Cover Image: Gone with the Witch

Gone with the Witch

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Gone with the Witch
By Angela M. Sanders
March 2024

Review by Cynthia Chow

Once a librarian at the Library of Congress, Josie Way has found her true home working at the library in her hometown of Wilifred, Oregon. It’s also where she discovered her heritage as a witch, able to communicate with characters in books and engage with them as if they were real. That’s going to come in handy when bones are discovered buried underneath a recently excavated outhouse. Despite Helen Garlington’s husband having gone missing years ago, DNA proves that they are not the remains of her spouse Martin. No one else really believes that Martin is alive though, which is why they also doubt her very vocal proclamations that the man appearing on a TV gameshow just happens to be her MIA husband. This is when the volume of The Complete Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes comes into play, as Josie’s magical abilities allow Sherlock Holmes to walk off of the page and use his deductions to help her solve the puzzles of the lost and found bodies.

Josie’s FBI boyfriend Sam is unaware of her magical heritage, which is helped by grimoires and spellbook diaries left to her by her grandmother. So Josie is keeping most of her abilities a secret, even from her tarot-reading car friend Lelena, whose acting and intuitive skills are stronger than any actual psychic gifts. When the supposed Martin comes into town and is immediately found dead, Josie and Sherlock begin to delve into the town’s secrets and history that involved bank robberies, an assortment of missing husbands, and a mysterious bookseller.

Much of the fun in this 5th of the series comes from Josie’s interactions with the literally-off-page character of Sherlock Holmes. The more energy Josie gives him the more “real” he becomes, with the tiny version even tapping away on the Internet doing google searches to help with his investigations. Josie coming late in life to her witchy status means that she relies more on her librarian skills to solve murders, making this as much of a bibliophile mystery as a paranormal one. The relationships and friends she has made in town feel real and layered, and readers will also feel welcomed into this small, rather gossipy neighborhood. The intrigue builds up to a conclusion that would challenge even the Great Detective, and ultimately it’s Josie’s very real friends and police who help to save the day. This is a refreshingly unique series that takes readers on a fun journey and grants them the wish of having their favorite fictional characters popping into the “real” world.

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Wow, so I’m picking up this book mid-series. Surprisingly I’m not that lost. I’m hooked! I’m going to have to go back and read 1-4! I love these characters. The authors writing style. The twists and turns I couldn’t keep up with. (Which is good, I don’t want to guess what’s happening) Josie is going to be a master witch before we know it. Anything with Sherlock Holmes and witches is my kryptonite. Thanks to the author and publisher the ARC.

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Gone with the Witch by Angela M. Sanders is seeing Spring coming to Wilfred, Oregon.

Can Josie solve three mysteries before she meets the same fate?

Josie Way
Our sleuth, Josie Way, has a lot on her plate. She is the town librarian, and Helen Garlington has tasked her with finding the man who looks like her husband and seeing if he will return home. Josie is unsure if she should interfere but ends up doing it to ease the older woman's grief about her husband. I love how Josie is getting more confident in her abilities as a witch and a truth seeker and that she is finally dating Sam Wilfred. Hopefully, Josie gains the confidence she needs to tell Sam about who she really is.

The Mysteries
Josie Way is trying to determine if the man on a game show is Helen's husband, who walked out on her when she was pregnant. Not only that, but the bones that they found need to go to the family. Then, there is another body. Josie has three mysteries to solve, and that isn't always easy when two of the mysteries are cold cases.

There was a lot going on, and I couldn't believe some of what happened toward the end of the book.

Five Stars
Gone with the Witch by Angela M. Sanders is getting five stars for a rating, and I recommend it to anyone who loves a good, cozy paranormal mystery. Ms. Sanders does it again. She created a mystery that kept me guessing and had me on the edge of my seat, trying to figure out who did it.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Thank you for dropping by! I hope you enjoyed this review of Gone with the Witch by Angela M. Sanders.

Until the next time,
Karen the Baroness

If you would like to see other reviews like this one, check out Baroness Book Trove.

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Josie is a librarian witch trainee witch who keeps her powers very quiet. Unusually, books speak to her, and when an unidentified body turns up, she asks them for help. She gets an assist from the actual Sherlock Holmes, who has stepped out from the pages of a book and goes with her as she looks for clues.

On top of the mystery body, one of the ladies in town swears she saw her missing husband on a TV game show and she asks Josie to find him, she’s been waiting years for him to come home. When a man using her husband’s name is found murdered Josie has another crime to investigate.

I loved the quirky characters and the plot had great twists! This is a fun paranormal cozy, 4 stars.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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I loved this new addition to the Witch Way Library series. I binged this entire series last year and then had to wait a whole year for this new addition, and it was worth it. This series just keeps getting better, and I don't want it to end. I love this big, old library with its talking and dancing books and this small town full of fun characters. I can't get enough of Wilfred, Oregon, and I need the next book pronto.

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Though this was part of a series, it was very easy to follow on its own. In fact I enjoyed it so much that I’m requesting the first volume from my library. The characters carried the story well and endeared me to the book from start to finish, though the story did drag at points and I would have liked to see magic explained and utilized more than it was.

This was the very definition of a cozy mystery. Smart and puzzling enough to keep you interested without making the reading experience stressful. The main character’s conflicted feelings over keeping her magic secret from her partner added an interesting layer to the story, and several ominous events that take place in this volume set it up well for its continuation. I will definitely be keeping an eye on this series.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Kensington n Books for this ARC. This is my honest review.

4/5 Small towns sometimes hold big mysteries

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Thank you to Netgally, the publishers, and Angela M. Sanders

When I requested this book I was unaware that it was apart of a series, one that requires you to read the previous books for this one to make sense. I am unable to read all the previous books along with this one before the publish date. Therefore, I will rate this a fair 3/5 stars and will adjust the rating and review when I am able to read all the books in the series along with this one.

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I enjoyed the story and look forward to more. The mystery kept me guessing. I like the characters as well.

Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for my eARC in exchange for an honest review.

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While this series started strong for me, it devolved into typical tropes and ridiculous plot lines [HONESTY is always the best policy in everything, especially one's relationships] and the whole "yes I am a cop, but even though I don't want you to get involved, let me tell you something NO ONE else should know and please don't tell anyone [here's a hint, she doesn't stick to that promise]" was extremely frustrating.

With this one, the mystery was...odd. Mixed with several subplots, everything got kind of muddled in the end and I am still not really sure just what happened [though the whole murderer reveal was very sad]. I just think that overall, this series, even though it has great potential, is just not for me. I wanted to like/love it more than I did and this one just solidified that for me.

Thank you to NetGalley, Angela M. Sanders, and Kensington Books for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Oh, my goodness! I really could not love this series more. This book is the fifth book in the Witch Way Librarian series. I have read them all, so it's difficult for me to say whether this would be good as a standalone. It's been a while since I read book 4, so I feel like there were enough mentions of character's back stories that I had not problem jumping right in.

This book is about Josie Way, a librarian who is also a newly realized witch. Books speak to Josie and give her information as needed. In this story, she even gets a little help from the greatest detective of all time - Sherlock Holmes. Books also give her recommendations for her library patrons, which is also fun.

I enjoyed this story so much and I look forward to more in the series.

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"Gone with the Witch" is the fifth book in the Witch Way Librarian series, but new readers are fine to jump in with this one. There's a great balance of backstory without too much narrative to catch up new readers and jog the memories of existing fans.

This time, Josie, full-time librarian and fledging witch, gets pulled into a decades-old missing persons case. Bones are found under an outbuilding, and they may belong to the husband of one of Josie's library patrons, Helen. If so, though, who is the man Helen saw on a game show, who she swears is her missing spouse?

Josie uses all her research skills, and finds new witchy ones, to figure out who's who and what's what before a not-so-missing killer strikes again.

This series is the very definition of cozy with a supernatural splash, but there's also a lot of character growth in this book. Josie is still developing her magical abilities, with the help of letters from her deceased grandmother. She's ready to advance her romantic relationship with Sam, the local sheriff. She's become a fixture in the town, and the townspeople trust and like her.

Why you should read this: These are good comfort reads, not too heavy, and not to fluffy. The townspeople are quirky without being outrageous, and, if there are some elements that require suspension of disbelief, well, you have to with a cozy, anyway. Who in their right mind would play amateur sleuth to find a murderer who could just as easily kill them?

Why you might not want to read: Josie's dithering over whether to move forward with a relationship with Sam could be mildly exasperating, and she does jump to conclusions a bit. The only really annoying thing for me is Sam's thing about frowning when he's happy and smiling when he's upset. It gets mentioned multiple times in each book, and it just throws me off each time.

I received an advance copy from Kensington Books via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.

4 out of 5 stars. Recommended

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It was love at firt read, I fell for this series and the characters since I started reading the first novel in this series.
There’s a new generation of cozy authors and the heroine, even when belong to one of the traditional work categories as librarian or baker, are more contemporary and realistic. They are millennials that act like a millennial and a sort of fresh air.
Witch Way Librarian is one of the best witchy cozy series as it mixes the paranormal side with a solid mystery and an unusual setting. The standard cozy town is full of tourism and blooming
Wilfred is a town that used to be a prosperous town but is now faced with large-scale material hardship (unemployment, run-down buildings, impoverishment of part of the population) even if there’s a lot of changes going on.
Josie is a a librarian, a witch, and a very clever character. Sam is the sheriff, the last heir of the family who built the local mill. Rodney is one of my favorite book cat and a mystery because he could be or not a sort of eternal cat.
This is my first blog post about this series and I think the long introduction was needed.
Gone with the Witch is one of my favourite instalment, the other one the first, as there’s a twist story with bring us back to the 70s and the fantasy side is well done.
Angela M Sanders is a talented storyteller and I loved how she dealt with characters like Helen, a woman who decide to change and move on, or Lindy.
I can’t wait to read the next story, this one left me with a bad case of book hangover
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to Kensington Cozies for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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This cute and cozy mystery wraps you in a snug narrative, perfect for those who love a gentle puzzle. Its charming setting and likable characters make for a pleasantly intriguing read.

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Gone with the Witch
(Witch Way Librarian 5)
Angela M. Sanders

Angela M. Sanders is the author of two mystery series Witch Way Librarian and Vintage Clothing. She also writes the Kite Shop series as Clover Tate.

Welcome to Wilfred, Oregon! A newly bustling town, and home to librarian Josie Way.

Duke and Desmond are in the process of renovations for their new property. After finding an outhouse with human remains inside. They decide to invite a few people over for a symbolic internment.
Helen Garlington believing it was her long missing husband requested the bones be tested for DNA. Unfortunately, she didn’t receive the closure she needed. This sends her on a downward spiral.

Josie, tells Sam, the police chief, and her boyfriend about Helen’s outburst. The next morning, Helen asks Josie to investigate “Bruno Gates” the man Helen believes to be her Martin. He was a contestant on a game show, that magically popped up on the “bar” television after Josie felt a big pang of sympathy for Helen’s grief. After researching Bruno, she calls his funeral home in California. He refuses to speak with her. Soon after Bruno, shows up starting trouble and opening old wounds.

Josie’s literary helper in this book is the amazing Sherlock Holmes.

I liked this book. Can I point to one scene or event that made this an enjoyable read? No. Would I re-read this? No. Was the mystery good? Yes, I found it to be compelling but not a page burner. (I didn’t stay up to complete the book in one sitting, but I happily jumped in at every opportunity!) Does it contain witchcraft? No. Is it violent or vulgar? No, it’s a clean read. For any new reader, just jump in! Each book is self contained so you don’t have to worry about “missing” something from a previous book.

Rating 3.5***

Thank you to Netgalley, Ms. Sanders, and the publisher for the ARC.

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Angela Sanders continues the enchanting Witch Way Librarian mysteries with Gone With the Witch. Josie Way, librarian and apprentice witch in Wilfred, is confronted by bones of an unknown man in an abandoned outhouse and a husband missing many years that a senior thinks she saw in a tv contest. The look alike comes to town and is dead within the day; not the senior's husband. Josie's magic accompanies the spellbound books in the library; she engages a ghostly Sherlock Holmes from his complete adventures to aid her sleuthing. Read this charming mystery to find the solutions to the crimes.

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This was so darn good! Lots of secrets were revealed and someone from the past made an appearance, or was it really that person? Was the death really a murder? Josie got the coolest sleuthing buddy ever and the two managed to untangle a really twisted-up mystery and long-buried secrets.

Meanwhile, a mysterious bookseller came to town who seemed to have Lalena extremely interested in getting to know him better. And Josie’s sleuthing partner said there was still something out there she needed to be careful about, so now I’m super eager to read the next book and see what’s up with that. I’ve already got some suspicions.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Kensington Cozies via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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I requested this book not knowing that it was part of a series but I had no problem of reading it. I will be going back to read the rest of the series.

When bones are discovered in an outhouse, a DNA test is requested by a local women to see if that her husband. In discovering that is not she sees him in an tv show and Josie brings him down which ends up with him death.

Josie magic is very interesting and I like the whole concept of pulling books to help you with what you need. But the one thing I don’t get it to how a book kept showing up to her and she thought nothing of it?? Isn’t that what her magic is based on.

Also the whole concept with her opening a door in the middle of a night and letting a stranger in?? With that keeping it from her boyfriend also on how he told her something to do with the case and she goes on to promise that she won’t say anything and then tells three people. This just doesn’t seem right at all.

I get it that she’s scared of telling Sam that she’s a witch but a this point she’s just making excuses.

Thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for this arc in exchange for an honest review.

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This is usually one of my favorite series and, while I enjoyed this one, it wasn’t quite like the others. The mystery itself was easy to figure out and it dragged on for me; the pacing was off and it could have been solved much quicker than it was. The addition of Sherlock Holmes was amusing but a little strange. I still liked spending time with the characters and found the whole additional roommates in the library amusing but this wasn’t my favorite in the series. I will read the next ones and hope the pacing is back to what it was before.

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The book opens with an old outhouse being demolished and a set of bones being discovered. But whoever could the bones have been? There is a thought that they could be Martin Garlington. He disappeared almost fifty years ago. But the DNA says not and, besides, his wife, Helen, has just seen a man on a quiz show that she's convinced is her long, lost husband. She prevails on Josie to find out about the man, Bruno Gates, and ask him to come to town.
Josie does find him and the man comes to town but he is decidedly NOT Martin. What he is, is a flirt who drinks too much at the bar, flirts a little too hard with the women of the town, and is found dead near where the old bones were discovered.
That is just the start of a mystery that unwinds the past fifty years. This time, Josie has some help in solving it. Her powers must be growing because she is once again finding the same book everywhere, but this time, when she opens it, Sherlock Holmes walks out of an illustration and into helping her solve the mystery. He also warns her that her own Moriarity is going to be making trouble for her.
This was a fun story with a lot of foreshadowing for future books. I felt like some of the characters could have been developed a bit more if they were going to be a part of the eventual solution. There are also some new people who have moved to town including a new rare book dealer whose last name is the same as that of a short story by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Three and a half stars
This book comes out February 20, 2024
Follows Witch Upon a Star
ARC kindly provided by Kensington Books and NetGalley
Opinions are my own

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I have a pretty low tolerance typically for magic in my mysteries (it often feels too convenient) but it works well in this series. I also love the quirky small town library so much that I would keep reading it even if it didn't feel like the use of magic was well balanced with "real" investigative work.

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