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FIRST FIVE: A Witch A Ditch and a Who Done It by Marly Mathews



Millie Collins is a witch praying for a mundane life. Thinking she’s finally gotten away from finding dead bodies, she prepares for a day of enjoying herself at a Car Boot Sale, when she discovers a dead body in her trunk, landing her smack dab in the middle of another Who Done It.  
Now, she just needs to solve the murder mystery, and deal with the hijinks of Paul Evans, and her Uncle Clive, as they take their pranking war to a whole new level. Welcome to Halloween in Port Merlin and Pendeen, where the strange and unusual make everyone scream.©Marly Mathews 



There were many ways Millie Collins envisioned her night ending. Landing face down on top of a dead man wasn’t one of them. It had started out as an ordinary enough evening. She had dressed to impress the other members of her online coven. Every month, they met in Truro, to celebrate the first night of the full moon.© Marly Mathews

General thoughts: 

There’s nothing wrong with ANY of the above sentences. They are designed to get you interested; to get you questioning. Each sentence gives you adequate information without drawing it out, becoming boring or losing, instead of gaining, interest. The fact that our MC has fallen onto a dead body really gets the mind reeling.

Each sentence GIVES the reader a great place to start. 1) Millie isn’t an average Joe. 2) Millie is active in her coven. 3) Hell, Marly Mathews even gets a time of reference in by explaining when they get together. It’s textbook stuff. Most people would be hooked right away.

Sadly, I’m not most people, and while I continued to read for a short while, eventually I stopped. For me, this wasn’t about content. I stopped because of my lack of excitement for the story. In my opinion, A Witch had this very blasé tone. The fact that Marly Mathews is so popular may indeed prove me wrong, but these FIRST FIVE reminded me that there’s more to a novel than just getting the ‘elbows and knees’ right. (That quote is a shout out to the world’s best crit partner, Liz Sogard. I love you!) 

This paragraph didn’t feel enthusiastic to me. The MC was on par. The writing was superb. I just didn’t feel like there was a lot of pep behind the stories step. For me, that feeling continued throughout the next dozen or so pages. 

In general, I believe the mechanics of a book can be right. The characters can be strong. The grammar tight. (No, I didn’t mean to rhyme that. Lol.) However, as in life, we must have chemistry with a book. Reader and author must connect. Emotions must transcend the page in order for the engagement to begin. It’s all about chemistry. When you have it, things are great.

When you don’t, it’s The End whether you’re on the last page or the firsy.

Thoughts on FIRST FIVE ONLY: 

This paragraph is strong. The main character seems interesting. The use of grammar is good. For $2.99, I don’t think this will be a regrettable buy. BONUS: This author has plenty of these books out, so if you really love it you’ll have lots more to read. 


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