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Tongue-in-cheek humor lifts this weird but fun hybrid, part knitting cozy, part paranormal romance, from romance veteran Bretton (Just Desserts). After a classy female tourist drowns mysteriously in an icy lake in remote Sugar Maple, Vt., the Montpelier authorities ask Boston homicide cop Luke MacKenzie to investigate. As Sugar Maple's temporary police chief, Luke soon notices the village's odd ambience. Originally a haven for witches who fled the Salem witchcraft trials three centuries earlier, Sugar Maple is now home to witches, vampires, fairies and trolls. Luke is also attracted to Chloe Hobbs, the half-human owner of the knitting shop Sticks & Strings, who must find Mr. Right if she's to preserve the spell that sustains the town's unusual residents. As sparks literally fly between the two, Chloe's "magickal" side stirs into life. Bretton charmingly depicts how love empowers Chloe and awakens Luke to some major surprises. (Nov.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.