Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hexes and Hemlines-Juliet Blackwell

Hexes and Hemlines
Juliet Blackwell
Obsidian, Jun 7 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451233783

She searched the world to find a place she could call home and Lily Ivory found it at the corner of Haight and Asbury in San Francisco. Lily is a genuine witch trained by her grandma in the craft though she never completed her studies as she was run out of her hometown. She owns a vintage clothing store, but also has helped the police on investigations using her magic.

SFPD asks her to help with the inquiry into the death of Malachi Zozi whose body is surrounded by bad luck symbols. She cannot read anything from the body and the clothes in the apartment so Lily concludes someone magically wiped clean the magical aura. When she sees a picture of Malachi alive and well, she tells her mentor Aidan, the powerful lead witch of the craft in the Bay area, who warns her to stay away from the case. However, her best friend Bronwyn the Wiccan asks Lily to help because her son-in-law is a person of interest by the cops. Soon afterward, Bronwyn begs her to stop the investigation; as does a witch capable of bending time. Ignoring them, Lily feels it is her duty to catch a killer though her efforts place her in peril.

This exciting urban fantasy murder mystery (see A Castoff Coven) is an entertaining paranormal whodunit. Lily’s persistence as an amateur sleuth hooks the audience who is unsure whether to scream at her to back off or to encourage her to charge forward. Her familiar Oscar, a half goblin-gargoyle becomes a cute pot bellied pig who adds jocularity to the fast-paced story line as part of the quirky cast (benign, kind, and evil) that helps make this spellbinding tale a fun read.

Harriet Klausner

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