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Secondhand Spirits

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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 p 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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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 p 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?

30 review for Secondhand Spirits

  1. 4 out of 5

    Agnes Ross

    Now this is my kind of a paranormal novel!! "Real" people in the real world, dealing with psychic, extrasensory or paranormal abilities and entities. I intend to read more of this author!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Laura the Highland Hussy

    Review posted on Got Fiction? I really liked this book a lot. Any of my friends know I'm not much for a book without romance being the key factor. I am a changed woman! At least for this book. It is book one in the Witchcraft Mystery series and it was great! Our heroine is Lily Ivory. She is an incredibly powerful natural born witch who has moved around a lot in life, never really wanting to settle down. But San Francisco changed her mind, and she opened up a vintage clothing shop. In fact, the t Review posted on Got Fiction? I really liked this book a lot. Any of my friends know I'm not much for a book without romance being the key factor. I am a changed woman! At least for this book. It is book one in the Witchcraft Mystery series and it was great! Our heroine is Lily Ivory. She is an incredibly powerful natural born witch who has moved around a lot in life, never really wanting to settle down. But San Francisco changed her mind, and she opened up a vintage clothing shop. In fact, the tagline on the cover is Love the vintage, not the ghosts. Lily has only been open about 6 weeks when a super sexy guy walks in and the bell above her door doesn't chime as he walks beneath it. Hmm... Aidan Rhodes is a male witch who wants Lily to, well he just wants Lily, we're not really sure what it is he wants. We know he worked with her father, who it was implied went over to the dark side, so that's not exactly a point in Aidan's favor. We know he is powerful. And he left Lily with a familiar. What is her new familiar? not a cat, not a dog, but a...Gargoyle!!! (well, he's a gnome, but he looks like a gargoyle). It was a cute little interchange when Aidan left the little guy with her. Lily named him Oscar after Oscar the Grouch...he can turn into a pig when he wants so he can be with Lily in her shop. And of course everyone loves Oscar, and he just loves the ladies. Now in the first few pages, we've met Aidan, male witch, Oscar, new familiar, and as Lily goes to an old Victorian mansion to scope out some old lady's clothes for her shop, we meet Frances (the owner of the clothes) and we hear La Llorena. La Llorena is a demon-According to the legend, the 'weeping woman' was abandoned by her children's father, and "the anguished mother took her children down to the water and drowned them one by one, finally flinging herself in to join them in their watery grave." And now she wails for her lost babies and lures other children to their deaths. so while in Fraces' basement, looking over vintage clothing, both Frances and Lily hear La Llorena wailing. Frances being able to hear her means she is now marked for death. Thus begins the mystery, because right after they hear her, a neighborhood girl goes missing. Our next big character is Max. Where Aidan is described as just plain beautiful, Max is likened to a "battle-weary medieval knight who had just removed his armor." He comes into the shop looking for some herbs to help him in his quest to see a ghost...but Lily recognizes the name of his tour guide, and tells him not to go with the guy-he's a fraud. Surprisingly Max knows that-Max is planning on busting the guy. But when Lily hears they are going out into the bay for their ghost hunting expedition, she pleads with Max not to go. But how do you convince a man you just met that there's a demon in the water? Meanwhile Lily wants to get the missing neighborhood girl back from La Llorena, but she needs Aidan's help, and the help of all of her new friends. This book has the beginnings of a great love-triangle, some quirky characters from Oscar the pig/gargoyle, to Bronwyn who's part of the local coven, to the neighboring merchant Sandra (who I soo thought was the villain of the piece), and to Frances herself not being what she seems. A fun mystery with an Urban Fantasy feel, and a character who sounds like someone I'd like to know, a solid 4 star book for any paranormal mystery/UF lover. http://www.demonloversbooksandmore.co...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Paige Bookdragon

    THIS IS NOT A COZY MYSTERY Puh-lease. If you have demons, evil spirits who drags anyone into the water and creepy houses, that means the book is not "cozy". If the heroine is a teenager, this would have been a YA thriller. It's not a bad book though. It's fun and totally easy to read. Just don't expect this to be a cozy read because you'll be disappointed.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    The Five W's of the Cozy Mystery Review Who is the protagonist? Lily Ivory, practicing witch and shopkeeper of "Aunt Cora's Closet", a vintage clothing store What is the premise of the story? Children have been disappearing, and the dreaded "La Llorona" might be to blame Where does the story take place? The San Francisco Bay area When does the story take place? present day Why does the protagonist become involved? Can't tell...might give too much away! Cozies are ridiculous, but totally fun, especially if The Five W's of the Cozy Mystery Review Who is the protagonist? Lily Ivory, practicing witch and shopkeeper of "Aunt Cora's Closet", a vintage clothing store What is the premise of the story? Children have been disappearing, and the dreaded "La Llorona" might be to blame Where does the story take place? The San Francisco Bay area When does the story take place? present day Why does the protagonist become involved? Can't tell...might give too much away! Cozies are ridiculous, but totally fun, especially if the main character is likeable, which he/she really must be to keep the series flowing. I wasn't too into the idea of witchcraft and the paranormal mystery has never really appealed to me, but I like Lily and her struggles with trying to fit in, make friends, and lead a normal life. I definitely plan on continuing the series, which is huge for me and the cozy!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Xe Sands

    Currently reading in prep for recording - what a delightful little series!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Aira Karina

    i'm pretty lucky with my books choices lately. and this book was just perfect for a light reading. basically, anything with, murder, female leads, and everything about magic are my auto buy. The story started when Lily Ivory moves to a new town in San Fransisco because of some sign from a parrot. Yep, a parrot. Lily is a witch, and she was determined to make some new friend in her new town. To get her life together, she opens a vintage store called "Aunt Cora Closet". Everything seem pretty good i'm pretty lucky with my books choices lately. and this book was just perfect for a light reading. basically, anything with, murder, female leads, and everything about magic are my auto buy. The story started when Lily Ivory moves to a new town in San Fransisco because of some sign from a parrot. Yep, a parrot. Lily is a witch, and she was determined to make some new friend in her new town. To get her life together, she opens a vintage store called "Aunt Cora Closet". Everything seem pretty good, when suddenly, her store is visited by a male witch who gave her a familiar, some kind of spirit animals for witch. Not long after that, she found her client is murdered and a few people in her town is missing one by one. She needs to reveal whats going on without revealing her trueself to everyone. Not everyone will be pleased to have a witch in their town. Juliet Blackwell is great at bringing her reader to attached to her books. She can described the ambience of the store, the town, the situation without being over descriptive, which is a good thing for me. The character are all very likeable and some are unique type of characters. I will definitely read the next book and you should to .

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lynsey (A Bookish Life)

    Cute paranormal mystery. I enjoyed this. I listened to it as an audiobook and it's narrated by Xe Sands who has the most wonderful, easy-to-listen-to voice. The story introduces us to Lily Ivory. A twenty-something witch and vintage clothing expert and store owner. Funnily enough, I actually have a bit of a thing for vintage clothing and period costumery myself. There's this wonderful Facebook page I follow called Au fil des passions to get my daily fix. It has photos of dresses, accessories an Cute paranormal mystery. I enjoyed this. I listened to it as an audiobook and it's narrated by Xe Sands who has the most wonderful, easy-to-listen-to voice. The story introduces us to Lily Ivory. A twenty-something witch and vintage clothing expert and store owner. Funnily enough, I actually have a bit of a thing for vintage clothing and period costumery myself. There's this wonderful Facebook page I follow called Au fil des passions to get my daily fix. It has photos of dresses, accessories and corsetry, etc from various history museums (honestly, the attention to detail when you consider so much of it was done by hand is astonishing) as well as elaborate modern day designs and famous Hollywood movie costumes. If you have any interest in clothing as art, as I do, you should check it out! Anyway, I digress (sorry). Lily not only sells the clothes and has a keen eye for recommending and obtaining them, but I loved the fact that she also wears them herself in her day-to-day life. From 1960s polka dot wiggle dresses to 1940s shirt dresses. She reminded me an awful lot of the character Melinda Gordon from the T.V show Ghost Whisperer, actually. Just swap antique shop for vintage clothing and Ghost whisperer for Witch, and you've pretty much got Lily Ivory. She also has that same quiet yet strangely endearing personality. She sweet. She's likeable. She's intelligent. She's attractive. And I think she might turn out to be quite a talented witch too once we get to know her more. A lot of this book was introduction. There's obviously more to come in terms of why Lily is not with a witch Coven and what happened in her past, etc. She meets a couple of interesting male characters in this book that make me intrigued about future romantic subplots. Although, I'm not certain either one of them is ideal for Lily. Both could lead to heartache for different reasons... The plot follows a missing girl who is believed to have been taken by a water demon called La Llorona. The mystery plot wasn't exactly fast-paced; it was perhaps a little sedate for my tastes, but I understand a lot of time had to be devoted to set up and establishing characters. I did love Oscar her new goblin familiar/pig. He was adorable! I love it when they have an animal or some kind of small supernatural creature as a sidekick! I'll definitely check out the next one the next time I want a relaxing, enjoyable audio experience. 3 Stars ★★★

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dee

    Don't know why I love these short little reads from authors most folks have never heard of, but I absolutely adore them! This one is a fun, quick read about a vintage clothing store owner, Lily Ivory, who has certain, shall we say, 'gifts' when it comes to her merchandise. She senses the emotions and memories within the items, good or bad, that she finds for her clothing store. She runs the store with her aunt and meets quite a few very unique people along the way in this first in a series by Ju Don't know why I love these short little reads from authors most folks have never heard of, but I absolutely adore them! This one is a fun, quick read about a vintage clothing store owner, Lily Ivory, who has certain, shall we say, 'gifts' when it comes to her merchandise. She senses the emotions and memories within the items, good or bad, that she finds for her clothing store. She runs the store with her aunt and meets quite a few very unique people along the way in this first in a series by Juliet Blackwell. Lily doesn't know her 'gift' in inherited in her dna and not just something she learned at her family's knee as she grew to adulthood. she doesn't know she's been raised and trained by witches in her family, just loving family members. she isn't aware that she is a witch, only someone who's doing what she does best, which is finding quality vintage clothing with a history that often leads her into a bit of trouble now and then. Such a fun read! Any fan of say Madelyn Alt, Shirley Damsgaard or Annette Blair will equally enjoy these books in this series.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tiffy

    Loved this book and can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Secondhand Spirits is the first in the Witchcraft Mysteries series by Juliet Blackwell. The series centers on Lily Ivory, a natural witch who has traveled the world looking for a place to belong, and finds it in the eccentric Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco. She owns a vintage clothing shop, and her magical abilities help her in her business by allowing her to sense something of the history of a garment and thereby match it with the right customer. In Secondhand Spirits, Lily purcha Secondhand Spirits is the first in the Witchcraft Mysteries series by Juliet Blackwell. The series centers on Lily Ivory, a natural witch who has traveled the world looking for a place to belong, and finds it in the eccentric Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco. She owns a vintage clothing shop, and her magical abilities help her in her business by allowing her to sense something of the history of a garment and thereby match it with the right customer. In Secondhand Spirits, Lily purchases a hoard of clothing from an old woman, Frances Potts, and soon becomes embroiled in a mystery involving Mrs. Potts, a missing child, and the eerie legend of La Llorona. Lily risks her new-found acceptance and security by using her witchcraft to try to save the day. Juliet Blackwell has done her research into witchcraft, both the Wiccan sort and the folkloric variety that was so feared in the Middle Ages. Both of them exist here. Lily, as a natural witch, has power beyond that of ordinary humans and possesses the traits witches were once rumored to have; for example, she can’t cry. Her friend Bronwyn is a Wiccan witch, who worships the Goddess and follows Wiccan principles but is much more limited in her power. The spells in the book are based on real practices from history and from the present day. Secondhand Spirits gets off to a bit of a slow start; the early chapters spend a lot of time establishing Lily’s character and the way her magic works, and fleshing out the neighborhood and the ambiance of Lily’s shop. This is both a positive and a negative. It does slow the story down somewhat, but it’s also quite charming and gives us something to come back for in future books. If you read a lot of cozy mysteries, you’ve probably experienced this phenomenon: it’s the mystery itself that keeps you turning pages in each individual book, but likable characters and a memorable setting are what keep you coming back to the same series next time you want a mystery fix. When the mystery does get rolling, it’s both spooky and poignant — though there’s one aspect of it that’s far too easy to guess because someone’s name is too obvious. There’s a hint of romance, too, or at least potential for future romance. Lily meets two intriguing men, one of whom she’s not sure is trustworthy and the other of whom thinks witchcraft is bunk; sparks fly. I’m especially fond of the mythbuster… If Secondhand Spirits sounds appealing to you, you can’t go wrong with Tantor Audio’s production, narrated by Xe Sands. Sands has a smooth, compelling voice that seems to curl around you as she speaks, or that makes you want to curl up for storytime. For Lily, born in Texas, she has a slight Southern accent that is just enough to notice without being distracting from the story. Her secondary-character voices are terrific too; I should especially mention how funny she is in her portrayal of the gushing Bronwyn, and how utterly adorable she makes Lily’s familiar, Oscar. If you like cozy mysteries with a magical twist — Shirley Damsgaard’s Ophelia and Abby, for example — Juliet Blackwell’s Witchcraft Mysteries are definitely worth your time. This first book has a few flaws but is a great deal of fun and I’ll definitely be back for more.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Secondhand Spirits is the start of a great new mystery series. Lily Ivory is a real, live, magical-power having witch. I love that her actions aren't encumbered by karmic fears. She has no qualms about using her abilities to secure prime parking sports and other frivolous, yet harmless, perks. She lives by her own moral compass and does not relate her hereditary witchiness to any religious belief system. She acquires a goblin-like familiar that pretends to be an innocent pet pig allowing him the Secondhand Spirits is the start of a great new mystery series. Lily Ivory is a real, live, magical-power having witch. I love that her actions aren't encumbered by karmic fears. She has no qualms about using her abilities to secure prime parking sports and other frivolous, yet harmless, perks. She lives by her own moral compass and does not relate her hereditary witchiness to any religious belief system. She acquires a goblin-like familiar that pretends to be an innocent pet pig allowing him the luxury of being being cuddled by women and the freedom to wander unhindered into changing-rooms. Lily owns and operates a vintage clothing shop, which I found much more fascinating than I thought I would. Many aspects of the business were portrayed, from the varying sources she acquires the clothing from to how she uses her abilities to match a person to the perfect retro outfit. A soon to be bride and her bridesmaids came in to pick out dresses and the atmosphere was so fun, I felt as though I was there as well. Lily has two potential romantic candidates. Aidan is a male witch who exudes an air of danger. Max is a skeptic and professional myth-buster who seems to be falling for Lily despite his distaste for the supposed paranormal. Each man seems to have great potential as both heartthrob and heart-breaker. Many mysterious things happen in Secondhand spirits, from a missing child to a dead client. With ghosts, demons and other witches involved, the possibility for viable suspects is endless. The book ends in a surprise twist which I never saw coming. Secondhand Spirits is a quality cozy full of witchy fun. I can't wait for the next book in this series.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sher Free

    I just discovered these types of cozy, paranormal mysteries, and I have to say I am ready for more. Secondhand Spirits is light and breezy fun with a bit of darkness for some edge. For me witches can always add to the recipe for a good time; throw in some vintage fashion, a cool San Francisco Haight-Ashbury setting, a haunted house, a gargoyle that can morph into a pot-belly pig, herbs, spells, and demons and ... well, what more can you want. And there are NO vampires, a huge plus as far as I'm I just discovered these types of cozy, paranormal mysteries, and I have to say I am ready for more. Secondhand Spirits is light and breezy fun with a bit of darkness for some edge. For me witches can always add to the recipe for a good time; throw in some vintage fashion, a cool San Francisco Haight-Ashbury setting, a haunted house, a gargoyle that can morph into a pot-belly pig, herbs, spells, and demons and ... well, what more can you want. And there are NO vampires, a huge plus as far as I'm concerned! The characters were all likeable as well, especially the magic-wary Lily who can no longer deny her powers when she discovers children have been going missing in The City. This is certainly not rocket science I know, but it IS terribly fun brain candy, which we all need at least from time to time.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    If I could pick a supernatural being to be it will always be a witch, And some people in my life might say I'm almost there..... How could I not like Lilly she is a witch who loves fashion... this is from what I can tell, a good start to a series that probably gets better and better and better.... this first book definitely had all the things I truly enjoy about a good series, and that is amazing characters, I can just see all these characters growing on me, even though I believe there might be a If I could pick a supernatural being to be it will always be a witch, And some people in my life might say I'm almost there..... How could I not like Lilly she is a witch who loves fashion... this is from what I can tell, a good start to a series that probably gets better and better and better.... this first book definitely had all the things I truly enjoy about a good series, and that is amazing characters, I can just see all these characters growing on me, even though I believe there might be a possible love triangle, or maybe even a square??? I especially think I'm going to fall in love with Oscar, I want a familiar now.... The mystery was interesting, and I like how everything tied together including the folklore and the witchcraft... definitely a series I will continue....

  14. 5 out of 5

    A Wondrous Bookshelf

    This book was definitely a pleasant surprise. I decided to read it because of the cute cover and ended up finding a great plot and well-developed characters. This was a fun, fast-paced paranormal/cozy mystery.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anya

    Fun, interesting magic, less cozy mystery and more non-gritty urban fantasy though.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Hallie

    I'm writing this up just after writing up another UF book, A Modern Witch , and the two of them have become rather linked in my mind. (Whether the connection will make sense to anyone else or not is another matter.) By all normal standards, I'd have to say Secondhand Spirits is a "better" book, but I liked it much less. I was a bit disappointed with my own lack of love, both because it's always nice agreeing with friends' take on books, and because there was a lot to like in Secondhand Spirits. I'm writing this up just after writing up another UF book, A Modern Witch , and the two of them have become rather linked in my mind. (Whether the connection will make sense to anyone else or not is another matter.) By all normal standards, I'd have to say Secondhand Spirits is a "better" book, but I liked it much less. I was a bit disappointed with my own lack of love, both because it's always nice agreeing with friends' take on books, and because there was a lot to like in Secondhand Spirits. Lily was a sympathetic protagonist, making a good life for herself despite a lot of unhappiness in her past. The setting was fun too, and it was nice to see La Llorona making a duly tragic and spooky appearance. For all that I found to like though, two things put me off, and the more serious of these was that I picked up the book expecting it to be urban fantasy. Which it was in most ways, of course, but I was unable to read it in that way because of the author's acknowledgments (at the beginning) of the help provided by local covens and the note at the end stating that the spells used in the book were real ones and shouldn't be tried at home. I certainly don't care what the author believes, and I don't have any problem with fiction expressing Wiccan beliefs (not that I'm sure I've ever read such), but it just felt very muddled to me. The book portrayed covens of people (exactly like the covens thanked by the author) with real power that was just very much less powerful than the protagonist's - making her a - what? That's what I can't quite answer - she seems to have been on magical steroids, compared to the members of the coven, but nothing explained the difference between them. I am aware that this is an odd, and utterly personal reaction, but it was strong enough to spoil an otherwise enjoyable read, while A Modern Witch's clear fantasy feeling worked very well for me. The second, less serious niggle, was that I was a bit put off by the way Lily used her powers to help make her business successful. Nothing was really that different from what Lauren had been (unknowingly) doing in A Modern Witch, but it somehow tipped over the line for me into dodgy. Also, I just found the scenes of her finding the "perfect dress/outfit" for her vintage store customers dull. And the smallest niggle of all was "the male witch". Even after she'd met him, Lily seemed to be biased against him just because he was male, and that was a bit annoying. I had all these problems with Secondhand Spirits, to the same degree, as I was reading it, so reading A Modern Witch didn't change how I felt about it. It just hit the happy spots I'd been missing before, on each of these niggles.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chibineko

    With so many different books crossing multiple genres, most are a bit hard to place in one specific genre, which is one of the things about this book. It's not really that much of a mystery, at least not in the traditional sense. There aren't very many "whodunit" parts to the book & while there is a mystery, much of the book is spent talking about clothes, the past & mystical creatures. Not that that's a bad thing, mind you. The story follows Lily, a natural born witch who has fled her na With so many different books crossing multiple genres, most are a bit hard to place in one specific genre, which is one of the things about this book. It's not really that much of a mystery, at least not in the traditional sense. There aren't very many "whodunit" parts to the book & while there is a mystery, much of the book is spent talking about clothes, the past & mystical creatures. Not that that's a bad thing, mind you. The story follows Lily, a natural born witch who has fled her native Texas for the sunny lands of San Francisco. Opening up a vintage clothing store, Lily hopes that her life will be uneventful & well... normal. When a young child goes missing during a visit to an elderly client wishing to unload some clothes, Lily finds herself getting caught up in her previous life- something that isn't helped when a handsome male witch shows up claiming to have met her mysterious father. This book started off sort of awkwardly. This isn't a bad book by any stretch, but the opening felt a little awkward, like the author didn't exactly know how to get started on Lily & her world. The characters are nice & eventually after everything is established, the book really kicks into high gear. It's just that the first part of the book was a bit clunky. Why am I emphasizing this? Because I don't want any potential readers to get turned off by the beginning of the book. This is a very cute series & I really think it has a lot of potential to it. I'm expecting that the next book in the series will even out some of the awkward beginnings & maybe even start to go into more detail about Lily's world & witches. That was one part of the book that I really wanted more information on. (I guess that's an incentive to read future books in the series.) Overall, this is a nice cute book & something fun to read as a bit of semi-brainless fun. It's not going to win any huge awards, but it will be something that I'll recommend to my friends.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Randall

    I discovered author Juliet Blackwell awhile back when I found her Haunted Home Renovation Series, and I loved that first book so much, that I researched the author to see what else she might hve written, and discovered this series, A Witchcraft Mystery. I loved this book. Lily is our lead, a powerful witch, that we know very little about, so we discover just a little about her history, with so many more mysteries in her as a person herself yet to discover. Bronwyn is actually a wiccan, a normal h I discovered author Juliet Blackwell awhile back when I found her Haunted Home Renovation Series, and I loved that first book so much, that I researched the author to see what else she might hve written, and discovered this series, A Witchcraft Mystery. I loved this book. Lily is our lead, a powerful witch, that we know very little about, so we discover just a little about her history, with so many more mysteries in her as a person herself yet to discover. Bronwyn is actually a wiccan, a normal human who practices witchcraft as a religion, but not a real witch and not powerful. Bronwyn shares space in the store with Lily and can already tell what Lily is, before and without Lily telling her. She becomes something of a friend to Lily, the first of her life. Maya is a student at the Fine Arts College that is recording histories of people, and in that role finds a number of vintage clothing stashes for Lily. Se also, although being skeptical of the whole paranormal world, another friend to Lily. In this, the first of the series, Lily and Maya met with an elder lady who isn't all that she seems, and while they are visiting to look for clothes, a young girl down the street is "abducted". Lily takes it upon herself to try to figure out what is going on and to get the girl back. It is a well-written and charming story that weaves it's way around, introducing a number of people, giving us just a touch about them, not too much but just enough to keep us interested. So looking forward to the next book to see where each of these people go, the history and pasts that they bring to the story and where they are headed. I find myself wanting to discover more about the people. Another great book by Juliet Blackwell.

  19. 5 out of 5

    C.

    I enjoy ‘magick’ themes. However if I knew it contained ‘a troll’ and touched on ‘demons’ although lightly; I wouldn't have bought it. The small, diverse cast grew on me later but it took some doing to finish reading. Let's forget witches and note that any distinct lifestyle needs to be broken in. Introduce a basic person and surroundings, then ease into a trade. We wouldn't relate to a book immediately spouting plumbing details. Let us sample the person on common ground, then we'll go wherever I enjoy ‘magick’ themes. However if I knew it contained ‘a troll’ and touched on ‘demons’ although lightly; I wouldn't have bought it. The small, diverse cast grew on me later but it took some doing to finish reading. Let's forget witches and note that any distinct lifestyle needs to be broken in. Introduce a basic person and surroundings, then ease into a trade. We wouldn't relate to a book immediately spouting plumbing details. Let us sample the person on common ground, then we'll go wherever they take us. From the first sentence, Julie Blackwell has us encounter a male witch, who the protagonist mistrusts. Despite this she takes on as a pet, a troll he sticks her with! There's no gauge of whether that’s but she isn't confused about how he should live in her apartment and what he should eat. He's a useless addition like ‘Jar Jar Binks’ in "Star Wars", which downgrades the book’s quality and enjoyment. The psychology was off too. The lady passes herself off as a lone wolf even from family; so unused to having friends, she stammers to invite a co-worker over. But she feels enough loyalty to break the law and check on an elderly woman she just met. The end was spectacular. The elevation of camaraderie later, was beautiful. You want the lady to set roots in her new city. What turns me off is cauldron spell-brewing; an image other witchcraft authors work hard to stomp out. Their portrayal of natural energy being harnessed for protection or wisdom, is peaceful and rather nice. I'll finish the series because I pre-bought all but novel 2, which seems to be about ghosts. That’s a background I like. However this author lost me early on, when one potion included a poor bat.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rosey

    3.5 Stars Cute start for another paranormal mystery. Lily had some problems in Texas (who doesn't?) so she uproots herself to San Fran and opens a vintage clothing store on the famous Haight-Ashbury district. She keeps her witchiness under wraps but Wiccans pretty much tell everyone they are Wiccan. Trouble starts with sexy witch Aidan Rhodes stops in and gives her a familiar, which she names Oscar. I love him! At the house of Mrs. Potts Lily and her coworker/friend Maya hear the cry of a demon 3.5 Stars Cute start for another paranormal mystery. Lily had some problems in Texas (who doesn't?) so she uproots herself to San Fran and opens a vintage clothing store on the famous Haight-Ashbury district. She keeps her witchiness under wraps but Wiccans pretty much tell everyone they are Wiccan. Trouble starts with sexy witch Aidan Rhodes stops in and gives her a familiar, which she names Oscar. I love him! At the house of Mrs. Potts Lily and her coworker/friend Maya hear the cry of a demon that takes children and suddenly a little girl is missing. Next up Mrs. Potts turns up dead. I have read two mysteries in a row now where I didn't figure it out right away. The guy Max that Lily crushes on is a douchebag IMO. He will never really like/love Lily for who she is. I'm Team Aidan on this one. It was cute and fun but sometimes it dragged talking about too much vintage clothing. Will read on in this series for sure. Liked: Good mystery Disliked: dragged in parts Favorite Character: Oscar Least Favorite Character: Max http://www.roseysreview.com/2011/10/b...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    What a fun little read! I wasn't too sure about the premise, characters, or storyline going in, but it all added up to a quirky, fun, cozy mystery. In the end what's not to love; a young good hearted witch, her gifted gargoyle/pot-bellied pig familiar, Oscar, a couple ghosts, demons, male witches, a coven, spells, curses, San Francisco, hippies, a vintage clothing shop, and a happy ending that makes me want to continue reading the series.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kylara Jensen

    I just COULD NOT get into the tone of this book. I really hate almost everything about the mc's pov voice. She complains all the time and she is so hyppocritical. SHe talks about liking humans and doing good for them but then usues her magic on them all the time. She moralizes about trading someone's soul like- it's ok they were probably evil anyway. So yeah. I normally like these campy pnrs but not this one.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sandie Laughner

    I really enjoyed this book. I even took notes. :)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    Well, this was fun! I love a good paranormal cozy, and this was definitely a good one. The characters are engaging, the descriptions are evocative, and the little details brought it all together. You know, I vacillated between giving it 4 or 5 stars. If I wanted to split hairs, I could point out some minor problems with the narrative. But the fact remains that once I sat down to read the book (I started a few days ago but kept getting waylaid by life), I devoured it with relish. And I can't wait Well, this was fun! I love a good paranormal cozy, and this was definitely a good one. The characters are engaging, the descriptions are evocative, and the little details brought it all together. You know, I vacillated between giving it 4 or 5 stars. If I wanted to split hairs, I could point out some minor problems with the narrative. But the fact remains that once I sat down to read the book (I started a few days ago but kept getting waylaid by life), I devoured it with relish. And I can't wait to get to the second volume in the series. That's a 5-star read in my book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    This was a fun paranormal cozy mystery with a good cast of characters and a satisfying ending. The only jarring note for me was the love interest, Max. He just wasn’t an appealing character. I had previously really enjoyed this author’s Art Lover’s mystery series under the pseudonym Hailey Lind, and am looking forward to continuing with this series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jadaloves

    This book was quite a little adventure. I love mysteries, especially if they involve a little something extra like magic, and Blackwell nailed it with this one. Lily settles in San Francico and opens a shop selling antiques and vintage clothing. While getting new inventory from old Mrs. Potts, she hears the ominous cry of an infamous demon. Despite casting a spell protecting her, Lily soon finds that Mrs. Potts has indeed died and a child has been snatched from the neighborhood. Lily is an intere This book was quite a little adventure. I love mysteries, especially if they involve a little something extra like magic, and Blackwell nailed it with this one. Lily settles in San Francico and opens a shop selling antiques and vintage clothing. While getting new inventory from old Mrs. Potts, she hears the ominous cry of an infamous demon. Despite casting a spell protecting her, Lily soon finds that Mrs. Potts has indeed died and a child has been snatched from the neighborhood. Lily is an interesting sort of witch in that she kind of just wants to lead a normal life and fit in. But she’s good to a fault, and feels responsible when Frances Potts dies. Although she’s powerful, she still has a lot to learn and her best attribute and biggest flaw is her unwavering self-reliance. Lily is sweet, and humble, and doesn’t like to ask for help, even when it’s necessary. But she’s the kind of person that people are happy to help and do things for. Max is one of those people who fall under her spell, despite his skepticism in her abilities. I liked Max from his very first appearance in the book. He’s very smooth, but not in a slick sort of way. And I like the easy conversation and camaraderie he and Lily have throughout the book. He’s also very handsome, in a rugged way, brave, and protective. My kinda guy for sure. The pace of this story was excellent, and Blackwell did an awesome job of revealing clues and circumstances at the right time. There were many times I felt as if I was in the novel. The book enveloped me so much in parts to the point I felt my pulse quicken and fear creep into my heart. All throughout the novel I had no idea where the story would end up. Of course I took a guess it being a mystery and all, and I was completely wrong. Definitely kept me hanging on until the very end. And the supporting characters were great too. I especially like her familiar Oscar. He kind of reminds me of Dobby the way he’s described. Overall, lovely book and great mystery. I will definitely look forward to reading the rest of this series.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Secondhand Spirits 2 Stars A vintage clothing store on the streets of San Francisco run by a witch who becomes involved in the investigation of a missing girl - sounds like a recipe for perfection? Unfortunately not! Despite the intriguing premise, the plot of Secondhand Spirits is boring and completely lacking in tension and suspense. Furthermore, the heroine, Lily Ivory, is as dull as dishwater. There are no details on the precise origin, nature or extent of her powers and her abilities consisten Secondhand Spirits 2 Stars A vintage clothing store on the streets of San Francisco run by a witch who becomes involved in the investigation of a missing girl - sounds like a recipe for perfection? Unfortunately not! Despite the intriguing premise, the plot of Secondhand Spirits is boring and completely lacking in tension and suspense. Furthermore, the heroine, Lily Ivory, is as dull as dishwater. There are no details on the precise origin, nature or extent of her powers and her abilities consistently fail her even though she is a supposedly exceptional witch. The secondary characters from Bronwyn the Wiccan business partner to Max the mythbusting reporter to Aidan the mysterious sorcerer all have tremendous potential, but are ultimately one dimensional and underdeveloped. The hints at a romance brewing between Lily and Max are also tedious as the couple has zero chemistry and his negative attitude toward her abilities is off-putting. There doesn’t seem to be any future for them. In terms of the audiobook, I’ve heard that Xe Sands is a wonderful narrator. Personally, I could not tell from this book as her narration is monotonous and entirely too relaxed for a mystery. I’m sure she has some better performances out there. Although this particular book is disappointing, I haven’t given up on the paranormal mystery genre as there are some fantastic series out there. Blackwell’s just isn’t one of them.

  28. 5 out of 5

    MissSusie

    I really enjoyed this paranormal cozy mystery. Lily is a witch who owns a secondhand store and hopes she can just live a normal life without using witchcraft, but things don’t quite work out for her. While buying a collection of clothes from an elderly lady a child goes missing and Lily feels like Mrs. Potts’ life is in danger and her premonition is right on the money and the next day she is found dead. Lily tries to find out what happened to the little girl and Mrs. Potts. There is also a mythbu I really enjoyed this paranormal cozy mystery. Lily is a witch who owns a secondhand store and hopes she can just live a normal life without using witchcraft, but things don’t quite work out for her. While buying a collection of clothes from an elderly lady a child goes missing and Lily feels like Mrs. Potts’ life is in danger and her premonition is right on the money and the next day she is found dead. Lily tries to find out what happened to the little girl and Mrs. Potts. There is also a mythbuster, a male witch, a ghostly spirit and a goblin that turns into a pig familiar who are all interesting characters in their own right with the pig being my favorite! San Francisco and the area of the Haight were kind of a character too, you really get a feel of the bay area and I felt like a tourist discovering it all. This was the best of two genre’s I enjoy, paranormal and cozy mysteries, it was a great first book in the series and will definitely be a series I continue reading, however I so enjoyed the narration by, Xe Sands that I want to wait till I can listen to the rest on audio so I hope Tantor Audio will get them all recorded soon! If you enjoy a good cozy with magical elements I highly recommend this series! The audio production of this was great Xe Sands does such a wonderful job and she is well on her way to becoming a favorite narrator! 4 Stars

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Audiobooks Only

    Narrated by Xe Sands - Narration 4 1/2*s This light mystery story with a paranormal bend gets 3 1/2 stars rounded to 4 here. There was a lot to like about this first book of a series especially in audio with excellent character voices and personality portrayals. The mens voices in particular are stellar. I enjoyed the main characters and got a kick out of the familiar that paraded about in the guise of a pot bellied pig. The detailed recipes and sets up for potions or spell casting etc bored me a Narrated by Xe Sands - Narration 4 1/2*s This light mystery story with a paranormal bend gets 3 1/2 stars rounded to 4 here. There was a lot to like about this first book of a series especially in audio with excellent character voices and personality portrayals. The mens voices in particular are stellar. I enjoyed the main characters and got a kick out of the familiar that paraded about in the guise of a pot bellied pig. The detailed recipes and sets up for potions or spell casting etc bored me and took up too much time, something I would have skipped if reading it myself. On the other hand the vintage clothing descriptions and the set up of Aunt Cora's Closet in the Haight Ashbury section of San Francisco was fun listening and I found the mystery portion interesting with a nice twist once it picked up. I'm not in any hurry to read the rest of the series but if they become available in audio they'll be on my radar.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Katyana

    ***3.5*** This was a fun book. I was pretty stop / start-ish with the read, because I was busy this week, and I think that impacted my ability to emotionally engage as much as I ordinarily would. But I thought it was a good, solid story, with interesting characters. It definitely read as the first book in the series - it felt like we didn't dig in-depth on anyone, really... it was just a lot of setup. But I liked Lily, Bronwyn and Maya. I withhold judgement on Aidan and Max - I don't trust either ***3.5*** This was a fun book. I was pretty stop / start-ish with the read, because I was busy this week, and I think that impacted my ability to emotionally engage as much as I ordinarily would. But I thought it was a good, solid story, with interesting characters. It definitely read as the first book in the series - it felt like we didn't dig in-depth on anyone, really... it was just a lot of setup. But I liked Lily, Bronwyn and Maya. I withhold judgement on Aidan and Max - I don't trust either of them yet, so we'll wait to see where things go. Since I happen to have book 2 right here, I think I will dive right in...

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