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Emma L Adams

Witch in Danger: A Blair Wilkes Mystery Book 3 (Paperback)

Witch in Danger: A Blair Wilkes Mystery Book 3 (Paperback)

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Book 3 of 15: A Blair Wilkes Mystery

Blair Wilkes is having a trying week. Her best friend stands accused of murdering a vampire, and dead bodies are showing up in the forest. She knows Alissa is innocent, but with the vampires out for blood -- more than usual -- tensions in the small town of Fairy Falls are at a tipping point.

As if that's not enough, Blair's witchcraft lessons aren't going well, with her wand gaining a life of its own -- not to mention her familiar. And then she discovers something startling about her family that puts her burgeoning relationship with former paranormal hunter Nathan under pressure.

Can Blair help a friend and catch a killer, or will she be the next victim?

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I looked down at the slip of paper, clutching my phone in my free hand. Suddenly, the idea of calling my foster parents seemed as daunting as mounting a broomstick for the first time. Because on the slip of paper was a message from my birth family.

The note simply said,

To Blair,

I would very much like to meet you.

Please come to the waterfall at the solstice.


Your family.

I’d read every word so many times, it was a wonder they hadn’t faded from the page. Your family… and no signature. Since my foster parents didn’t even know I was now living in the magical town of Fairy Falls, I had no name to trace the note back to, and by now, I’d grown desperate enough to call Mr and Mrs Wilkes in the hope that they remembered more than they’d told me of my birth family.

I swallowed my fear and dialled my foster dad’s number. Mr and Mrs Wilkes might be my real parents in all but blood, but they were a hundred percent normal and had never met either of my birth parents. They were now enjoying their retirement in Australia, blissfully unaware that I’d spent the last couple of months accidentally investigating magical murders, making badly timed Harry Potter references, and generally running into trouble. My mother had been a witch who’d originally lived here in my new home of Fairy Falls, but she’d left over twenty-five years ago, before she was pregnant with me. My father, on the other hand, nobody knew at all. Not even Vincent the vampire, the town’s oldest resident. But someone had left that note for me, and in the weeks since, doubt had festered until I was scared to call my foster parents at all—since I also happened to have the magical ability to sense whether or not someone was lying. And I didn’t know how to handle it if it turned out they knew.

Before I lost my nerve, I hit the call button.

“Blair?” Mr Wilkes answered, after a few moments.

“Hi,” I said. “How’s it going?”

He launched into tales of his adventures—which involved learning to surf—while I smiled and said “mm” every so often. When I got a moment to speak, the words stuck in my throat, but I pushed ahead. “This is kind of random, but I wondered… did you ever hear from my birth parents? At all?”

“No,” he said, sounding puzzled. “What brought this on?”

“Just… curiosity.” Great one, Blair. I was trying—unsuccessfully—to break my habit of telling little white lies, but there were rules against telling normals about the paranormal world, even family. I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do when they returned from their travels and found I’d moved to a town that didn’t exist on any normal map. “Er, since they never got in touch.”

There was an awkward silence. We hadn’t often discussed the subject since I was a kid, because once I’d passed the stage of making up elaborate stories as to why they might not have contacted me—involving superhero identities and secret societies, among other things—I’d concluded that I had all the family I wanted. But since I’d moved here, old wounds I’d never acknowledged had been opened.

“Blair,” Mr Wilkes finally said. “If you really want to know, I can give you the details of your former foster family. I don’t know how well you remember them.”

‘Not well’ was the honest answer. I’d had several foster families before Mr and Mrs Wilkes, and they had probably been plain humans, too. I doubted the human authorities kept a record of where exactly I’d come from if my parents had hopped over from the magical world and worked their magic to leave no trace. Unless… unless they’d been hiding amongst normals, keeping their magic quiet, before I was born. It wasn’t like some paranormals didn’t opt to spend their lives in normal towns or cities. 

“Did they really live in London?” I blurted. “My birth parents, I mean?” London, with its traffic and crowds, did not seem like a good place for paranormals whose natural magical shields often made public transport shut down. But a big city like that would be a decent place to hide without most people having a clue someone might be paranormal. I’d lived there for a few weeks when I’d snagged a fancy office job a couple of years ago, but I didn’t have the funds to stay after my contract finished. And the tube breaking down every day hadn’t helped much. At least I now knew it was down to my magical nature and not just bad luck.

“That’s all we were told. Your last foster family might know.”

Since a few different families had taken me in before the age of three, it was possible that none of them would have actually met my parents. When you added in the fact that paranormals were capable of befuddling the senses and causing people to forget ever meeting them… the odds were slim, I had to admit.

“I, er, got another job offer,” I said, to fill the silence. “So I moved.”

“You did? What’s the job?”

“Recruitment,” I said—technically true, if you omitted the ‘dealing with cranky wizard businessmen and eccentric witches’ part. “I’m not living at my last address anymore, but I’ll come and see you when you get back.”

“We’ll come back for Grandma’s seventieth birthday,” he said. 

Oh. My adoptive grandparents must have sent the invitation to my old house—which I’d left after I moved here. 

“Okay. I’ll let you know when I’m around,” I said. “But, er, it’s probably best not to post anything to me. I don’t have a fixed address.”

Not an address that ordinary humans could find, anyway. There was a paranormal delivery company within Fairy Falls and even a phone and internet network, but they didn’t work outside of the town. I’d barely spoken to anyone from my old life, not even my former best friend, Rebecca. She only got in touch when she wanted me to babysit for her the last couple of years and we’d grown apart, and I wasn’t perpetually short on cash anymore. I had a steady job I loved. I had great co-workers and a fantastic new best friend, and a patient mentor who forgave me every time I messed up a spell or accidentally broke something.

I had a family. And I had a whole new life, and yet—was it such a bad thing that I wanted to know the truth about my parents?

“See you soon, Blair. Love you.”

“Love you,” I whispered back.

I ended the call, blinked a few times to clear the tears from my eyes, then put my phone away and looked at the note. I’d read it so many times that the words were burned into my brain. No signature. Anyone might have written it, in theory, but the note had been glamoured, hidden with fairy magic. I didn’t have many enemies—except possibly Blythe, my vindictive former co-worker—and none were fairies. Nobody would have reason to prank me into thinking I’d get to meet my family, right?

“Anything?” asked Alissa, my flatmate, as I walked out of my room and re-entered the living room of our shared flat.

I shook my head. “Nope. I really don’t think they know. But if they come home and want to visit me… that might cause problems.”

She petted Roald, her cat. “Ah. Yeah, you might want to ask Madame Grey. Pretty sure she has a script for telling normals about us without really telling them anything, if you know what I mean.”

“This would… confuse them.” To be honest, I still spent half my time in a permanent state of confusion even now I’d had weeks to grow used to this new life. “I’ll think about it.”

The note had told me to meet at the solstice… and now the day was finally here. In the last few weeks, I’d thrown myself into magic lessons and work, and when Veronica had given me last weekend off, Alissa and I had ended up helping to lay a pirate’s ghost to rest, and found out that my cat was actually buddies with the town’s oldest vampire resident. Life was busy, in the best way, and I almost didn’t want to disrupt it by throwing my forgotten history into the mix.

“Are you definitely going to go to the falls? At night?” she asked.

“Yeah. Might be a prank, but at least I’ll know.”

I’d been dreaming of the meeting for weeks. When I’d stuck my own head under the Fairy Falls, the glamour masking my real appearance had temporarily come off, revealing wings, and… since I hadn’t looked in a mirror and Alissa had just said I was glittering, my imagination filled in the blanks. The fairies had been responsible for creating the Fairy Falls that gave the town its name, but had disappeared decades ago. That alone gave the meeting place extra significance—but the note hadn’t explained why the writer had picked the solstice.

“Aren’t you seeing Nathan tonight first?”

I nodded, biting my lip. I still hadn’t actually told him I was half fairy. And now I was running out of time to make my decision about how to broach the subject.

“How many dates have you had now?” Alissa enquired.

“Two, but neither of them was an actual date, and both got interrupted. No, I’m not counting the coffee shop incident.”

“I’ll bet he is.”

“Considering the cat interrupted our first date and a murder interrupted the second one, I’d be genuinely surprised if the ceiling doesn’t fall on us tonight.”

“The lucky latte’s backlash has probably worn off by now.”

“I should hope so.” I’d drank a luck potion in order to solve a murder and the backlash had lasted for days. After endless problem clients, magical accidents, and disastrous attempts to cast spells, I was looking forward to a stress-free night out with Nathan, retired paranormal hunter, town security guard, and the one person I did not want to know about my midnight meeting.

I know, I know. Keeping secrets from the guy you’re sort-of-dating is bound to end badly. That he’d hunted the same paranormals who might be my relations didn’t help, either. As a paranormal hunter, it’d been his job to apprehend any and all criminals he was assigned to, from rogue werewolves to vamps who took a bite out of a human—and fairies who bewitched normals. I hadn’t got up the courage to ask too many questions about his former job. It wasn’t exactly a sore subject, there just never seemed to be a good time, since we were surrounded by paranormals constantly who wouldn’t appreciate being reminded. Nathan seemed to get on with the others just fine—with the glaring exception of the werewolf pack—so I didn’t want to make things awkward for him. All I really knew about his life now was that he had a sister and three cats. It was no wonder have you ever met any fairies had never come up as a question.

Since I’d graduated from university, dating opportunities had all but vanished as everyone settled down and I carried on drifting, looking for… something. I might have only been here a couple of months, but it felt like longer, and I couldn’t imagine being elsewhere. The ease with which I’d fallen into this life had bothered me a little at first, but now it comforted me. 

My phone buzzed with a message.

“Is that him?” Alissa asked.

“Yes.” I looked at the phone, my heart sinking in disappointment. “He’s cancelled. I guess something security-related came up.”

I wasn’t really surprised. Everyone wanted to hire the town’s only retired paranormal hunter to guard their valuables, and I couldn’t help feeling slightly relieved that there was less chance of him finding out about my midnight tryst. And then wondering what that said about our potential relationship. I want to tell him. Just not now. Not before I find out who wanted to meet me. If someone was out to play a practical joke, I didn’t want him to see the fallout. I wanted to keep my weird history and my witchy future firmly apart.

Alissa checked her watch. “I should get to my shift. Night shifts on a Friday should be illegal.”

“Someone has to stop the alcoholic elf escaping to the liquor store or the blood-crazed vampires from feasting on unsuspecting humans.” I gave her a wry smile. Alissa worked at the local hospital as a healer, and her working hours were becoming more and more irregular as summer went on and the number of people taking stupid risks soared.

She groaned. “Don’t even. That elf is the bane of my existence. Anyway, I need to go. I can meet you by the lake at eleven thirty? I wouldn’t stand too close to the water at night.”

“I’ll meet you there.” I’d have to find some other way to distract myself from my upcoming meeting until midnight.

“Miaow,” said Sky the cat, padding into the room. He was a little black cat with a single white paw, and large eyes—one grey, one blue.

“You think I’m making the right choice?” I asked him.


“Me neither.” I didn’t really understand my familiar, since his vocabulary consisted only of one word. Besides, Alissa had said it wasn’t generally a good idea to ask for life advice from a cat.

Sighing, I relaxed back into the sofa, wishing I had a television or some other entertainment. Alissa’s grandmother had given her a traditional technology-free upbringing despite the fact that paranormals had found ways to replicate normal inventions using their magic. I appreciated the paranormal phone network, but considering everyone in town lived so close to one another, I didn’t get as much use out of it as I might.

I stroked Sky’s head, and he purred, pleased to be getting his fair share of attention. He and Roald had stopped swatting at each other most of the time and now treated one another with indifference. Fiercely independent and demanding, Sky was like another flatmate all by himself.

I was dozing off when Sky suddenly jolted upright. His fur stood on end. “Miaow.”

“What is it?”

Sky bounded off the sofa and ran towards the door.

“Who, an intruder?” I didn’t think so. Several other families lived inside the house, since it was big enough to contain more than one flat per floor. “Or more mice?”

Please no more mice. 

He hit out at the door with his paw. “MIAOW.”

“Oh, all right, I’m coming.”

I grabbed my handbag, shoved my feet into my boots, and hurried after him. Sky knocked open the door, ran into the hallway, and barely gave me the chance to lock the flat door before shoving his way through the cat flap and out into the night.

I followed close behind. “I don’t have to leave until midnight.”

Normally walking around at night alone would have made me hesitate, but I wore a pair of levitating boots, carried a wand, and the town was the safest place I’d ever lived in. This whole area belonged to Madame Grey and her coven, and she didn’t allow any trouble to walk up to her doorstep.

Sky kept running, turning the street corner. He was heading towards the bustling area of town. “You should have just told me I needed a night out.”

The little black cat kept running past the pubs and night clubs, towards—

“The hospital?”


I stopped. “Does Alissa need my help? How in the world did you know?”

“Miaow,” he said, urgently pointing with his white paw.

I continued towards the hospital on the high street. I’d spent some time there recently when I’d been questioning old Ava, a witch who lived in the ward for those with permanent magical injuries. If Alissa needed my help, she might have called or texted, but while Sky was unreliable, he had known a bunch of cursed mice were actually human. What if he was right about Alissa needing my help, too?

Through the dim glass, a number of people had gathered just inside the reception area, chief of whom was the huge, intimidating Steve the gargoyle—leader of the local police force.

Oh no. Recently, he’d caught me at a crime scene and locked me up for it. I’d been avoiding him for weeks.

Then I spotted the person in handcuffs next to him. 


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