by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of A Toxic Trousseau, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.
Considering that her familiar is a goblin-gargoyle who transforms into a food-motivated pot-bellied pig, Lily Ivory shouldn’t have been too surprised that his antics would land them in trouble. She never expected that it would arrive in the form of a lawsuit though, one accusing Oscar of head-butting a customer, causing head and neck injuries, and reducing the quality of life. Lily’s hope to come to an out-of-court resolution is inauspiciously fulfilled when she meets Autumn Jennings at her rival Vintage Visions Glad Rags store, delirious, brandishing a gun, and ultimately collapsing into a heap.
Lily is no stranger to the San Francisco Police Department, but unfortunately the friendlier Inspector Carlos Romero doesn’t get the case. While the investigators may consider Lily and her vintage clothing store Aunt Cora’s Closet in competition with Autumn’s, Lily knows that Vintage Visions’ extravagant ball gowns and accessories were out of the price and size ranges of Lily’s customers. Somehow assuming custody of Autumn’s hound dog, Lily feels responsible for tracking down both canine Loretta’s rightful new owner and the source of Autumn’s death. Perhaps Lily is getting accustomed to her role as a justice enforcer, as when the leader of San Francisco’s witchcraft community has to leave town, Aidan Rhodes assigns to Lily his duty as magistrate for witch disputes and certifications. Who knew that witches, necromancers, and psychics had to be licensed to practice in San Francisco?
Navigating bureaucracy and temperamental witches will be a snap compared to unraveling the thread of Autumn’s fate. Amongst the miniscule-sized shoes, impractical bustles, constrictive corsets, and puffed sleeves, Autumn also acquired a trousseau with its own curse linked to jealous rivals. Being a natural-born witch has taught Lily to distrust coincidences, which is why the connections between Autumn, a Goth on-the-run dogwalker, the trousseau, and Aiden’s mysterious satchel all lead to Lily spending the night in the haunted Rodchester House of Spirits for her employee’s birthday.
This Witchcraft Mystery series continues to excel by developing the relationships between characters along with Lily’s reclaimed witchcraft skills. Oscar remains his jealous if adorable self, eating his way through trouble but never becoming too irritating or problematic. Through eight novels Blackwell is advancing an underlying plot that is building towards an ominous battle between magical forces that will force Lily to choose sides. A legendary curse, extraordinary descriptions of historical fashion, and lively comedic scenes ensure for an exciting and entrancing read, but it is the romantic resolution that will truly leave readers deeply satisfied and anxious for more.
To enter to win a copy of A Toxic Trousseau, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “toxic,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen July 23, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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