Ossus Library Index
Fantasy Index


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

Night Shift Witch, book 4

When a witch's cat is accused of murdering Santa's reindeer, Star goes in search of an alibi and the real human culprit.


-- First reading (ebook)
October 14th, 2021


The mystery is how the transformation and poisoning were done, and it’s not much of a mystery. Star, Ben and Alex go wandering around the city searching first for the cat, then the people on the cat’s list, garnering help from a vet and a couple of witches we’ve met before in this series. The motive is weak, the mystery is solved by the cat without trying, and the solution is way too easy. However, the characters are sweet, and the book is written more like a diary, so we get Star’s intimate thoughts about Alex, Twinkles in his actor form, and a lot about Ben. Paranormal beings like these are not my style, so I couldn’t appreciate the world, but I did like the characters and the way they interacted. I just wish the mystery was a little more mysterious.

Spoiler review:

The book begins with a mystery, but not the main mystery, as Star wants to know what the cat did to Ben to make him hate it so much. Turns out that Twinkles peed on a note from Star –a grocery list, but it said “love Star” so it was important to Ben.

The rest of the novelette follows a similar route to Tickle the Dragon’s Tail. In this case, two of Santa’s reindeer have been killed, and Twinkles has been transformed into a human that looks like Matt Damon. The author takes the light way out in that the reindeer are still alive and just need a potion to wake them up, and that the potion used on the cat didn’t use a live pixie as usual, but one that was found dead. It takes some of the gruesomeness out of the story, but also takes away a drive that the story could have used.

Everything in these stories is too easy. Star falls into the solutions quickly.

The funniest parts of the book were finding Twinkles in the pizza parlor and talking to him on the phone later. The barking dogs have been let loose, and a female cat love interest is traumatized –what’s that one about?

The characters, especially Star, is cute in how she blushingly talks about Ben, her normal boyfriend thrust into the abnormal witching world. Alex can be funny, too. They search for the cat, then go examine the reindeer bodies, find out they still have a spark of magic in them, and conclude that it was a witch’s potion that caused the near deaths.

Ben has to cat-sit Twinkles when it’s revealed he’s in his owner’s shed, while Twinkles provides a list of people who might want to kill him. He also has lists of things he’d love to do before being killed by the magical council for the murder of Santa’s reindeer. The list of suspects hilariously includes Star herself, but also two other witches whom we met in Star of the Party.

One seems surprised to learn about some aspects of the case, while the other confesses immediately. No misdirection or actual searching required. I guess the fun lies in learning about the paranormal world, its politics, and the way people can be embarrassed by a cat peeing on them after they step on its tail. The witch who created the potions wanted to get back at Twinkles with a lame scheme that involved getting the reindeer drunk and making it look like the cat did it –in human form. Obviously it all backfired, but she didn’t come forward to confess, no matter that Twinkles would have been killed for the act.

In the end, the witches brew up an antidote and revive the reindeer in time for Christmas. Ben proposes to Star, and we learn that Santa was created by the belief in Christmas –he’s currently a very much in-shape lumberjack type with whom Star sets up one of her friends.

I’ve finished the series, and won’t be returning, as it’s not my style. For people interested in witches, this may be a better read. I was looking for something a little deeper in my characters and plot, and didn’t find it here.


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