Next Author: Algernon Blackwood
Previous Author: Levi Black

Juliet Blackwell

Juliet Blackwell is the pseudonym of mystery author Hailey Lind who, together with her sister, wrote the Art Lover’s Mystery series. The first in that series, Feint of Art, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. She also writes the Haunted Home Renovation mystery series. Juliet’s lifelong interest in the paranormal world was triggered when her favorite aunt visited and read her fortune — with startling results. As an anthropologist, the author studied systems of spirituality, magic, and health across cultures and throughout history. She currently resides in a happily haunted house in Oakland, California. Learn more at Juliet Blackwell’s website.

Click here for more stories by Juliet Blackwell.

Witchcraft Mysteries

Witchcraft Mysteries — (2009-2016) Publisher: Love the vintage- not the ghosts. Lily Ivory feels that she can finally fit in somewhere and conceal her “witchiness” in San Francisco. It’s there that she opens her vintage clothing shop, outfitting customers both spiritually and stylistically. Just when things seem normal, a client is murdered and children start disappearing from the Bay Area. Lily has a good idea that some bad phantoms are behind it. Can she keep her identity secret, or will her witchy ways be forced out of the closet as she attempts to stop the phantom?

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsSpellcasting In Silk: A Witchcraft MysteryA Toxic Trousseau: A Witchcraft Mystery

Secondhand Spirits: A cozy mystery with a magical twist

Readers’ average rating:

Secondhand Spirits by Juliet Blackwell

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 purchases a hoard of clothing from an old woman, Frances Potts, and soon becomes embroiled in a mystery involving Mrs. Potts, a missing child, and the eerie legend of La Llorona. Lily risks her new-found acceptance and security by using her witchcraft to try to save the day.
Read More

A Cast-Off Coven: Try this series on audio

Readers’ average rating:

A Cast-Off Coven by Juliet Blackwell

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 the right items. In the first novel Lily made new friends, gained Oscar the goblin for a familiar, met a hot investigative journalist named Max, and solved a murder.

Now Lily has been asked to come to the local Fine Arts school because the students think there may be a ghost living in a closet full of vintage clothing. In return for Lily... Read More

Hexes and Hemlines: Comfy cozy

Readers’ average rating:

Hexes and Hemlines by Juliet Blackwell

Lily Ivory has only been in San Francisco for a couple of months, but she’s starting to feel like it’s home. She’s made friends with some fellow shopkeepers on Haight Street, a few local journalists, a cute cop who respects her paranormal talents, and some other quirky folks. Lily’s vintage clothing business has taken off, too, because she’s got a knack for choosing just the right clothes for each of her customers.

At the beginning of Hexes and Hemlines, the third book in Juliet Blackwell’s WITCHCRAFT MYSTERY series, the cute cop asks for Lily’s expertise examining a murder scene. The leader of a skeptics society has been found dead in his home with all sorts of unlucky symbols — black cat, ladder, broken mirror, etc. It seems that the bad luck he didn’t believe in has caught up with him. Lily is dismayed to discover that ... Read More

In a Witch’s Wardrobe: Great series for audio

Readers’ average rating:

In a Witch’s Wardrobe by Juliet Blackwell

I’m really enjoying Juliet Blackwell’s WITCHCRAFT MYSTERY series on audio! These are short paranormal mysteries that have appealing characters, are light on blood and violence, feature (but don’t focus too much on) romantic relationships, include a bit of humor, and have a great setting (a vintage clothing store in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco). Each mystery is self-contained but there’s an overarching plot that advances with each book (so you want to start with the first book, Secondhand Spirits).

In this fourth novel, Lily is attending an art deco charity ball with a date when she sees a woman fall unconscious in the restroom. It looks like witchcraft is at work. Lily can’t mind her own business, so she starts investigating and eventually unearths a nasty little plot involving a local coven, a fussy baby, a... Read More

Tarnished and Torn: Another solid entry in this pleasant series

Readers’ average rating:

Tarnished and Torn by Juliet Blackwell

Tarnished and Torn is the fifth book in Juliet Blackwell’s WITCHCRAFT MYSTERIES series. If you haven’t read any of the books yet, I’d recommend that you start back at book one, Second Hand Spirits. This is a pleasant cozy mystery series that isn’t going to stun you with brilliant ideas or delight you with its literary finesse, but it consistently does what it sets out to do — it entertains. Its strength is the cast of characters who are likeable right from the start and who grow on the reader as, over the course of five books, we learn more of their history, witness their triumphs and tragedies, and (most importantly) come to care about what happens to them in the future.

In Tarnished and Torn, Lily attends an antique jewelry show with her friends. While she’s there, a fire starts and someone is murd... Read More

A Vision in Velvet: This series hasn’t let me down

Readers’ average rating:

A Vision in Velvet by Juliet Blackwell

Juliet Blackwell’s WITCHCRAFT MYSTERIES hasn’t let me down. This is a solid series with a fun setting and great characters. Tantor Audio’s versions read by Xe Sands are terrific and I’m certain that her narration adds a lot to my enjoyment. Honestly, I’ve got a bit of a voice crush on her. I wouldn’t think of reading these books any other way.

In A Vision in Velvet, the sixth installment, Lily’s vintage clothing store is thriving, she has made friends with her neighbors on Haight Street, and she’s got a steady romance going. Life is pretty good. But, of course, soon enough Lily manages to get wrapped up in another murder mystery. This one involves a trunk full of old clothes, a velvet cape, a dying tree in Golden Gate Park, some scientists, psychedelic frogs, The Crucible Read More

Spellcasting in Silk: Another great audio installment

Readers’ average rating:

Spellcasting in Silk by Juliet Blackwell

Think of Juliet Blackwell’s WITCHCRAFT MYSTERY series as paranormal cozy mysteries. Each stands alone and deals with a relatively non-gory murder committed by a seemingly upstanding member of the San Francisco Haight-Ashbury community where Lily Ivory owns a vintage clothing shop. Being a witch, Lily has some amateur detective skills that Carlos Romero, the handsome local homicide detective, finds helpful. In each installment, Lily, who can be a little nosey (as any amateur detective is), helps solve the case. As the series advances, new characters are added, Lily’s business grows, and her love life evolves. Although each murder mystery stands alone, I recommend reading the WITCHCRAFT MYSTERIES in order so that you don’t miss Lily’s character development.

I would also highly (highly!) recommend that you r... Read More

A Toxic Trousseau: Every summer I look forward to visiting Lily in San Francisco

Readers’ average rating: 

A Toxic Trousseau by Juliet Blackwell

Every summer I look forward to spending a few days in San Francisco with Lily Ivory, her employees at her vintage clothing shop, her gluttonous familiar Oscar, her sexy boyfriend Sailor, and various other inhabitants of the Haight district where Lily works and lives. These are charming folks who, since they’re set in a paranormal cozy mystery series, tend to bumble into a crime scene every few weeks.

This time, Lily goes to visit a woman who owns a competing vintage clothing shop and who has filed suit against Lily for something Oscar did. Readers won’t be surprised that the woman dies soon after this confrontation and that Lily is, once again, being questioned by the San Francisco police. Being a bit nosey, and having a flexible working schedule, Lily (again) sets out to uncover the culprit and, in the process, explores more of San Francisco (sh... Read More

Haunted Home Renovation Mysteries

Haunted Home Renovation Mysteries — (2010-2016) Publisher: Melanie Turner has made quite a name for herself remodeling historic houses in the San Francisco Bay Area. But now her reputation may be on the line. At her newest project, a run-down Pacific Heights mansion, Mel is visited by the ghost of a colleague who recently met a bad end with power tools. Mel hopes that by nailing the killer, she can rid herself of the ghostly presence of the murdered man-and not end up a construction casualty herself…

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

If Walls Could Talk: Begins another paranormal cozy mystery series by Blackwell

Readers’ average rating:

If Walls Could Talk by Juliet Blackwell

I’ve been enjoying the audio versions, read by Xe Sands, of Juliet Blackwell’s WITCHCRAFT MYSTERIES series, so I thought I’d give the audio versions (also read by Xe Sands) of Blackwell’s HAUNTED HOME RENOVATION MYSTERIES a try. These are also paranormal cozy mysteries which take place in San Francisco and which feature a slightly socially awkward independent woman running her own business.

In If Walls Could Talk, the first HAUNTED HOME RENOVATION book, we meet Melanie (“Mel”) Turner, a divorced ABD (All But Dissertation) anthropologist who took over her family’s construction business after her mother died and her father became depressed. Turner Construction’s ar... Read More

Dead Bolt: Inspired by a San Francisco legend

Readers’ average rating:

Dead Bolt by Juliet Blackwell

Dead Bolt is the second book in Juliet Blackwell’s HAUNTED HOME RENOVATION MYSTERIES. I liked the first book, If Walls Could Talk, well enough, but felt like it was too similar to Blackwell’s other paranormal cozy mystery series, WITCHCRAFT MYSTERIES. The best thing about both series is that the audiobook versions are read by the amazing Xe Sands and, I swear, I would probably be happy listening to Xe read the tax code. (Fortunately, Blackwell’s books are a lot more entertaining than that!) These books are short — each is just over 7 hours long in audio format.

In Dead Bolt, Mel Turner has been asked to renovate the historic San Francisco home of... Read More

Murder on the House: Mel takes on a haunted B&B

Readers’ average rating:

Murder on the House by Juliet Blackwell

In Murder on the House, the third book in Juliet Blackwell’s HAUNTED HOME RENOVATION MYSTERIES, Melanie “Mel” Turner is starting to acquire a reputation as a successful general contractor and ghostbuster. Homeowners around San Francisco are asking for her special services and she’s got some new projects going on while she’s still finishing up some of the historic renovations we got to see in the first two books, If Walls Could Talk and Dead Bolt. This time she’s got a unique case. The homeowners whose historic house she hopes to renovate want the ghosts of the children that haunt the upstairs nursery to stay. They plan to convert the house into a haunted bed & breakfast and think the ghosts will attract customers looking for a unique San Francis... Read More

Home for the Haunting: Delivers what fans expect

Readers’ average rating:

Home for the Haunting by Juliet Blackwell

Home for the Haunting is the fourth book in Juliet Blackwell’s HAUNTED HOME RENOVATION series. Each of these book is a short cozy paranormal mystery. Each story is self-contained, so the books can stand alone, but there’s an overarching plot involving Mel Turner’s personal relationships and each installment adds new characters, so most readers would probably prefer to start at the beginning and read the novels in order. The first three are If Walls Could Talk, Dead Bolt, and Murder on the House. After the fourth book, Home of the Haunting, comes Keeper of the Castle and the sixth book, Give Up the... Read More

Keeper of the Castle: Mel reconstructs an ancient Scottish Monastery

Readers’ average rating:

Keeper of the Castle by Juliet Blackwell

In Keeper of the Castle, the fifth book in Juliet Blackwell’s HAUNTED HOME RENOVATION series, a famous inspirational speaker has hired Mel Turner to oversee the reconstruction of a medieval Scottish monastery on his property outside San Francisco.

There are a couple of problems with this. One is that there are protestors outside the gates. One vocal protestor, a guy who wears a kilt, objects to the “theft” of a Scottish national landmark. Another problem is that the monastery seems haunted by two ghosts. One is a sad hungry woman who wears a red dress. The other is a sword-wielding Highlander who attacks any man who comes close. These ghosts are spooking Mel’s construction workers. The last problem is t... Read More

Give Up the Ghost: A welcome little twist at the end

Readers’ average rating:

Give Up the Ghost by Juliet Blackwell

Fans of Juliet Blackwell’s HAUNTED HOME RENOVATION MYSTERIES will be happy to hear that Give Up the Ghost, the new sixth book in the series (released today) again delivers exactly what’s expected: a low-stress cozy paranormal murder mystery with a cute premise, a marvelous setting, and a great cast of characters.

For most of the novel there’s nothing unique or unexpected with Blackwell’s formula which, I assume, will please readers who’ve made it this far in the series. This time Mel Turner is renovating the historic mansion of Andrew Stirling, a millionaire living in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood. Stirling, whose taste is rather tacky, has had the house modernized, but this has upset it... Read More

Kat Chats with Xe Sands

Xe Sands (pronounced EK-see) is one of my favorite audiobook narrators. She performs in many genres, but I’m mostly familiar with her SFF titles such as Juliet Blackwell’s books, Jeff VanderMeer’s Acceptance, and Kelly Meding’s DREG CITY series. I’ve read several online interviews with Xe in which I learned all sorts of interesting Read More