16 June 2011

Just finished reading...

Hexes and Hemlines by Juliet Blackwell.*

SFPD Inspector Carlos Romero asks witch Lily Ivory to look at an unusual murder scene on the thirteenth floor of an apartment building. Lily sees several symbols of bad luck: a ladder in front of the door, a broken mirror, a black cat, and an open umbrella. The victim is Malachi Zazi, son of the infamously eccentric "Prince High" Zazi, a self-professed Satanist.

Malachi's doctrine was Rationalism, and to prove it, he started a group called the Serpentarians. The group had thirteen members, who would meet on the thirteenth of the month. Ironically, it's at one of these meetings that Malachi is killed.

Although Lily is at first ambivalent about helping Romero, her curiosity is piqued when her "instructor" Aidan orders her not to get involved.

Lily's investigations of other occult traditions during the course of her investigations, including voodoo and gypsy magic make it obvious that Juliet Blackwell's research has been thorough.

There is definitely a spooky "woo-woo" element in this book, and though I'm not a fan of being scared, the writing and the story were so magnetic that I couldn't put it down.

Lily is a complex and appealing protagonist, and I look forward to seeing more of her.

*FTC Full Disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher, who sent me a copy of the book for review purposes.

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