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A Cast-Off Coven (A Witchcraft Mystery #2)

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  4,856 Ratings  ·  319 Reviews
Students are spooked at the San Francisco School of Fine Arts, and Lily is called in to search for possible paranormal activity. In return she's been promised a trunkful of Victorian-era clothes recently discovered in a school storage closet.

But Lily finds something else: the body of a wealthy patron of the school. In between running the store and seeing her new boyfriend,
Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by NAL (first published 2010)
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Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria LaurieSecondhand Spirits by Juliet BlackwellThe Trouble With Magic by Madelyn AltWhat's a Ghoul to Do? by Victoria LaurieIt Takes a Witch by Heather Blake
Paranormal Cozy Mysteries
8th out of 289 books — 342 voters
Secondhand Spirits by Juliet BlackwellThe Trouble With Magic by Madelyn AltA Cast-Off Coven by Juliet BlackwellIt Takes a Witch by Heather BlakeHexes and Hemlines by Juliet Blackwell
Witchy Mysteries
3rd out of 93 books — 134 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Laura the Highland Hussy
Aug 14, 2012 Laura the Highland Hussy rated it really liked it
Review posted at Demon Lover's Books & More

This was such a fun book!

So 5 French nuns walk into a 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 bee
Oct 26, 2010 Katyana rated it really liked it
I liked this one better than the first. Now that the basics of the world are established, the author got to dig in and tell a really fun story.

I felt like the plot in this one was much more gripping. I was pretty into the details of the demon story as it unfolded, and I was largely kept guessing on the details (not ALL the details - I felt like Lily was a little slow to grasp a couple of things, but it was all good by the end).

I also really enjoyed seeing Lily become more connected to the world
Lynsey   • The Demon Librarian
Another enjoyable paranormal mystery from Juliet Blackwell.

This, for me, was on a par with the first book in the series, Secondhand Spirits. Our resident witch and vintage clothing expert this time takes on a suspected haunting at the Art Department of the local college. Strange noises and occurrences have the student body completely freaked out, and Lily Ivory, known for being knowledgeable about "those sorts of things" is called in to help.

There were a lot of new characters introduced that
Dec 20, 2012 Rosalie rated it really liked it
Shelves: keepers
Loved it! Sigh! Cosy mysteries (shaking her head). A good series drags you in and there you are, totally hooked. Luckily I don't have to hang around waiting for the next one (she says smugly, knowing there are more on the shelves).
I like the colourful array of characters, and Lily herself. I'm looking forward to learning more of her and I think that the choice she has made in men is excellent, despite the varied and assorted types she has around her. There is plenty of scope to flesh out the re
Oct 28, 2010 Chibineko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After having eagerly devoured the first book in this series (Secondhand Spirits), I couldn't wait to see what the second volume of this series would bring. Just like in my review for the first volume, I have to warn all readers who may not be aware of what they're getting into. This is not a mystery. Yes, crimes & murders do occur, but this series is very much an urban fantasy with a touch of mystery in it. It very much deserves to be placed in the UF category, especially since this author ...more
Jessica (a GREAT read)
Juliet Blackwell's second book in the Witchcraft Mysteries, A Cast-Off Coven, was an incredible followup to Secondhand Spirits. It's amazing how readily addicted I became to this series. I remembered hearing about it at RT this year, but when I finally made my way to the beginning of the alphabet at the mass signing, her book was already sold out!

The series has a nice blend of the supernatural intertwined with the mystery and they're evenly balanced and well paced with a good dash of suspense. O
Michelle Randall
If you have read any of my previous reviews, you might already have figured out that Juliet Blackwell is one of my favorite authors. Not only do I love her books, but I think she is a pretty cool person too, as I follow her on Facebook and hear about the new books as she is writing and they are published. It is alot of fun to be able to keep up with your favorite authors!

This is the Vintage clothing, witch series and this particular book happens to be the second in the series, with the book Seco
As the second book in this great 'paranormal cozy mystery' series it was different to the first in that this was very much a murder mystery...along with a ghost haunting the site.

I really like this authors writing style as Lily Ivory is interesting and I even feel for her when her past is mentioned and how she was shunned while growing up. I also feel excited for her when she realizes that she has made friends, something she has not had in her life before.

The mystery in this book is once again
Nov 29, 2011 Jadaloves rated it really liked it
I really hit pay dirt with this lovely little series by Juliet Blackwell. I was once again drawn into Lily’s world and couldn’t put the book down once I’d started. When Lily gets reports from the students of the School of Fine Arts, she is enticed into investigating the strange noises in exchange for some vintage clothing that was found in an old storage closet. But when Lily checks it out, she doesn’t count on finding the dead body of a school benefactor, or the sinister presence lurking in the ...more
Sep 29, 2014 MissSusie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was another good addition to this series. The San Francisco School of Fine Arts has had some paranormal activity going on so Lily agrees to help in return for some vintage clothes. But there is more in this closet of clothes than she bargained for. Plus she stumbles across a dead body and everyone thinks “the ghost” killed the man but Lily senses something different something demonic and everyone at the school seems to be on edge and aggravated at each other. At one time the school was a ...more
This is the second book in Ms. Blackwell's Witchcraft Mystery series, and I feel the plot in this story was better developed than in the first one. Although the first story was based on a well-known legend in the Southwest, it seemed to somehow get short shrift in the general mechanics of telling the witchy tale. With this story much more emphasis was on Lily Ivory and what she was doing to get things done that had to be done.

Lily is a born witch who has had a very difficult childhood, only lea
Annie Slasher (Booked & Loaded)
This is an original review from I personally purchased this title via All opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way.

A Cast-Off Coven is Juliet Blackwell’s second installment in A Witchcraft Mystery series. You can check out the review for the fist book – Secondhand Spirits here.

A Cast-Off Coven was an enjoyable story. With high mystery elements and great characters the audiobook flowed nicely. Juliet Blackwell does a great job executing her s
Josianne Fitzgerald
Dec 15, 2014 Josianne Fitzgerald rated it really liked it
Yup, another favorite mystery author. That this particular mystery series features an informed and respectful approach to witchcraft, a strong female protagonist and does not force me to witness anyone else's sex life just makes it the perfect cure for the cold that has me housebound.

Lily Ivory has recently moved to San Francisco to open a vintage clothes shop. She's spent most of her adult life looking for a place to call home, after being run out of town as a teenager. A parrot in a bar in Ho
Jul 21, 2013 Courtney rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013-book-150
I saw another book in this series recommended on Facebook. Since I hate starting a series in the middle, I picked up the earliest book I could find, which was the second. I am underwhelmed.

Maybe this was addressed in the first book, but why is Lily so enamored of vintage clothing and doo-dahs that she decided to make a living through them? There's lots of info-dumping, but no sense that she enjoys the feel of the fabrics, the colors, the styles. it also leads to the word 'vintage' appearing seve
Jul 11, 2016 Sherry rated it really liked it
I'm becoming a fan of Ms. Blackwell. This is the second book on the Witchcraft Mystery series having to do with our resident witch/empath Lily and her vintage clothing shop, Cora's Closet. And this book is much better than the first, the action is brisk and the story is more involved. You have Lily, a serious weirdo psychic named Sailor, an elusive and powerful male witch named Aiden, a would-be boyfriend/journalist/skeptic named Max, 5 French nuns now dead and ghostly, a demon and a pig. Well, ...more
Aug 05, 2012 Kristen rated it really liked it
I am enjoying this series, which combines mystery, magic, and fashion in a well-mixed potion.

San Francisco vintage clothing store owner Lily Ivory is offered a deal by the old and famous San Francisco Art School: come and see if she can do something about the "ghosts" that seem to be haunting the place and scaring the students, and in return she can have a room full of vintage clothes found in an unused room.

While touring the school to see what's going on, Lily and several school folks come acro
Jan 22, 2011 Kate rated it liked it
This book had a much stronger witchcraft presence than I was expecting- I thought it would be similar to Madelyn Alt's mysteries, but the paranormal element was actually much more present. The book deals with exorcising demons, practicing witchcraft (in a way that isn't silly and woo woo like in many other books), reading people's auras, creepy warlocks, etc. At times it was a little scary and made me want to check under the bed for the "night mares" that visit the main character at night, but ...more
Feb 13, 2011 Barbara rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book. I'm still struggling, however, with the concept that the heroine is supposedly a very powerful witch (a few other characters in the book comment on how powerful she is), but she herself says she only has certain talents in witchcraft and she often doubts herself. However, it is probably the self-doubt that gets in her way. Also, the lack of her training in witchcraft - she left her training early in her teens, due to what a guess you would call social pressures - not ...more
Fantasy Literature
Nov 12, 2013 Fantasy Literature rated it liked it
3.5 stars

A Cast-Off Coven is the second book in Juliet Blackwell’s WITCHCRAFT MYSTERY series. In the first book, Secondhand Spirits, we met Lily Ivory, a witch who recently moved to San Francisco after being run out of her hometown in Texas (we don’t know why yet). She has an affinity for old clothes — she can feel the previous owner’s past emotions in them — so she opened a vintage clothing store which is becoming successful because she has a talent for pairing her customers with the exactly th
Sandra Strange
Another set of clean, yet romantic, mysteries starring a strong female protagonist, with information and supernatural thrown in. The "detective" of the series is a witch, of all things, who owns a vintage clothing store in San Francisco (on Haight and Ashbury street corner of hippie fame). The mysteries are intriguing: you will learn all about those who deal in the supernatural, from witches, Wiccan followers, voodoo masters, gypsy practitioners, and even Satan worshipers, but in the context of ...more
Jul 25, 2010 Gail rated it really liked it
Sometimes a good gimmick mystery with good characters are great in the first outing and then fizzle in subsequent books. This one still sizzles with an interesting heroine with an intriguing past. Lily Ivory is a natural witch who has settled in San Francisco. She has a vintage clothing store. The search for items to stock her store often lead her to situations of magic, mystery, and danger.

Lily is asked to investigate a ghost at an art school in a former convent; in return she's been given a tr
Oct 14, 2012 Anna rated it really liked it
An entertaining, lighthearted series. It could be better written than it is (my eyes kept rolling each time a search engine pulled up fabulously specific results from broad inquiries on the first go, or flicking through a book detailing thousands of demons pulled out the right one on the second try, or... Oh well, I read this to relax so I tried to turn off my inner nit picker & just enjoy the good things the book does have to offer) but it is good fluff, full of engaging characters. In this ...more
Actual Rating: 2.5 Stars

Probably not going to continue this series anytime soon. I'm just not getting into it. The book was entertaining at some points, but for the most part was a bit draggy. If I DO return to this series, I won't be continuing with the audio books--Xe Sands does a fairly great job of narrating her female voices, but the male voices were almost to the point of distracting.
Dec 19, 2015 Shelley rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2015
These books are pretty fun, but I have a few questions. Like: Doesn't anyone think it's weird that Lily only feeds her pet pig stuff like grilled cheese sandwiches and leftover Chinese food? Doesn't Bronwyn mind always being left in charge of the store when she just wanted to sell herbs part-time? And most importantly, Lily used magic to get such a huge and perfect stock of vintage clothes for her store, right?
Tofu Fairy
Sep 25, 2013 Tofu Fairy rated it it was amazing
Just loving this series so much! This 2nd book was just as good and involved as the 1st book! I really did not know who did what until the last 11 pages! Very cool! As in the first one it is very well written and researched for the genre. I love how the author does not succumb to too many stereotypes or tries to deflate them via her character's response to them. Fast read again. A couple of gasp-worthy moments in this one too! Highly recommend to any fan of the genre!
Feb 18, 2012 Amy rated it liked it
Although I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the first in the series, I did enjoy the read! Lily is growing on me and I am finding myself liking her more and more as I read. I am enjoying seeing her relationship with Max deepen. I like how she seems to really be coming into her own as she settles down in San Francisco. I look forward to continuing with the series!
Mar 06, 2015 Karen rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, fiction, wiccan
A born witch from Texas, moved to San Francisco, opens a used clothing shop and finds herself deeper in her craft than she had imagined.
She has a familiar who appears as a pot-bellied pig to anyone but her.
She has a number of new friends, some of which are also witches, albeit not as powerful or knowledgeable.

Light reading
Mild romance
Jun 20, 2015 Andree rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
I think I liked this one better than the first one.

However, one complaint, I genuinely find every male character who has been introduced in this series better than the apparent love interest. It's a bit of a downer.
Daryl Gerber
Sep 07, 2011 Daryl Gerber rated it it was amazing
Fun cast of characters, a good plot, a terrific setting in San Francisco. Love the clothing store, too.
Dec 31, 2012 3sm3 rated it it was amazing
I don't know if I'm easy to please when it comes to cozy mysteries, but I'm finding this series really satisfying. And the reader of the audiobook continues to be fantastic.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: A Cast of Coven - 15th June Book 1 2 Jun 26, 2013 11:24AM  
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Juliet Blackwell (aka Julie Goodson-Lawes, aka Hailey Lind) started out life in Palo Alto, California, born of a Texan mother and a Yankee father. The family soon moved to what were, at the time, the sticks of Cupertino, an hour south of San Francisco. Walking to and from kindergarten every day she would indulge in her earliest larcenous activity: stealing walnuts and apricots from surrounding ...more
More about Juliet Blackwell...

Other Books in the Series

A Witchcraft Mystery (8 books)
  • Secondhand Spirits (A Witchcraft Mystery, #1)
  • Hexes and Hemlines (A Witchcraft Mystery, #3)
  • In a Witch's Wardrobe (A Witchcraft Mystery, #4)
  • Tarnished And Torn (A Witchcraft Mystery, #5)
  • A Vision in Velvet (A Witchcraft Mystery, #6)
  • Spellcasting in Silk (A Witchcraft Mystery, #7)
  • A Toxic Trousseau (A Witchcraft Mystery #8)

Share This Book

“Oh. Too bad. Well, all's quiet so far. There was a heckuva lot goin' on last night, though. Think it might be one o' them poultry heists."
"Poultry heist? Someone's stealing chickens?" I asked.
Maya nudged me. "He means poltergeists.”
“You're going to the ball?" Luc asked. "Need an escort?"
"I appreciate the offer, but I hear it's all the rage to go stag."
He raised his eyebrows.
"Besides, I think your brother might take it amiss."
"I thought you two were... taking a break?"
"I'd like to wait and see. He's only gone for a couple of weeks."
"I'll take you," Aidan interrupted again. "I was planning on going, myself."
"Dude, I'll take you," echoed Conrad from his seat at the counter.
"Thanks guys." I had to smile. This for a witch who was quite literally banned from any and all high school dances. "But, really, I sort of like the idea of going solo."
Just then we all looked around as the bell on the front door tinkled again, this time announcing the arrival of Inspector Carlos Romero.
"Blessed goddess!" Bronwyn exclaimed, throwing up her hands. "Don't tell me you're here to ask Lily out as well? I'm beginning to feel like a dueña."
"No," Carlos said, looking puzzled.”
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