Lainswich Witches series by Raven Snow (#5-7,15-17,20)
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Overview: Raven Snow lives in the Pacific Northwest & enjoys writing Witch Cozy Mysteries
Genre: Mystery Cozy
The Dog at the Door (#5) Rowen Greensmith and her new husband have finally done it. They’ve moved out of the Greensmith home and into a house of their own. It’s the house of Rowen’s dreams, a place she fell in love with the moment she laid eyes on it.
Things are going great. Lainswich is getting ready for their annual marathon. Her aunts are opening a New Age store. Rowen’s own career and love life couldn’t be running any more smoothly than they are.
Of course, things never stay calm in Rowen’s life for long. The arrival of a stray dog sparks a mystery. The more poking around Rowen does, the more she begins to suspect that something is amiss in this dream house of hers.
Everyone says the Woodwards who owned the house last moved to Florida, but no one ever really leaves Lainswich for good. A certain presence in the shed has Rowen certain that something horrible must have happened to the Woodwards. Are they even still alive?
Rowen’s friends and family all say she’s just looking for a mystery. They could be right, or it could be something more. Either way, there are questions and they need answering.
And Rowen is going to have to answer those questions fast. Her list of suspects is a short one. It’s just her luck that her cousin Peony would fall for one of the men on that list. Solving a mystery is hard enough. Doing it without her family absolutely hating her for it might just be impossible.
Parents and Poisonings (#6) Rowen’s cousin, Rose Greensmith, has been dating Ben Williamson for a while now. He’s the Lainswich Chief of Police, a good boyfriend, and an all-around great guy. It was only a matter of time before Rose had dinner with his parents.
Rose has high hopes, but Rowen tries to prepare her cousin for the worst. The Williamsons are a difficult bunch. Back when Rowen and Ben were a high school item, it was Mrs. Williamson that put an end to their relationship. She’s an absolute witch, and not in the good sense like Rowen and her family are.
As fate typically ordains for the Greensmiths, not all goes as planned. During the dinner, Ben’s Uncle Willard is poisoned. It’s a murder that sets everyone on edge. Emotions are running high and tensions are raised. Can Rose’s relationship with Ben survive this ordeal?
Mrs. Williamson certainly isn’t helping matters. She’s distrusted the Greensmiths her whole life, and the Greensmiths certainly don’t hold any love for her in return. Things get especially complicated when she starts to look like a likely suspect in the murder of her younger brother.
As reluctant as Ben Williamson is to hear anything bad about his own mother, the evidence is piling up against her. Never mind his relationship with Rose, his position as chief of police could be in jeopardy.
Rowen takes it upon herself to solve this mystery. Deep down, she doesn’t think Mrs. Williamson is to blame—which is really a shame. She can’t stand that woman.
Breaking News and Breaking Hearts (#7) Greensmith Investigations specializes in the little things. Mostly they expose cheating spouses, low priority stuff real detectives wouldn’t bother with. Rowen doesn’t mind spreading her time between her husband’s agency and the local paper she runs with her cousins. Life is good. Maybe a little too good. Rowen is getting bored.
Life takes a sharp turn when a camera man from Channel 2 News turns up in an open grave. The Lainswich Inquirer has never been on the best terms with Channel 2 and its head correspondent, Julia Martinez. The best Rowen can hope for is to report on the murder from a distance… At least, until Seraphina Hawthorne steps into Greensmith Investigations one stormy night.
Seraphina Hawthorne is the wife of Darren Hawthorne, news director at Channel 2. She’s a real piece of work, but she’s also a paying customer. Darren is cheating on her, she says, and she wants Rowen and her husband to prove it. This gives Rowen the perfect opportunity to poke around the goings on at Channel 2. Sure, she’s supposed to be helping with an adultery case, but trying to solve a murder on the side couldn’t hurt, could it?
Cursed Romance (#15) It’s no secret that the Greensmith family has just about the worst luck with men. As far as Rowen is aware, they’re cursed. Protection spells have held well so far, but they can only last so long.
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and, apparently, it’s the perfect time for things to start going catastrophically wrong. With the wounding of one Greensmith man and the untimely death of another, Rowen finds herself fearing for her own husband, Eric.
These fears really couldn’t come at a worse time either! A local girl has gone missing. The trail to finding her has Rowen revisiting some places she would sooner avoid. Her mother might love parties in the middle of nowhere, but Rowen has never had any fondness for them. Never mind that being so far away from normal people and cell phone reception comes with its own risks. It almost feels like she’s asking for trouble when the investigation leads both Eric and herself out there.
A Reunion to Remember (#16) Rowen never much cared for high school. None of her family did. Life in Lainswich was never easy for a girl from the Greensmith family. This was especially true as a teenager. Kids can be cruel and high school can be a nightmare.
Rowen didn’t want to go to the first official Lainswich High reunion. Unfortunately, what she wants doesn’t much matter. The paper she helps run with her cousins is covering the event. That means everyone has to go.
The night is a terrible one, full of old bullies and memories best left forgotten. Things, however, get a bit more exciting when a dead body drops onto the dance floor. It’s someone from her past, she discovers, someone she’s never been particularly fond of. Despite all that, Rowen must still launch herself head first into the investigation. As cruel as the victim may have been, they still didn’t deserve to be murdered… probably.
Finding the answers she needs is going to be a challenge. Not only will she be forced to slog through a sea of all those who bullied her in high school, but there’s also a new detective in town, and he’s intent on making life for Rowen and her family even more difficult than it already is. Oh, well. No one ever said being a Greensmith was easy.
Witches vs. Aliens (#17) Aliens aren’t really a witch thing. Most of the Greensmiths might not be too interested in the mysterious lights in the sky, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the world isn’t. When footage of the lights is posted to the Lainswich Inquirer, Rowen Greensmith is as shocked as the rest of the family to see the footage go viral.
That’s when Irene Jones, an online personality reporting on all things paranormal, comes into the picture. With her, she brings a whole slew of UFO fanatics. For the first time in history, people are arriving to Lainswich en mass. All of this would be just fine if there was room for such a boom in the local population.
When a couple turns up murdered, things get even more complicated. As impassible as the streets are, Rowen will have to find a way to investigate and determine who the killer is before the tourists all leave. Despite popular opinion, she isn’t convinced these killings are the work of aliens.
A Killer Retreat (#20) Crystal Spruce is a real class act. She’s everything that’s wrong with the New Age scene. She rakes in the cash, publishing book after book of hippy-dippy nonsense. Rowen Greensmith can’t stand her. More than that, she can’t understand why her aunts love her. They’re accomplished witches! They should really know better.
When Crystal Spruce starts up a magical retreat in Lainswich, Rowen gets roped into going. She owes her aunts a lot, so she can’t deny them what’s supposed to be a week of magical fun.
As is often the case, their week in the woods doesn’t quite go as expected. A murder derails everything. At least, the murder should derail everything. Rowen and two of her cousins were the ones who found the body. Unfortunately, they’ve lost track of it. How are they supposed to solve a murder when they can’t even convince people it happened in the first place?