Rosie McLeod, pub proprietor and a gifted herbalist of local renown, is thirty-nine and holding, but only just. The talons of her fortieth birthday are in her back and her bloody, bloody husband hasn’t laid a lustful hand on her for months.
Rosie sets out to discover if her husband is having an affair, using deductive powers based solely on the careful preparation of plants and herbs. But as her well-laid plans entirely fall apart, the sighting of a large black cat sets off another chain of events.
Rosie now realises that a psychopath is on the loose and that she’s been selected as his next victim.
This was a clever entertaining read, Rosie is fast approaching forty and is fed up, her skills in herbal medications mean that she knows all about what effects something as simple as a few herbs and hedgerow flowers have on the human anatomy.
While she’s wrapped up in fears over her marriage, someone is following their own conspiracy – about witches.
I liked the links with Scottish history, including the tragic history of women accused of being witches, Scotland being the only place in the British Isles who burned witches (everyone else hanged them).
There has been a resurgence of modern witchcraft and herbal knowledge and this feeds nicely into this, becoming a crime thriller as the witchfinder circles closer.
Then there’s the mysterious giant black cat, a bit like the Beast of Bodmin, that several people have seen and an election campaign taking place in the village at the same time.
The book is very funny at points and great when you need something fairly light-hearted (murders aside) to read.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.