Friday, October 21, 2016

Review and Giveaway: Putting on the Witch by Joyce and Jim Lavene

Putting on the Witch
Series:  A Retired Witches Mystery 3
Authors:  Joyce and Jim Lavene
Publisher:  Berkley, October 4, 2016
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages
List Price:  US$7.99 (print and eBook)
ISBN:  9780425268278 (print); 9781101625446 (eBook)

In the latest mystery from the bestselling authors of Looking for Mr. Good Witch, the retired witches of Wilmington, North Carolina, are ready to kick up their heels...

With their coven’s spell book still missing, Molly and Elsie—along with their ghostly friend Olivia, her daughter Dorothy, and her boyfriend Brian—are all on edge, especially now that Dorothy’s infamously wicked father is back in the picture. So when they receive an invitation to an exclusive Witches Ball, the ladies jump at the chance to dress up and have some fun.

The castle locale is spectacular and the party is hopping, but the festivities come to a swift end when a member of the Grand Council of Witches is murdered. With the whole place on lock down, the coven is determined to find the cunning killer, even with an angry council and a real Spanish Inquisitor breathing down their necks...

Qwill's Thoughts

Putting on the Witch is the 3rd novel in the Retired Witches Mystery series by Joyce and Jim Lavene. The series features Mollie Elsie, and Olivia, a coven of 3 witches seeking to retire and pass the Coven on to younger witches. Olivia is a ghost and her daughter, Dorothy, is now part of the Coven. Brian, the son of powerful witches, has also joined the Coven and is Dorothy's boyfriend much to his snobby parents' chagrin.

The novel starts with high tension as Dorothy's father, Drago Rasmun, shows up to purportedly get to know his daughter, Dorothy. Olivia, Mollie and Elsie are very suspicious of Drago showing up unannounced. Olivia hid Dorothy from Drago - he's a renegade and evil. Brian is less than happy at Drago's appearance. There is not much that the Coven can do about it though. Drago is extraordinarily powerful. Combined they feel that their power could not halt Drago. So they have tea instead!

Invitations show up for each of the Coven members for Brian's birthday party at his parent's Castle. Brian has a strained relationship with his parents and is not looking forward to the party. To support Brian, the rest of his Coven will attend. The party starts off nicely enough and things are fine until there is a murder of a high ranking member of the Witches Council who is a progressive and was in favor of easing some rules regarding witches especially concerning witches married to non-witches. The castle is put on lockdown for 24-hours so that the murderer can be found.

Witch politics come to the forefront in Putting on the Witch and it's fascinating. There is so much going on - tension between and among families, between old school witches and more modern witches, the murder mystery, and much more. The main characters - Mollie, Dorothy, Olivia, Elsie, and Brian are written with great warmth and depth. They Coven is determined to figure out who the killer is and they run into all sorts of problems and very real dangers.

I love the members of the Coven. They are all likeable and have distinct personalities. The friendship between Mollie, Olivia and Elsie is lovely. They are incredibly supportive of each other. Even death (Olivia's) can't separate these friends. Putting on the Witch is a wonderful mystery with great characters and plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing until the very end. I highly recommend this entire series.

Note: Sadly both Joyce and Jim Lavene have passed away. Check out all of their mysteries:


Spell Booked
A Retired Witches Mystery 1
Berkley, December 2, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook,304 pages

The national bestselling authors of the Missing Pieces Mysteries summon up the first Retired Witches Mystery in a brand new supernatural series…

Once upon a time in Wilmington, North Carolina, three witches ran a curio shop named Smuggler’s Arcane. But as the years passed, their magical powers started to fade—leaving them no choice but to conjure up a retirement package…

Before they could blink their eyes or twitch their noses, Molly, Elsie, and Olivia somehow became eligible for AARP. But they can’t fly off to Boca Raton just yet. First they must give up their magic, recruit and train three new witches, and pass on their cherished spellbook.

They’ve barely begun to consider potential practitioners when Olivia winds up dead and their spellbook is stolen. To honor their friend and reclaim their spells, Molly and Elsie are about to go wand-to-wand with a dangerous young witch more powerful than the trio was in their prime. And this time they’re going to need more than magic up their sleeves…

See Qwill's review here.

Looking for Mr. Good Witch
A Retired Witches Mystery 2
Berkley, October 6, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

Everyone’s favorite retired witches from Spell Booked have returned and are diving into troubled waters to find a sinister sea witch…


A sea witch has been leaving bodies in her wake up and down the Carolina coast, baffling authorities who are finding drowning victims with no water in their lungs. The fin-icky female will continue to kill young male witches until she finds her perfect man—the one who survives her mating ritual—so she can live for another hundred years. And now coven hopeful Brian Fuller is about to be ensnared in her net.

Retired witches Molly and Elsie, along with the ghost of Olivia and her daughter Dorothy, need all the help they can get to stop the sea witch. Aided by a selkie and a crème puff–craving mermaid, they’re determined to keep Brian out of her murky clutches. But are they all about to get in over their heads?

See Qwill's review here.

The Giveaway

What:  One entrant will win a Mass Market Paperback copy of Putting on the Witch by Joyce and Jim Lavene from the publisher. US ONLY

How:  Log into and follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59PM US Eastern Time on November 4, 2016. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter

*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change without any notice.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Looks like a fun series, thanks for the chance to win :)

    1. I love the Levine's books. I really feel bad we have lost them both. Hopefully a relative or friend will continue their series or perhaps they left a few completed books we can continue to enjoy....

  2. Thanks for this delightful feature and giveaway.

  3. I love Jim and Joyce...they are together, and their work lives on in their books and their family that continue the Lavene Legacy.

  4. I'm a huge fan of the J's writing and own many of their books. I'd love to add this latest Witch story to my collection.

  5. These look like really fun reads. I'm looking forward to checking them out :).