Penguin Group (USA) LLC
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Secondhand Spirits: A Witchcraft Mystery Kindle Edition
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|Length: 336 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Nor was Lily the only character I liked. In fact, while the plot of Secondhand Spirits was fresh and absorbing, what really stood out for me were the well-drawn, fully-dimensional characters. Blackwell has created a book that's just chock full of darned interesting people. I enjoyed meeting them, but more than that, I was (and am) intrigued by them. They have hinted-at-histories that promise to be woven into future entries in the series and I look forward to seeing what Blackwell has in store for each of them.
* I found Secondhand Spirits to be somewhat darker than the cover seemed to suggest. (For me, this was not a drawback.) While there are moments of humor - many of them involving Lily's newly acquired familiar, Oscar - the story has a rather more serious overall tone and themes that I feel place it on the grittier side of cozy.
* The vintage clothing aspect didn't interest me on its own, but the way Blackwell made it an important part of the plot did. I can see its potential for driving the story in future entries as well.
* I'll admit that I was pretty sure who the `bad guy' was long before he/she was revealed (and I was right), but it didn't matter because I was enjoying the book and was involved with the characters.
* Secondhand Spirits is enriched by wonderful descriptions of San Francisco, its various neighborhoods and by snippets of the city's history.
* The descriptions of witchcraft were detailed and sometimes complicated. I have very little knowledge of the subject, but this "felt" real, making the story work that much better for me. Early on, I did think some of the descriptions of cleansing spells, etc. went on a little too long and slowed the story down a bit.
* Occasionally, the vintage Mustang should probably have been referred to simply as "the car". :-)
I like mysteries and I like stories with a paranormal aspect but I haven't had a lot of luck finding books that combine the two to my satisfaction. Secondhand Spirits did. I'm definitely on board for the sequels.
***(I'd like to read more paranormal mysteries and if anyone would like to offer a recommendation or two - perhaps as a comment? - I'd appreciate it. Some time ago, I tried the first volume in both Victoria Laurie's Psychic Eye series and in Madelyn Alt's Bewitching mysteries and didn't care for either of them.)***
The setup is simple enough: Lily opens a vintage clothing story in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, assisted by her (kept quiet) personal talent for picking up the vibrations of a garment and matching them with the right person. Saddled with a new and unasked-for familiar and the desire to make friends in the neighborhood, Lily finds herself embroiled in the search for a missing girl... and then, of course, More Stuff Happens.
The characters are likeable, the setting pleasantly funky (even for a non-fashion-centric person like myself), and the witchiness mostly lighthearted (but respectful, I think my Wicca friends would say). The story certainly held my interest all the way through. I won't press this book upon you and say, "Oh you MUST read this!" but it is perfectly suitable for a few hours of escapist reading. And often that's all we want.
Lily Ivory is a witch who has travel many places hoping to fit in with the population. She decided to settle in San Francisco running a vintage clothing. This book is #1and we meet many of the characters. They grab you at once and you want to know about them. Besides Lily there is her familiar Oscar, who two forms, Adrian, the top witch of area and Max, myth buster, Bronwyn, a Wiccan and her daughter Maya.
Lily needs some vintage wedding gowns and Maya takes her to Hunter Point neighbourhood to meet Francis Pitt who has a closet full of vintage clothing. While there A child, Jessica disappears and LILY hears about LaLLORMA who takes children to replace her lost ones. LALLORMA usually is found around the Rio Grande River. Lily is surprise she is here especially when she hears that children are missing in the area for several years. Lily takes on LaLLORMA to send her back to to Texas. The ending is a surprise.
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.