Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A Toxic Trousseau

A Toxic Trousseau by Juliet Blackwell is the eighth A Witchcraft Mystery novel.  Lily Ivory owns Aunt Cora’s Closet in San Francisco, California.  Lily sells gently used vintage clothing and encourages her customers to wear the items (Lily loves to wear the clothes from her store).  Lily is in the store when a young woman approaches her.  It turns out that Lily is being sued.  Autumn Jennings came into the store recently and was disdainful of the merchandise.  Oscar, Lily’s shape-shifting familiar, gave her a nudge (well, maybe a head butt) into some clothing.  Ms. Jennings is claiming that she was injured (from falling into some clothing) and is suing for compensation.  It turns out that Autumn owns a vintage clothing store as well, though she carries older clothing (Victorian, 20s, Edwardian) with designer labels that people could not wear on an everyday basis (they are better for museum displays).  Lily cannot afford a lawsuit and goes to talk with Autumn (and takes Maya with her). They do not find anyone in the store and then they hear thumping above.  They go to investigate and end up with a gun pointed at them.  Autumn is unstable on her feet and then collapses.  Unfortunately for Lily, she ends up a prime suspect because of the lawsuit.  Inspector Carlos Romero (whom Lily is used to working with on cases) did not get assigned the case.  Inspectors Stinson and Ng get the case and they hope for a quick solution.  Lily feels compelled to investigate.  Sailor tags along to keep Lily safe (he has certainly changed) and Oscar manages to join in (he does not want to be left out especially if there is going to be food). Lily investigation leads her to a cursed trousseau, a supposed haunted house, and a dog walker (who just happened to be the process server).  Lily is not sure if there is anything magical in this case, but it is definitely suspicious.  In addition, Aidan Rhodes is going out of town and asks Lily for a favor (she owes him one).  Lily needs to take of Aidan’s satchel (which everyone is afraid of) and handle witchy disputes (and some licensing issues).  Lily is going to need her wits about her to get through this week!  Join Lily, Maya, Bronwyn, Sailor, and Oscar in A Toxic Trousseau.

A Toxic Trousseau was just delightful.  It was wonderful to visit Lily Ivory, Sailor, Oscar, Maya, and friends in San Francisco.   The mystery was complex, twisty, and hard to figure out (just the way like them).    There is some misdirection as well (to throw the reader off the scent of the real killer).  I enjoyed the information on vintage (Victorian) clothing and how certain colors were created (green wallpaper was known to kill off people). Oscar’s hijinks are humorous and highly entertaining.  I did not want this book to end.  I give A Toxic Trousseau 5 out of 5 stars (I loved it as you can tell).  A Toxic Trousseau has an enchanting (and romantic) ending!  I cannot wait for the next book in A Witchcraft Mystery series.  We will finally get to meet Lily's grandmother, Graceila and her coven (and Lily's mother).  If you like magical cozy mysteries, you will be delighted with this book and series.  A Toxic Trousseau can be read alone, but I highly recommend reading the previous books in the series.  They will help you understand the characters, their relationships, and their abilities.  In A Toxic Trousseau will get more information on the upcoming magical battle and meet the enemy (it will surprise you).

The other books in A Witchcraft Mystery series are Secondhand Spirits, A Cast-off Coven, Hexes and Hemlines, In a Witch's Wardrobe, Tarnished and Torn, A Vision in Velvet, and Spellcasting In Silk.  I received a complimentary copy of the novel in exchange for an honest evaluation of the book.

Thank you so much for visiting!  I hope all of you have had a very good day (did anyone else keep thinking it is Monday)!  May you have a special evening that includes a delightful book to read.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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