Something Witchy This Way Comes, (previously published as Murder Spell) is a mystery in The Victorian Witch Chronicles in e-book form by Fiola Tempest.
Plot: The tale opens with Tellehandra Quin McMurry, preferably called Viola, revealing that life on her landed gentry father’s estate in Galway County, Ireland had been a happy one with her sisters and mother whom her father referred to “as wild as the land”. Suddenly and for reasons unknown to her, they suddenly disappeared and shortly thereafter her father passed away leaving her a 15-year-old orphan. She was left as the sole heir to her father’s sizeable estate and according to the law of the period her money would be transferred to her husband upon marriage unless she did not marry until the age of 25, when the inheritance could be hers. Her uncle, suspected of being a heavy gambler as well as perpetrator of other nefarious schemes, is appointed her legal guardian. The story progresses revolving around facts she discovers from a presumed lost letter and other slowly evolving evidence about the evilness of her guardian and of his son Thomas with whom the two attempt to force her into marriage. Simultaneously, evidence gradually reveals evidence that she may have some attachment to witchery and that this fact also may offer some explanation for her mother and sisters inexplicable disappeared. Mounting suspense is generated while Viola attempts to escape a deadly fate planned by her dastardly uncle and his son as she receives some help from an unusual source and also discovers the manner in which unsolved murders had been committed and by whom.
Discussion: This is a short story taking place in the late nineteenth century and manages to convey quite well a sense of the mores of the time as well as providing a feeling of ‘being in the era’. It moves well and should be thoroughly enjoyed by readers who take pleasure in fanciful tales of this period.
4* 5* For readers enjoying fanciful mystery tales with a touch of the occult.