Ossus Library Index
Fantasy Index


A novel by Cate Lawley
(2021, Kindle Direct Publishing)

Night Shift Witch, book 2

Stumbling across a murder at a Halloween party, Star takes charge to find the murderer and the reasons behind it.


+ -- First reading (ebook)
January 22nd to 24th, 2021


The main character has a lot of energy, and this comes across in the fast-paced way this story is told. It’s confined to a single house, almost a single room, as the murder investigation is conducted. As with the previous story, it was simple, but at least here the murderer and the motive were not so transparent, and it took some digging to get to. Ben doesn’t get much to do, but he keeps a level head, which is good. Star is gaining confidence, though her self-depreciating nature will get tedious if this continues much longer. I liked the demonstration of her power with the use of the veil, which shows what she could be with the proper training. However, I think there are several inconsistencies in what happened immediately after the murder, and the reaction of the murderer.

Spoiler review:

These books are more of the novela length, which is why I chose to read them, to get an understanding of the misdirection and clue-dispersal needed for a murder-mystery. Unfortunately, while the books are somewhat entertaining, they have not delivered on the reason I bought them. In this case, we get a bunch of witches in the house where a body is discovered, and Star goes around collecting clues, both by interviews and by watching how the others react. The owner of the house confesses that there is a ghost haunting the place, which nearly gets Star hurt as he tries to communicate.

Others show their attitude toward humans by casting a spell of sleep on those at the party, as it is known that a non-magic user could not have killed the witch in this way. They seem to want to have fun at normals’ expense. I liked the interactions with these witches, as they were fun and devious. Star isn’t a very good investigator, though, as she catches clues by fluke conversations, hearing about Samantha’s fight with her boyfriend, the duel which killed her ex-boyfriend, and the timeframe at which the murder occurred.

But knowing all these clues, she’s good at putting them together. The fact that Isabella’s magical veil to the underworld was missing, her intuition that the ghost was Samantha’s ex-boyfriend, the clogged toilet, all point to Samantha being the murderer. Perhaps it’s because of the witch world’s nonchalance with murder that Star gets to the heart of it all -nobody else cares. So it turns out that the murder was an accident, that the witch was pushed over the bathtub edge into water that had been set up for mood, with candles and such, drowning her. Samantha only wanted to talk with her ex.

There is a gaping disparity, though, in the way that the murder must have progressed, though. If merely touching the veil through a bag could allow Star to see the ghost, why didn’t Samantha speak with him in the time immediately after the murder? She must have touched it before flushing it, so why was she shocked Star could see him? Was the ghost not following her around, since he loved her so much? Instead, he was trying to talk with Star -why? I thought it was quite the coincidence that the ghost was Samantha’s ex, but I guess it makes sense since he was killed in a duel by the owner of the house.


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