Conjure Woman’s Cat by Malcolm R Campbell

I’ve just finished this short novel, which had me spellbound.

Recently I praised Lynne Cantwell’s ‘woo woo’ novellas.  Now I am praising Campbell’s ‘Conjure Woman’s Cat’, which is stuffed pretty full of hoo doo (which he is at pains to point out is not the same as voo doo). Eulalie, the conjure woman, and Lena, her cat, live in the Florida Panhandle (I didn’t know there was such a thing, so I’ve learned something right there) in amongst the creepy woods, thick swamps, ‘gators and haints. Eulalie is a poor, old woman whose life seems to have been less than successful. You think?! She is a most powerful conjure woman, quietly sorting out the problems of her friends, relations and neighbours. And what a complex undertow of relationships there is down by the Coowahchobee River. Campbell reveals them bit by bit, with a little murder, a fair smount of spell casting and a wry look on life. The wryness is down to Lena. The little book is narrated by the cat. And a fine narrator she is too.

And speaking as one who values sleep the older she gets (as I suspect is the case with Eulalie and Lena, one of whom is older than dirt and the other catching her up in cat years) I particularly enjoyed this from near the beginning of the book:

“Everyone who knew what was what hurried past our front gate and brick walk when the black scrap of wood, scrawled with the blood-red word ‘sleeping,’ hung above the threshold.”

I am so going to try that.

Published by Judi Moore

Hi there, I hope you find something to interest you here. In December 2017 I published my fourth book – ‘Wonders will never cease’. It’s a satirical campus novel set in the fictional Ariel University in 1985. If you enjoyed Tom Sharpe’s Porterhouse novels, Willy Russell’s ‘Educating Rita’, David Lodge’s campus novels or Malcolm Bradbury’s ‘The History Man’ back in the day, you may enjoy revisiting the ivory towers of 1980s’ academe thirty years on. See what you think. “It is December, 1985. The year is winding gently towards its close until Fergus Girvan, a Classicist at Ariel University, finds his research has been stolen by the man who is also seeking to steal his daughter. But which man is, actually, the more unscrupulous of the two? And is there hope for either of them?” In the autumn of 2015 I published a volume of short fiction: 'Ice Cold Passion and other stories'. I am also the author of novella 'Little Mouse', a shortish piece of historical fiction which I published in 2014 and, a sequel to it, 'Is death really necessary?', my eco thriller set in the near future and which, confusingly, I published in 2009. All the books are available from all good online bookshops and FeedARead on paper, and as e-books on Kindle. On a semi-regular basis, and about a month after the event, I post here reviews which I do for Big Al & Pals, the premier reviewer of indie books, based in the States. My interests tend to thrillers, SF, magic realism and other quirky stuff. On this blog are also posted the reviews I did for Leighton Buzzard Music Club over some five years up to the end of 2015. LBMC present annual seasons of eight monthly chamber music concerts at the Library Theatre in Leighton Buzzard, Bucks. They select young musicians just beginning to make their name - and the concerts are usually magnificent. I was very proud to be associated with them. I review other music, books, theatre and exhibitions which I've particularly enjoyed.

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