Berry has fun with the contradictions at play in Ellie’s life ... The village and its townsfolk are a conundrum as well; the story is contemporary, but the rural English setting makes things feel old-fashioned, adding to the overall charm. When a young girl defies her mother and basically apprentices herself to Ellie without so much as asking permission, it’s not only funny but also moves the story forward in unexpected ways ... For a witch with no real powers, Ellie still has some connection to the paranormal via her dead sister, with whom she communicates. Their exchanges can be humorous but primarily serve as a more serious, grounding subplot to a story that otherwise bubbles along like a hot cauldron.
... sparkling ... Ellie and Nicholas’s blossoming relationship provides counterpoint to the spooky goings-on. Along with quirky characters and a twisty plot, Berry supplies a good foundation for more stories to follow.
Although she has no magic powers, Ellie’s very good at reading people, and her skills put her in danger before she comes to a decidedly mundane solution ... A puzzling mystery laced with guile and humor.