The Witches of New York is the third novel from bestselling author Ami McKay. While the new novel sees the return of Moth from her previous novel The Virgin Cure it can be read as a stand alone. The story opens in
in September 1880 with Moth; now Adelaide and
her dear friend Eleanor who have opened Tea & Sympathy a tea shop where
they offer spells, remedies and advice to the well heeled ladies of . While Eleanor
is the expert on remedies and tea, Manhattan
is a talented seer and happy to proclaim herself a witch. Having lost an eye to
an acid attack from a jealous rival she revels in her witchy appearance. The
ladies workload has increased and so Adelaide
places an advert seeking an apprentice and Beatrice comes into their lives.
Beatrice has travelled from small town upstate Adelaide seeking adventure and magic and she
is a wonderful addition to the store but it soon becomes obvious that she has
incredible magical abilities. While Eleanor wants to help the girl to develop
at her own pace New York
wants to test out Beatrice’s abilities and before long Beatrice disappears. Has
she run away? Or has she been taken? Because in a society that condemns women
is it ever safe to be a witch? The growth of Beatrice’s character is skillfully
woven throughout the novel as she turns from country girl to a young woman in
charge of her own destiny. This is a beautiful novel, impeccably researched,
powerfully plotted and packed with intriguing characters. Carefully blending
fantasy, crime and historical fiction this is a charming and atmospheric read.
Perfect for fans of Sophia Tobin, Susan Hill and Essie Fox. Adelaide
Available now from Orion Books
This review originally appeared in Historical Novel Review 79 (Feb 2017) as an Editor's Choice.