Witches in Retirement

Welcome to the condo for retired wizards and witches in Grumpy Old Wizards by John O'Riley. Join the pensioners for tea and playing cards (mind reading not allowed) and join them in getting involved in a few murders in their spare time. One thing is sure, nothing has changed in the magicked up USA over the one we know today.

John O'Riley managed the virtually impossible: He reinvented the USA on a magical plane and retained all the characteristics of today. The misunderstood Bill of Rights, Human Rights to be observed everywhere in the world except at home, and shady government agencies preying on people.

We know that genetics are unfair, but you will have to redefine 'unfair' after reading the book. The heroine of the story is a level 6 wizard according to one of those incomprehensible government scale systems we all love today. This is the highest possible power level a wizard can be born with, and it excludes her from doing almost anything.

The murder mystery is one of the more ingenious ones I have encountered because it not only leaves you in the dark about the murderer, but leads you into a merry dance about motive and the connection between the victims of this serial murder. The characters may not be fully formed to satisfaction, but that can be remedied later in the series.

If there is room for improvement, it doesn't distract unduly from a good story. The magical world is in itself logical and the blend with normality (as in non-magical) makes it easy to feel at home within the fabric of the book. If you like puzzling murders or wizards, or possibly both, this is a book to while away an afternoon.

John O'Riley's Grumpy Old Wizards is available to download for free on Amazon for Kindle. If that isn't an argument to go and get it, I don't know what is. And it is good enough to tempt you to buy into the series, once you get hooked to the brave new world the author conjures up for your amusement.

Further reading
When a Spell Goes Wrong
The Thief Who Learned Magic
Murder Mystery in Kenya