It Takes a Witch: A Wishcraft Mystery

BOOK: It Takes a Witch: A Wishcraft Mystery
9.22Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

“Has anyone seen Sylar?” Ve asked. “He was supposed to walk back with us.”

“He was here a minute ago,” Gayle said.

Ve looked toward the back door. “He probably stepped outside for a moment. He wants me to think he quit smoking, but I know he still sneaks a few cigarettes a day.”

“I’ll check for him,” I offered. I cut through the romance section and walked along a narrow hallway, past a restroom, a small kitchen, a storeroom, and an office.

I opened the back door and was surprised to find Sylar kneeling on the ground, an unlit cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Rain fell steadily.

Sylar’s glasses wobbled on his nose as he looked up at me, his face drained of color. Rain dripped off his chin. It was then that I noticed that he was kneeling over someone.

I stepped forward. Alexandra Shively lay on the ground. My breath caught when I spotted Ve’s beautiful turquoise scarf knotted tightly around Alexandra’s neck.

“We need to call the paramedics,” Sylar said in a small voice.

There was no use. Alexandra’s face was swollen, blood trickled from her nose, and her eyes were wide open and bulging, but not seeing anything at all.

She was very clearly dead.

It Takes a Witch




Published by New American Library, a division of

Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,

New York, New York 10014, USA

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,

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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:

80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

First published by Obsidian, an imprint of New American Library,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

First Printing, January 2012

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Copyright © Heather Webber, 2012

All rights reserved

OBSIDIAN and logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Printed in the United States of America

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.

If you purchased this book without a cover you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

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Table of Contents


Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One

A Witch Before Dying

This one is for Jessica Faust.

Thank you for everything.


am beyond thankful for the wonderful editorial guidance of Sandy Harding. She not only took a chance on me (and Darcy), but also helped me shape this book into something I am incredibly proud of. A big thank-you also goes to Elizabeth Bistrow and everyone at NAL who had a hand in seeing this book come to life.

Endless gratitude goes to Sharon Short, who spent hours with me at a local Panera helping me flesh out Wishcraft rules. I can only imagine what eavesdroppers may have been thinking. Next time, Sharon, the green tea is on me.

To my critique partners, who always know just what to say (even when I might not want to hear it): You’re the best friends a girl can have.

I’m so grateful for my family, who have always been incredibly supportive of me and my dreams. I couldn’t do this without you. Much love.

Finally, to my readers who enthusiastically follow me—and my characters—wherever my books take us … I cannot express how grateful I am. Thank you.

Chapter One

sually I’m not in the habit of tiptoeing through strange houses under the cover of darkness.

It was unsettling to say the least, and I felt completely out of sorts. My outfit only added to my discomfort. The flouncy, frilly pink satin bodysuit, tulle tutu, and pink ballet slippers were a far cry from my usual jeans and tee.

It didn’t help that my every move was being watched closely.

As I crept up the aged wooden stairs of a large house along the coast of Salem, Massachusetts, Amanda Goodwin followed behind me with her mother-­in-­law, Cherise, bringing up the rear. They’d ushered me straight upstairs as soon as I’d arrived, their eyes lit like they were two little girls sneaking a peek at Santa. At the top of the steps, a long hallway branched into four bedrooms, one of which had its door closed. Pink and black polka-­dotted block letters attached to the wood paneling declared it as my destination: Laurel Grace Goodwin’s bedroom.

“Have you done this before, Ms. Merriweather?” Amanda asked softly, tugging on my gossamer wings. “Played the tooth fairy?”

I had sized up Amanda immediately as a hip suburban soccer mom, in her designer jeans, beaded tank top, and Grecian-­inspired sandals. A natural blonde, she
wore her hair long and straight, parted down the middle. Lots of lip gloss and mascara but not much else.

I smiled, trying to hide my nervousness. “Please call me Darcy, and this is my first time.” I truly hoped it would be my last. Tulle and I didn’t get along. My legs were itching something fierce, despite the thin protection of a pair of tights.

“Well”—­Cherise had the strong Boston accent of someone who had been born and bred in this area—­“your aunt Velma highly recommends you, and we trust her and As You Wish implicitly.”

I had been working at my aunt Ve’s business, As You Wish, for only two weeks. The company blended the tasks of a virtual personal assistant and a personal concierge service. Our clients’ requests were diverse, often challenging, and sometimes just plain strange. They ranged from administrative tasks to running errands, to shopping for a gift, to providing an extra pair of hands to clean up a messy house, and much, much more. As You Wish’s motto was that no request was too big or too small and no job ­impossible—­as was proven by the fact that I was standing before the Goodwins looking like a character from a fairy tale.

I transferred my velvet drawstring purse from one hand to the other and noticed I was leaving a trail of glitter behind me. It sparkled on the rich dark oak floors.

Short and pleasantly plump with chin-­length snow-­white hair, heavily layered and teased, Cherise wore a bit too much makeup, and overaccessorized with several ropes of beaded necklaces and heavy chandelier earrings. “I was glad to hear of you and your sister moving in with Velma. I imagine she’s been glad to share the
family business
with you?”

Ve had told me that she and Cherise were old friends, though they hadn’t spoken in a while. Even still, I wasn’t the least bit surprised Cherise knew of my arrival to the Enchanted Village, the unique Salem neighborhood where my aunt lived.

A new witch in town doesn’t go unnoticed in these parts.

And two new witches? Rumors were flying faster than some broomsticks.

Cherise either was fishing for a little gossip or was genuinely curious to know if my sister, Harper, and I were aware that the
family business
she referred to wasn’t the brick-­and-­mortar As You Wish, but the fact that we could actually grant wishes through a wishing spell.

It was a reasonable inquiry. Until three weeks ago, Harper and I were living in Ohio and dealing with lives that weren’t what we’d imagined. When we received a note from Aunt Ve asking if she could visit because she had something important to tell us, we had no idea how our lives would change. Within a week we had packed up what little we had and moved to the Enchanted Village.

“We’re glad to be here.” Well, I was. Harper was still adjusting.

Putting my (disastrous) divorce and my inability to find a decent job behind me and getting Harper out of Ohio before she caused any more trouble may have been the perfect incentive to move, but learning about our heritage of the Craft, or in my family’s case
craft, was now a priority. I was still learning the Wishcraft Laws, and all the ins and outs that came along with the revelation that I was a witch.

Thankfully some of the laws were easy to remember. Like the fact that I can’t wish death on anyone. Or prevent death. Or interfere with true love. Or that no Wishcrafter can grant her own wishes (or other Wishcrafters’ wishes). I also can’t solicit or refuse to grant a wish without severe consequence. However, the biggest rule of all was that I (or any Crafter for that matter) couldn’t reveal to any mortal the truth about my powers or I risked losing my wish-­granting abilities forever.

BOOK: It Takes a Witch: A Wishcraft Mystery
9.22Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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