A quiet Appalachian town is rocked by the gruesome murder and partial consumption of a young family of 5. The local sheriff knows enough to know when he’s out of his league and requests the aid of a stay-at-home young mother, who’s also a genetic elemental earth witch. Her sensitivity to life, death and undeath could just provide the clues needed to stop the murders.
The witchcraft here is second to the settings and landscape, emerging organically. Molly, the earth witch, and her sisters, witches of other elements and a couple non-witch sisters, have their clear limitations to their knowledge and to their abilities.
Molly also receives aid from a Native American shapeshifter, Jane Yellowrock–the hero of a series by this author.
There are many ways a tale about witches, a shapeshifter, and a rogue pack of vampires could go very wrong. But allowing the landscape and the local culture to center the story makes this very strong.
This tale is highly recommended. It appears in Weird Detectives: Recent Investigations edited by Paula Guran.
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