For the last 5 years, Poppy had been playing a witch in Hollywood, acting out bizarre, magical happenings with a flair the classic Samantha Stephens would be proud of. Eventually, fiction and reality collided, making her a real witch instead. Cool!
To gather her wits and, hopefully, learn to harness her new witchy powers, Poppy leaves the west coast and heads home to Alabama, where she agrees to judge the town's beauty pageant. Of course, the backstabbing ways of Hollywood did not compare to the manipulative, vile ways of pageant politics. The term "passive aggressive" could only loosely describe these overbearing stage moms, who could be "vicious, armed with their Red Bull, yoga pants, and 'interesting' highlighting jobs." (24)
When the pageant director is found dead, face-deep in the potato salad, curiosity gets the best of Poppy. "Heather was the kind of woman who made people daydream about killing her. Maybe one of those people had decided to live out that dream." (47) So now it seemed that Poppy would have to re-play her TV character as a witch detective.
I thought the story was witty, funny, and all-around charming, but there were some lagging areas, especially when leading up to the case. Reading through it, I often wondered when she would get to the sleuthing or when she would get to the hocus pocus. I mean, this was a witch mystery, right? Mainly all I heard was Poppy blathering on about the haughty insipidness of the young beauty queens and their crazy mothers, and, somewhere in the background, she was keeping an eye out for the killer. The case almost felt like an afterthought.
Overall, this was an okay mystery, but it wasn't quite what I was expecting.
My rating: 3.5 stars