Cozy Mystery

The Witch Tree (Anna Denning Mystery, 1) by Karin Kaufman

Image source: Goodreads

Days before Christmas in Elk Park, Colorado, genealogist Anna Denning discovers a client’s body. When she starts asking questions no one wants answered, she becomes the killer’s next target. Still grieving the death of her husband, Anna must draw on her wounded faith to enter a world of wicca and paganism — reminders of a past she buried long ago — and discover the secret of The Witch Tree.


I was drawn to this book because of the cover and the word witch in the title. I knew this was a mystery novel, but I honestly expected some elements of magic because I didn’t read the description. Needless to say, I was quite surprised when I found out that I was actually reading a Christian-themed mystery book with elements of Wicca.

~ What I Liked About the Book ~

Despite my surprise about the topic of my chosen reading material, I thought the book was interesting, if a little slow. Even so, I never felt the urge to put it down until it was finished.

I loved Anna’s friends. They were dependable and supportive but not in the suffocating manner. I also loved Anna’s dog and the fact that she even had a dog even though I prefer cats. I could just picture Jackson (the dog) snuggling in her car. She brought him everywhere.

I liked this author’s writing style. Her language was straight to the point, not flowery or overly descriptive. It made the book easy to read.

~ What I Didn’t Like About the Book ~

There wasn’t much of a mystery in this book. At least, not involving the identity of the murderer. Actually, my issue with this book was that no one seemed to be concerned with finding the killer. It was mostly about Anna and everyone who isn’t Anna (except her friends) intimidating her.

At some point, I felt like I was reading a web series instead of a book because of how the story unfolded. Anna didn’t seem to be working toward a goal. She was just aimlessly uncovering secret after secret until the end.

I also thought that the Christian themes didn’t go well with this book. It was a bit forced, especially when the word evil was repeatedly associated with the antagonist and how she (not a spoiler, trust me) was apparently corrupting the youth with the temptation of power through practicing witchcraft.

Anna was very judgmental, and that bothered me. Anyone who didn’t share her beliefs and ideals was somehow judged as inferior. I couldn’t help but think that the author created her and the antagonist for the sole reason of painting a picture of good versus evil, of right versus wrong.

Honestly, the book was also highly unrealistic. The characters’ behaviours were so absurd it was almost laughable. The writing may be good (at least in terms of descriptions and not the plot), but this book just wasn’t for me.



The Witch Tree is a mystery book that focuses on uncovering the perpetrator’s motives rather than his identity. If you enjoy reading Christian fiction and don’t mind highly unrealistic character behaviour, you might like this book.


Amazon | Goodreads

For a complete list of my book reviews, click here.


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