Sunday, January 08, 2017

Have You Heard? - Hexes and Hemlines by Juliet Blackwell

“Have You Heard?” is a column featured only on Lesa’s Book Critiques.  It features many reviews of audiobooks (fiction, with a concentration in mysteries) but these reviews will include recent and past books for an interesting mixture of titles. Content is usually written by Sandie Herron.  It also covers news of note and not generally available, such as ASAP publishing a limited edition for a certain author or perhaps something important out of Publisher’s Weekly.  The column is published sporadically, so you’ll want to watch for it!

***** Hexes and Hemlines
Witchcraft mystery series #3
Written by Juliet Blackwell; Narrated by Xe Sands
Unabridged Audiobook, Listening Length: 7 hours and 42 minutes
Publisher: Tantor Audio, Release Date: November 26, 2012

Lily Ivory gets called away from her vintage clothing shop, Aunt Cora's Closet, when police detective Romero decides a witch's take on a strange case would be very helpful. The police are working to solve the murder of Malachi Zozi, who was stabbed to death in his apartment.  It is the circumstances they find him in that brought Lily to Romero’s mind.  Zozi was found under a ladder, surrounded by the number thirteen, a broken mirror, a house painted black, and a black cat -- all superstitions that the victim, as head of a rationalist society, was devoted to discrediting.

When the police identify a suspect from the Serpentarian Society, Lily is shocked to learn it's someone she knows.  With bad luck plaguing all its members, Lily begins to wonder if there is more at work than mere coincidence. One of the young members of another coven dies, and the victim’s two boyfriends were overly distraught. They both were members of a men's drumming coven with meetings held in the woods among earth creatures and foliage. Lily tries to watch the meeting meant to bring the men solace from afar, but she is asked to leave.

One of Lily's dearest friends and co-worker, Bronwyn, is a Wiccan who asks Lily to help her son-in-law who is not quite a suspect but being investigated by the police department. Shortly after Bronwyn asks for help, she asks Lily to stop, since things look even worse.  Lily feels it is her duty as a San Franciscan to continue her efforts to help everyone in peril.

There was a lot more action, a lot more intrigue, in this, the third in Juliet Blackwell's Witchcraft series. I find myself wanting to describe the break-in to Aunt Cora's Closet; how helpful yet stubborn her Familiar Oscar is; and so much more, but I don't want to spoil the book which the reader is sure to enjoy listening to with the narration pulling the reader even deeper into the story.

In this book, I definitely see growth in Lily and other main characters plus many more secondary ones.  Narrator Xe Sands does an impressive job keeping up with the many subtle changes.  Juliet Blackwell leaves the book with a pronouncement on who will show up in the next book.  I'm so grateful I already have it here to read onward!


Kaye Barley said...

LOVE Juliet Blackwell!

Lesa said...

I do, too, Kaye.

Sandie Herron said...

She is an excellent writer. Plus the narrator of her books, Xe Sands, does a wonderful job bringing the story even further to life with her renditions. People not really familiar with audiobooks may not realize the great importance of the narrator. If the narrator stinks, then it seems as if the book stinks, too, until you are able to separate the performance from the material. And in reverse, a fabulous narrator brings a story to life.