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The Language of Spells (2013)

When Gwen inherits her great-aunt Iris' home, she returns to End House in Pendleford. She is not altogether welcome; neighbours are suspicious of her and her old boyfriend Cameron Laing still harbours a grudge about her deserting him thirteen years earlier, so Gwen has a lot to prove before she is accepted. Iris left behind unfinished business in the form of Lily, a jealous neighbour who as an aspiring witch wants to take over her client list, and also her journals full of secrets that had been confided to her over the years. It's not surprising that Gwen receives veiled threats and incentives to move out of the area. When her niece, Katie, disappears, Gwen has to use all of her talents to try to find her. Sarah Painter has written a highly original, entertaining novel with a feisty heroine, a thrilling climax with a sizzling romantic interest interwoven into all of the action. (JH)

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