Sunday, February 17

Review: Secondhand Spirits by Juliet Blackwell

This is the first book in the Witchcraft Mystery series by Juliet Blackwell. We are introduced to Lily Ivory, a natural witch who has opened up a second hand Vintage, "never old", clothing store called Aunt Cora's Closet in San Francisco.   We find out that Lily has spent the last several years traveling around the world, never settling too long in one area and always staying out of the path and politics of other witches.  She had decided on San Francisco on the advice of a parrot, during a stint in Hong Kong, and had so far, loved the city and felt at home for the first time in years.  

Things get shaken up however, when a male witch, Aidan Rhodes, walks into her shop and gifts her with a "housewarming present" of a familiar.  Lily has never had a familiar, and has some very guarded feelings about Aidan, especially when he states that he used to work with her father.  Lily's father is quite the mysterious character.  We do find out that Lily left her hometown in Texas and was supposed to head to Mexico to complete her advanced witch training, but instead went in search of her father.  Apparently, things didn't go well and Lily has never quite gotten around to completing her training or finding a familiar.  

Lily shares her store with a Wiccan herbalist, Bronwyn.  Bronwyn has no idea that Lily is a witch, and especially that Lily's talents lie in botanicals.  Lily also has befriended a young woman, Maya, who is working on an oral history project by visiting and recording stories of the elderly.  Maya's contacts have helped Lily find some great Vintage clothes for her shop, and she pays Maya a finder's fee for the clothes. 

The same day that Aidan makes an appearance in Lily's shop, she has an appointment with a woman to go through her clothing.  During this house call, Lily and the elderly woman, Frances Potts, hear the sound of a keening cry, a demon's wail.  In the next moment, the scream of a child sounds.  One of the girls in the neighborhood, Jessica, has been taken.  And Lily has an idea of who took the little girl and why, the La Llorona.  When Ms. Potts is found dead the next day, even after Lily had worked a protection spell, Lily trys to save Jessica and remove the demon threat.

I read this book, because I found out that Juliet Blackwell is one-half of the sister writing duo that makes up Hailey Lind. And I was not disappointed.  This was a great book from start to finish.  We are given just enough information about Lily to keep the story moving, but there is still much that is a mystery and I can't wait to find out more in later books.  This got 4 stars on Goodreads.

Lily Ivory is not your average witch. Her spell-casting powers tend to draw mischievous spirits while keeping normal humans at a distance. But now her vintage clothing store could give her a chance to make friends in San Francisco....

Lily hopes for a normal life when she opens Aunt Cora's Closet. With her magical knack for vintage fashion -she can sense vibrations of the past from clothing and jewelry—her store becomes a big hit.

But when a client is murdered and children start disappearing from the Bay Area, Lily may be the only one who can unravel the crime. She tries to keep her identity a secret while investigating, but it's not easy—especially under the spells of sexy "mythbuster" Max Carmichael and powerful witch Aidan Rhodes. Will Lily's witchy ways be forced out of the closet?

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