Hexes and Hemlines, by Juliet Blackwell, Xe Sands, Narrator

Hexes and Hemlines
Witchcraft Mystery series, Book 3
by Juliet Blackwell
Narrator: Xe Sands
7 hours 21 minutes
Tantor Media

Author Juliet Blackwell Hexes and Hemlines: Witchcraft Mystery series, Book 3
Juliet Blackwell, Author

Narrator: Xe Sands
Xe Sands, Narrator

Xe Sands does an impressive job representing this series. I especially like the way she does the grainy voice of Oscar the pig. Sands, deftly brings out and expands Oscar's, self indulgent, and ornery personality. She gives just the right touch of reticence to Lily. Lily Ivory, our witch protagonist, is a bit insecure from being chased out of towns and heckled for being a witch,  unable to stay in one town long enough to develop and maintain friendships let alone romantic relations, is causing Lily, to waver between self confident to shy and unsure of herself. Sands, manages to deftly express all of Lily's quirky ways. I admire the way Xe Sands narrates without ever letting you out of the continuous flow of the story, and the beautiful way that Sands, expresses each individual person, animal or demon, with her own unique voice.

Book Review for Hexes and Hemlines

I am a big fan of Juliet Blackwell, her stories move along smoothly, capturing your unbroken attention without ever losing track of who's, who. Lily Ivory, had a hard time in her past when people discovered she was a real witch. Compelling her to move on to another town, and yet, another town, until she finally locates in San Francisco, and opens her own store, Aunt Cora's Closet, retailing previously loved clothing. She finds her niche in the city and is accepted because of the unusual variety of people who live there.

Haight Ashbury, famous for it's sixties hippie population, is still home to shop owners and residents with an unorthodox flair. Open minded and open armed, they take too Lily and her shop readily. Lily, finally feels at home, and is pleased to finally have some girly friendships, and some men that are interesting to her. At last a sense of belonging fills Lily with anticipation of future bonding and being able to find long term relationships.

Lily is asked by her quasi friend, S.F.P.D. Police Inspector Carlos Romero, to take a look at a crime scene that has blatant symbols of witchcraft attached to it, so bold that even Romero, can't miss the implications.
The victim, Malachi Zazi, is someone Lily knows. Zazi was a Serpentarium Society member, a society devoted to exposing superstitions. 

Romero knows Lily is a witch and he is willing to consult her about witchy things but when Lily presses him for items or more details, he seems to backtrack and wants to separate himself from the reality of her abilities. Lily goes to the murder scene and although it has all the markings of an occult related killing, she cannot detect any vibrations from the room or anything in it. Someone has mystically wiped it clean. Among the many symbolic items at the scene is a black cat and a small bird. Lilly tells the bird to leave and it flies out the window. As for the cat, Romero, finesses Lily to take the cat with her and find it a home. When her familiar, Oscar, the pig, sees the cat he is not happy at all. The ensuing conversation about the cat is hilarious, with the pig finally agreeing to take care of the cat and not harm it. 

Lily does not think she can be of much help to Romero until her mentor the male witch, Aiden Rhodes, forcefully advises her to not investigate it and to leave it alone. When she learns a close friend has a connection to Zazi her interest is fueled to delve further into the mysterious circumstances surrounding Zazi's murder. One by one members of the  Serpentarium Society are beset with tragic to very bad luck events that add up to big time clues for Lily. When her cherished friends are attacked with black magic Lily throws herself into solving the crimes, regardless of threats and warnings to back off.

All in all Hexes and Hemlines was a very exciting and fun book. Oscar the pig really has a star role with his disgruntled disposition and penchant for gluttony. We learn more about Lily and her friends in this book and her romantic relationships are given more detail and attention. Lily still is in dire need of a heartthrob that will love her just as she is. I would like to see her in a romantic liaison with Inspector Carlos Romero. That could lead to many interesting stories in future Witchcraft stories.

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