The Witch in the Well

Written by Sharon Newman
Review by Ilysa Magnus

This is certainly a departure for the wonderful Sharan Newman in this, the tenth Catherine LeVendeur mystery. It is filled not merely with historical fact, but with elements of fantasy and the supernatural. This is not a whodunit in the “normal” sense, but a “what the heck is going on here” sort of mystery.

Each and every one of Catherine’s family members—including Catherine’s sister and her family from Germany—are summoned to her grandfather’s castle in Blois. Grandpa has remained remarkably young despite his advanced age. Strangely, so has everyone else. But while everyone in Catherine’s family appears not to be aging at a pace normal in medieval society, nor are there children being born in Blois. What is happening?

The reason, rumor has it, is that the well nourishing Blois is drying up: a well, they say, which is the source of all that is good and young and regenerative of Catherine’s family. When the well is dry, every member of Catherine’s family, including her three young children, will die.

An intriguing and convoluted plot, almost as convoluted as the pathways under the castle and woods of Blois

—and a fun ride.