Juliet Blackwell is the author of Secondhand Spirits, book one in the Witchcraft Mystery series. Set in San Francisco the book is about Lily Ivory, a witch who owns a vintage clothing shop and becomes embroiled in murder and kidnappings. She tries to keep her witch abilities secret, but with a couple of men sniffing around her it may not be possible.
Favorite Lines: “Last Halloween some kids broke in there….You mark my words. She’s like that …how do you call her? In the fairy tales? The evil witch that lures kids in and they’re never seen again.” (p. 125)
Vintage store owner and closet-witch, Lily Ivory, visits an old lady, Mrs. Potts, about scores of clothes hanging in the woman’s basement and winds up wanting to protect the grandmother-like woman who is surrounded by a bad neighborhood and a deadly spirit, La Llorona. To protect the fragile woman, Lily brews a protection spell for her, but the woman is found dead the next day and suspicion falls on Lily.
La Llorona haunts the shores of the river in search of children’s souls to steal, but it is right outside of Mrs. Potts house where she arrives and snatches a little girl. Lily is a skilled witch who is familiar with the paranormal. She knows that she may be the only chance the young girl has and despite attention from both a high ranking male witch and a male myth buster begins searching for answers.
Ms. Blackwell is the author of Secondhand Spirits, a paranormal mystery chasing down the questions surrounding an old woman’s death and the retrieval of a missing child. It has a touch of romance, but is firmly a mystery novel focused on fun, secondhand clothes and spirits.
La Llorona is the spirit of a woman who drowned her children and herself in despair after her lover left her. She wails for her children, but don’t let it fool ya, she is evil. The evil spirit has been around for a long time and may have had a little bit of help. Lily isn’t looking forward to facing the spirit, but will do anything necessary to save the missing child.
Lily is an enchanting puzzle. We are never given all the pieces (hello, it’s book one of a new series) making certain remarks memorable. For example, there are plenty of times when she speaks about her absent father and hints about a horrible, life-altering experience that we are never told in book one. Lily is a thrifty loner.
The secondary characters (powerful male witch, Aiden; myth buster, Max Carmichael; Lily’s store mate, Brownwyn; etc.) are intriguing and multifaceted people that I can’t wait to learn more about.
Secondhand Spirits is a quick read with themes of loneliness. Foreshadowing has been spread throughout the story, yet it does nothing to detract from the ongoing mystery that continues until the final few chapters. Looking back I find myself saying, “duh” because I should have added two plus two and gotten four, but that is part of the fun of reading Secondhand Spirits.
Book two in the Witchcraft Mystery series, A Coven in the Closet, will be released in 2010.