Juliet Blackwell mixes reality and witchcraft beautifully in her Witchcraft mystery series featuring Lily Ivory. Now, in Tarnished and Torn, Lily confronts the father that abandoned her years earlier. But, Lily doesn't know if her powerful father is on the side of good or evil.
As a witch, Lily was shunned in her Texas hometown, so it's a treat to have a girls' day out and attend a Gem Faire at the COW Palace. However, Lily has some uneasy feelings as she walks through the show. One man makes her uncomfortable. She gets some funny vibes from Griselda, a woman selling jewelry. Something feels out of place. And, when fires erupt during the show, Lily's familiar, Oscar, shows up in his Vietnamese potbellied-pig form to warn her. He felt the threatening presence of demons. Even with all the uneasy feelings, it still came as a shock to Lily when she found Griselda dead, pressed to death as they used to torture witches.
Lily suspects that Griselda was trying to send her a message, but the few pieces of jewelry she picked up at Griselda's booth give her no clues. But, someone else suspects that Lily knows more than she does. San Francisco seems to have attracted some strong forces. That includes Lily's father, a powerful figure who clashed with her when she tracked him down as a teen. Lily just isn't sure if her father is there to oppose the uprising evil forces, or to help them.
Juliet Blackwell's Tarnished and Torn is fascinating, as much for Lily's story as for the witchcraft and demons. As a young girl, Lily was shunned in her hometown, deserted by her parents. And, her one meeting with her father did not end well. "Okay, I have a few father issues. Abandonment. Anger. Guilt. Fear." As Lily struggles to help a couple young women, she envies their relationships with their mothers. The story is as much about Lily's attempt to build a community for herself, and then her efforts to protect that community, as it is about witches and demons. Good vs. evil is a powerful element of Tarnished and Torn.At the same time, Blackwell's latest mystery sparkles with Lily's life, the humor of Oscar, and a little romance. In other words, the book sparkles with Blackwell's outstanding storytelling skills.
Juliet Blackwell's website is www.julietblackwell.net
Tarnished and Torn by Juliet Blackwell. Obsidian. 2013. ISBN 9780451240095 (paperback), 325p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.