No. 13558 - Goet - July 29th, 2010 - 3:15 PM
I've got her Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells (I assume that's the one you're talking about, OP?), as well as The Element Encyclopedia of Ghosts & Hauntings... I suspect I have a third book of hers, but I can't for the life of me remember what it is.
As for how effective her supposed spells are... I'm not sure. It seems to be the case that the majority of the entries in her spell-book, at least, are gleaned from various sources without any mention of the context from which they come, divorced of any connotations that said spells may require knowledge of in order to be effective. Further to that, these "spells" are usually just something of the order of "put this herb in this kind of water, say these words and PRESTO, you've got magick," whereas my own experiences/interpretation seem to suggest that effective spells and rituals aren't so dry and formulaic - they need some more involvement and investment in order to "work". I've used a couple of them as elements of a ritual rather than spells in their own right, and they seemed alright, I suppose.
Her book on ghosts is pretty good, though. I can't remember the exact circumstances (my memory is terrible, as you might've guessed), but when I looked at in Waterstones, I flicked through the book a few times and found an Interesting Topic that I had wanted to find out more about recently on each page I randomly opened up onto, so I indulged my whacky-believer side and took it as a sign that I should get it, heh. It's a good thing, too -- I've found out about some groovy stuff from it, like the Bindelof Society, for example.
I guess my final word on the matter is that they're decent, and you can steal some bits here and there from the spellbook to add to your own rituals for some additional flavour, plus they contain some interesting tidbits that might engage your curiosity and urge you to do your own research.