Everything about the books in this series shouts "TWEE!" - from the cover, to the series name, the setting, and premise, but they aren't at all twee. Even though I know this, they still sit on my TBR for too long because ... twee.
In spite of the facade, these mysteries are well written and almost always go quite a bit deeper than your average cozy; this one was no different. To Catch a Witch confronts the alarming dysfunction that sometimes exists behind the doors of the healthiest looking families, as well as the ones that advertise their dysfunction for all and sundry.
The mystery plot here revolves around a woman who was universally loved (aren't they all?) who is killed during a running through Salem village. Abbey truly had no enemies, was actually loved by everyone, and had a moral compass that pointed true north and didn't waver. So how did she end up dead at the bottom of a gorge, killed by a branch to the back of her head?
This is why I love Heather Webber/Blake; she can write about love and heartbreak and redemption without making me roll my eyes or want to gag. She somehow manages to do it without the emotional melodrama ... and she writes a cleverly plotted mystery to boot. Was it fiendishly clever? No. Did I ever suspect the murderer? No. Yet it was entirely plausible and had me thinking, of course.
It wasn't perfect; the plot twist was transparent to me early on - at least most of it was. She did get me with the bit about ... never mind.
I'll never rave madly about these books, but they're solidly written and always make me feel a little better for having read them. The characters are wonderfully likeable, and for those that look for books with strong female friendships, they're bountiful between these pages. I'll happily read the next one, no matter how twee it looks.