Students are spooked at the San Francisco School of Fine Arts, and Lily is called in to search for possible paranormal activity. In return she's been promised a trunkful of Victorian-era clothes recently discovered in a school storage closet.
But Lily finds something else: the body of a wealthy patron of the school. In between running the store and seeing her new boyfriend, Max - a "mythbuster" who is uncomfortable with her witchcraft - she uses her sleuthing skills to try to solve the murder. Soon Lily senses something from the school's vintage clothes, but it's not the smell of mothballs - it's the unmistakable aura of evil intent.
©2010 Juliet Blackwell (P)2012 Tantor
"Set in a vintage clothing store and starring a sensible and entertaining witch, this series will please paranormal fans." (Romantic Times)
One-time Army Paramedic trades life of lust and danger for safer, sedentary, pursuits like knitting, reading and cats.
This is the second book of the Character Lilly Ivory as she grows more comfortable with being a witch and embracing her power. I'd this one as I did the first: funny and light, not violent or obscene. My observation for book two is the same as it is for #1; I wish the writer Juliet Blackwell would allow herself to give more depth to the characters. The French nuns were a major point in the book, but I still didn't really get to know these women and why they chose that path or why/if they had been deceived; the point was glazed over quickly in the story. I still liked the story however.
One could enjoy the book apart from the series, but I would recommend that you read book one first and the series in order.
Other than this series, no, but I like how Xe Sands reads for the characters.
I wish I had that type of time, but I certainly wanted to read it all the way though.
Audible should put more Juliet Blackwell book on Audio.
worth the time and money liked th 1st one better but 2nd one was good. it's great easy to listen to and builds without having to look back. ready for 3.
If I could give this 3 and a half stars I would. It is a pleasant story with solidly developed characters. The characters are the reason I liked this book. The plot was good and the story flowed nicely. All in all it's a solid paranormal story. I can't give it more than 3 and a half stars because the story lacks suspense. It is worth the credit.
AKA The Geeky Blogger
Read/Listened for Fun (Kindle/Audible)
Tracking Books Read Review (short)
Overall Rating: 4.25
Story Rating: 4.50
Character Rating: 4.00
Audio Rating: 4.50 (not part of the overall rating)
First Thought when Finished: A Cast-Off Coven was a wonderful listen with a pretty darn good who-dun-it!
Overall Thoughts: Lily is a unique leading character. I don't always like her but I always love her gumption. She grew a LOT in A Cast-Off Coven and learned a little bit more about herself in the process. I am hoping part of the process means shucking off her current love interest but that remains to be seen. I LOVED the mystery in A Cast-Off Coven. The school was the perfect setting for this one because it involved Lily's two shop gals (my favorite characters) more! My favorite parts in the first two books all involved the side characters and I hope they play a bigger role in the future books! There was a little bit of everything involved in this case: fun, twists, turns, and a bit of old-fashioned sleuthing. I love that Lily's witch powers are just part of how she figures things out! She really does have a great head on her shoulders.
Narrated By Xe Sands / Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
Xe rocks the narration for this series. She plays Lily in a way that totally makes her personality shine. She has really good male voices and her pacing is outstanding. I totally recommend these on audio!
Final Thoughts: I already got the rest of the series on audio and now I need to squeeze them in!
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.
A Cast-Off Coven is the second book in Juliet Blackwell’s WITCHCRAFT MYSTERY series. In the first book, Secondhand Spirits, we met Lily Ivory, a witch who recently moved to San Francisco after being run out of her hometown in Texas (we don’t know why yet). She has an affinity for old clothes — she can feel the previous owner’s past emotions in them — so she opened a vintage clothing store which is becoming successful because she has a talent for pairing her customers with the exactly the right items. In the first novel Lily made new friends, gained Oscar the goblin for a familiar, met a hot investigative journalist named Max, and solved a murder.
Now Lily has been asked to come to the local Fine Arts school because the students think there may be a ghost living in a closet full of vintage clothing. In return for Lily’s ghostbusting services, they’ll give her the clothes. But on Lily’s first visit to the school, someone is murdered. This looks suspicious because Lily has only been in town for a few months and it’s the second murder she’s been associated with. As Lily tries to solve the crime, she manages to stir up something evil and she’s the only one who can prevent more mayhem in San Francisco.
So far the WITCHCRAFT MYSTERY series has been quite a fun read. San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district makes a great setting for a vintage clothing store and it’s clear that Juliet Blackwell knows the area. Lily and her friends are sweet (not snarky and sarcastic), Oscar the scared goblin is adorable (he masquerades as a pot-bellied pig when Lily’s in public), and Max is an appealing love interest. In this installment we get to know each of them a little better. The romance takes a backseat to the plot and love scenes happen off camera. There is little humor, the language is clean, and the murders are not gruesome. These books are definitely cozy mysteries — not paranormal romance or urban fantasy — but the supernatural elements are strong.
I’ve got a few minor quibbles that I’ve noticed but which haven’t affected my enjoyment of this series too much (yet). One is that nearly every guy Lily meets (the reporter, the police detective, the male witch, the new fine arts professor) is hot, which seems unlikely (or maybe I just need to visit to San Francisco). Another issue, which is a common one for cozy mysteries, is that the puzzle pieces fall too neatly together. Lily tends to be in just the right place to get just the right clue, even if she doesn’t yet realize it’s a clue. (Lily can occasionally be a little dense when it comes to clues and there were a couple of times that I wanted to smack her to let her know she was looking at one). I was willing to overlook these small problems and hope they don’t become bigger ones later in the series.
I listened to Tantor Audio’s version of A Cast-Off Coven which was read by Xe Sands. I thought she did a great job. Her slight Southern accent for Lily was perfect and, believe me, Southern accents can be painfully annoying if the narrator isn’t careful. Xe Sands also managed to make the men sound like men — another important feature for this type of story. I’m planning to pick up the next audiobook, Hexes and Hemlines. I’m hoping to see it go on sale at Audible soon but, if it doesn’t, I’m willing to spend one of my credits for it.
Myst/thrillers and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.
Three and a half stars. I think maybe I would have enjoyed this book more if I had listened to the first book. It was kind of like Harry Potter meets The Good Witch, (a series on Lifetime).
A light, good enough listen, it seemed to drag a bit through the middle but still enjoyable enough.
The story line continues to progress, keeps you captivated and interested.
Juliet Blackwell has a very unique writing style. I have listened and read other books of the same genre, none compare to the way she coveys the story line. I am a big fan of the writing.
Oscar. You can really see Oscar in his different forms.
Great vintage clothes and witchy things, what more could a girl want.
Movies from the series would be wonderful.
Take a look it's in a book...Reading Rainbow!
Really interesting cozy mystery that mixes a touch of paranormal into the mix. Great characters and stories that flow nicely. Some of the twists are predictable, but that does not take away from the entertainment value.
Lily is a natural witch and tries to keep her powers on the down low. That is not going so well for her since she settled in San Francisco. This book picks up where the last one left off, investigating ghosts at the Arts School. Things are, of course, not all that they seem and a murder happens. Lots going on my the mystery, it keeps a steady pace and never lulls.
This book gives us a touch more in Lily, Max and Aiden's back-stories, as well as introducing two new men into the mix. So many fellas to choose from! Of course, the romance is strictly closed bedroom door. Sigh, no smexy action here. This is totally to be expected as the book is more about the mystery than the love affair.
I have the audiobooks of this series, great deal on Audible. The narrator, Xe Sands, is fantastic. I love her style and her tone is perfect. She really has a way of making the story come alive, animated and dynamic read. Definitely adding her to my list of narrators to fangirl over!!
I've always loved books. Even before I could read I've loved them. Fact or Fiction, I love books. I'd sooner read a book than see a movie.
I really enjoy Juliet Blackwell's series about a witch running a second hand clothing store. Her spells, charms and knowledge of all things occult, brings a sense of realness to her stories.
Her protagonist is a witch who isn't comfortable in her abilities and needs training, but despite this she continues on confronting the evil who endangers people. With each book her abilities grow as well as the circle of friends, both magical and human.
Yes. Xe does a fine job and make listening to the book a joy.
Oh yes. One gets drawn in quickly to the story line and the sense of danger and mystery excite you to finish.
David L Hall "Get the Best & Forget the Rest"
The characters are well developed and the theme is a typical good guy bad guy story. But the humor makes this particular story different and a delight. I hated for the story to end.
This was my first book of Xe Sands's.
I recommend this for a fun break away from a tense or riveting story.
If you are looking for a change of pace, give this delightful story a try.
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