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Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
Laura Levine's latest mystery entitled "Death of a Neighborhood Witch" is a good afternoon's read for those not wanting to concentrate too hard on the plot. The characters are funny and seem to be representatives of the Hollywood film genre. In this novel, there is a Halloween party to which Jaine Austen is invited along with friends in her neighborhood. The party is hosted by newcomer Peter, a book editor who is sought after by the neighborhood witch Cryptessa, a former want-to-be film star who has written a mystery book. Jaine and her gay friend both hanker after the new guy on the block and they find devious ways to try to get Peter alone. Jaine's friend Lance gets her a gorilla costume to wear to the party and the costume becomes the disguise for the murderer of Cryptessa who is hated by nearly all the neighbors. Jaine becomes the prime suspect in the murder and she sets off to clear her own name.
There are places in the novel where the cutesy talk gets to be a bit too much but the plot is interesting and will hold the interest of most readers. Surely, some will anticipate the "climax" but that knowledge will not detract from the enjoyability of the book. This reader could have done without the cliche bits about the retired parents in Florida. The characters are endearing and most readers will find this to be an easy beach or plane trip read.