27 March 2010

SECONDHAND SPIRITS: A Witchcraft Mystery - Juliet Blackwell

From the back of the book: 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 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 "myth buster" Max Carmichael and powerful witch Aidan Rhodes. Will Lily's witchy ways be forced out of the closet?
Lily is a natural witch and was ridden out on a rail of her home in Texas. She wanders the world and finally settles in San Francisco, opening her vintage shop, Aunt Cora's Closet.
I liked how the mystery found her, it didn't feel forced. Lily honestly felt compelled to find out who the killer was and who was taking the children. Yes, magic was involved and she used hers to help.
I enjoyed watching Lily find out the nature of friendship and how good it felt. She'd never fit in before, so this was new territory for her. I liked how naturally she used her magic abilities to find vintage clothing and find the right fit for her customers.
My favorite secondary character had to be Oscar, shape-shifting sort of goblin, Lily's familiar. He is so nifty!
I hope the readers get to meet Lily's grandmother, Graciela, somehow. There's some past info that meanders through the story about Lily's family that was intriguing.
This was darker than I expected it to be, so it's not a 'cozy' in that sense. It's a paranormal amateur sleuth, if a label is required.
I really liked this book and so very glad it's the beginning of a series. Juliet Blackwell is a pseudonym for Hailey Lind who wrote the Annie Kincaid, reformed art forger cozy series that I loved and miss. Yippee that the fourth in that series, ARSENIC AND OLD PAINT, will be out this year in September per the two blog sites.

Five magical sparkly diamonds.....


WonderBunny said...

I didn't know about the Hailey Lind thing... now off to find more cozy mysteries...or whatever they are called.

Vickie said...

RuthAnn: Cozy, amateur sleuth, there is something out there for everyone. I'll come over and post some sites to check for titles suggestions.
I think you'd like the Hailey Lind side of the writing, too.