A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. She receives creative input from the Real Cats and clerical assistance from She of Little Talent (old SoLT, a.k.a. Roby Sweet). Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to old SoLt (Ms. Sweet). Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Book Review: That Olde White Magick

Mysterious Monday

On this Mysterious Monday, we bring you our review of That Olde White Magick, by Sharon Pape. This is book 3 in the Abracadabra mystery series, and it is the first book in the series that we have read.

The plot

That Olde White Magick, by Sharon Pape
Kailyn Wilde is a sorcerer who lives in New Camel, New York, where she owns a magic shop called Abracadabra. She is surrounded by quite the interesting cast of characters. There’s her aunt Tilly, who conducts psychic readings in her tea shop; her deceased mother and grandmother, who show up as clouds of energy; Merlin the sorcerer (yes, the one from the King Arthur legends); a reporter boyfriend (sort of) who has recently been freaked out by her magical abilities; and a whole bunch of cats.

These characters are all dropped into the middle of a mystery when a board member is found murdered just before she was to vote on a zoning issue to allow (or not) a new hotel to be built at the edge of town. Kailyn is determined to find out who killed the woman, and it seems the best way to do that is to figure out who would benefit from eliminating the dead woman’s vote on that zoning issue. But when she gets too close to the answer, someone wants her out of the way…

The cats

The main cat in this book is Sashkatu, who used to be the familiar of Kailyn’s mom. He’s older and has arthritis, and he and Kailyn are not exactly the best of friends yet, but they’re working on it. Kailyn has five other cats as well, whom Sashkatu is still getting used to. There’s also Isenbale, Tilly’s Maine coon. All the cats love Merlin—they cannot get enough of him, and they all congregate around him whenever he’s in the room. The cats don’t really play a big part in the plot, but we still think they’re pretty neat. I should clarify that the cats themselves don’t play a big direct role, but Kailyn does use their fur once to clog up some pipes so she has an excuse to call the plumber who is one of her suspects. She also makes up a story about a missing cat to give herself an excuse to visit the police station. So you could say the cats are important in their own way.

Our verdict

We loved Sharon Pape’s characters. Merlin is a favorite, and we especially enjoyed the bits of modern life he chooses to embrace. He won’t wear modern clothes except when he’s forced to, but he loves pizza (really, who doesn’t?) and cowboy movies (so he says stuff like “pardner” a lot; it’s hilarious). The tension between Kailyn and her reporter boyfriend over her identity as a sorcerer is well done. Just how would an “ordinary” person react to finding out their significant other can cast actual spells on people? We also enjoyed the way Kailyn’s mother and grandmother show up; the clouds of energy are more believable than full-bodied apparitions.

The story these characters are in is pretty terrific too. When we found out who the real killer was and the circumstances of the crime, we were truly surprised. And Kailyn’s life-threatening moments—and how she gets out of them—are some of the best we’ve read in a while. The climax of That Olde White Magick is edge-of-your-seat reading that left us smiling. Sure, we wished the cats played a bigger role in the story, but they do their part just by being there and acting catlike.


Two Paws Up!--A great Read

A note on the "Paws Up" system: Miss C gives either one or two paws up. One paw is for a good read; two paws is for a great read. She never gives three or four paws because that would require her to lie on her back...and Miss C does not do that!

We received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. We wouldn’t tell you it was good unless we really liked it!

The link below is an Amazon Associates link. If you purchase the book through this link, old SoLT and I could get some coin for our kibble account. Thank you!


  1. This sounds good, I like to be surprised instead of guessing what will happen.

  2. Now this sounds like the purrfect book for Mommy to read when she is off work next week!
    Purrs Marv