I really liked this book a lot. Any of my friends know I’m not much for a book without romance being the key factor. I am a changed woman! At least for this book. It is book one in the Witchcraft Mystery series and it was great!
Our heroine is Lily Ivory. She is an incredibly powerful natural born witch who has moved around a lot in life, never really wanting to settle down. But San Francisco changed her mind, and she opened up a vintage clothing shop. In fact, the tagline on the cover is Love the vintage, not the ghosts. Lily has only been open about 6 weeks when a super sexy guy walks in and the bell above her door doesn’t chime as he walks beneath it. Hmm…
Aidan Rhodes is a male witch who wants Lily to, well he just wants Lily, we’re not really sure what it is he wants. We know he worked with her father, who it was implied went over to the dark side, so that’s not exactly a point in Aidan’s favor. We know he is powerful. And he left Lily with a familiar. What is her new familiar? not a cat, not a dog, but a…Gargoyle!!! (well, he’s a gnome, but he looks like a gargoyle). It was a cute little interchange when Aidan left the little guy with her. Lily named him Oscar after Oscar the Grouch…he can turn into a pig when he wants so he can be with Lily in her shop. And of course everyone loves Oscar, and he just loves the ladies.
Now in the first few pages, we’ve met Aidan, male witch, Oscar, new familiar, and as Lily goes to an old Victorian mansion to scope out some old lady’s clothes for her shop, we meet Frances (the owner of the clothes) and we hear La Llorena.
La Llorena is a demon-According to the legend, the ‘weeping woman’ was abandoned by her children’s father, and “the anguished mother took her children down to the water and drowned them one by one, finally flinging herself in to join them in their watery grave.” And now she wails for her lost babies and lures other children to their deaths.
So while in Frances’ basement, looking over vintage clothing, both Frances and Lily hear La Llorena wailing. Frances being able to hear her means she is now marked for death. Thus begins the mystery, because right after they hear her, a neighborhood girl goes missing.
Our next big character is Max. Where Aidan is described as just plain beautiful, Max is likened to a “battle-weary medieval knight who had just removed his armor.” He comes into the shop looking for some herbs to help him in his quest to see a ghost…but Lily recognizes the name of his tour guide, and tells him not to go with the guy-he’s a fraud. Surprisingly Max knows that-Max is planning on busting the guy. But when Lily hears they are going out into the bay for their ghost hunting expedition, she pleads with Max not to go. But how do you convince a man you just met that there’s a demon in the water? Meanwhile Lily wants to get the missing neighborhood girl back from La Llorena, but she needs Aidan’s help, and the help of all of her new friends.
This book has the beginnings of a great love-triangle, some quirky characters from Oscar the pig/gargoyle, to Bronwyn who’s part of the local coven, to the neighboring merchant Sandra (who I soo thought was the villain of the piece), and to Frances herself not being what she seems.
A fun mystery with an Urban Fantasy feel, and a character who sounds like someone I’d like to know, a solid 4 star book for any paranormal mystery/UF lover.