Syd Moore grew up in and lives in Essex and has, for many years, been associated with books and the publishing industry. She is the former presenter of Pulp, the Channel 4 books programme and founding editor of Level 4, a magazine for arts and culture.

Her latest novel is a celebration of witches, magic… and Essex Girls. Inspired by the real-life epidemic of witch hunts that broke out in the village of St Osyth in sixteenth-century Essex, Strange Magic is the first in a new series.

Rosie Strange is a young woman who doesn’t believe in ghosts or witches. So it’s no surprise that when she inherits the ramshackle Essex Witch Museum from her grandfather Septimus, her first thought is to sell it and run. Still, the museum exerts a curious pull. There’s the eccentric academic who asks for her help in tracking down the bones of Ursula Cadence, a witch long since put to death. And there’s curator Sam Stone, a man about whom Rosie can’t decide if he’s tiresomely annoying or extremely captivating. Her plans to sell the museum might be delayed, just for a while.

Soon Rosie and Sam find themselves embroiled in a centuries-old mystery, involving demonic possession, a missing skeleton and a local witch hunt in which the evils of the past come with their own real, and very present, danger.