The Hexed (Krewe of Hunters #13) by Heather Graham
"Devin Lyle has recently returned to the Salem area, but her timing couldn't be worse. Soon after she moved into the eighteenth-century cabin she inherited from her great-aunt Mina—her "crazy" great-aunt, who spoke to the dead—a woman was murdered nearby.
Craig Rockwell—known as Rocky—is a new member of the Krewe of Hunters, the FBI's team of paranormal investigators. He never got over finding a friend dead in the woods. Now another body's been found in those same woods, not far from the home of Devin Lyle. And Devin's been led to a third body—by...a ghost?
Her discovery draws them both deeper into the case and Salem's rich and disturbing history. Even as the danger mounts, Devin and Rocky begin to fall for each other, something the ghosts of Mina and past witches seem to approve of. But the two of them need every skill they possess to learn the truth—or Devin's might be the next body in the woods..."
The Hexed is a fast-paced thriller that will keep you guessing throughout. It has everything you want from a paranormal mystery- ritual murders, ghostly apparitions, and even a steamy romance.
Devin is an author who returned to Salem after leaving her previous career in journalism. She moved into the little house in the woods that she inherited from her beloved Aunt Mina, and everything was going very well for her until she heard a ghostly voice from the woods near her house and discovered a woman, murdered and laid out in a pentagram with her throat cut.
That will ruin your day.
But she meets Craig "Rocky" Rockwell, an FBI agent and recent addition to the Krewe of Hunters, and that makes up for things a lot. Because, well...he's good-looking and single and he can see ghosts too. That makes it a lot easier when the spirit of Aunt Mina starts showing back up at the cabin, trying to help Rocky and Devin solve the case. And she isn't the only ghost in town trying to communicate. A mysterious Puritan woman is showing herself to Devin, and it appears that this case and a string of other murders may have connections as far back as 1692.
The murders are separated by many years and that makes the case confusing to solve. The Krewe has a lot of suspects to clear. The murders likely were committed with a ceremonial dagger called an athame, and in another town, that would probably rule out almost everyone, but in Salem, where many people practice Wicca or own souvenir shops that sell "witchcraft" memorabilia, that actually makes it harder.
So, this was a fun read, but my favorite part is that it blended the past well with fantasy. and that was important to me.
I decided to share this review with you today, September 22nd, for a personal reason. Some time ago, I discovered I am a descendant of one of the 19 "witches" accused, tried and executed in Salem in 1692. My ancestor, Samuel Wardwell, was hung exactly 322 years ago today. And still, the events of that terrible time captivate the imagination and horrify new generations. So, I have always been fascinated by anything to do with Salem, and when a Krewe of Hunters book was going to be set in that town, I knew I had to read it. I just hoped that the book would accurately describe the past and that it portrayed the people who were victims of that terrible time in a respectful way. Fortunately, this book is successful on both counts. Graham's settings, both in the modern day and in the present, do justice to the places and times they represent.
That was such a relief for me, and it made the whole story just that much more enjoyable. We get a thrilling ghostly murder mystery that is also respectful to the people who actually lived through the witch trials, or died tragically because of them. It may have happened 322 years ago, but it still means something to me, to know that my 10th great grandfather and all those who were affected are being remembered and honored by stories that show them as they truly were.
The Hexed on Amazon
Learn more about the Salem Witch Trials
Read about my ancestor, Samuel Wardwell