A Cast-Off Coven (A Witchcraft Mystery, #2)A Cast-Off Coven by Juliet Blackwell
My rating: 4 of 5 flames

This was such a fun book!

So 5 French nuns walk into a bar…no I’m kidding—they walked into an old convent in San Francisco. And they apparently stirred up something supernatural. This was in the early 1900s, before the Big Fire in San Francisco, and whatever those nuns did, it got buried in the rubble of the old convent. And when Lily is offered the chance to pick up some vintage clothing from the college, she jumps at it. But the closet it’s been housed in isn’t quite a closet. And what’s inside is more than just Victorian gowns.

Lily Ivory is a witch who has been in San Fran for less than a year, but in this second book in the Witchcraft Mystery series, Lily is once again up to her elbows in vintage clothing and ghosts.

Lily is such a fun character to “be” and I love the first person point of view-which is odd since I’m not a big fan of that. Her voice is easy and fun. She’s from Texas and her little sayings always crack me up. I like watching her learn to trust and to put down roots. This is the first time she’s ever been able to feel like herself and to have real friends.

But her vintage clothing shop seems to attract all kinds. She gets asked to check out the local art school and while she just doesn’t quite buy the fact that a ghost is causing any trouble for the students, she goes anyway. And she comes face-to-face with a murder scene. Lily has to figure out (on her own again) what’s haunting the school, what, if anything, the french nuns stirred up, and what is going on with this murder plot. With her trusty gargoyle/gnome/pig familiar, she tries to solve the latest supernatural mystery in her new city.

Getting absolutely no help from Aidan, the local head witch in San Francisco, she is once again left on her own to try to figure out who/what killed Jerry Becker. Aidan gives her cryptic clues and hints, but no actual help. We found out why, BUT I hate how he is supposed to be this uber-powerful and strong witch and he sends Lily out on her own in a strange city. She’s still new, and has no idea what she’s getting into. So Aidan tells her to find Sailor.

Sailor was my favorite character in the whole book. He’s a dark, broody kind of guy and I really REALLY hope he gets more page time in the next book Hexes and Hemlines. I love him and his motorcycle boots. I love his broody and dark personality. Oh I wish he could have been Lily’s boyfriend.

Max is an investigative reporter, if you remember from the first book. He and Lily are getting closer in this book, and while I like Max, he’s just not supportive of Lily being gifted. He won’t even talk about her witchcraft or her talents. He wants her to just “not” be a witch. Boo! But I do like him otherwise. I just think he’s not what she needs. Not that Aidan is what she needs, no matter how sexy he is. He is such an arrogant ass, I just can’t like him enough to be her lover.

The only things I didn’t like were just we keep getting random hints about how her mother was afraid of her and left her. About how her father studied with Aidan, but she still knows very little about either her father or Aidan. I’m just frustrated for Lily that everything is so cryptic and difficult. Everyone who is supposed to help her is really not at all helpful. I’m hoping we get to know a lot more about Lily in the next book which I can’t wait to read. But I have to wait til June.

So anyone who wants a witchy cozy mystery and a fun heroine, this series is for you!

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