When Lily arrives at an antique jewelry fair, her bargain sensors go off left and right - but she also picks up a faint vibration of magic. Could the hard-bargaining merchant Griselda be a fellow practitioner? It certainly seems that way when a sudden fire sends panic through the crowd, and Lily discovers Griselda murdered in a way that nods to an old-fashioned witch hunt. A crime that hits close to home turns into an unwelcome flash from the past when the police bring in their lead suspect - Lily's estranged father. Though he may not deserve her help, Lily is determined to clear her father's name and solve a murder that's anything but crystal clear.
©2013 Julie Goodson-Lawes (P)2013 Tantor
Science fiction, fantasy and mystery listener. Love anything with a good plot.
Lily Ivory is a witch and owner of a vintage store called Aunt Cora’s Closet. In her time in San Francisco she’s gotten into plenty of trouble. However trouble is heading her way like never before. This time in the form of her father and what could likely be a fire demon!! It all starts innocently enough when she goes to a fair and meets a German lady selling antique jewellery. She’s interested in what she has to offer and suspects that she might also be a witch. Her suspicions are confirmed when the lady turns up dead, pressed between wood with cinder blocks on top. The “pressing” is a old form of torture against witches, which Lily has only heard of. Due to the nature of her death, Detective Carlos calls on Lily to help out and this starts one adventure that Lily nor her friends will forget in a hurry.
I fell in love with this series when I first read Secondhand Spirits. I love Lily as she not just tries to solve mysteries, but also learns what it is like to live in San Francisco and have friends nearby. She was shunned from her own mother and her hometown for being a witch. However her life in San Francisco is pretty great… well except for the murders and the fact that her one-time lover, Sailor, has disappeared.
What I love the most about Tarnished and Torn and this series as a whole, is it is never dull and boring. There is always a lot happening but Juliet Blackwell doesn’t leave readers lost and unable to connect the dots. It is more than just a cozy mystery, with the paranormal elements and more-than-meets-the-eye characters. In Tarnished and Torn we finally meet Lily’s father, who abandoned her as a baby. We discover more about their relationship (or lack there of) and perhaps more about how Aidan feels about Lily. Fans of this series will definitely enjoy some of the sub-plots that have continued on from the previous books.
For me, Xe Sands is the voice of this series. Her portrayal of the characters is beyond amazing. I particularly love the depth she gives to Lily’s familiar, Oscar. Oscar is part gargoyle, part goblin and appears a pot-bellied pig. His suggestion on how to solve the case was to hire Miss Marple, and is aghast to find out that she doesn’t exist and is made up! This scene alone had my laughing until I cried!! After having experienced the previous books as audiobooks I know I will definitely be continuing on with the series in audiobook format only. I wouldn’t hesitate recommend this series to mystery fans and also paranormal fans. It’s not one to be missed!
Hello, my name is Teresa and I'm an addict.
It might have been my timing or the fact that I have been listening to this series too close together that made this book a little tedious. It wasn't until the second half that the book picked up some and I started to enjoy the story more. Of course that could be that Sailor came back into the story. I was going to be mad if he just disappeared from the book without a word. As with Juliet Blackwell's other books in this series the mystery is similar to the others in which it is slightly predictable. What makes this series good is the characters, they are like visiting old friends. I recommend reading this series in order. Narrator drags a little for me, her slow talking was a little bit of a head bob.
I like all of Juliet Blackwell's books, but especially love the Witchcraft Mystery series. While a witch is the main character, and her "familiar" is a pig, these are not horrifying stories. Each story has a good mystery and interesting characters that are centered around the good kind of magic.
Xe Sands is a FABULOUS narrator.
My only critique of the books is that they are too short, usually about 8 hours.
I found it hard to stop listening to this book. I love all of Juliet Blackwell's books and Xe Sands is the perfect person to narrate. She has this smooth sex appeal that flows evenly wether she's speaking a male or female voice.From beginning to end this book kept me interested and emotionally engaged. I love the characters and I would love for Lilly and Sailor to finally hook up, Lilly needs a steady partner in crime.
I was really enjoying this series, but this book was just lame. The mysteries have become predictable and formulaic. Probably 75% of the short book repeats things the author has said over and over and over again in previous books. There's no character development...except for Lily becoming a whiny, weak victim. My daddy was mean to me. My boyfriend(s) are total jerks whom I can't trust, but I'll go ahead and give them the benefit of the doubt and wonder what's wrong with me because they're just too sexy to resist. Mundane humans attack me, and I do nothing to stop them, hoping some man will come along and rescue me.
I have read books one through four and have really enjoyed this series. I have one book to go and hope there will be more books in this series.
For me yes as my eyesight is not very good. And hearing it is very refreshing.
Some of Victoria lauries books, they are entertaining but not too scary and they are wonderful to hear anytime of the year.
Yes, loved her accent
Not really I enjoyed the entire audible experience
I have read some of her books, but I really enjoy listening to them. And I look forward to the next one.
Say something about yourself!
Have not read any of these, always the audio edition. Love the audible books.
She is awesome. the characters always sound the same from book to book.
Everyone one with Oscar and/or Sailor. Enjoyed this book very much.
Such fun books to listen to.
I once owned the bookstore A Novel Idea. I sold mysteries and cat humor. Put a cat in a mystery, and I'm likely to read it. Book Reviewer.
It's a girl's day out for the ladies from Lily Ivory's vintage clothing store Aunt Cora's Closet. There’s a huge gem fair to be held at the COW Palace in San Francisco, and Lily, co-workers and friends Maya and Bronwyn are all standing in very long lines, waiting to enter. Finally the doors are opened, and they rush in to be met by an astoundingly huge sales floor. The ladies each take a different direction agreeing to meet in an hour by the food court.
Lily is attracted to a table full of jewelry and gemstones. The woman running the booth is disheveled and rushed, trying to unpack what she thinks will sell. She keeps striking up conversations, trying to sell this or that. In the end, she convinces Lily to take a box of what even she calls junk so she won’t have to take it home, and she thrusts the box into her hands. Shortly thereafter, Oscar, in his pig form, began bounding about inside the Palace, even tho Lily had left him in the car. Suddenly small fires began breaking out across the arena. Lily and Oscar meet up and turned to be sure Griselda had gotten out before they leave, when Lily notices that blood is coming from underneath a large board on the ground. An old ritual to torture and sometimes kill witches called pressing had just made Griselda a victim, right beside them. They couldn’t help Griselda, so Lily and Oscar ran out of the COW Palace and met back up with Maya and Bronwyn. They drove back to Cora’s Closet while being followed by two older men. Waiting for them was one of SFPD’s men to bring Lily in for questioning in the death of Griselda.
Lily was not a suspect; homicide detective Carlos Ramirez wanted to know if Lily knew anything of this practice and who would be capable of it. While talking with Ramirez, Lily is shocked to see her estranged father walk by, the same man who had abandoned Lily and her mother when she was very young. Even Lily’s mother was overwhelmed with her upbringing and sent her to Mexico to live with her grandmother when she was 8. Lily is musing about family when she realizes that “One’s role models can only do so much to shape our individual lives. When it comes right down to it, we each walk the path of this life alone, and make our decisions based on our own distinct beliefs, desires, and fears.”
While Carlos did not suspect Lily, the two older men continued to follow her. Later on that team was replaced by two younger and not so smart men – Clem and Zeke. She ran into them literally, following the trail of the man who said he was Griselda’s son from an inn to a hostel to a strip joint. Walking to the last, Zeke and Clem confronted her and wanted the ring Griselda supposedly gave her. Well, now she knew what everyone was looking for. Zeke and Clem moved only to be hit by the old men in their huge old car, sending them to the hospital.
When Lily returns to her apartment above the shop, Oscar is waiting for her. She had helped him get a library card, and he was reveling in reading and watching movies. He seemed to think he had the mystery of the ring all figured out. Aunt Agatha had said … when Lily interrupted him to explain that her books had been fiction, made up, pretend. Lies, said Oscar. He began anew with a supposition that what about this guy “Hercules somethingorother who was on the Orient Express train and figured out a real humdinger of a mystery. Boy, that was a tough one. We could hire him.” Lily again explained that he was like Miss Marple, a made up person. Oscar’s jaw dropped when he realized they were all “falsehoods.” However, when Oscar asks if he can hire Sam Spade, a local boy, would Lily agree to that? She would.
Things actually did begin to come together even without Sam Spade. Everyone held a tiny piece of the story, and Lily actually figured out where the missing ring was. We’ll have Oscar tell you all about it…
Great series, fun listen, and without a doubt, Xe Sands has the greatest voice for this author. Her inflections and different character voices put you directly in the story. She is the best!
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