lee Barrett returns home to her Aunt Ibby’s house in Salem, Massachusetts. She is going to interview at the local television station to be a reporter. But she will discover only job available is that of t The city full of witches, ghosts, crystal ball, crystal necklaces, a dead psychic, a psychic cat named Orion but changed to O’Ryan, poisoned cat food, a slashed woman, tarot card readings, tea leaf readings and the Witch’s Ball brew together to make this book a very intriguing and interesting story. Lee Barrett returns home to her Aunt Ibby’s house in Salem, Massachusetts. She is going to interview at the local television station to be a reporter. But she will discover only job available is that of the call-in psychic hosting the late night horror show. The previous host, Ariel Constellation was found dead outside the studio. Aunt Ibby offers to take the deceased psychic’s cat, Orion home. They changed his name to O’Ryan. But someone is trying to kidnap the cat. The Tarot cards reader warns Lee & her grandmother to be careful as danger is in the cards. An action packed, suspenseful, well written story. The characters were colorful, vividly described, quirky and provided an array of suspects. This was a new author to me and a new series. A perfect Halloween read🎃🎃🎃🎃

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ell

    I can't believe how much I liked this book. I picked it up because it was the book chosen for a book club I am a member of. It was the perfect choice for October. I had never read a witch or psychic themed cozy before, so I wasn't sure I would like it. It was not over the top with magic, like I feared it might be. It was exactly the right amount for Halloween. The author had me eagerly reading more! The character's are really well-defined and the story is told in such an interesting way that I c I can't believe how much I liked this book. I picked it up because it was the book chosen for a book club I am a member of. It was the perfect choice for October. I had never read a witch or psychic themed cozy before, so I wasn't sure I would like it. It was not over the top with magic, like I feared it might be. It was exactly the right amount for Halloween. The author had me eagerly reading more! The character's are really well-defined and the story is told in such an interesting way that I couldn't wait to read another in the series.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Heather Gunnell

    I LOVE this book! I was only a few chapters in when I pre-ordered book 2. Caught Dead Handed did an excellent job of keeping intrigued and turning the pages. Even though I had a pretty good idea of "whodunnit" well before the end, I still had to make sure I was right. Perry did a great job of keeping me questioning what I knew and thought I knew. I am anxiously awaiting the release of the next book. I LOVE this book! I was only a few chapters in when I pre-ordered book 2. Caught Dead Handed did an excellent job of keeping intrigued and turning the pages. Even though I had a pretty good idea of "whodunnit" well before the end, I still had to make sure I was right. Perry did a great job of keeping me questioning what I knew and thought I knew. I am anxiously awaiting the release of the next book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Vicky

    Excellent! I am only sorry I have to wait until next year for another Witch city novel. the characters are well defined. Lee is not a typical "dumb" heroine. She actually communicates with the police. I love aunt Ibby is a smart, older woman who isn't held back. Very well written. the mystery is enticing, enchanting. Just the right a mount of "cozy" and not the main focus of the novel. I loved this book. Excellent! I am only sorry I have to wait until next year for another Witch city novel. the characters are well defined. Lee is not a typical "dumb" heroine. She actually communicates with the police. I love aunt Ibby is a smart, older woman who isn't held back. Very well written. the mystery is enticing, enchanting. Just the right a mount of "cozy" and not the main focus of the novel. I loved this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Regan

    REALLY good mystery. I figured out the solution as soon as I saw the title of one of the books the heroine refers to about 1/3 of the way through, but it didn't take away from a really, really good read. Definitely going to be reading book 2. REALLY good mystery. I figured out the solution as soon as I saw the title of one of the books the heroine refers to about 1/3 of the way through, but it didn't take away from a really, really good read. Definitely going to be reading book 2.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    Started out 3.5 stars, ended up with 3. This one ticks all the "cosy mystery" boxes for me. It was, all in all, quite enjoyable. The only real misstep was that the main character was really slow on the uptake towards the end on who the killer was. I saw no real reason for her to not put two and two together and draw the obvious conclusion becasue the twist was so glaringly obvious it sort of annoyed me - but then again, I am a true crime freak and naturally suspicious. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I liked the characters Started out 3.5 stars, ended up with 3. This one ticks all the "cosy mystery" boxes for me. It was, all in all, quite enjoyable. The only real misstep was that the main character was really slow on the uptake towards the end on who the killer was. I saw no real reason for her to not put two and two together and draw the obvious conclusion becasue the twist was so glaringly obvious it sort of annoyed me - but then again, I am a true crime freak and naturally suspicious. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I liked the characters, especially Lee and her budding witchy powers. But most of all (of course) I liked Orion, the cat. 😹 I could have done without the romance, quite honestly. At least it took a while for it to get started. Sort of. It wasn't a classic case of "insta love", which felt like a nice change, but still... It didn't really need to happen in the first book. It could have waited one. Or two. C.S.E Cooney did a good job narrating. Such a wonderful change from the other series I just left behind. 😸

  28. 5 out of 5

    Blair

    I would actually give it a 3.5 if possible (rating within the genre). It's a good start of a series and I will definitely be reading the second book. It's a fun read with a lot of series potential. If you like Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, I would recommend giving this a try. It's funny that even with witches and psychics it is less outrageous than the Plum series is in the late teens/early 20's books. I would actually give it a 3.5 if possible (rating within the genre). It's a good start of a series and I will definitely be reading the second book. It's a fun read with a lot of series potential. If you like Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, I would recommend giving this a try. It's funny that even with witches and psychics it is less outrageous than the Plum series is in the late teens/early 20's books.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    Pretty good but darker then I expected urban fantasy. I prefer light hearted mysteries with quirky characters, this one had a pleasant main character but many of the other characters were much less appealing. (view spoiler)[One thing I liked is that the "magical" elements are very ambiguous. (hide spoiler)] Pretty good but darker then I expected urban fantasy. I prefer light hearted mysteries with quirky characters, this one had a pleasant main character but many of the other characters were much less appealing. (view spoiler)[One thing I liked is that the "magical" elements are very ambiguous. (hide spoiler)]

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Nice start to the series, and I hope that there will be further installments. :-)

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