Reviewer: Connie Payne
Title: A Cast-Off Coven - 2nd in the Witchcraft Mystery series
Author: Juliet Blackwell
Release Date: June 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Paranormal Mystery
Year/Setting: Present day, San Francisco and Surrounding Area
Overall Rating: 4.25
Sexual Content Rating: None/Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None/Mild
Violent Content Rating: Moderate/Intense (Paranormal based)
Juliet's Website/Blog: www.julietblackwell.net
Lily Ivory has only been in the Bay area for a few short months. She loves her vintage clothing shop, Aunt Cora’s Closet. She’s making friends, slowly, something that is both a pleasure and unfamiliar to her. There’s even a man in the picture. Well, hopefully. If Max can come to terms with what she is. A witch.
Her formal training came to an end when she left home at the age of seventeen, so she doesn’t know the full extent of her powers. Hopefully they’ll be sufficient enough to get to the bottom of the inhuman goings on at the School of Fine Arts. She’s not adverse to confronting a lovelorn ghost if it means receiving a trunkful of vintage clothing in exchange, though ghost-busting is out of the range of her expertise.
What Lily gets is more than she bargained for. The dead body of a wealthy school patron, escalating paranormal activity, a century old mystery…and a possible demon that needs binding. Oh. Boy. Is she ever in over her head! How, if at all, are these things related?
Lily gets down to business. Questions are asked, secrets are revealed, clues are rummaged out, more questions surface, and plans are made to rid the school of the demon. Protective spells and charms won’t be enough. She’ll have to also believe in her powers and her friends; Sailor, a reluctant psychic, Bronwyn and her friendly, sweets-eating coven, and even Carlos, the detective on the murder case.
To me, Lily was quite loveable with her self-effacing demeanor and her willingness to fight for what’s right and help those in need. The supporting cast are an extraordinary group that balance and tip the scales in the right direction of good vs. evil. The pacing is steady and sure, the backdrop varied with enough detail to color the imagination.
As I told you in my review of Second-Hand Spirits, this particular subject matter is outside my comfort zone. And yet…I slowly found myself immersed in A Cast-Off Coven. It’s intense, creepy, and intriguing with a fine blend of charm, wit, and light-heartedness.
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