Wicked Witch Murder begins in the spring, with a scene from a witch’s sabbath and a body, apparently burned at a stake. These two startling scenes fade into the background of Lucy Stone’s cozy life in Tinker’s Cove, Maine, where she is bringing up a family and working part time as a reporter.

As Halloween draws closer, though, the disturbing undercurrents in the town become impossible to ignore. Lucy’s daughters are more interested in casting spells than in Trick or Treat, the local Wiccan coven is threatened — and Lucy’s wondering whether the man who claims his family is under a curse is covering up a questionable business deal.

This book has some scary moments, but it also has some Halloween party recipes. There are fewer cheery descriptions of small town life than you usually find in this series. The longer time span allows greater suspense than you’ll find in your typical cozy mystery, but there are some loose ends left at the end of the story — possibly to heighten the spooky tone.

Overall, a satisfying seasonal read.