Familiar Motives

Witch’s Cat Mystery, Book #3

By Delia James


Author’s website: http://www.deliajamesmysteries.com/

Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele



After learning that she comes from a family of witches–and adopting a familiar named Alistair–artist Annabelle Britton has made beautiful Portsmouth, New Hampshire, her home. Together with her coven, this good witch is trying to put a stop to magic and murder most foul.
When Anna takes Alistair to see local veterinarian Ramona Forsythe, they meet the most famous cat in town: Ruby the Attitude Cat, spokes-feline for a pet food brand. But then Ramona turns up dead, and Ruby goes missing. It seems like the murderer used magical means, so it’s up to Anna and Alistair to catch a killer and cat-napper as only a canny cat can.


I am completely under author Delia James’ spell.  Her Witch’s Cat Mystery series gets better with each book, and this third installment, Familiar Motives, is a great mix of mystery and magic.

This time around, protagonist and young witch Anna finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation when local veterinarian, and fellow witch, Ramona Forsythe falls to her death.  To make things even more complicated, celebrity cat Ruby aka “Attitude Cat” has gone missing. Did she run away when Ramona was killed or has she been kidnapped?  Anna and her coven are intent on helping solve their fellow practitioner’s murder, but old family conflicts, and the police, threaten to get in the way.

Familiar Motives is delightful, and I enjoy Anna’s “voice”.  Her narration really draws the reader into the story, and I feel like I was solving the crime right along with Anna, her friends, and the police.  Even though Anna is still new to her craft, she is mostly level headed and persistent in her investigating.  Her relationship with her familiar Alistair is fun; I only wish Alistair could talk.  He is such the cat Casanova.  Anna and Sean’s budding romance is sweet and does not take away from the mystery’s storyline.  The supporting characters add variety and interest.  Anna’s friend Val’s past plays well into Ruby’s disappearance.  Anna’s mentor Julia, though central to the story, does not make much of an appearance, and I missed her.  Of course, the suspects are all unlikable to a degree, as is Lieutenant Blanchard.

The mystery is well executed and the pace good.  There are so many ways the story could have played out, and the possibilities kept me guessing for much of the book.  I admit I did suspect the perpetrator rather early on but was unsure of their motive.  There is a nice balance of magic and mundane in both the crime and its solution.

I really enjoyed Familiar Motives and recommend it to fans of cat and paranormal cozies.


*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*