Friday, May 15

Review: Tarnished and Torn by Juliet Blackwell


Tarnished And Torn

Witchcraft Mystery, #5
Juliet Blackwell


Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Penguin Group
Date of Publication: July 2, 2013
Number of pages: 336


Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN     Kobo     OmniLit

As the owner of a popular vintage clothing store, Lily Ivory can enjoy a day of antique jewelry shopping and still call it work. But as one of San Francisco’s resident witches, searching for hidden treasures can sometimes lead to dangerous discoveries…

When Lily arrives at an antique jewelry fair, her bargain sensors go off left and right—but she also picks up a faint vibration of magic. Could the hard-bargaining merchant Griselda be a fellow practitioner? It certainly seems that way when a sudden fire sends panic through the crowd, and Lily discovers Griselda murdered in a way that nods to an old-fashioned witch hunt…

A crime that hits close to home turns into an unwelcome flash from the past when the police bring in their lead suspect—Lily’s estranged father. Though he may not deserve her help, Lily is determined to clear her father’s name and solve a murder that’s anything but crystal clear.
It has been awhile (since February 2013) since I read the last book in this series. I didn't reread my review, wanting to go into the book cold and see what I could remember. Not as much as I had hoped, but the more I read, the more came back to me.

In the last book, Lily had been told that her mysterious father would be coming to town. It was was with much less fan fare than I expected. To me, he fairly threw off the dead beat dad vibes, and I was less than sympathetic towards him. Thankfully, even though Lily wanted more of a positive relationship with him, she kept her head and didn't rush into anything. We learned some things about their history, but much is still shrouded in mystery, even from Lily herself.

Ultimately, this was a book about estranged relationships. Lily's and her fathers, Lily and Sailor, Lily and Aidan Rhodes, Sailor and Aidans. But Lily didn't just dive back into these relationships. She is taking her time, using her head and putting real thought into how she wants each relationship to develop. I appreciate when an author doesn't take the easy drama route, it sets an example of maturity and growth. It also opens up new and different avenues than the more cliched routes.

We knew who and what the head bad guy was fairly early on. This book was less a whodunit and more a treasure hunt. One where we followed the clues right along side Lily, though finding all the lesser bad guys did play a part in the mystery.  It seemed like all the main characters from the series played some part in the book and it was nice to be able to check in on them, while meeting a few new ones.

While I enjoyed the book, it didn't have the sparkle and shine that the last book had for me. I am not sure why, maybe something to do with Lily's father, or perhaps with Sailor and his attitude, or maybe it was the talk of the Witch Trails torture techniques. Any way I look at it, this book just had a much different tone than the last one. I am going with 3 stars on this book.




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