Grave Witch—Intriguing

Grave Witch by Kalayna Price book cover
Grave Witch by Kalayna Price

Grave Witch by Kalayna Price is an urban fantasy told from the first person perspective. It follows Alex Craft, a grave witch—that is, a witch who works with the dead, shades, ghosts, souls, corpses—as she tries to find a serial killer who carves strange glyphs into their victims’s skins.

1—Faery Tale

The world changed when the Fae came out of the closet and revealed themselves to humans—literally changed, as in pockets of reality opened up new land. In one of these new places is Nekros City, the city where Alex lives. There are all kinds of Fae, the differences of which aren’t important in this book but I suspect will be in later books in the series. Alex ends up partnering with one from the FIB—Fae Investigation Bureau—when it turns out the glyphs the killer is using are Fae. Continue reading “Grave Witch—Intriguing”

Lost Girl—I Just Feel Like Something Is Missing

Lost Girl tv series
Lost Girl

Lost Girl is a SyFy show now on Netflix. It’s about Bo, a young succubus of mysterious origins raised as a human who must now contend with the world of the Fae.

1—The Fae

The Fae are a collection of species that live alongside humankind. There are a ton of them, all drawn from mythology (or, in this world, the inspiration for human mythology). There are sirens, werewolves, succubi, kappa, furies, and so many more. They make for an interesting cast of characters, recurring and one-shot. Continue reading “Lost Girl—I Just Feel Like Something Is Missing”

License to Ensorcell—Good But Not Spellbinding

License to Ensorcell by Katharine Kerr book cover
License to Ensorcell by Katharine Kerr

License to Ensorcell, by Katharine Kerr, is an urban fantasy told from first person point of view. Set in modern day San Francisco, the story follows psychic agent Nola O’Grady as she seeks out a serial killer of werewolves.

1—Nola

Nola O’Grady works for an organization so secret even she won’t even tell the reader its name. She’s an agent of Harmony tasked with finding and stopping Chaos breaches. Serial killers aren’t usually in her bailiwick but this one is using silver bullets to kill his targets. And of course, it turns out that this same killer is the one who murdered her own brother a year ago. Continue reading “License to Ensorcell—Good But Not Spellbinding”

Murder on the Orient Express, the Movie (2017)—A Well-Done Version of a Classic

Murder on the Orient Express movie 2017
Murder on the Orient Express

Directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh as the inimical detective, Hercule Poirot, Murder on the Orient Express is adapted from one of murder mystery maven Agatha Christie’s best known books.

1—Well Paced and Characterized

Murder on the Orient Express has a lot to set up in little time, lots of clues and characters to introduce, but neither pacing nor characterization feels cheated. Everything flows naturally, including the gradual shift in tone from the lighthearted beginning to the emotional struggles of the climax. Continue reading “Murder on the Orient Express, the Movie (2017)—A Well-Done Version of a Classic”

Whispers Under Ground—Trouble Under London

Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch book cover
Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch

Whispers Under Ground, by Ben Aaronovitch, is the third in the Rivers of London series. This time wizard’s apprentice and police constable Peter Grant is investigating the stabbing death of an American art student who happens to be the son of a senator.

1— Mysterious Places

This book’s adventure sees Peter spending much of his time underground. The murder starts in a subway tunnel and leads Peter to an old ceramics company, and thus to a race of large-eyed pale people living in the sewers. There’s also an art galley and a Goblin Market, both of which places a River Goddess shows up. Continue reading “Whispers Under Ground—Trouble Under London”

Night Child—CSI With Mages

Night Child by Jes Battis book cover
Night Child by Jes Battis

Night Child, by Jes Battis, is an urban fantasy set in Vancouver. Tess Corday is an OSI, a member of the Mystical Crime Lab, which is secret from the normal world, even the rest of the police force.

1—Technical Magic

There’s a lot of technical terminology, with enough explanation that I didn’t get lost. Even Tess’s turns of phrase and metaphors tend toward the technical descriptions of the body—blood, flesh, heartbeats, etc. And that’s before you get into the technical terms for magic, like “materia” and “necroid”. I won’t try to remember how she put it, just that there was a sense of poetry to it. Tess is also given to flights of poetic imagination. Continue reading “Night Child—CSI With Mages”

Midnight, Texas Season One—Supernatural Fun

Midnight, Texas
Midnight, Texas

Midnight, Texas is a tv series based on a book series by Charlaine Harris. Psychic and conman Manfred is on the run and his dead Aunt suggests he hide out in the titular town.

1—Cast of Characters

Midnight is full of people with secrets and supernatural abilities. There’s vampire Lem and his human lover Olivia the assassin. There’s the Reverend Sheehan who runs the town’s chapel and pet cemetery, who’s a were-tiger. There’s husbands Joe and Chuy, a fallen angel and half-demon respectively. Bobo, another human who runs the pawnshop, and who’s missing fiancé turns up dead and kickstarts a bunch of trouble. And there’s Fiji, a powerful witch who’s in love with Bobo. And of course, now there’s Manfred, who has the lay of the town explained to him by local waitress and love interest Creek. Continue reading “Midnight, Texas Season One—Supernatural Fun”

The Doctor Blake Mysteries Season One—Not Bad

The Doctor Blake Mysteries
The Doctor Blake Mysteries

Available on Netflix, The Doctor Blake Mysteries is a little dark but not gruesome. It follows war veteran Dr Lucien Blake as he returns to his home town of Ballarat in Australia and takes up his father’s practice and his place as police surgeon.

1—Dr Blake

Lucien likes to stir things up. Our introduction to him is when he takes a nude painting into his stuffy men’s club and hangs it above the bar. Taking place in what I think is the ‘50s, Lucien has some rather liberal attitudes that don’t always go down well with his colleagues and fellow townsmen. Continue reading “The Doctor Blake Mysteries Season One—Not Bad”

Hexes and Hemlines—Things Start Getting Complicated

Hexes and Hemlines book cover
Hexes and Hemlines

Hexes and Hemlines, by Juliet Blackwell, is a cozy mystery told in the first-person perspective of a witch who acts as the detective. Not part of the San Francisco Police Department—though she was asked to unofficially consult on this case, Lilly Ivory owns and operates a vintage clothing store.

1—Accidentally Breaking Things

When Lilly is called to weigh in on a murder victim surrounded by bad luck symbols—a broken mirror, a ladder in front of a doorway, black cat, etc—it sets off a series of events in the magical community. Apparently she’s broken some decades old pact between witches and Satanists not to get into each others’ business. As the murder victim was the son of the head of the Church of Satan, Lilly finds herself in deep trouble, trouble that will extend out to her friends. Continue reading “Hexes and Hemlines—Things Start Getting Complicated”

A Cast-Off Coven—Demons, Ghosts, and Art School

A Cast Off Coven by Juliet Blackwell book cover
A Cast Off Coven by Juliet Blackwell

A Cast-Off Coven, by Juliet Blackwell, is the second in the Witchcraft Mystery series (I’ve read but not reviewed the first in the series, Secondhand Spirits—I liked it). It’s a cozy mystery set in San Francisco starring Lilly Ivory, witch and vintage-clothing store owner.

1—Murder in the Bell Tower

Lilly is called in to kick the ghost out of the school’s haunted bell tower—at least that’s her job until finding rich scumbag and patron of the art school Jerry Becker dead at the base of said bell tower. Now in addition to the ghost, Lilly has to deal with a murder. And then she finds out there’s a demon in the third-floor closet. Continue reading “A Cast-Off Coven—Demons, Ghosts, and Art School”