Spellcasting in Silk
A Witchcraft Mystery, Book #7
By Juliet Blackwell
Author’s website: www.julietblackwell.net
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
Lily would like nothing better than to relax, enjoy her friends, and take care of business at her store, which is booming thanks to San Francisco’s upcoming Summer of Love Festival. But as the unofficial witchy consultant to the SFPD, she is pulled into yet another case.
A woman has jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, and her apparent suicide may be connected to a suspicious botanica in the Mission District. When the police investigate the shop, they ask Lily to look into its mysterious owner, whose granddaughter also appears to be missing. As Lily searches for the truth, she finds herself confronted with a confounding mystery and some very powerful magic…
Spellcasting in Silk, the seventh book in the enchanting Witchcraft Mystery series, is a highly entertaining entry in a series that I thing just gets better and better with each book. I am obviously under its spell.
Lily is a somewhat recent transplant from Texas to San Francisco, and she is feeling less like an outcast and settling in to her new life there. Her vintage clothing store is doing well, she has recently completed her GED, and she has new friends and a boyfriend to boot. Because she is gaining renown as a powerful natural born witch, she has managed becoming the San Francisco Police Department’s unofficial consultant on all things unusual. Thus, she is not surprised when Detective Carlos Romero requests her input on the suicide of a patron of a local botanica (cure shop). Nicky Utley’s death was unexpected, and strange things are happening at Ursula Moreno’s shop since she was arrested on suspicion of murder. At the same time, Lily and her assistant Maya go to the home of recently deceased Betty to go through her clothing before the estate sale takes place. There she finds a poppet and begins to wonder if Betty’s death was due to age and failing health or if someone had reason to hasten her demise.
Lily soon discovers that there are no coincidences in her world. The more she looks into Ursula and Nicky, the more connections to Betty she finds. Ursula’s granddaughter is missing, and Lily sets out to find the adolescent, who seems to have powers of her own and is followed by chaos, before anything bad happens to her. Meanwhile, she has to deal with some personal issues of her own. She is jealous of the time her boyfriend Sailor is spending with his “cousin” Patience, who happens to be gorgeous, in his efforts to regain his psychic abilities. She is also trying her best to avoid Aidan Rose, the powerful “godfather” of the witch community. She puts herself in danger in her quest to find answers. I do not want to elaborate and ruin the mystery for those who have yet to read the book.
I liked Spellcasting in Silk. Lily really seems to be embracing her uniqueness. She and the supporting characters are well developed and feel genuine, even with some of their paranormal abilities. Lilly has her own insecurities, like we all do, that she is working through, and I appreciate her flaws. I find Sailor and Aiden to still be mysterious, and I do hope they reveal more about themselves in the future. I absolutely love Oscar – what can be more fun than a goblin/gargoyle familiar who masquerades as a miniature Vietnamese pot bellied pig? Blackwell does an excellent job of mixing the world of witches with the “real” world. San Francisco is the perfect setting, a place that accepts and embraces witchiness. I also really appreciated that the police ask for Lily’s help. In so many cozy mysteries that I read, and definitely enjoy, the amateur sleuth goes behind the police’s back or disregards their directive to stay out of the investigation. It is refreshing that Lily does not have to covertly probe.
I was taken completely by surprise when the murderer was revealed. I did not see it coming at all, and I missed all of the clues pointing to the perpetrator. I read a great many mysteries, and I rarely find myself in this situation.
I found Spellcasting in Silk to be great fun, full of twisty connections that made the plot interesting and move forward. The addition of the paranormal makes it that much more enjoyable. I recommend this to fans of paranormal mysteries and those who enjoy quirky characters and unpredictable situations.