Synchronized Sorcery by Juliet Blackwell science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsSynchronized Sorcery by Juliet Blackwell

Synchronized Sorcery by Juliet Blackwell science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsJuliet Blackwell’s WITCHRAFT MYSTERIES series has been delighting readers of paranormal cozy mysteries since 2009. At this point, it seems unnecessary to keep reviewing the individual installments, but since Tantor Media graciously sends me review copies (something I look forward to every summer!), I will continue to say something about them. But if you’re a fan of this series, all you need to know is that book 11, Synchronized Sorcery (2021), is just as good as its predecessors, so stop reading this review and go pick it up.

Wait, one more thing: if you haven’t been listening to the audio versions narrated by Xe Sands, you are missing out. Sands does such a wonderful job with these books (as well as the HAUNTED HOME RENOVATION MYSTERIES series) and I wouldn’t think of reading them any other way. Sands’ voice has become the voice of Lily (and Mel) for me and it’s especially fun to see Mel (from the other series) make a guest appearance in Synchronized Sorcery (I was hoping that would happen someday!).

Juliet Blackwell’s WITCHRAFT MYSTERIES The set-up, briefly, is that Lily has returned from vacation to find some strange things going on. It starts with a mysterious man who keeps showing up. Then a dead body draped across Aidan’s desk. Then the ladies of her grandmother’s coven are sensing some existential threat to San Francisco and they keep reminding Lily about a prophecy they think applies to her. And then there’s an old-fashioned mermaid costume that somehow got into Lily’s luggage. All of these things are connected, of course, as Lily discovers during the course of the story.

Much of the plot of Synchronized Sorcery takes place on Treasure Island, a man-made island that was created for the 1939 World’s Fair but was turned over to the Navy when the United States got involved in World War II. Living about as far as you can get from San Francisco while still being in the same country, I love learning about that foreign land, and Blackwell always teaches me something interesting.

Lily has come such a long way since we met her in Secondhand Spirits. She arrived in San Francisco with almost nothing but now she is an integral part of the city’s magical community, surrounded by friends, and even starting a new family. Her story will continue and I look forward to watching her family grow (this involves a new, intriguing, character), searching for Oscar’s mother (let’s hope Oscar is less annoying in the next book), and watching Conrad develop.

Published in July 2021. As witch and vintage store owner Lily Ivory steps into her new role as leader of the Bay Area’s magical community, she’s faced with a mysterious death of magical proportions…. Strange things are happening in Lily Ivory’s San Francisco. First, she finds a vintage mermaid costume that dates from the 1939 San Francisco’s Treasure Island World’s Fair – and which gives off distinctly peculiar vibrations. Next, she stumbles upon a dead man in the office of her predecessor, and as the community’s new leader, she feels compelled to track down the culprit. Just when Lily thinks things can’t get any stranger, a man appears claiming to be her half brother, spouting ideas about the mystical prophecy involving San Francisco and their family…. When the dead man is linked to the mysterious mermaid costume and then yet another victim is found on Treasure Island, Lily uncovers ties between the long-ago World’s Fair and the current murders and begins to wonder whether the killer might be hiding in plain sight. But unless Lily can figure everything out in time, there may be yet another body floating in San Francisco Bay.


  • Kat Hooper

    KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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