Title: Secondhand Spirits
Series: A Witchcraft Mystery #1
Author: Juliet Blackwell
Publisher: Penguin Group
Rating: 4 Sugar Cubes
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound
Summary: 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? (Summary taken from Goodreads)
Review: When I picked up Secondhand Spirits I was really in the mood for a mystery novel that involved some kind of witchcraft/magic. So when I spotted this series I really could not believe my luck. This book was everything I had been in the market for and the mystery itself was great!
In this review I really want to first give props to the author Juliet Blackwell. I thought her research of witchcraft, history, and lore that she incorporated into her novel was amazing. She was extremely accurate in her details of the Occult, Mayan History, and Vintage Clothing. I felt like all of that really helped make you feel immersed in the book and brought it alive.
Lily Ivory was a irresistible heroine and I really enjoyed getting to know her. I could relate to her, which I always love about a character. She struggles with her powers and also just wants to find a home. It makes her situation that much more compelling and you want her to succeed. She is torn between fitting in and standing out. Unsure of how far to push herself and afraid of what others will think of her. She isn’t afraid to discover truths and dives into situations a little haphazardly at times. If I have any complaints about her is that sometimes she really does know how to find trouble. Is it convenient trouble on the authors part? Probably.
Yet, it can still be a little frustrating when she stumbles into every situation about five minutes before shit really hits the fan. (Every. Single. Time.)
There are two male counterparts that Lily deals with in this story. Max Carmichael and Aidan Rhodes. Max Carmichael is an instant love interest. I really rooted for him throughout most of the story…but…I thought the ending proved to be a disappointment where he was concerned and he fizzled out for me.
Aidan Rhodes was intriguing but definitely wasn’t explained or explored at all in this book. He is a male witch, extremely powerful, and quite a mystery himself. He is the head honcho witch of San Francisco and he and Lily have some major chemistry. I found myself wanting to like him but he also falls a little flat. It really isn’t his fault though. These books take a while to build and I can promise that by the third book Aidan is much more flushed out and alluring.
The mystery aspect of the book ends up being two mysteries wrapped up into one. They are tied together nicely but I did feel that the author may have rushed the conclusion a bit at the end. I felt there was a lot of build up and not enough result. I didn’t dislike the ending by any means, I just felt like there could have been more.
Without giving too much away, I have read the rest of the series and can confidently say that this book is once again a prologue to the rest of the story. Juliet Blackwell has only skimmed the surface of the whole story of Lily Ivory in Secondhand Spirits. There are moments in this book that I say don’t have enough impact to me and it is because she comes back to them throughout the rest of the series.
So if you are interested in picking up these books, I recommend doing so only if you are willing to commit yourself to the whole series. These fair well as individual stories but really do shine as a whole set. There is so much detail that you cannot even begin to appreciate until you have read the rest of the books.
That being said, I love this book. I love all of the these books. I would recommend them to anyone! A great mystery that keeps getting better as you go along!