Thursday, February 7, 2013

Title:      Hexes and Hemlines [A Witchcraft Mystery, book 3]
Author:  Juliet Blackwell
Rating:  ★★★★ 1/2

Lily Ivory sure is growing on me.

In the third book in Juliet Blackwell's A Witchcraft Mystery series, we see the plot take a darker turn. While the series is somber, it is a mystery book after all, I felt like the plot was more serious this time. This focused more on the murder, witchcraft, and hexes. Moreover, while it did touch Lily's love life, or the lack of it, this was not a major issue as much as it was in the previous two books, Secondhand Spirits and A Cast-Off Coven.

With her vintage clothing store taking off, Lily Ivory is finding that life in San Francisco suits her just fine. But her ability to sense vibrations from the past, so useful in locating secondhand gems, has landed her in the middle of a new mystery...

Lily gets called away from Aunt Cora's Closet when the police need a witch's take on a strange case. Malachi Zazi was stabbed to death in his apartment, under a ladder, surrounded by the number thirteen, a broken mirror, and a black cat—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. But with bad luck plaguing all its members, she begins to wonder if there's more at work than mere coincidence. And while there aren't many clues from the crime scene, Lily finds evidence of dark witchcraft and a hex on her friend's doorstep. With her friend's safety at stake, Lily is determined to use magic to find the murderer before everyone's luck runs out...


Book three, Hexes and Hemlines, had a lot of surprises in store for the reader. As I mentioned in my reviews of the previous two books, I wish that more info about Lily and the other characters were known, and that Oscar be revealed for what he is exactly. Well, dear readers, I got my wish! There was no complete unraveling of their story, mind you, but Juliet Blackwell included bits and pieces about Lily that just kept me wanting more and more (proof: I immediately started on the next book, In a Witch's Wardrobe, a few hours after finishing Hexes and Hemlines).

The plot takes a darker turn, with more what I consider serious hexes and practice of witchcraft. Magic is done with evil intent, and from the start of the book itself, there are already a lot of bad luck flying around. Lily herself gets cursed, but thankfully she meets someone (I won't tell you who because it's part of the surprise!) who tells her thus, so she was able to lift it off in time to save herself and find justice for the murder.

Am I the only one who finds Detective Carlos really cute? Not cute physically, but more of his character. He seems truly nice, and he's more open-minded and accepting of Lily. Got to accept the fact that not everyone is accepting of witchcraft, even in the 21st century. There was a line mentioned in the book that Lily thinks he'd be cute together with Maya. Oh, I am so hoping for this! I think love-isn't-real Maya would find someone to make her happy.

Lily's friendships takes a beating this round. The message was clear: She is still not truly part of them. Sure, she found awesome friends but she's still not part of some circles. I'm glad Sailor is there with her, although reluctantly. Speaking of, I am so glad that the idea of a romantic relationship between Sailor and Lily has been nipped in the bud. At least I think so, with both Sailor and Lily agreeing that they are not each other's type, although Lily feels connected to Sailor for some reason. I sure hope they will truly be friends, instead of this reluctant attitude of Sailor, though I don't blame him.

The best part of the book, in my opinion, is the progression of Lily's relationship with Aidan. Not romantically though. I don't know what exactly to call it, but a part of Aidan's real facade was stripped away, showing him almost vulnerable to Lily. He's really sounding to be a pretty nice guy. I hope this isn't just a joke and he'll be portrayed as real mean in the next book. I'm not sure if you've suspected this "truth" from the previous two books. I had my suspicions but he was just so charming, I didn't give it a second thought.

Finally, Oscar's true nature has been described and clarified. He has a pretty weird background, but it just endeared him more to me. Furthermore, I think he favors Lily more now than he does Aidan, as Sailor states that "another" has not been very reliable in terms of Lily's whereabouts. I like that, seeing as Oscar is Lily's familiar.

One thing that I noticed in this book is that the series is not a continuous story. There are some skips in time. For example, Max was said to be out-of-town doing some self-searching and on assignment. That was not stated in the last book. Also, while the concept of Lily training under Aidan was said in the second book, it was not established that she did see Aidan. But in this book, it was stated that she has been going there for quite some time. Lastly, Maya was suddenly revealed to be skeptical of love, but this was not brought up in the previous two books. Although these did not majorly affect the story, they did take me by surprise. In a good way.

Another thing that I like about Hexes and Hemline is the gorgeous cover! It's very attractive, and the colors lure the eye in. It seems like the book is fun and intriguing and made me want to pick up the book stat. Good job on this one.

I give this 4.5 stars because while I did enjoy the book, I didn't find myself raving about it afterwards. Go grab a copy if you're looking for a witchy book with a hint of romance and a real mystery. It's a treat.

This is my third book for the 2013 Witches and Witchcraft Challenge. Two more books and I'm going to graduate from Crone status. I have to be on the lookout for another fun witchy book after I finish the fourth book, as the fifth book in the series will be out on July. The bad news is I have read so many witchy books last year! I might have to reread my favorites. Oooh Harry Potter? ;) If you're doing this challenge as well, don't forget to link up your review/s in the February list. :)

In a completely unrelated note, today I found out that the classic Snake games from the old Nokia phones are available in Android! I found myself eagerly tap-tapping the screen. So addicting. I just found it so funny that I discovered these games right after I read with a snake theme. The best part of all is that they're free! You can grab the games via the Play Store: Snake '97 and Snake 2k. Enjoy! :D

Ciao! Happy musings :)


  1. Plot holes eh. At least it wasn't that bad. The cover is so gorgeous, reminds me of that Facwbook game Cafe something

    1. A little, but I still enjoyed it. Thanks for dropping by.

      I do like the covers! Better than the previous ones. :)


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