Synchronized Sorcery by Juliet Blackwell
Juliet 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!).
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.
I really enjoy these, and I perked right up when you said Treasure Island is a large part of the setting. I’ll have to grab this one!