Monday, February 18

Review: Hexes and Hemlines by Juliet Blackwell

This is the third book in the Witchcraft Mystery series by Juliet Blackwell.  The book opens with Lily Ivory being called in to exam a murder by SFPD Inspector Carlos Romero.  Lily has had run ins with Romero in the previous two books and he has come to respect her talents.  The death in question, happened in the penthouse, on the 13th floor of the Doppler Building.  Malachi Zazi was the head of the Serpentarian Society, named after Serpentarius the thirteenth zodiac sign, and was trying to rationalize away bad luck symbols.  At first, Lily had no real plans to do more than advise the SFPD, but then she finds out that Bronwyn, her friend and Wiccan herbalist's daughter is married to one of the members of the Serpentarian Society and is being questioned in conjunction with Zazi's death.  Lily agrees to look into the matter and help out Bronwyn's daughter and son-in-law.  But things get complicated when she is warned off the case at nearly ever turn, and then someone leaves a nasty curse outside of Bronwyn's apartment.  Lily becomes even more determined to figure out who is doing these things and make them stop.  No one threatens her friends and gets away with it.

We see a return of Max Charmichael, but it looks like the romance isn't going to continue.  There is also more background information on Aidan Rhodes and Sailor, individually and how they came to know one another.  One mystery that is partially solved is about Oscar, Lily's gifted familiar, and what exactly he is.  We also get a much better understanding of Bronwyn and her family's dynamics.  The relationship threads that run between all the characters are becoming clearer, yet much more tangled together.

There was a lot of action in this book, at one point Lily was literally running for her life.  The drama level was high and kept the tension tight, with a bare minimum of comedic breaks.  Lily continues the use of her southern slang and her lack of pop culture knowledge.  I really want to know what has gone on with her Father and why we still don't know much more than was in the first book.  He is still hinted at, but remains a large mystery.  

I am giving this book 3 stars on Goodreads, mainly because I am ready to really delve into the mysteries of Lily herself.  Ms. Blackwell is keeping us in suspense and I am getting impatient.  There was also some serious repetition of certain phrases, from book to book, which kept knocking me out of the story.  Overall a good book, and a nice addition to the series. 

With her vintage clothing store taking off, Lily Ivory is finding that life in San Francisco suits her just fine. But her ability to sense vibrations from the past, so useful in locating secondhand gems, has landed her in the middle of a new mystery...

Lily gets called away from Aunt Cora's Closet when the police need a witch's take on a strange case. Malachi Zazi was stabbed to death in his apartment, under a ladder, surrounded by the number thirteen, a broken mirror, and a black cat—superstitions that the victim, as head of a rationalist society, was devoted to discrediting.

When the police identify a suspect from the Serpentarian Society, Lily is shocked to learn it's someone she knows. But with bad luck plaguing all its members, she begins to wonder if there's more at work than mere coincidence. And while there aren't many clues from the crime scene, Lily finds evidence of dark witchcraft and a hex on her friend's doorstep. With her friend's safety at stake, Lily is determined to use magic to find the murderer before everyone's luck runs out...

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