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by Madelyn Alt
Berkley, January 2006
272 pages
ISBN: 0425207463

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Maggie O'Neill is on her way to work at the Stony Mill, Indiana, collection agency one morning. She inexplicably takes the long way round, even though she has been chastised more than once before for being tardy. Stony Mill is being yuppified and the warehouses along River Street are being turned into such yuppie havens as antique shops.

Just as she is looking in the window of one of the poshest of the antiques shops, it starts to rain heavily. She shelters in the doorway of the store, but mysteriously, the door is not locked and she falls into the shop, Enchantments. Felicity Dow, the owner, offers Maggie a job, which she politely declines. When she gets to work, late, her boss tells her to leave, that she is fired. Maggie phones Felicity to see if the job is still open, and agrees to start immediately. Felicity tells Maggie that she is a witch.

On Maggie's first day at work at her new job, Felicity gets a mysterious phone call, after which she runs out of the shop leaving Maggie alone. Maggie explores and finds a room upstairs filled with books on Wicca and witchcraft. Maggie takes one to read, so she can understand her new employer, but when Felicity is arrested for the murder of her estranged sister, Maggie has to find out whodunit, while discovering that she has mysterious powers of her own, which she must learn to control.

One has to suspend disbelief a little more than usual with THE TROUBLE WITH MAGIC. Who would leave a new employee alone in a shop full of valuables? Perhaps Felicity had divined that Maggie would be loyal. Then there is Maggie's attraction to the handsome, married Deputy Fielding, and Marcus, Felicity's handsome toy boy, or is he? For a little light reading, try the world of Maggie O'Neill. It will help pass a sunny afternoon.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, March 2006

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