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Secondhand Spirits

(A Witchcraft Mystery #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  9,019 ratings  ·  852 reviews
Lily Ivory is not your average witch. Her spell-casting powers tend to draw mischievous spirits while keeping normal humans at a distance. But now her vintage clothing store could give her a chance to make friends in San Francisco....

Lily hopes for a normal life when she opens Aunt Cora's Closet. With her magical knack for vintage fashion -she can sense vibrations of the p
Paperback, 313 pages
Published July 7th 2009 by Berkley Books (first published May 2009)
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Donna I haven't read Dirty Job, but they don't sound similar at all to me other than that they both involve the supernatural. This book is about a witch,…moreI haven't read Dirty Job, but they don't sound similar at all to me other than that they both involve the supernatural. This book is about a witch, not a grim reaper (and even if that wasn't the case, Dirty Job was hardly the first "new grim reaper" story).(less)

Community Reviews

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3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,019 ratings  ·  852 reviews

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Agnes Ross
Feb 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Now this is my kind of a paranormal novel!! "Real" people in the real world, dealing with psychic, extrasensory or paranormal abilities and entities. I intend to read more of this author!
Laura the Highland Hussy
Jul 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Review posted on Got Fiction?

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 t
Paige  Bookdragon


Puh-lease. If you have demons, evil spirits who drags anyone into the water and creepy houses, that means the book is not "cozy". If the heroine is a teenager, this would have been a YA thriller.

It's not a bad book though. It's fun and totally easy to read. Just don't expect this to be a cozy read because you'll be disappointed.
Dec 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-series, 2011
The Five W's of the Cozy Mystery Review

Who is the protagonist?
Lily Ivory, practicing witch and shopkeeper of "Aunt Cora's Closet", a vintage clothing store

What is the premise of the story?
Children have been disappearing, and the dreaded "La Llorona" might be to blame

Where does the story take place?
The San Francisco Bay area

When does the story take place?
present day

Why does the protagonist become involved?
Can't tell...might give too much away!

Cozies are ridiculous, but totally fun, especially if
Xe Sands
Dec 31, 2011 added it
Shelves: project-reads
Currently reading in prep for recording - what a delightful little series!
Aira Karina
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
i'm pretty lucky with my books choices lately. and this book was just perfect for a light reading.
basically, anything with, murder, female leads, and everything about magic are my auto buy.

The story started when Lily Ivory moves to a new town in San Fransisco because of some sign from a parrot. Yep, a parrot. Lily is a witch, and she was determined to make some new friend in her new town. To get her life together, she opens a vintage store called "Aunt Cora Closet". Everything seem pretty good
Lynsey   (A Bookish Life)
Cute paranormal mystery.

I enjoyed this. I listened to it as an audiobook and it's narrated by Xe Sands who has the most wonderful, easy-to-listen-to voice.

The story introduces us to Lily Ivory. A twenty-something witch and vintage clothing expert and store owner. Funnily enough, I actually have a bit of a thing for vintage clothing and period costumery myself. There's this wonderful Facebook page I follow called Au fil des passions to get my daily fix. It has photos of dresses, accessories an
Jan 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don't know why I love these short little reads from authors most folks have never heard of, but I absolutely adore them! This one is a fun, quick read about a vintage clothing store owner, Lily Ivory, who has certain, shall we say, 'gifts' when it comes to her merchandise. She senses the emotions and memories within the items, good or bad, that she finds for her clothing store. She runs the store with her aunt and meets quite a few very unique people along the way in this first in a series by Ju ...more
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book and can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the series.
Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Secondhand Spirits is the first in the Witchcraft Mysteries series by Juliet Blackwell. The series centers on Lily Ivory, a natural witch who has traveled the world looking for a place to belong, and finds it in the eccentric Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco. She owns a vintage clothing shop, and her magical abilities help her in her business by allowing her to sense something of the history of a garment and thereby match it with the right customer. In Secondhand Spirits, Lily purcha ...more
May 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jennifer by:
Shelves: mystery-cozy
Secondhand Spirits is the start of a great new mystery series. Lily Ivory is a real, live, magical-power having witch. I love that her actions aren't encumbered by karmic fears. She has no qualms about using her abilities to secure prime parking sports and other frivolous, yet harmless, perks. She lives by her own moral compass and does not relate her hereditary witchiness to any religious belief system. She acquires a goblin-like familiar that pretends to be an innocent pet pig allowing him the ...more
Sher Free
Jul 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I just discovered these types of cozy, paranormal mysteries, and I have to say I am ready for more. Secondhand Spirits is light and breezy fun with a bit of darkness for some edge. For me witches can always add to the recipe for a good time; throw in some vintage fashion, a cool San Francisco Haight-Ashbury setting, a haunted house, a gargoyle that can morph into a pot-belly pig, herbs, spells, and demons and ... well, what more can you want. And there are NO vampires, a huge plus as far as I'm ...more
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
If I could pick a supernatural being to be it will always be a witch, And some people in my life might say I'm almost there.....
How could I not like Lilly she is a witch who loves fashion... this is from what I can tell, a good start to a series that probably gets better and better and better.... this first book definitely had all the things I truly enjoy about a good series, and that is amazing characters, I can just see all these characters growing on me, even though I believe there might be a
A Wondrous Bookshelf
This book was definitely a pleasant surprise. I decided to read it because of the cute cover and ended up finding a great plot and well-developed characters. This was a fun, fast-paced paranormal/cozy mystery.
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fun, interesting magic, less cozy mystery and more non-gritty urban fantasy though.
Oct 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I'm writing this up just after writing up another UF book, A Modern Witch , and the two of them have become rather linked in my mind. (Whether the connection will make sense to anyone else or not is another matter.) By all normal standards, I'd have to say Secondhand Spirits is a "better" book, but I liked it much less. I was a bit disappointed with my own lack of love, both because it's always nice agreeing with friends' take on books, and because there was a lot to like in Secondhand Spirits. ...more
Oct 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With so many different books crossing multiple genres, most are a bit hard to place in one specific genre, which is one of the things about this book. It's not really that much of a mystery, at least not in the traditional sense. There aren't very many "whodunit" parts to the book & while there is a mystery, much of the book is spent talking about clothes, the past & mystical creatures. Not that that's a bad thing, mind you.

The story follows Lily, a natural born witch who has fled her na
Michelle Randall
I discovered author Juliet Blackwell awhile back when I found her Haunted Home Renovation Series, and I loved that first book so much, that I researched the author to see what else she might hve written, and discovered this series, A Witchcraft Mystery.

I loved this book. Lily is our lead, a powerful witch, that we know very little about, so we discover just a little about her history, with so many more mysteries in her as a person herself yet to discover. Bronwyn is actually a wiccan, a normal h
Aug 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: up-to-2012
I enjoy ‘magick’ themes. However if I knew it contained ‘a troll’ and touched on ‘demons’ although lightly; I wouldn't have bought it. The small, diverse cast grew on me later but it took some doing to finish reading. Let's forget witches and note that any distinct lifestyle needs to be broken in. Introduce a basic person and surroundings, then ease into a trade. We wouldn't relate to a book immediately spouting plumbing details. Let us sample the person on common ground, then we'll go wherever ...more
May 21, 2011 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

Cute start for another paranormal mystery. Lily had some problems in Texas (who doesn't?) so she uproots herself to San Fran and opens a vintage clothing store on the famous Haight-Ashbury district. She keeps her witchiness under wraps but Wiccans pretty much tell everyone they are Wiccan. Trouble starts with sexy witch Aidan Rhodes stops in and gives her a familiar, which she names Oscar. I love him! At the house of Mrs. Potts Lily and her coworker/friend Maya hear the cry of a demon
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
What a fun little read!
I wasn't too sure about the premise, characters, or storyline going in, but it all added up to a quirky, fun, cozy mystery. In the end what's not to love; a young good hearted witch, her gifted gargoyle/pot-bellied pig familiar, Oscar, a couple ghosts, demons, male witches, a coven, spells, curses, San Francisco, hippies, a vintage clothing shop, and a happy ending that makes me want to continue reading the series.
Kylara Jensen
I just COULD NOT get into the tone of this book. I really hate almost everything about the mc's pov voice. She complains all the time and she is so hyppocritical. SHe talks about liking humans and doing good for them but then usues her magic on them all the time. She moralizes about trading someone's soul like- it's ok they were probably evil anyway.

So yeah. I normally like these campy pnrs but not this one.
Sandie Laughner
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I even took notes. :)
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well, this was fun!

I love a good paranormal cozy, and this was definitely a good one. The characters are engaging, the descriptions are evocative, and the little details brought it all together. You know, I vacillated between giving it 4 or 5 stars. If I wanted to split hairs, I could point out some minor problems with the narrative. But the fact remains that once I sat down to read the book (I started a few days ago but kept getting waylaid by life), I devoured it with relish. And I can't wait
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a fun paranormal cozy mystery with a good cast of characters and a satisfying ending. The only jarring note for me was the love interest, Max. He just wasn’t an appealing character. I had previously really enjoyed this author’s Art Lover’s mystery series under the pseudonym Hailey Lind, and am looking forward to continuing with this series.
Jul 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book was quite a little adventure. I love mysteries, especially if they involve a little something extra like magic, and Blackwell nailed it with this one. Lily settles in San Francico and opens a shop selling antiques and vintage clothing. While getting new inventory from old Mrs. Potts, she hears the ominous cry of an infamous demon. Despite casting a spell protecting her, Lily soon finds that Mrs. Potts has indeed died and a child has been snatched from the neighborhood.

Lily is an intere
Secondhand Spirits
2 Stars

A vintage clothing store on the streets of San Francisco run by a witch who becomes involved in the investigation of a missing girl - sounds like a recipe for perfection? Unfortunately not!

Despite the intriguing premise, the plot of Secondhand Spirits is boring and completely lacking in tension and suspense. Furthermore, the heroine, Lily Ivory, is as dull as dishwater. There are no details on the precise origin, nature or extent of her powers and her abilities consisten
I really enjoyed this paranormal cozy mystery. Lily is a witch who owns a secondhand store and hopes she can just live a normal life without using witchcraft, but things don’t quite work out for her. While buying a collection of clothes from an elderly lady a child goes missing and Lily feels like Mrs. Potts’ life is in danger and her premonition is right on the money and the next day she is found dead. Lily tries to find out what happened to the little girl and Mrs. Potts.

There is also a mythbu
Brenda Audiobooks Only
Narrated by Xe Sands - Narration 4 1/2*s

This light mystery story with a paranormal bend gets 3 1/2 stars rounded to 4 here. There was a lot to like about this first book of a series especially in audio with excellent character voices and personality portrayals. The mens voices in particular are stellar. I enjoyed the main characters and got a kick out of the familiar that paraded about in the guise of a pot bellied pig.

The detailed recipes and sets up for potions or spell casting etc bored me a
Jun 26, 2010 rated it really liked it

This was a fun book. I was pretty stop / start-ish with the read, because I was busy this week, and I think that impacted my ability to emotionally engage as much as I ordinarily would. But I thought it was a good, solid story, with interesting characters. It definitely read as the first book in the series - it felt like we didn't dig in-depth on anyone, really... it was just a lot of setup. But I liked Lily, Bronwyn and Maya. I withhold judgement on Aidan and Max - I don't trust either
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The Missing Case ...: March 2017- Secondhand Spirits 1 2 Mar 02, 2017 05:39AM  

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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 orc ...more

Other books in the series

A Witchcraft Mystery (10 books)
  • A Cast-Off Coven (A Witchcraft Mystery, #2)
  • 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)
  • A Magical Match (A Witchcraft Mystery #9)
  • Bewitched and Betrothed (A Witchcraft Mystery #10)
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