• By Familiar Means

  • A Witch's Cat Mystery, Book 2
  • By: Delia James
  • Narrated by: Elise Arsenault
  • Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (262 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

After discovering her mystical heritage - and being adopted by furry feline familiar Alistair - artist Annabelle Britton has decided to make picturesque Portsmouth, New Hampshire, her new home. Now she can take the time to figure out her new abilities and welcome her grandmother, who is visiting Portsmouth, and her old coven, for the first time in 30 years.

But being a witch doesn't magically put money in the bank. When she's hired to paint the murals for a new coffeehouse, it seems like a wish come true. But then a series of spooky sounds and strange happenings convince the owners that their new shop is haunted. They want Anna and her coven to evict the restless spirit before the grand opening.

Annabelle is certain the haunted happenings at the shop are just hocus pocus. But when her search reveals hidden smugglers' tunnels beneath the shop - and a dead body - Annabelle, Alastair, and the coven suddenly find themselves in a cat-and-mouse game with a killer....

©2016 Penguin Random House LLC (P)2017 Tantor

What listeners say about By Familiar Means

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story!

I loved this book. I listened to the first in the series and had to get this one. Alistair the cat is awesome and hilarious with his "human like" ways and his funny disappearing acts. I also loved Annabelle's Grandmother! She was a real hoot! Can't wait to get the rest of this series.

3 people found this helpful

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Great expansion of this world.

The first book was fun introducing you to Anna's world and this one continues that.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Archibald cat familiar

This book is a cut above many in this genre. Although it has magical characters and plot entities these don't interfere with what is basically
a pretty good murder mystery.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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OK mystery, but not at the top of my list

This book starts out very slow and only really picked up interest in the last third. Perhaps the biggest problem is the narrator who speaks haltingly with pauses in the middle of sentences, perhaps at the end of the line in the written text. Furthermore, her pronunciation of even simple words was frequently atrocious. I like mysteries with cats and white witches, but this one was a bit over the top. Having the cat vanish and pop up in a locked room miles away from where he was last seen is not at all believable. And many of the characters are stereotyped. This is the second book in the series, so I would have expected most of these problems to have been sorted out by book 2. On the plus side, the plot was interesting (after it got going) and had enough twists and turns to confuse even an attentive reader. I may try the other books in the series, but I think I will go for the Kindle version so I don't have to listen to the narrator for these Audible versions.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved it

I really enjoy this narrators style. Well rounded book with lots of fun in listening. This book is a series which I got the order mixed up; but you couldn't tell as they work great as stand alone.

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Good listening!

Loved it! Nice characters, and love the way the cat comes in right when he needs to. Not overly done.

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Excellent story with great narration on the audio.

I enjoyed it from start to finish. It even kept me guessing until almost the end.

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This story was also good. But...

The narration ruined it. It’s a shame really because the author writes a good story. Because of the narrator’s poor diction where she doesn’t pronounce the words correctly including the main character’s name, the character comes across as uneducated and/or too lazy to speak correctly. It’s very distracting and not worth reading the rest of the books in the series. I should have trusted the reviews instead of wasting a credit and $19.95.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Fun story with weak plot points and great cat

I'm going for the third book in the series, because I enjoy the characters, especially the cat. The narrator has a great voice - even for the cat. I also enjoy the protagonist's honest and often funny self-commentary. The weak points are: too much what-iffing scenarios, mostly unreasonable; an obvious, overlooked clue; and the glossing over of a key point, which allows for a scary, action-packed ending. The strong points are: character development, lots of interesting angles, almost constant action - and a strong cat character. What can I say? I love cats and aside from the mountain lion that shares Jane Yellowrock's body, this is the best cat character that I've found!

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keep them coming!

this is a series I hope to continue to listen to for many, many more books! There are so many directions to go and characters to expand on.