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The Caretaker - A Witches of Blackwood Grove Mystery, Book 1 (PAPERBACK)

The Caretaker - A Witches of Blackwood Grove Mystery, Book 1 (PAPERBACK)

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Dusty Hotte must be cursed.

First she lost her job then her house caught fire. On the same day. There are worse things than starting over at fifty, right? But when someone threatens her granddaughter’s life, enough is enough.

Seeking protection, they move to Dusty’s enchanted family farm - filled with elderly witches whose magic has gone a bit wonky, a horde of familiars, and a couple ghosts - in the safe town of Blackwood Grove, Wisconsin, where nothing can harm them.

Or so she thought.

Minutes after they arrive, a man is found dead in the family diner, and her cousin is wrongfully accused of murder. Things like this don't happen here. Ever.

So did Dusty bring the curse with her, or is something more sinister at play?

To find out, she must clear her cousin’s name and uncover the real killer, even if it means performing magic, something she swore she’d never do again.


THE CARETAKER is the first book in The Witches of Blackwood Grove mystery series.

One part CHARMED, one part THE FACTS OF LIFE, one part THE GOLDEN GIRLS, and a dash of DEXTER! You're going to love THE WITCHES OF BLACKWOOD GROVE!

Read a Sample

Chapter 1
Cricket’s life was in danger.
Who would want to hurt my four-year-old granddaughter? Why?
I lost everything in last night’s fire. Except for her, my backpack, her favorite blanket, the clothes on our backs, and the shoes on our feet. And whatever was in my car. That was it. Everything else was gone, so I’d had no choice but to ask for their help. It was embarrassing to have to do it again, but it wasn’t just me this time. I’d do whatever was necessary to keep my granddaughter safe.
After a mostly sleepless night in the most secure hotel in town, I buckled my little bug into her booster seat.
“Where are we going?” Cricket asked.
“To the park.”
“Yay, the park!”
This child was always happy, despite the tragedies that had struck her young life recently. Probably because she was too young to really understand.
Including red lights, it took less than five minutes to get there. Which gave me time to wonder what had started the fire. Or more accurately, what had started the fires? There were two of them. One in my bedroom at the back of the house and another in the garage at the front of the house.
“Who is that?” Cricket asked as we crossed the expanse of lush green grass at the park. She stretched her hand and pointed at the gray-haired man in the forest-green anorak.
“His name is Jasper.”
He looked so old. His hair was white gray now, his back hunched, and he looked smaller than I remembered. When had that happened? I couldn’t help but smile when I spotted the binoculars hanging from his neck. No surprise there. It also wasn’t a surprise to see him holding an open book in one hand—surely a guide to the birds of southwestern Wisconsin—while patting his jacket pockets, pants pockets, and then the side of his head with his free hand.
In three, two, one, I counted down to myself.
On cue, he gave up the hunt and held out his hand. A pen appeared on his palm. Or more likely a pencil so any errors in note-taking could be erased and corrected.
“Jasper is my father.” I tapped Cricket’s little button nose. “Which means he’s your great-grandfather.”

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