Secondhand Spirits by Juliet Blackwell
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: #1 in the Witchcraft Mystery series
Publisher: Tantor Media
Publication Date: 2012 (Book originally published 2009)
Length: 8 hours, 43 minutes
Read by: Xe Sands
The Short Version:
Lily Ivory, who runs a vintage clothing shop in San Francisco also happens to be a witch and a bit of an amateur sleuth.
Why I Read It:
I heard about this series from a friend and since I follow Xe Sands on Twitter I decided to listen to the audio edition.
From the publisher:
Lily Ivory 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?
I enjoyed this cozy mystery a lot. Lily is a fun character. Yes there is witchcraft and some creepy spirits and demons but there is also a lot of humor.
Part of the mystery in this one is based on the La Llorona legend of the spirit of a weeping woman in a long white dress who abducts children and drowns them. I was familiar with the legend because it was used in an episode of the television show Grimm we watched last year.
There is much more to the story though and the multiple mysteries create quite a challenge for Lily. There is also plenty of fun, particularly in the character of Lily’s new (and initially unwanted) familiar. He’s a goblin who transforms himself into a potbellied pig named Oscar in the presence of non-witchy people.
Lily’s friends and coworkers Maya and Bronwyn make good secondary characters and I’m looking forward to getting to know all of them as I continue with this series. Of course there’s a bit of romance along the way too.
The narration by Xe Sands fits perfectly with the story. Her voice has a soft somewhat dreamy quality that suits the mood of much of the story (told from Lily’s point of view and in her light Texas accent). She does an excellent job of giving distinct voice characterizations to all of the characters whether female, male or goblin.
All in all it’s just a fun cozy mystery with characters, a setting and a hook with the witchcraft that will keep me coming back for more.
Rating 3.5/5 for the book
Rating 4/5 for the narration
SoundBytes is a weekly roundup of audio book reviews hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books.