Skip to product information
1 of 1

Emma L Adams

Witch on a Mission: A Blair Wilkes Mystery Book 8 (Paperback)

Witch on a Mission: A Blair Wilkes Mystery Book 8 (Paperback)

Regular price $9.99 USD
Regular price Sale price $9.99 USD
Sale Sold out
Book 8 of 15: A Blair Wilkes Mystery

When Nathan is arrested as the prime suspect for a werewolf's death, Blair knows for certain he’s innocent.

The problem is, his sister is in town looking for a job, bringing her to Blair's workplace at the worst possible time. The town is in the grip of holiday festivities, and then there's the upcoming visit from the region's witch inspectors, who've grown suspicious about Blair's role in helping the new Head Witch rise to power.

Blair determines to help Nathan, but when the murder case is revealed to be linked to his family, the truth tests their relationship to its limits. Can Blair solve the murder and prove Nathan's innocence without losing the town she's come to love?

FAQ: How will my print book be delivered?

Print books are deliverered through a service called Book Vault and are shipped directly to you.

Print time is usually 72 working hours. After books are printed, they are shipped. Please check to make sure the address you provide is accurate and complete before you make your purchase.

Read a sample

“No, we don’t currently have any clients looking for aspiring opera singers.”

I put down the phone, shaking my head. Weird calls were par for the course in our line of work, but an opera-singing goblin was a new one. Just another day in the office of Eldritch & Co. 

Bethan, my colleague and the boss’s daughter, raised an eyebrow at me. “Opera singer?”

“Do you, by any chance, have any clients who might be looking for a goblin who can hit high notes?” I asked.

“No,” she said. “That’s a new one.”

“I said we'd keep an eye out. Or should I have said ‘ear’ out?” I reached out to steady the small mountain of papers on Bethan’s desk before they scattered all over the floor. The brunette witch had the magical gift of multitasking, which meant working beside her felt like sitting next to a highly efficient human hurricane. In addition to the piles on her desk, yet more papers overflowed from the drawer beneath, which I’d long suspected of having more dimensions than one would normally expect.

Rob, our werewolf co-worker, looked up. “I’ve no idea about opera singers, but the pack’s band is looking for a new drummer.”

“I thought it was for werewolves only.” I raised a brow. “Besides, do you really want to subject any of our clients to the pack’s singing?”

Nobody should voluntarily have to listen to the werewolf band’s mangled attempts at music, and even most shifters knew to avoid the New Moon pub during one of their infamous free concerts.

He grinned. “You never know. Some people find the sound of wailing cats and crashing drums therapeutic.”

Beside him, Lizzie, the fourth member of our team, looked up from typing. “Sounds like most werewolves do.”

“Most of us have too much pent-up angst.” Rob, who looked like he’d never suffered a minute of angst in his life, returned to his paperwork. “All the wailing and crashing is supposed to be symbolic.”

“It’s the cymbals that are the problem,” said Bethan. “And the rest of it. My coven tried to host a meeting in the pub next door to the New Moon and we had to resort to communicating by passing notes around because none of us could hear a word the others said.”

The printer—one of Lizzie’s own creations—chose that moment to burst into a loud rendition of O Come All Ye Faithful. Lizzie, on a mission to get the office into the holiday spirit, had reprogrammed it the other week, with the result that all our paperwork now printed on Christmas cards and the clients we interviewed had to put up with a backdrop of loud carol-singing. 

With tinsel around her neck and her braided hair embellished with sparkly decorations, Lizzie had embraced the holiday spirit more than the rest of us put together—with the exception of Veronica, whose office currently resembled Santa’s grotto, complete with a pack of elves grinning from the corners. I didn’t think they were real elves, just an enchantment. I expected they would have quit in protest at the indignity by now if they were real.

Dritch & Co might be a crowded and chaotic work environment, yet it had become as familiar to me as my home, and I was quite looking forward to my first Christmas in the office. Even if half our clients seemed to have made it their mission to drive us all mad before the year was out.

“I don't think we've ever had a singing goblin in here before,” Lizzie said after the printer had finished its song. “You should have invited him here for the novelty value, Blair.”

“I would if we didn’t have enough to deal with.” In the short time since I’d started work at Dritch & Co, we'd handled werewolves pretending to be wizards, a recent haunting, a dead body in the boss’s office, and more paranormal shenanigans than the average recruitment company encountered in a lifetime. Which seemed appropriate, given that we were the only paranormal recruitment service that I knew of in existence. And definitely the only one with a singing printer which had once got into a fight with the town’s gargoyle police force.

As I turned back to my client list, Veronica Eldritch walked in. Like her daughter, she was tall, pale and lean. Her white hair hung past her shoulders, and despite the long tinsel scarf wrapped around her neck and the sparkly heels, she also wore an unusually sombre expression. 

I’d worked here for almost six months, so by now, I knew something was wrong. Veronica didn’t usually walk into the office: she bounded, sailed, or strode, depending on her mood. She didn’t walk.

“We have targets,” she announced.

“Targets?” I said.

“Yes, Blair, targets,” she said. “Why haven't you finished your list yet?”

“The last client was a goblin who was only interested in singing opera,” I explained. “I said I’d wait and see if anything suitable shows up.”

“There is no time for waiting,” said Veronica. “The holidays are almost upon us, and we must reach the end of the list before the new year. Next time, hang up.”

“What's the rush?” Bethan asked her mother. “Unless you have a cloning spell, there’s no way we’ll get through the whole list by the holidays. Just handling the people who want to hire a group of elves to sing carols or a pixie to volunteer to balance on top of their tree is taking up ninety percent of our time.”

“Not to mention the wizard who wanted a herd of unicorns instead of reindeer,” I added. “Anyway, I thought we were ahead of schedule.”

“We are, but the list just keeps getting longer.” Veronica added another stack of papers to the ones on her daughter’s desk, nudging my own stack aside. “Deal with the time-sensitive ones first, won’t you?”

She backed out of the office, trailing tinsel everywhere.

“Who’s putting pressure on us?” I whispered. “I thought we were handling the increase in business pretty well, considering how many people want the elves to join their choir. No wonder they hide in the forest at this time of year.”

“I wonder if someone’s bothering her?” said Bethan. “She knows there’s only four of us and a hundred clients with unreasonable demands. We’ll be lucky to get through half of this before Christmas.”

“No time like the present.” I turned to the next client on my list, seeing a familiar name. 

Erin Harker… my boyfriend Nathan’s sister.

I stared at her name for a moment. Nathan’s younger sister was the only one of his family members I’d met so far who hadn’t hated me on sight, but that didn’t change the fact that she was an ex-paranormal hunter, and to say the rest of her family didn’t like me was an understatement. Her dad reportedly wasn’t pleased with his daughter for leaving the hunters in order to go job-hunting in the paranormal world, and the last thing I needed was him calling the office when he found out she’d tried to hire me to find her a job here in Fairy Falls.

It might not be that big a deal. Maybe she wants to join the security team like her brother. Erin had renounced the hunters, and I doubted she was playing a joke on me. For all I knew, she’d be easier to handle than our other clients of the day.

I dialled her number, and someone picked up right away. “Hello, this is Dritch & Co recruitment—”

“Oh, hey, Blair!” Erin said brightly.

“Hey, Erin,” I said. “You wanted to hire us?”

“Of course I do,” she said. “I understand why my brother never wanted to leave Fairy Falls. I’d have happily stayed another week. I've told everyone all about the drunk elf, the pixie—and your cat, of course.”

I gripped the phone. “You told everyone? Like who?”

The incident in question—my first meeting with Nathan’s family—was one I’d have been happy to erase from my memory altogether, if not for the well-documented downsides of memory charms. The evening my cat had crashed my boyfriend’s dinner party along with a pixie and a troop of elves was ranked at the very top of the most humiliating experiences in my lifetime, and I’d rather sing carols in an elf costume at the academy’s Christmas pantomime than relive it.

“Joking, joking,” said Erin. “I know, I’m not allowed to tell normals anything about our world. I’ve been good, honest. So… is anyone in town looking to hire an ex-hunter?”

“Are you sure?” I couldn’t help asking. “If your dad or brothers find out—”

“They don’t own me,” she said. “I want to hire you.”

“You mean, you want to hire Eldritch & Co,” I said. “Look, I’d love to help you, but ninety percent of our clients are looking specifically for witches or wizards to work for them. Or carol-singing elves and unicorns who can pretend to be reindeer.”

I’d never placed an ex-hunter before, but we weren’t exactly swimming in applications from people who’d once made a living from hunting down magical criminals. Paranormal hunters rarely left the field, and most found it hard to fit in among paranormals due to their reputation for arresting anyone who they perceived to be flaunting the laws. As head of the town’s security team, Nathan was an exception, but he wasn't the sort who got a kick out of abusing his power.

“I like a challenge,” said Erin. “I’m staying at a hotel in town, by the way. Nobody’s going to come along and haul me back to join the hunters. I’ve washed my hands of them.”

Bethan nudged me in the side and indicated the towering stack of papers, as though to remind me that we still had a small mountain of clients to get through.

Ii took in a deep breath. If I was going to be with Nathan for the long-term, I’d have to get used to dealing with his family, and so far, Erin was the only one of them who could stand to be around me, let alone the madcap town I’d come to love. I could do worse than try to find her a position in Fairy Falls. “Okay. If you’d like to discuss your options in person—”

“I can be there in half an hour.”

All right. At the very least, I’d be able to tick her name off my list, and if she’d come alone, the hunters might not even know she was here.

“Okay,” I said. “See you later.” 

I put the phone down, mentally crossing my fingers that I hadn’t made a mistake.

“Who was it?” asked Lizzie. “Not one of your favourite clients, since you look like you just swallowed a jug of mandrake juice.”

“It was Erin. Nathan's sister.”

“Isn't she a hunter?” Rob looked up, his brow furrowing.

“If she's looking for a new job, I guess not,” said Bethan.

“She quit the hunters a couple of months ago,” I explained. “Guess she felt more at home in the paranormal world. She liked Fairy Falls when she was visiting, so she’s back in town looking for employment.”

“I’d better warn my cousin,” said Rob, rising to his feet.

“Would she have a problem?” Callie, our receptionist, didn't seem to mind Nathan, despite being the daughter of the grumpy werewolf chief who distrusted all hunters on principle. Callie was the chief’s exact opposite personality-wise and Rob was even more easy-going, so his reaction took me by surprise.

“Not usually,” he said. “Just wanted to make sure she knows.”

The blond werewolf slipped out of the room, and I heard him and Callie conversing in low voices. 

“Is there something going on that I don't know about?” I asked the others.

“Your guess is as good as mine,” said Bethan.

“I thought the wolves were cool with us.” Lizzie glanced up from typing. “Since you’ve helped half the chief’s relatives find employment by now.”

“Hey, Callie was already here.” In fact, it had been Callie who’d called me offering employment here at Dritch & Co back when I’d thought I was normal. As there was a notable shortage of employment opportunities in the middle of the forest, more and more shifters had been coming to us for help with finding a job, so I’d assumed the werewolf chief’s long-standing dislike of Dritch & Co had taken a back seat.

“True,” said Bethan. “Still, you know how they feel about the hunters.”

Werewolves typically regarded outsiders as suspicious, none more so than the paranormal hunters. After all, they had a not-unfounded reputation for being the shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later type who particularly disliked shifters, and personally, I thought the werewolves had good reason to be paranoid. The hunters had given my dad a lifelong jail sentence, after all, while my mother had died while on the run from them—and to complicate matters, it had been Mr Harker who’d heard my mum’s last words. Nathan knew that, but not Erin.

Let’s just say I was glad I wouldn’t be spending the holidays with Nathan’s family. I wasn’t yet sure what I’d be doing over Christmas and the new year, for that matter, since my foster parents were currently in Australia and had no idea the paranormal world existed—let alone that I was a witch, dating a hunter, and neck-deep in requests for carol-singing elves. Who in their right mind would believe it if they hadn’t lived it?

I tugged out Erin’s CV from the towering stack of files and turned to the next candidate. “This guy wants to hire a yeti to tow his sleigh.”

“Tell him they’re all at the north pole at this time of year,” said Bethan. “If you ask me, we should just tell the time-wasters that we’ve closed early for the holidays.”

Rob re-entered the office, his usual smile absent. Before I could ask what was wrong, there came the sound of the front door sliding open. There’s Erin.

I walked into the reception area as Nathan’s sister walked in. As usual, she was dressed more like she was on her way to a hike than an interview, with mud around the hems of her trousers and on her thick boots.

“Blair!” She bounded over and hugged me. “Great to see you again. I'm sure you have a lot of new gossip on the ridiculous things my brother has done lately, haven’t you?”

“Uh, we can catch up later,” I said. “We’re kind of swamped in end-of-year clients right now. But if you’re in town for a while—"

“Oh, I’m staying here for a few weeks,” she said. “We can catch up at the pub later. I liked that one—the Troll’s Tavern, isn’t it?”

It sounded like she'd come here alone. As long as the rest of her family stayed away, maybe this wouldn’t be too bad.

“Blair, are you coming to do the interview?” Bethan called from behind the door to our office.

“Yes, of course. This way, Erin.” I led the way into our cosy office, where she stopped to admire the bedecked Christmas tree in the corner and the tinsel-covered coffee machine, which had added several festive options to its menu courtesy of Lizzie. The small interview room was one of the few places in the office which remained more or less the same as it had before.

“You really are getting into the spirit of the season.” Erin perched on the edge of the interview chair. “Speaking of spirits, I heard you had a ghost in here on Samhain.”

“Half the town was infested with them.” I sat in the other chair and studied her CV. “It says here you worked for a furniture company for the last month. Was that in the normal world?” 

She looked more like she’d feel at home destroying furniture with an axe rather than selling it.

“I did,” she said. “But after experiencing the paranormal world, it's hard to leave it behind, you know? I often wonder what type of magic I’d have if I was a witch.”

“You have the ability to see through illusions like Nathan, right?” I scanned her CV. “That might come in handy. I’m sure we can find you a position, but we might have to wait until after the holidays. Most seasonal positions are filled by now.”

She leaned forward. “Take your time. I guess you don't get a lot of ex-hunter clients?”

“You're my first,” I admitted. “Like I said—I mostly work with witches and wizards. But I've helped other paranormals who can’t use magic to find a suitable position for their needs.”

The trouble was, even jobs that didn't require actual magic use often required all employees to carry a wand and have magic-based qualifications. Furthermore, being an ex-hunter meant she’d be treated with extra scrutiny than most. But Nathan had made it work. I could always ask him for advice on how he’d handled the process when he’d left the hunters.

She fidgeted in her seat. “I’m not sure I’m cut out for a desk job.”

“Is there a particular area you’re interested in?” I asked.

“Lots of things,” she said. “I was looking into detective work. I have experience in that area, just… not with the regular police.”

Hmm. “Do your brothers and father know you’re here?”

“No,” she said. “I mean, they might, but it's been months since I moved away. They assumed I’d never make anything of myself without the hunters. I tried fitting in with the normals, but it didn’t work, so here I am.”

I knew what it felt like to not quite belong in either the paranormal or normal world. I also had zero contacts with any law enforcement… except, that is, for the gargoyles who currently ran the town’s police force. To say Steve wasn’t my biggest fan was like saying the north pole was a bit chilly, but technically, Nathan was in charge of the town’s security team despite being below Steve on the ladder. Maybe it’d count as cheating for him to hire his own sister, but it was worth a try.

“I’ll give the police a call and see if they have any positions open,” I told her. 

Her eyes brightened. “Thanks, Blair. You're amazing.”

“I’ll let you know by the end of the week.” I got to my feet. “It might be after the holidays, mind, but I’ll do my best.”

As she left, the printer broke into a loud rendition of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and spat a wad of green-and-red paper after her.

“Sorry, our office printer is a little overactive,” I told her, picking up the paper. “I think it’s given you a Christmas card.” 

“Neat,” she said, taking the card from me. “I’ve never got a card from a magical printer before. I’ll frame it and hang it on the wall.”

Absolutely nothing seemed to bother Erin. Small wonder when her previous career had involved chasing down paranormal criminals. She could certainly handle herself—I just hoped the rest of the town could handle her.

Rob watched Erin leave the office, but he didn’t offer a comment. Given werewolves’ enhanced hearing, he’d probably heard at least some of our interview, but I didn’t see why the chief of the werewolves would react any differently to her being here than any of the other people we’d hired from outside Fairy Falls.

If I called Steve and told him what Erin wanted, he’d laugh in my face. Or growl at me. Steve had no sense of humour to speak of, and the festive season seemed to have put him in an even worse mood than usual. It was all very well imagining sweet-talking the grumpiest gargoyle in town into hiring another ex-hunter, but to him, I was a nuisance at best, a danger at worst. No, it was Nathan I needed to speak to.

I called him as I was leaving work, and he picked up right away.

“Hey, Blair,” he said. “Something up?”

“Why would there be?”

“If things were fine, you’d just text.”

He had a point there. “Things are fine. I just had an unexpected new client today.”

“My sister.”

“You knew?”

“She texted me on her way into town.”

“At least she told you,” I said. “She wants to work for Steve. I don't suppose he's magically swapped personalities with someone nice lately?”



“She also talked me into going with her to the pub later,” I added. “You're invited, if you're off duty.”

“I will be by the end of your magic lesson. I'll talk to Steve before I leave and let him know Erin’s interested in a position working for our security team.”

“You're a lifesaver,” I said. “Really.”

“Anything to help you avoid seeing Steve any more than you have to,” he said mildly. “See you later, Blair.”

His voice made me feel warm and happy inside, and nothing cheered me more than the prospect of an extra date with him, even with his sister there. That he'd taken Steve off my hands was more than welcome, too. Now all I needed was to get through today's magic lesson. Despite the lingering worry of what the hunters might say if they found out another Harker sibling had moved to Fairy Falls, I felt pretty pleased with myself.

View full details