Magic Can Be Murder

Magic Can Be Murder

Paperback - 2000
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Nola and her mother have unusual abilities that have always set them apart from others, but when Nola sees a murder using her power to call up images using water and a person's hair, she finds herself in the worst danger ever.
Publisher: Boston, Mass. : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, c2000.
ISBN: 9780547258720
Characteristics: 197 pages ;,18 cm.

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FindingJane Aug 07, 2017

Nola must be one of the most hapless and inept heroines out there. Her mother told her to be careful about using their magical abilities where others might see them. This is a time intolerant of witches and the threats of imprisonment and death are very real.

But Nola can’t help herself. She constantly collects and uses human hairs (essential in her magic) to spy on others, to be privy to their speech and actions. This causes her to make a dangerous mistake—leaving an enchanted bucket where it might be found by ordinary humans. Then she makes a worse one.

The book certainly celebrates her hardiness, fortitude and quick thinking. But as the mishaps collect and escalate--from blundering into the middle of a murder investigation to tumbling down a flight of stairs—I wondered if Nola wasn’t perhaps her own worst enemy. Add to that an unlikely romance that blooms within a few days and this story suffers from both a slapstick tone and a decided lack of credibility.

I normally like Ms. Vande Velde’s tales of enchantment and adventure. But this one was just too silly to merit any real praise.

KelseyPaige Jun 04, 2011

One of my favorites of Vivian Vande Velde's. It's amusing seeing Nola make a mess of things--and fascinating how she gets out of it all.

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Black_Dog_536 Apr 05, 2012

Black_Dog_536 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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