THE CURIOUS AFFAIR OF THE WITCH AT
WAYSIDE CROSS (Jesperson and Lane # 2)
November 28, 2017
The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross starts with an early hours summons to the door of the residence, and business premises of Jesperson and Lane Investigations. The young man is plainly distressed and babbling about being pursued by witches. He then points at Miss Aphrodite Lane, calls her a witch, collapses and dies in the hallway. The coroner pronounces it a heart attack, despite the young man, Charles Manning, being in perfect health. Jasper Jesperson is of course intrigued and visits Manning's brother. The brother tells him that the two were estranged over a property dispute and Charles was living in Aylmerton. Charles had become involved with Felix Ott, who is a folklorist who wants to bring back the pagan wisdom of ancient Britain. Jesperson and Lane set off for Norfolk to investigate. When they arrive they find a community immersed in superstition with three sisters rumored to be witches and tales of the "little folk".
I waffled quite a bit over the rating of The Witch at Wayside Cross. While I enjoyed the primary mystery of Charles Manning's murder, the secondary story of a missing baby was a distraction for me. This series is centered around paranormal events, but the resolution of the missing baby puzzle severely strained my credulity. Jesperson and Lane are still a bit two-dimensional with little more revealed in this second book. I also missed Mrs. Jesperson, Jasper's mother. Now she is an interesting character! Hopefully, she will return for a third outing and there will be more background provided for the main characters.
Thanks to NetGalley and Hydra Books for an advance digital copy. The opinions are my own.
RATING- 3 Stars