Sunday, June 09, 2013

On the Library Table - The Divine Circle of Ladies Digging the Dirt (Dolores Stewart Riccio)

It’s high summer on the Massachusetts shore, and the Divine Circle of Ladies is at it again.  A radical clergyman and his parishioners have begun a local campaign picketing liberal churches, military funerals and local businesses not in line with their church teachings.  The Faeryland shop owned and operated by a member of the circle (Diedre) is one of the businesses being picketed.

Another member of the circle, animal rights activist Heather, is volunteering in an archeological dig at the old Morse Homestead in Salem where aboriginal artifacts are being unearthed from under the building known locally as “the witch house".  There is great excitement on the scene until a sniper positions himself among nearby trees and starts shooting members of the dig group.  Heather calls on the ladies of the circle to discover the identity of the sniper and end the violence at the site.

In Salem, the circle find themselves staying in a haunted inn with a spectral cold spot at the foot of the main stairway.  Luckily for the ladies, there is also a fine dining room and a cozy pub that is just perfect for their late afternoon planning sessions.  Cass’s young friend Tip is on the scene too, and he finds himself deeply attracted to one of the archeology team, a young woman who has the fey ability to travel back and forth in time.

Having sleuthed out the identity of the Salem sniper, the circle return home to learn that a little girl named Molly Larsson has vanished.  As they are pooling their talents to find her, they discover that the sordid business in Salem is far from over and has (in fact) followed them home.   There is never a dull moment for the intrepid ladies of the Wiccan circle.

This is the ninth novel in Dolores Stewart Riccio's delightful "Divine Circle of Ladies" series, and it is fine reading indeed -  her creations go from strength to strength, and the appearance of another volume in the series is always cause for rejoicing.  This is the perfect novel for reading on one's veranda (or deck) on a fine summer evening with iced tea in hand.  Long may the ladies of the circle continue sleuthing!