There is a great deal to like in this the first in The Essex Witches Series, not least a museum featuring the Tragic History of Essex as a hotbed for witchcraft accusations, and an inheritance from an estranged Grandfather that is not entirely welcomed by both the remaining staff and by the headstrong recipient.
I enjoyed the numerous historical nuggets thrown liberally about to pepper the story with historical authenticity which made the story feel more important to me as a bit of a feminist that Witchcraft on the whole was all about the subjugation of women who did not comply with masogynistic norms. The obvious passion for the subject from Ms Moore is evident in the careful way the complexities of the case of a real life woman have been woven into this fictional story.
The central characters of Rosie and Sam are complex and interesting and I was more than happy to tag along on this initial mystery with them. The idea of a Benefits Fraud investigator as a protagonist and her ability to read people is a great lead into her more untapped gifts (rather under utilised here sadly) which link her to a darker heritage I liked the slight frisson of sexual tension between them , but I was gratified that is did not become a romance with mysterious magical elements, but rather the opposite. Their interaction and the way their relationship was not quantified made it the more interesting.
The central possession was macabre but perhaps a little tamer than I was expecting, but as a foundational story for a series, this was exciting enough to secure my further reading. I look forward to more.