At last, a series of mysteries set in the Pagan Community and featuring
a real Witch as a crime-solver! This is Rosemary Edgill’s third
book featuring Bast (AKA Karen Hightower) A Gardnerian Priestess
who works for a publisher by day and solves mysteries in her free
time. This installation, concerning a murder at a Pagan Festival,
I found especially entertaining and fun.
are treated to a castful of characters that those of us who frequent
such circles will probably recognize - the teenage wannabe Witch,
the sympathetic and curious law-enforcement officer, a tag-along
survivalist, the inevitable fundamentalist protesters, a finally
the enigmatic Ceremonial Magician who doesn’t quite fit in.There
are lots of realistic social dynamics and authentic Pagan details
in the novel, including a discussion of Wiccan ethics, a brief overview
on the Wheel of The Year and Wiccan history, and observations on
how others perceive us.
characters deal with real Pagan problems, such as how to handle
underage seekers and how to get a Pagan festival to run smoothly.
( I laughed out loud when I read a discussion on the futility of
scheduling early morning events at the festival, because no one
will be awake yet! Sound familiar?) Add to this an assortment of
new Wiccan traditions who just want to be accepted by the somewhat
snobby Old-School Witches ( Niceness Wicca, Kingon Wicca and a new
S@M Tradition make their debut at the Festival) and you have an
already volatile situation. When “Hellfire” Harm, a fire-and-brimstone
preacher protesting the festival shows up dead on festival grounds,
things get really weird. I won’t give the ending away, but no, it
wasn’t the Witches who did him in.
think Rosemary Edgill’s Bast novels would be an entertaining and
realistic way to introduce Pagan and Wiccan beliefs to outsiders
who normally would not read “Occult Books”. After all, it’s a MYSTERY
NOVEL, isn’t it?