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Waking the Witch: Women of the Otherworld #11    by Kelley Armstrong order for
Waking the Witch
by Kelley Armstrong
Order:  USA  Can
Dutton, 2010 (2010)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Kelley Armstrong's Waking the Witch, the eleventh in her bestselling Women of the Otherworld urban fantasy series, brings to center stage feisty, twenty-one year old Savannah Levine, the orphaned daughter of a sorcerer and a half-demon. Savannah was taken in by series stars Paige Winterbourne and Lucas Cortez after her mother (Eve Levine) died (Savannah's father was 'notorious cutthroat sorceror' Kristof Nast). For the last five years, Savannah has assisted her guardians with their supernatural detective agency.

As Waking the Witch opens, Paige and Lucas are enjoying a well earned vacation, Adam Vasic (whom Savannah has loved since she was twelve) is away at a conference, and Savannah is holding the fort. Telekinetic half-demon PI Jesse Aanes (who had worked with Lucas in the past) wants the agency's help to investigate the murders of three young women in Columbus, Washington. Why a supernatural investigator? There were signs of magical rituals at the crime scenes. Savannah, keen to take on her first solo investigation, volunteers her services.

In Columbus, Savannah meets precocious nine-year-old Kayla, who is determined to find her mother's killer herself. And she combines forces with hot Dallas PD Detective Michael Kennedy, whose sister was one of the victims. They look into a cookie-baking commune, where a middle-aged guru and his queen bee rule a roost of young women. They also suspect the rich and toxic Cody Radu, married to Tiffany, a vicious witch. Despite her spells regularly misfiring, Savannah survives several attacks on her life, but others are not so lucky. And there seems to be a witch-hunter in town.

Of course, Savannah solves the case - after several surprises and a major plot twist that inserts an old enemy into the fray - with help from both Adam and her mother's ghost. The cliffhanger of an ending will leave the myriad of Women of the Otherworld fans anxious for more of Savannah Levine's exploits in next year's Spell Bound. If you enjoy urban fantasy, then this excellent series is not to be missed.

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