Title: Grave Witch
Author: Kalayna Price
Copyright: 2010 (ROC); 325 pgs.
Series: Alex Craft #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
From Goodreads.com: As a private investigator and consultant for the police, Alex Craft has seen a lot of dark magic. But even though she’s on good terms with Death himself — who happens to look fantastic in a pair of jeans — nothing has prepared her for her latest case. Alex is investigating a high profile murder when she’s attacked by the ‘shade’ she’s raising, which should be impossible. To top off her day, someone makes a serious attempt on her life, but Death saves her. Guess he likes having her around . . .
To solve this case Alex will have to team up with tough homicide detective Falin Andrews. Falin seems to be hiding something — though it’s certainly not his dislike of Alex — but Alex knows she needs his help to navigate the tangled webs of mortal and paranormal politics, and to track down a killer wielding a magic so malevolent, it may cost Alex her life . . . and her soul.
Comments: Another case of “I wish I could remember what prompted me to get this book” syndrome. I can’t remember if it was a review, bookshelf bingo, or some meme that brought it to my attention. However it happened, I’m glad I picked it up.
The back blurb is accurate, and I want to avoid spoilers, so there is no need to re-hash the plot. Instead, I decided that I will talk about the things I liked.
The world building — Nekros City sounds like a normal US city. It’s not. The magic opened up folded areas, and now the US has four more states. Magic and the fae are tolerated, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any discrimination. Some of the non-magical have even formed a political party, called Humans First Party
Alex — I liked her a lot. She has her small circle of friends for support, and her dog. Death hangs out with her sometimes, which can be a bit awkward because she can’t always be sure if he’s just visiting, or if he’s there to do his job. I liked her power. Morbid, and comes with a price, but can be handy for solving murders — only if there wasn’t such resistance to the idea. In fact, at the start of the book, Alex is scheduled to assist with the first-ever testimony of a shade at the trial of her suspected murderer.
Falin Andrews — Mr. Grumpy Pants. It’s his murder investigation that Alex is poking her nose into. If he isn’t yelling at her and threatening to have her arrested, his saving her life and feeding her. Yes, feeding her. The man can cook. And clean. She should keep him.
I really enjoyed the story. Some things I guessed right off — like I knew who would be the killer’s last intended victim, but not the why. There are a few things that I’m hoping will be addressed in a future book — the soul collectors, for instance. And is Roy really sticking around? He’d be great at surveillance and she wouldn’t have to pay him! 😉
I have the second book and I plan to read it soon.
Start: 1 January 2012
Finished: 5 January 2012