Speak Daggers to Her: A Bast Mystery

3.82 avg rating
( 214 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780812534382: Speak Daggers to Her: A Bast Mystery

Working as a freelance graphic designer and reading tarot cards on the side, white witch Karen "Bast" Hightower turns detective to learn why a close friend has died suddenly and must infiltrate New York's occult underground. Reprint. PW.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Quite a change of pace from Edghill's Regency romances (Two of a Kind, 1988, etc.): the murder of an aspiring witch. Miriam Seabrook doesn't show up for the TGIF at Chanters Revel, a Greenwich Village herb store, because she's dead. Her friend Bast (``Karen Hightower'' in her mundane life as a designer at Houston Graphics), troubled by a bizarre token--a mummified bird claw- -Miriam was wearing around her neck and by the absence of her athame, a ceremonial knife Bast had given her, decides to investigate. But since ``the way to find out exactly how Miriam Seabrook had died wasn't by asking questions,'' Bast instead hangs around the Serpent's Truth, a ``partisan and trashy'' rival shop; picks up a lead on Baba Yaga, the black coven (in Queens, naturally) Miriam had fallen in with; and attends a meeting in which the Baba Yagas say they killed Miriam because she tried to leave the coven. After that, fans of traditional detective novels should be warned, things get stranger, and much less interesting. Some of the background on modern Wicca (``witchcraft'' to you) is effectively offbeat, though Bast's aggressive homiletics (``environment is just a long word for where-you-are'') make her a sententious bore. A one-of-a-kind entry that could become, uh, a cult classic. -- Copyright 1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

This adroit and often sardonic blend of New York City hip and New Age neo-Paganism begins with a death, maybe by witchcraft, and introduces a modern witch as sleuth. Bast, whose mundane name is Karen Hightower, receives a desperate phone call from Lace Devereaux, who has just discovered the body of her lover, Miriam Seabrook. Bast becomes suspicious about the death, especially after discovering that the victim's ceremonial knife, her athame , is missing. Long a hanger-on in occult circles, Miriam had recently joined a new, highly secretive coven and had cut herself off from her old friends and haunts. Bast trawls the "New York Metropagan Community" for clues, drawing both indifference and threatening anonymous phone calls. She tracks down Ruslan, the authoritarian head of Miriam's coven, Baba Yaga, who is searching for the Khazar Wicca , an illustrated book purporting to contain the coven's rituals. Despite her reliance on capital letters, Regency romance author Edghill ( Fleeting Fancy ) deftly evokes the witchly milieu, exposing its factions and politics. Bast is a quirky, honorable protagonist whom readers will look forward to seeing again.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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