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Publisher's Summary

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

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Outstanding!

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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Teresa
  • NAMPA, ID, United States
  • 05-21-14

Lily Ivory is saving San Francisco again.

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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LOVE this series

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE this series except that this story seemed a bit all over the place. our main character was not real enough. She needs to get mad, speak up! Some character were mentioned that opens the door for deep story lines and good old fashioned creepy history. Lilly's father and grand mother Ann's maybe her Mother could grow a little. let's dig into some past "why people are the way they are" kinda stuff!

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It’s a good thing I used to live in SF!

It was interesting recognizing the areas where parts of this story took place. Otherwise I think I would have been thoroughly confused. But the story was good and very exciting. Again I couldn’t differentiate between Oscar and all the other males most of the time. The narrator really shouldn’t try to read words she doesn’t know.

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Good story, but the cover designers need to look up what a Vietnamese Potbelly Pig looks like!

The story scheme is similar to the previous story lines. Adding a bit more to Lily's mysterious past. Enjoyable.

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  • Col
  • fayetteville, GA, United States
  • 03-14-16

excellent and entertaining!

enthralling plot development with rapid pace excitement. Good character development! loved all the characters. Oscar the pig/gobgoyal was a hoot.

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Each Witchcraft Mystery book keeps getting better

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.

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Excellent read

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.

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Listened to one, listened to them all

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.

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Really enjoyed this book!

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.