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Magic Can Be Murder
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Magic Can Be Murder
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"[A] lighthearted mystery . . . Kids who like mystery and fantasy and fans of television's Sabrina, about a teenage witch, will like this" (Booklist). Nola's not much of a witch—she can work...
"[A] lighthearted mystery . . . Kids who like mystery and fantasy and fans of television's Sabrina, about a teenage witch, will like this" (Booklist). Nola's not much of a witch—she can work...
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  • "[A] lighthearted mystery . . . Kids who like mystery and fantasy and fans of television's Sabrina, about a teenage witch, will like this" (Booklist).

    Nola's not much of a witch—she can work only a few useless spells, like the one that lets her spy on people. But there's no spell for keeping her crazy mother—who hears voices and is a magnet for witch-hunters—out of trouble. The two flee from town to town until the day Nola witnesses a murder. Which is bad enough, but worse is that the murderer may frame Nola and her mother for the crime. And then no amount of magic will save her.

    And you think your teenage years are tough . . .

    "Dialogue is fast and funny, the characters evincing a certain human desperation that makes them (the good guys, anyway) unfailingly sympathetic. Introduce Rowling fans to Vande Velde, and watch them make magic." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

    "Vande Velde has produced a winner in this fantasy mystery . . . [Fans] will not be disappointed in this funny and charming story, which will attract mystery and romance lovers as well." —VOYA

    "Vande Velde's offering throws murder, witchcraft, and romance into the brew . . . The well-developed characters provide entertaining reading." —School Library Journal

    "Fun and suspense for readers . . . Entertaining." —Publishers Weekly

    "The story moves from a witch's tale of many spells, to a murder mystery, and finally, a love story . . . Amusing, light reading." —Kliatt

    "An entertaining fantasy for any reader." —SF Site

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 4, 2000
    Vande Velde's (The Rumpelstiltskin Problem, reviewed above) fairy tale-like novel set once upon a time features two witches, 17-year-old Nola and her mother. The pair works for hire at odd jobs, and Nola hides her magic, knowing they could be killed if suspected of witchcraft. Occasionally Nola tosses a hair in a bucket of water to read "shadowforms"--images of what the hair's owner is doing at that moment. Such a spell is in progress when a silversmith fires her and her mother. In her rushed departure, Nola neglects to break the spell; so she bespells another bucket to see if the first one has been discovered. Thus she witnesses the silversmith's murder. Afraid that she may be implicated in the murder, Nola returns to the silversmith's house. She continues to cast spells to protect her ruse, each time creating more trouble for herself--but more fun and suspense for readers. Although they may be overwhelmed by the detailed plot points, readers will be rewarded with a solid mystery and a handful of memorable characters, especially Nola's mother, an eccentric woman possessed by spirits, who makes funny asides (e.g., "Never underestimate someone who's willing to hold your head while you're being sick"). The investigator's acceptance of Nola's witchcraft, however, feels too sudden, and their romance unnecessary. The impractical conclusion is a letdown from an otherwise entertaining read. Ages 12-up.

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    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Magic Can Be Murder
Magic Can Be Murder
Vivian Vande Velde
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