Friday, October 30, 2015

Look Both Ways and the Poison Apple

Carol J. Perry, the author of the Witch City Series, is here today brewing up something special for Halloween Drinks with Reads...

“Looking glass upon the wall, who is fairest of them all?”
The Evil Queen in “Snow White”
Grimm’s Fairy Tales

That’s the epigraph at the beginning of Look Both Ways, latest in the Witch City Mystery series. The evil queen from the fairy tale liked looking into mirrors, but Lee Barrett doesn’t. Lee is, reluctantly, a scryer—a person who sees visions of the past, present or future in shiny, reflective surfaces. Some would welcome such a gift, but for Lee, mirrors, crystal balls, even shiny patent leather shoes can produce scenes of death and dying. Of course, things aren’t all gloomy and doomy for this Salem born, red-haired, TV star. She has a great apartment, drives a Corvette, has a handsome detective boyfriend, Pete Mondello, and a cat named O’Ryan who seems to have some mystical powers of his own. 

Everyone knows that in Salem, there are secrets everywhere. This time, Lee has reason to believe that even the furniture might be haunted---and it all begins with a mirror. It’s a tarnished, blackened old mirror on an antique bureau she bought to replace one she’d lost in a fire, a bureau with concealed compartments. One problem. It came from an estate where a famous Salem murder happened. Later, when Lee discovers the bludgeoned body of the antique shop owner, the blackened mirror begins to reveal a trail of deception and death, while the bureau itself gives up long-hidden secrets of dark misdeeds.

Lee knows there’s a killer somewhere in the city—and the killer may know that she knows.

* * * *

Want to catch up with Lee’s earlier adventures? “Caught Dead Handed” is a good place to start. Lee goes for a job interview at Salem’s waterfront cable TV station WICH-TV.  Disappointed because the position she wanted has been filled, Lee discovers the drowned body of popular TV psychic Ariel Constellation, face down in Salem Harbor. Lee winds up with Ariel’s show, “Nightshades” pretending to be psychic and introducing spooky old movies. It’s a show prop black obsidian ball that gets her into scryer trouble this time. But hey, she meets Pete and inherits Ariel’s cat, so it’s not all bad.

“Tails, You Lose” is the second Witch City book. Did you know there are old tunnels running under much of Salem? Lee didn’t know either, but there are. (For real!) Lee is teaching a TV Production class at Salem’s newest academy. It’s located in the long closed Trumbull’s department store which is rumored to be haunted. (Some folks say the whole darned city is.) Lee sees visions in giant patent leather pump, left over from Trumbull’s shoe department, revealing clues to the strange death of the school’s handyman.  Ghosts in the old store’s attic are the least of her problems with a killer on the loose.

Drink Recipe – “The Poison Apple”

In keeping with that Evil Queen’s quote, what could be more appropriate for your Halloween celebration than a poison apple?  This one is quite sweet and yummy, so don’t be tempted to drink a lot of it. You don’t want to wind up in a deep sleep like Snow White.

2 ounces Crown Royal
1 ounce Sour Apple Pucker Schnapps
3 ounces Cranberry-Apple juice

Pour whiskey, schnapps and juice into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir with spoon until wicked cold. Strain into glass and garnish with apple slices.


  1. This series sounds great. I love Salem, witches, hidden tunnels. The poisoned apple sounds yummy. Great books/drink for Halloween!

  2. Love this series - the Salem setting, cool plot twists, and appealing characters!