By Mary Labatt, Kids Can Press, $16.95, 95 pages

10“Witches put horrible things in their potions – like lizards, toads, or worms.”

Look out Sherlock Holmes. There are new detectives in town. But this is no ordinary group of private investigators. Jennie and her best friend Beth have teamed up with Jennie’s dog Sam. Kids will love the comic book format and illustrations found in Mary Labatt and Jo Rioux’s newest Sam & Friends Mystery. Witches’ Brew is the fourth book in the series. Something mysterious is happening in town. Three strange ladies have moved in across the street and they have so many animals. The girls think the women are part of a circus. Sam is suspicious. She suspects they are witches. Why else would they have a black cat and toads trained to hop in a straight line? The team becomes concerned when the weather turns bad. Sam appears to be under a spell and animals keep disappearing. After doing research at the library, the girls decide to spy on their neighbors. Join Jennie, Beth, and Sam on their spooky adventure. Will they find out what is going on before a spell is put on the entire town? Even hesitant readers will want to get to the bottom of this mystery.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin