Rosie Strange doesn't believe in ghosts or witches or magic. No, not at all. It’s no surprise therefore when she inherits the ramshackle Essex Witch Museum, her first thought is to take the money and run.
Still, the museum exerts a curious pull over Rosie. There’s the eccentric academic who bustles in to demand she help in a hunt for old bones, those of the notorious Ursula Cadence, a witch long since put to death. And there’s curator Sam Stone, a man about whom Rosie can’t decide if he’s tiresomely annoying or extremely captivating. It all adds up to looking like her plans to sell the museum might need to be delayed, just for a while.
Finding herself and Sam embroiled in a most peculiar centuries-old mystery, Rosie is quickly expelled from her comfort zone, where to her horror, the secrets of the past come with their own real, and all too present, danger as a strange magic threatens to envelope them all.
Syd Moore is best known for her Essex Witch Museum Mysteries (Strange Magic, Strange Sight, Strange Fascination, Strange Tombs and later in 2020, Strange Tricks). The series was shortlisted for the Good Reader Holmes and Watson Award 2018. She has twice been shortlisted for the CWA Short Story Dagger in 2019 and 2020. Her debut screenplay, Witch West, which she developed from an original idea, has been optioned by Hidden Door Productions and will be released in Autumn 2021. She lives in Essex.
‘Strange Magic is that rarest of things: a book which sets out unashamedly to entertain, and does so with wit, style, and erudition. I gleefully submitted to a tale of witchcraft, feminism, mysterious strangers, historical atrocities, plucky heroines and ghastly apparitions – and came away more proud than ever to be an Essex girl.’
– Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent
‘Confident, down-to-earth Essex girl Rosie is an appealing character, and there is plenty of spooky fun in this spirited genre mashup.’
‘A brilliant beginning to a highly original new series. I promise, this book will hold you spellbound!’
‘A witty, whip-smart read that captivates the reader and conjures a plot full of danger, fun and romance…the characters are brilliant – relatable, real, witty and warm. The plot is a puzzling mystery that sweeps the reader along, and Moore's voice as a writer is one that will make the reader want to go out and buy her other books.’